Earlier this year, I trialed the new and improved Dairy-Free Melt Organic in my delicious Scalloped Potato Stacks recipe. That incredible buttery goodness was amazing with potatoes, but I still needed to put Melt to the ultimate test: baking. After using up several tubs as a spread and for general cooking, I finally gave Melt a whirl in a new recipe, Strawberry Shortcake Donuts. And my oh my, we were definitely not disappointed.
Traditional cake donuts are actually fried and usually made with dairy. These strawberry shortcake donuts are baked, dairy-free, and even made with whole grains (white-wheat flour is actually 100% whole wheat!), but thanks to the ingredients and method, they taste pretty darn close to the guilty originals.
And really, you can top them however you like. While testing and perfecting these strawberry shortcake donuts, I ran out of chilled ingredients for the whip topping, so I tried them with a quick buttery vanilla glaze – delicious! As to be expected, every last donut from my many trials was devoured by friends and neighbors in minutes.
As for the strawberry shortcake donuts specifically, note that you must use full-fat coconut milk (not coconut milk beverage) for the whip. Since coconut cream isn’t always as smooth as dairy topping, I decided to trial whipping just a bit of buttery spread into my usual dairy-free coconut whip recipe. Not only did it result in a creamier consistency, it also added a hint of flavor and a touch of salt to heighten the sweetness. Though it isn’t required, I suggest you give it a try.
Special Diet Notes: Strawberry Shortcake Donuts
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.
For vegan and egg-free strawberry shortcake donuts, I recommend using white-wheat flour or all-purpose flour (gluten-free may be trickier and require more testing), and substituting the eggs with two powdered egg replacers. Two chia eggs plus an additional 1/8 teaspoon baking powder is another good option. For moister donuts, you can use 1/3 cup applesauce or unsweetened dairy-free yogurt in place of both eggs, and I would increase the baking powder by 1/8 teaspoon.
- 1 cup coconut cream (see coconut cream note below)
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread, optional (I use MELT Organic Rich & Creamy Buttery Spread)
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla flavoring or extract, or more to taste
- 2 cups white-whole wheat flour (can sub all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend)
- ⅔ cup sugar (can sub finely ground coconut sugar)
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch or non-GMO cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup dairy-free buttery spread (I use MELT Organic Rich & Creamy Buttery Spread)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup lite coconut milk (canned; not milk beverage)
- 2 eggs (see post above for vegan option)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 lb strawberries, stemmed and diced
- Powdered sugar, optional
- Place all topping ingredients ingredients in a chilled mixing bowl and blend with a hand mixer until smooth. Add more vanilla, if desired. The buttery spread offers an extra touch of creaminess.
- Place in the refrigerator to chill and re-thicken while you make the donuts.
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease the wells of a couple donut pans (see note below if you don't have donut pans).
- Place the flour, sugar, starch, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the buttery spread and zest and whisk until a coarse meal forms.
- Heat the coconut milk until hot, but not boiling (I do 30 seconds on HIGH in the microwave).
- Add the heated coconut milk, eggs and vanilla to the flour mixture and stir until just combine with no flour streaks remaining (there will be little lumps); do not over mix.
- Fill the donut wells with the batter up to the top of the center hole (do not cover the center!).
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until just set; they will still be fairly light in color. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, before running a knife to loosen (if needed) and removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To serve, give the dairy-fee topping a quick whisk and dollop atop the cooled donuts. Top with diced strawberries.
- If desired, dust tops with powdered sugar.
No Donut Pan? Pour the batter into greased 3- to 4-inch ramekins, about 1-inch high and bake as directed for hole-free donut cakes!