Vegan Protein Birthday Cake Donuts

Hello little cuties!

I was looking at my calendar this morning and realized, to my horror, that 2016 is almost over. I realize that 2016 has been like the evil-stepmother of a year for many, but I kinda liked it. This year has been a real fiesta over here, so I'm a little sad to see it go. That being said, I am getting married in 2017, so I guess it can't be too bad, right?

Anyway... have I mentioned that I love donuts?

(That is obviously a trick question.)

I didn't always love donuts, but at some point in the last few years they became my thing. It started as a fun treat to grab with my friend after yoga, and quickly escalated into a full-blown obsession. I now notice if I haven't had a donut for a while, much like my body notices if I haven't been to yoga in a few days. I kid you not, I love donuts so much that I am going to eat them at my wedding instead of cake.

I work right next to my favorite donut shop. I wouldn't say that I eat a donut a day- that would take away some of the appeal- but I would like to. Donuts are the perfect treat, in my opinion. They're filling and sweet and delicious and always feel just a little bit scandalous. I realized, though, that perhaps my donut habit was getting a bit out of control. After all, I could save all the money I was spending on donuts each week to put towards something productive... like more yoga pants. Or beer. You know, the essentials.

I also love to bake. I LOVE baking. I used to bake all the time when I was in high school or home from college (read: had a kitchen that was not apartment sized), but have let one of my favorite hobbies go by the wayside since moving into the city a few years back. As the holiday season started rearing it's ridiculous head, I realized that I missed baking ALL THE THINGS and sharing them with the people I love. The women in my family are all incredible bakers, so I have always put sharing baked goods and being loved a lot in the same pot. I pulled out some of my favorite cookbooks (Ina Garten is my imaginary BFF) and got back to work. If you want any sweets, please come to my apartment. There is no way I can eat all of this stuff alone.

As I was ruminating on my long-lost-love of baking and our eventual rekindled romance, it occurred to me that I could (gasp!) also try to make donuts a little healthier. I'm not saying they need to be made out of kale, but I did realize there was some potential for them to at least have a bit of protein in them. I toyed around with a few recipes and mixed in my favorite vegan protein powder just for shits. This involved a lot of donut testing and a lot of failed, very ugly, recipes. I will not complain about donut taste-testing, and I believe firmly that there is no such thing as a bad donut, but let's just say... some of the recipes I tested out were wandering dangerously close to the bad donut designation. Ugh. 

Thankfully for all of us, the donut gods (and my baking skills), eventually delivered the most perfect vanilla-glazed, birthday-cake style donut that is both VEGAN and FULL OF PROTEIN. A lot of the sweetness comes from maple syrup (make sure you buy the good stuff) and apple sauce, so they aren't packed full of weird added sugars either. I left a few of these on the counter with the intention of taking pictures, and when I came back a few had mysteriously disappeared. As it turns out, my roommates liked them too. A lot.

Not that you needed anymore excuses to eat donuts for breakfast (it's your life!), but these are a preeeeetty delicious way to start your day.

{Also-you can easily modify these to fit your dietary needs by substituting in GF flour and/or your preferred milk alternative.}

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Vegan Protein Birthday Cake Donuts

Makes: 9-10 Donuts


  • 2 cup all purpose flour

  • 3 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder

  • 2/3 cup maple syrup

  • 3/4 cup soy milk

  • 1/2 cup apple sauce

  • 2 tbsp canola oil

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup soy milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Sprinkles! I like the rainbow ones, but do your own thing.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Generously grease a donut pan and set aside.

  2. In a small bowl combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined.

  3. Spoon batter into greased donut pan, filling each mold about ¾ full.

  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the donuts bounce back when pressed. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.

  5. For the glaze: mix sugar, vanilla, and soymilk in a small bowl.

  6. Once the donuts have cooled down, dip the tops of the donuts into the glaze. Try not to submerge them too deeply so that you can pull them out without breaking them. Immediately top with sprinkles of your choice.

  7. Eat them ALL.

In case you don't just have one laying around: I'm a big fan of this silicone donut sheet- it makes the donuts way easier to get out than when using the metal ones.

Donut Makin' Goodies


Eat all the donuts. ALL THE DONUTS.

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