Coconut Baked Donuts Recipe

If you always seek out the toasted coconut donut in your assorted dozen, then you'll be glad to know that you can make a tasty version at home. Unlike traditional fried donuts, these baked coconut donuts are both healthier and much easier to make. No need to fiddle with oil temperatures and much less risk of splatters and burnt fingers. These donuts are fluffy and light, with a pleasant chewiness from the shredded coconut. The use of coconut milk and coconut oil makes them extra moist and flavorful. 

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Recipe developer Milena Manolova wanted this recipe to be not only delicious but also easy to make. You simply whip up a quick batter and pipe it into a donut pan. This fun kid-friendly recipe comes together quickly so you can share freshly baked donuts with friends or family. Bonus points: These tender flavorful donuts are dairy-free.

If you don't have a donut tray for baking, don't worry, you can make these in a muffin tray, Manolova says. The shape might not be donut-like but the taste will be just as good. Make sure they are cooked through, as the cooking time may be a bit longer due to the depth of the batter. Insert a toothpick into the center to check for doneness. 

Gather the ingredients for the coconut baked donuts recipe

The base of the batter is a fairly standard mix of dry ingredients. For starters, you'll need cake flour or all-purpose flour. The recipe will work either way, but the donuts will have a finer crumb and be a little more tender if you use cake flour. You'll also need granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. For the coconut, we used unsweetened shredded coconut. The wet ingredients are a little unusual in that we use coconut cream or milk and coconut oil as well as an egg and vanilla extract. The glaze is a combination of powdered sugar and coconut milk, and to get that full coconut donut effect we dipped the finished donuts in plain or toasted coconut, but you can skip this step if you prefer.

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Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 2: Combine the dry ingredients

In a bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and shredded coconut.

Step 3: Whisk the dry ingredients

Whisk to combine.

Step 4: Combine the wet ingredients

In a separate bowl, add the coconut cream, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.

Step 5: Whisk the wet ingredients

Whisk the wet ingredients till smooth.

Step 6: Combine the wet and dry ingredients

Mix the flour mixture into the wet mixture until no dry patches remain.

Step 7: Transfer to a piping bag

Transfer the batter to a piping bag.

Step 8: Pipe the donuts

Fill each donut cavity with batter.

Step 9: Bake the donuts

Bake the donuts on the middle rack for about 20 minutes or until they're golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

Step 10: Transfer to a wire rack

Transfer to a wire rack to cool before glazing.

Step 11: Make the glaze

To make the glaze, whisk the powdered sugar and coconut milk until smooth. If it's too thick, add one teaspoon more at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

Step 12: Glaze the donuts

Glaze each donut by dipping it in the coconut glaze and then into the shredded coconut or toasted coconut, if desired.

Step 13: Serve the donuts

Leave to set the icing, then serve.

Coconut Baked Donuts Recipe

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These easy baked donuts have a pleasant chewiness from shredded coconut, and the addition of coconut milk and coconut oil makes them moist and flavorful.

Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
servings
12
donuts
Plate with coconut baked donuts with two on the side
Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the donuts
  • 1 ½ cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup coconut cream or milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk

Optional Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup unsweetened shredded coconut or toasted coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and shredded coconut.
  3. Whisk to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, add the coconut cream, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
  5. Whisk the wet ingredients till smooth.
  6. Mix the flour mixture into the wet mixture until no dry patches remain.
  7. Transfer the batter to a piping bag.
  8. Fill each donut cavity with batter.
  9. Bake the donuts on the middle rack for about 20 minutes or until they're golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before glazing.
  11. To make the glaze, whisk the powdered sugar and coconut milk until smooth. If it's too thick, add one teaspoon more at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
  12. Glaze each donut by dipping it in the coconut glaze and then into the shredded coconut or toasted coconut, if desired.
  13. Leave to set the icing, then serve.
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How do I make toasted coconut?

Toasting shredded coconut will intensify the coconut flavor and make the texture crispy rather than chewy. The taste becomes almost caramel-like and nutty — perfect for coating a cake or sprinkling over ice cream or gelato. You can even add toasted coconut to the rim of a cocktail glass as a great addition to tropical drinks.

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Toasting coconut is an easy process, and there are two simple methods to choose from. In a skillet, add shredded coconut and toast over medium to high heat until golden, stirring often to prevent it from burning. It will toast pretty quickly so don't walk away. Another option is to toast the coconut in the oven. Add the shredded coconut to a baking dish, spread it evenly, and bake it at 350 F on the middle rack until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. You can also toast the coconut with some powdered sugar for extra sweetness. Just mix 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar with 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut and bake as described above.

What substitutions can be used for this coconut baked donuts recipe?

A recipe this simple is often a blank canvas for customization. If you're not trying to avoid dairy, you can use yogurt or sour cream instead of coconut cream (or you can opt for a vegan version of either — coconut yogurt would be a nice addition). For the coconut oil, you can use any other unflavored vegetable oil. If you want to make this recipe vegan, you can substitute the egg with one of many vegan egg options, such as mixing 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water. You can also use bananas instead of eggs. It will change the flavor a bit, but bananas and coconut are a delicious combination.

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Also, if you have coconut flavor extract, you can add a drop or two to the batter for a more intense flavor. Lime zest and/or juice can be added for a refreshing citrus kick that perfectly complements the coconut. If you love chocolate, white or semi-sweet chocolate chips can be added for another layer of sweetness. You could also glaze the donuts with melted chocolate. You can also sprinkle chopped nuts on top of the donut glaze. Macadamia nuts, almonds, or pecans will all pair well with the coconut flavor.

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