Thursday, September 25, 2014

Carrot Cake Donuts w/ Cream Cheese Frosting - NEW RECIPE ALERT

Happy Thursday! Today I'm excited to be doing another guest post for Honeyville. I'm sharing one of my newest recipes for Carrot Cake Donuts with Cream Cheese Frosting! If you are a carrot cake lover like I am (or were before you went low carb/grain free/no sugar, etc.), you are going to love these donuts. I tinkered with the recipe again the other night because good just isn't good enough for me...I wanted "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." Dorky...yes; true story...YES! Well, lets just say, my tinkering paid off!

These donuts are so moist and delicious, and who doesn't love a good excuse to have cake for breakfast! Who doesn't want to be able to have their cake and eat it too? Why do we feel guilty having a slice of cake for breakfast, but when that cake gets served in a donut shape slathered with frosting with a hole in the middle...suddenly it's an acceptable way to have cake and frosting for breakfast? Traditional donuts are basically just empty calories with little, if any, nutritive value. These donuts are good and good for you (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). They are chocked full of good stuff and sweetened with Swerve and liquid stevia. Each donut contains approximately 4.2 net carbs, 2.2 grams sugar and 4.3 grams of protein. Not too shabby for a donut! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

With my first batch of donuts I used my Wilton 6-cavity donut pan. Until a few days ago, it was the only one I had and it works very nicely. I was planning to get another 6-cavity donut pan so I can bake a full dozen at the same time instead of in shifts. Last week I ordered the USA Pan 6-well donut pan. I am obsessed with USA pans. They are some of the nicest baking pans I've ever used. My new pan came Monday and I used the new pan to make my second version and batch of donuts. All I can say is "wowza"...I love it. It is a little pricey though compared to the Wilton pan...so if you don't think you will be making donuts very often, the Wilton pan works just fine. But, if you are a donut or bagel freak...it would be worth checking out USA Pan's donut pan.

Now...for the new recipe, which is why you are here. You can find my new recipe for these donuts here: Carrot Cake Donuts w/ Cream Cheese Frosting. You are going to have to pinch yourself while eating them to keep reminding yourself that they really are grain-free, gluten-free and have no added sugar!  ;-)  Enjoy!






            




30 comments:

Louanne Bertrand said...

Oooh, love these! I'm going to use my Baby Cakes Cake Pops Maker to make donut holes. Thanks for another delicious recipe!

Peggy said...

Yum, this was worth waiting for! I've been checking all morning to see what new recipe you were going to surprise us with. I love carrot cake and can't wait to try this. Did you try making these with both orange extract and pineapple extract and was there much difference. I hate to go out and get the pineapple extract if it isn't really needed, but if there is a noticeable difference in flavor then I don't mind. Also, what difference did you notice in using the USA pan vs the Wilton? If I don't have to grease the pan or it cooks them much better then it would definitely be worth the price difference.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Peggy,

I hope you enjoy these. I did not make these donuts w/ orange extract but I have used it in the past with carrot cake muffins/cupcakes (back when I used to eat wheat). I think the citrus flavor compliments carrot cake. If I were you, I would not specifically buy the pineapple extract if you have orange (or orange zest). Try them first with the orange and if you like it, that makes it easier for you. I liked pineapple in my carrot cake so I was trying to duplicate the flavor which worked pretty good...but not enough to tell you its "needed"...unless you were looking or planning to use it in other things.

As far as the USA pan goes, I prefer it. If you've never tried one of their pans before...go to you local Bed Bath & Beyond and pick up their small (10 x 13) I think "trial size" pan. It's inexpensive on purpose to get you to try their pans...use a 20% off coupon and I want to say it was only $10 or so (it's been a while). My local BB&B doesn't carry some of their different specialty pans like the donut pan or I would have gotten it there. The instructions say lightly grease (I spray coconut oil lightly)...but I can tell you that if anything, it's almost too slippery/nonstick. You have to be careful that something doesn't slide off when carrying it (cookie sheets, pizza pan, etc,). The donuts made in the USA pan were slightly thicker/fuller/rounder an plump than the Wilton pan. Both will make good donuts so get whichever you prefer. I will tell you that I have had a couple stick slightly before in my Wilton pan, but the USA pan releases them like they are kicking the donuts out of the pan! ;-) Hope that helps...you do NOT need the pineapple extract and if you want to try the less expensive Wilton pan first to see how you like making donuts...try that one first. But, if you get a chance to find a USA pan of any shape or size locally...try it so you will see what I mean!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Louanne...great idea with the donut holes! Hope you enjoy them. These are moist enough (especially after covering them on a platter overnight) that you honestly don't need frosting if you choose not to...they are great as is and would make perfect donut holes to pop in your mouth! :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

