Published Feb 23, 2022, Updated Apr 10, 2023
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These protein donuts are made with almond flour, vanilla protein powder and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. They’re fluffy, easy to make and absolutely delicious topped with chocolate icing. Gluten-free + dairy-free.
It’s no secret, if I could have it my way I would eat something sweet for every meal and with healthy ingredient swaps and added protein, I pretty much can!
I’ve been making a lot of healthier and protein-packed recreations of recipes that would otherwise leave me feeling unsatisfied and hungry a couple of hours later. I already have a recipe for protein pancakes, protein brownies, protein waffles and now I’m excited to be sharing this protein donut recipe with you today!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Everything can be mixed together in one bowl! Yay for minimal clean-up.
- These donuts will fill you up! One donut has 8 grams of protein, so you will feel full and satisfied after.
- The added protein helps to curb the blood sugar spike you typically get when eating sweets like donuts.
- They’re healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast, but decadent enough for dessert!
- almond flour – make sure you grab almond flour and not almond meal! Almond flour is more finely ground and works best for this recipe. I love Bob’s Red Mill blanched almond flour.
- vanilla protein powder – My go-to protein powder is the Nuzest protein powder. It’s plant-based, has a short ingredient list and great nutrition facts! Use my code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.
- sea salt – to bring all of the flavors together.
- baking powder – helps the donuts rise.
- vanilla extract – a flavor enhancer.
- almond milk – you can substitute with your favorite nut milk or cow’s milk. Try making your own almond milk!
- maple syrup – to keep things refined sugar-free we’re using maple syrup as the sweetener. Make sure you are using real maple syrup, not pancake syrup, which is loaded with corn syrup and a ton of added sugars. Agave, honey, monk fruit maple or any liquid sweetener should work as a substitute.
- coconut oil – helps keep these donuts moist and fluffy. You want the oil to be in a liquid state so warm a bit if necessary.
- eggs – helps bind the ingredients together and provide structure for the donuts. I haven’t tested this recipe with flax eggs, but if you decide to experiment let me know in the comments below!
- chocolate glaze – you’ll make your own chocolate frosting by combining cocoa powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla.
- sprinkles – optional, for topping. I love supernatural rainbow sprinkles. They’re free of artificial dyes and are gluten-free and vegan.
How to Make Protein Donuts
Combine dry ingredients – In a medium mixing bowl, add flour, protein powder, baking powder and salt and stir until well combined.
Add wet ingredients – In the same mixing bowl, whisk eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla.
Bake – Spray donut pan with cooking spray and pipe or spoon batter into the cavities. Bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes or until the donuts spring back when lightly pressed. Let cool in the pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make glaze – While the donuts cool, make the chocolate glaze by combining cocoa powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, almond milk and vanilla in a small mixing bowl.
Frost donuts – Once the donuts are completely cooled, frost donuts and top them with sprinkles if desired. Then place them back on the cooling rack for the glaze to firm up.
pro tip! Make sure your eggs, maple syrup and almond milk are at room temperature and the coconut oil is in a liquid state! If any of these ingredients are too cold, the coconut oil will solidify and create clumps. If you notice this happening, you can set the mixing bowl on the warm part of your stovetop as the oven preheats or set the mixing bowl in a larger bowl of hot water until the coconut oil melts again.
Yes! These donuts have high protein – 8 grams each – and nutritious ingredients, unlike traditional donuts that are packed with sugar and processed ingredients.
I used my favorite Nuzest protein powder. I love their protein because there is no chalky taste and the ingredient list is minimal. You really can’t even taste the protein powder in these donuts at all, promise! You could try a whey protein powder, but I haven’t tried that yet.
This recipe makes 12 donuts and each donut has 8 grams of protein. This will likely vary depending on the protein powder you use.
I prefer to pipe my batter into my donut pans by scooping the batter into a plastic baggie and cutting the corner to make a piping bag. It can also be handy to have a large icing piping tip for adding the donut batter into the pan, but it’s not 100% necessary. You can also always spoon the batter into the pan and then shake it to make sure the batter is even.
