Paleo Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes with Pecan Crunch

 Paleo Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes with Pecan Crunch | Gluten-free and paleo. | Loveleaf Co.

If you're kind of a kitchen minimalist like I am, you probably don't have a donut pan (...and if you do? JEALOUS). I'm also not much of a baker (I prefer my no-bake chocolate), so I was hesitant to attempt homemade donuts until I remembered donut holes. I'm proud to say that these gluten-free, paleo pumpkin donuts taste pretty close to real, old-fashioned apple cider-style donuts. They are baked (!) but lightly coated in coconut oil first to get that classic donut flavor without the heaviness. And they're sweetened only with dates, so I'm marking them down as "healthy-ish." Enjoy!

 Paleo Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes with Pecan Crunch | Gluten-free and paleo. | Loveleaf Co.

Paleo Pumpkin Spice
Donut Holes with Pecan Crunch

INGREDIENTS

DONUT HOLES

  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour

  • 3 tablespoons tapioca flour

  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 cup pitted, dried Deglet noor dates (about 6 dates)

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

FOR THE GLAZE

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream (use the thick, unmixed coconut cream from a can of full-fat coconut milk), melted

  • 2 tablespoons raw cashews (soaked overnight, or quick-soaked, see notes)

  • 1 tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup

  • pinch of salt

FOR THE PECAN CRUNCH

  • 1/4 cup raw pecans

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted

  • 1 teaspoon honey or pure maple syrup

  • pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Start with the donut holes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the coconut flour, tapioca starch, spices, salt and baking powder. In a microwavable cup or mug, microwave the dates and water on high for 2 minutes.

  2. In another small mixing bowl, add the microwaved dates and water mixture to the canned pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract. Using an immersion hand blender, blend wet ingredients together until smooth. The dates should be fully incorporated (no visible date pieces!).

  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until fully mixed. The dough should be moist, but dry enough to roll into balls with your hands. Roll about nine donut holes from the dough and lightly dip in the melted coconut oil before placing on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until just beginning to turn golden brown. Allow to cool before glazing.

  4. Make the glaze. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until very smooth. Put in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to thicken before glazing the donuts.

  5. Make the pecan crunch. Increase the heat of the oven to 400 degrees F. Chop the raw pecans and toss with melted coconut oil, cinnamon, maple syrup (or honey) and salt. Spread pecan mixture evenly on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 5 minutes, until slightly golden and fragrant. Allow to cool slightly before topping onto the glazed donuts.

  6. Assemble. Once the donut holes have cooled, dip into the glaze and place back on parchment paper. Sprinkle with pecan crunch and enjoy!

NOTES

To quick-soak the cashews, place in a microwavable bowl or mug, cover with water and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Drain the water before using.