You're sure batting "1000" these days. You've been hitting all of my old favorites! I *must* get some applesauce and cream *soon*!

Let them/us eat cake! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

Thanks! I usually buy a little 6-pk of unsweetened applesauce. One little container is the perfect amount and then the others stay fresh to use later. I actually like these unfrosted too! :-)

samudra said...

oh no oh no…mouth watering, all set to make these…but don't have enough almond flour. HELP!!!! HOW did this happen??!!! put in order this aftn, will just have to hope it gets here sooner than predicted.
meanwhile, i will have to ration my one remaining bagel and sandwich bun.
GG, you have spoiled me for good!!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Samudra,

Oh no! Glad you at least have a bagel and sandwich bun left! No worries...you'll have plenty of time to make and try these. Hope your almond flour gets there quickly! :-)

samudra said...

oh dear…it's deja vu…same disaster w/these as i had w/zucchini walnut bread!!! i borrowed almond flour from friend so i cd make these today, was sooo excited. you said 'soft dough'…mine was more like 'loose.' i filled 6-well donut pan, and made 7 in muffin tin. after 20mins, they were nowhere near done. checked in 2min increments for another 10mins. still not 'springy' on light pressure but rims were burned so i removed from oven, hoping they would firm up while cooling. after 10mins i tried removing one donut…it was totally stuck in pan and squishy inside. put back in oven for 15mins, checking after each 5mins. finally removed them (this was total 45mins in oven) because they were getting really burned. after 5mins on wire rack, tried removing donut…no cake at all, just squish…and burned squish to boot! the only possible way to eat these would be w/a spoon from the pan, but the texture is very unappetizing and so much is burned that i would have to cut all that away.

as before, i was very careful w/measurements, temp was correct via oven thermometer. only difference was i used egg beaters for 2 of the eggs. cd that possibly have made such dramatic difference?

needless to say, i am tres disappointed as well as quite puzzled. i will be tossing my wilton donut pan…made bagels in it yesterday and they stuck too, pulling off bottoms (this is second time that has happened).

I'm giving all these details in hopes it will prevent someone else from having to spend the time/energy/money making something that was a total failure. on the other hand, i would LOVE to hear the successful results others might have. any comments or suggestions welcome. (wish i lived next door so i could get on site help LOL!!)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Samudra,

I am not sure what to tell you. I have made them successfully twice -- once using the Wilton donut pan and once in the USA donut pan.

Even though I didn't use egg beaters in this recipe like you did, I can't imagine it make that big of a difference like you experienced. If you substituted it for 2 eggs, I'm assuming you used 1/2 cup of egg beaters?

To be honest, I am actually still enjoying my carrot cake donuts and had one this evening without frosting and it was delicious. They are fully cooked and moist, like carrot cake usually is.

You said you baked them 45 minutes. I baked mine 18 minutes in the Wilton pan and 20 minutes in the USA pan -- mine would have been toast if I baked them for 45 minutes like you did...so I don't understand at all how yours were still "squishy" after 45 minutes? I honestly don't know what to tell you except that mine were baked in 20 minutes and they were the texture of moist cake. Lastly, did you use Honeyville's blanched almond flour in these or regular almond meal? Did you use a dry powdered sweetener (instead of liquid stevia) as the primary sweetener? I'm at a loss at why you had the results that you did.

samudra said...

hi GG…in answer to your questions….yes, 1/2c egg beaters for 2eggs; yes, honeyville blanched almond flour. as for sweetener, i used what recipe called for: 3/4c confectioner SWERVE in dry ingreds, 1/2tsp liquid stevia in wet ingreds (which actually made them too sweet for me).