Luckily, donut pans are really inexpensive! You can get a set of 2 non-stick, six cavity Wilton donut pans on Amazon for less than $15.
I haven’t tested this recipe with a different flour, so I don’t recommend swapping it with anything else. Oat flour could possibly be a good sub, but again I haven’t tested it so am not 100% sure how the donuts will turn out.
How to Store Protein Donuts
Any leftover donuts can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days. For longer storage, place donuts in an airtight container and store in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
You can store these donuts with the glaze or if you’re making them in advance, I recommend storing plain donuts in the freezer until you’re ready to serve and making fresh glaze to go with them!
More Donut Recipes to Try
- Chocolate Frosted Baked Donuts
- Baked Apple Cider Donuts
- Baked Almond Flour Donuts
- Healthy Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes
- No Bake Blueberry Muffin Donut Holes
- Coconut Crunch Donuts (Hostess Copycat)
- Pumpkin Spice Donuts
More Healthier Treats to Try
- Chocolate Covered Snickers Stuffed Dates
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet
- Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Healthier Butterfingers
- Protein Cookies
- Healthy Cookie Dough Bites
- Protein Chia Pudding
- Healthier Peanut Butter Cups
- Homemade Samoas Cookies
- Protein Muffins
Be sure to check out all of the dessert recipes on EBF!
- 1 ½ cup almond flour
- ½ cup vanilla protein powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup maple syrup, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 ½ Tablespoon maple syrup, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened almond milk, at room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Rainbow sprinkles, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, add the flour, protein, baking powder and salt and stir until combined.
- Add maple syrup, eggs, coconut oil, almond milk and vanilla extract to the same bowl and mix until just combined.
- Spray two (6-cavity) donut pans with cooking spray. Spoon or pipe batter evenly into the 12 cavities.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until donuts spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan for 2 minutes. Invert donuts onto a wire rack.
- While donuts are cooling, make icing by combining cocoa powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, almond milk and vanilla in a small mixing bowl.
- Once donuts have cooled completely, frost donuts and decorate with sprinkles (if using) and then place them on a wire rack for the glaze to firm up.
- Store leftovers at room temperature for 2-3 days. For longer storage, place donuts in an airtight container and store in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
These look amazing!
Does it matter if Ivsub oat milk for the almond milk?
Hi, Lori! Yes, you can swap the almond milk for your milk of choice! Let me know how they turn out for you 🙂
These look delicious! I am allergic to coconut, can I swap the coconut oil for olive oil?
Hi, Maddy! You can definitely swap for a different oil or butter. I recommend trying avocado oil as it doesn’t have as much flavor as olive oil does. Let me know how they turn out!
So yummy! I think I did something wrong with the icing though because it didn’t cover my donuts.
But still so delicious!
These are just wonderful!! Didn’t have the same brand protein powder but still excellent! And no sugar 😁
These look great! I don’t have a muffin tin. I have either a brownie pan or I have a donut iron. Similar to a waffle iron, but mini donut shapes. What do you think would work better?
Hi, Sharon! I would recommend the donut iron, however, I do not have experience with it so I’m not sure how much batter you would need for each one or how long to cook them for. You could try my protein brownies instead, using the brownie pan! Let me know if you try them in the donut iron and how they turn out!
My batter was not a thick and the donut was not cake like when baked. The almond flour I used was finely ground. Could that have caused it? Everything was at room temperature. The first time I made these I melted the coconut oil and measured 1/4 cup. The second time I measured 1/4 cup and then melted it. Any suggestions to make them come out more cake like (thicker batter)? Your look amazing!
My son really enjoys sweets, especially donuts! So when I saw this healthier version I knew we had to try them! They taste amazing and he loved them! Thank you for sharing the recipe! Will make this one again I am sure!
I am so happy that you and your son enjoyed this recipe, Amanda! Thank you for your review + star rating, I so appreciate it!
My son can’t have sugar. Can I replace with stevia? Would it be the exact amount?
Hi Barbara – Liquid stevia should work, although I haven’t tested it. Let me know how it turned out for you, hope you enjoy!