on another matter, i notice you say to refrigerate these donuts, while you do not say to refrigerate the bagels or sandwich buns. does that mean it's ok to leave the latter unrefrigerated? i have been putting everything in frig but w/very limited space i'd love to leave them out if that's safe. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Can I make these as a cake or muffin instead of a donut?
Is there a difference in using almond flour vs. almond meal? I noticed your comment to Sumudra
Cathy

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Cathy,

You should be able to easily make them into a muffin or cake, but you will need to recalculate the baking time (mini muffins vs. regular size, and the size of the cake pan. I can only account for what I made and for me, the donuts took 18-20 minutes (and they were perfectly baked and moist). Had I baked them as long as Samudra they would have been hockey pucks, so I'm not sure why hers were still wet after that length of time. So...check your baking time if you use a different pan.

As far as using almond meal vs almond flour. Almond meal consists of ground almonds WITH their skins. Blanched almond flour is more finely ground WITHOUT skins.

It has been my experience and that of many others as well that in many baked goods, particularly muffins, cakes, breads, etc. that the "almond flour" produces better and finer grained baked goods. Almond meal works the same as the flour for most other items...breading things, pie crusts, pizza crusts, some cookies, etc. (denser type baked goods). If texture isn't important to you, the meal would work, you just might get a slightly heavier/more dense product.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Samudra,

Regarding refrigerating these donuts. I recommended refrigerating them since they were moist because as you know, moist products tend to mold more quickly and easily because its a perfect medium for it. The frosting or any frosted donuts should be refrigerated promptly because of the cream, cream cheese, etc. In the summer, I refrigerate breads, bagels, etc. sooner than I might in the dry wintertime. It's quite humid here in the Atlanta area.

It's really up to you whether you refrigerate your bread products and depends on your climate, how long it takes you to consume them, etc. These baked goods do not have the preservatives that make commercial goods shelf stable for long periods of time.

Lastly, regarding your comment to me about the frosting and why I would state "if thinner frosting is desired, add more cream"...some folks prefer more of a glaze type of frosting rather than spreadable. So, different strokes for different folks.

As I ate another donut after dinner with coffee this evening, I can't help wonder how in the world yours turned out so differently than mine did. It's as if we made completely different recipes. Mine turned out absolutely delicious and I would hate for others reading your comments to be afraid to try these. I am sorry they did not turn out well for you. I still can't figure out why.

samudra said...

hi GG…coming back w/update…yet again!! after overnight in frig, those i made in muffin pan had firmed up enough to be edible…yay!!! so twas not complete loss. i did have to toss the donuts..they were crumbs after scraping out of pan and disposing burned parts. i did put in call to wilton today to inquire about my bad experience w/pan sticking and destroying the donuts…3X in a row…left message but have not had return call. all i can say is that i totally agree w/you that it is as if we made two completely different recipes. that's why i wish we lived next door…so we cd each do our thing and compare notes!!

despite all this, i want to reiterate how much i LOVE most of the recipes i have made…except for zucchini bread and these. i so appreciate your creativity and your generosity in sharing your creations complete w/beautiful photos of the process. i am as puzzled as you re these 2 disappointing results, and i am grateful for your willingness to receive the feedback and attempt to troubleshoot. i continue to be a FAN!!!

thank you.

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

If Samudra lives in Denver or some other high altitude location perhaps that could be causing problems. I wonder if she's using *old* baking powder and/or soda. Or maybe she should check her oven temp with an oven thermometer to make sure it's accurate. Other than that, I'd have to agree that she seems to be using a completely different recipe, not yours.

samudra said...

@cyber sis….fresh baking powder and soda, oven thermometer kpg tabs on temp…live in VA, no altitude issue.

i did have idea today as i continue to ponder this. following earlier exchange w/GG, i SIFTED both almond and coco flour for this recipe and measured AFTER sifting. there is quite a difference, mainly for almond flour. so i'm wondering if i should have done what i've always done before…measure out first, THEN sift…but use the pre-sifted amount. seems this difference in amount of flour cd certainly account for the 'squish' factor.
since i have a TON of leftover frosting, i MAY at some point gather up some courage to try recipe again and use pre-sifted flour measurement.
what think ye wise cooking divas??!!

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

Well, Samudra might be on to something here. A few weeks ago I tried a little "experiment" and measured out one cup of almond flour several times and weighed it each time. I found that it came out different most every time. When I was careful to whisk all the lumps out before measuring, the weights were the most consistent but still varied by a little bit. *I think that's just the nature of nut flours.*

Wheat flour isn't prone to clumping as much. We're used to just pouring or spooning it out without too much concern about weight discrepancies. Europeans, however, normally write recipes in terms of "grams" rather than "cups."

Using weight instead of volume measurements may be a more accurate way of getting the proper amount of almond or other nut flours because there are so many variables involved ... how thoroughly you whisk before measuring, how you spoon or scoop it into the cup, how you level it off, etc. etc. These variables can change each time you measure out almond flour no matter how careful you are, as I discovered for myself.

According to the Honeyville nutrition label 1/4 Cup = 28 grams (don't know why I never thought to look at it before now!)
http://shop.honeyville.com/blanched-almond-flour.html

Well, what do you know! I was pretty accurate with most of my measurements. My most consistent ones came out to about 3.5 ounces per cup, which is 25 grams per 1/4 Cup and thus 100 grams per cup ... off by just a "smidge." Perhaps we all should add a small kitchen scale to our arsenals.

Anyway, just some food for thought to chew on.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

I know without question that weighing is the most accurate way, particularly with many of our "unique flours" we use. I'm embarrassed to say that I actually purchased a nice scale last year and have only used it to weigh meat when freezing it in 1-pound packages. I actually bought it to weigh flour, etc. for recipes but am just too ingrained in using my measuring cups (and lazy). I also wondered whether using weights in recipes might turn some folks off (unless I put both but think that might get confusing).

I know that weighing is the most accurate way and would no doubt produce the most accurate results, but only if everyone (or most) used that method. Can you believe that I've had a scale for almost a year and haven't used it for flour? LOL

Does your scale have a tare? Mine does. I noticed though when I have weighed meat (when buying in bulk at Costco)...that it sometimes fluctuates as it is sitting there perfectly still? Not sure if that is just my scale or what. I will try and experiment now that you've brought it to my attention.

I typically use a whisk directly in my Honeyville bag to swirl it around and loosen it up before scooping. It doesn't get 100% of the lumps, but the majority. I scoop, level off and then dump into my mixing bowl and whisk again vigorously to break any remaining lumps (a lazy girl's way to sift I suppose). I'll try to experiment a bit soon to see what I come up with. Quite interesting though and I'm sure can easily make a difference in some recipes.

Thanks for sharing your tips...quite helpful! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Samudra,

I'm curious what Wilton will tell you about their pan. Glad you were able to save the muffins. I'm thinking if you decide to try them again to try a test "half batch" first...and not until you get your pan situation settled, too. Maybe you should reduce the amount of applesauce too to see if that might help. :-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

I agree that using weights in recipes could be problematic for most people because we're just not used to that system. I’m not suggesting that you switch to grams in your recipes ... not at all! Judging from the overwhelmingly positive comments that you receive, I would guess that most people have no trouble getting great results using the regular U.SA. volume-based system for your recipes. For those few who are having problems with consistency, it might be one place to check. The solution could be something as simple as taking a little extra care to fill the measuring cup as accurately as possible, given the somewhat “different” properties of nut flours that make them a little trickier than wheat flour to measure.

I'll have to tell you about my scale. It's a VERY inexpensive (i.e. dirt cheap) little mechanical scale that I've been using for years. I don't even remember how I acquired it. It's also VERY accurate ... I check it every so often against the fancy scale at the post office. It even has a little knob to adjust the scale for the weight of your container. It only goes up to 1 pound, but that’s very adequate for how I normally use it. I *almost* bought a nice digital scale some time ago, when I thought it would come in handy for *bread* baking, but then I went wheat/grain-free, and that was that. However, my little scale is convenient, it works great AND it fits nicely into a tiny space in my cupboard ... so what's not to love? :-)

Jackie A. said...

As soon as you posted this recipe, I added a USA donut pan to my Amazon order. It took a few days to gather all of the ingredients, as I didn't have the Swerve and made applesauce from scratch with a handful of apples that came in my last Bountiful Basket. I used orange extract instead of pineapple. The donuts came out of the pan with no trouble at all, but they seemed pretty fragile so I put them in the fridge for a bit before frosting. I just ate the first one, and it was WONDERFUL!!!! Thank you so much for this recipe, and all of your other ones that have never failed to taste great. Jackie

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much Jackie! I'm so happy you enjoyed them. I'm glad the USA pan worked nicely for you too. I love mine. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed them! It's nice being able to enjoy treats like this sometimes isn't it. Thanks again! :-)

Darlene said...

Like Samudra, I too had a problem getting these donuts out of my Wilton pan! I've made donuts before with no problem, but for some reason could NOT get these out in one piece! So disappointed, because they do taste wonderful! We will be eating the crumbly pieces in a bowl w/a spoon!

I'm wondering if this batter could be made as cake in an 8" pan? What do you think GG?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Darlene,

I think this batter should work in an 8 x 8 pan but you might have to adjust the baking time.

Regarding them sticking in your Wilton pan -- how did you grease the pan -- did you spray it or how did you grease it? I'm just trying to figure out if its the pan or the batter. When I made these I used the USA pan and they came out very easily.

But...I'm trying to figure out whether the batter might need a little extra oil added to it OR if what I've read before is true that we shouldn't be spraying the nonstick pans with traditional canned oil sprays that contain lechitin (supposedly it builds up and makes them lose their nonstick quality). Of course, the only way to know that is for you to make one of your other recipes that you know came out easily before to see. Maybe you don't spray your pans and you grease them so it's a moot point.

Ironically though...today I made 4 dozen of my cranberry mini-muffins. I made 24 of them in my new USA mini-muffin pan and they slid out like silk. The other 24 I made in my regular nonstick pans and some of them stuck a little bit...not bad but I don't remember them ever sticking at all when I made them before. I made LOTS of mini-muffins last fall and winter! So, I'd love to know how you grease your pans and/or if you are able to make anything else in them that was always easy to remove before...and whether it still is. I would love to figure this out for all of us if possible. Let me know when you get a chance. :-)

Darlene said...

Hi GG,
I did spray the pans with my Trader Joe's coconut oil.

I made your latest bagel recipe in the same pans just a couple of weeks ago, and was able to remove them ok. I know I have made a chocolate donut in them before too; not sure if that was your recipe or maybe Maria E's.

Sorry this is causing such a problem! I do really love the taste of this batter (I used the orange extract option), and will try making it in a cake pan in the meantime.

Thanks for your efforts! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Darlene,

Maybe I need to make them again and NOT use my USA Pan since they slid right out of that one...and instead use my Wilton Donut Pan to see what happens.

I will add that to my list of things to test out. I'm wondering if adding additional oil might help make them slide out better...but I will see what I can figure out. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hello, GG
Just came here to see if there was a recipe for carrot muffins & saw the donut recipe. Also read the comments; so many of them have problems with the pans.

When baking or cooking anything, I just use a tiny bit of very light olive oil (you can't taste it), or, coconut oil may also work well. I don't like to use sprays of any kind, due to the fact that they use aerosol's in the spray. Not good to be breathing in, not good for the environment, and it's too easy to over-spray on the pan. Once the pan has been in the oven, the over-spray bakes on & is very difficult to remove as well.

Just my HO here.

If anyone just tries the oil(s) on the pans, please let all of us know how that worked out.

darlene said...

Hi ! I wanted to give you an update on this recipe. Today I tried it again using the USA donut pans I got for Christmas, and the donuts slid right out of the pan! Yahoo! I do think these pans make such a difference and are worth the few extra dollars. I plan to gradually replace all my baking pans with USA. And the donuts taste wonderful!! (I did spray them lightly with coconut oil, but did a test with one left un-oiled and it too came out with no problem)d

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Darlene,

Yay! I know it's hard for some to believe that the USA Pans can make such a difference...but it's unbelievable, isn't it! I have been replacing my pans with USA pans. I got several more for Christmas, too. There is nothing worse than making a recipe and having it get stuck in the pan trying to get it out. I have never had anything stick with their pans. Glad you are enjoying the donuts AND the pans! :-)