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Blueberry Paleo Donuts with Salted Vanilla Glaze (Grain Free, Dairy Free)

These blueberry paleo donuts are fluffy in the middle and crisp on the edges. Topped with a simple two ingredient glaze, they’re easy to make and a healthier alternative to conventional donuts. Perfect for your next Sunday brunch!

stack of 4 blueberry paleo donuts with glaze dripping down the stack

When my son was little, he couldn’t say “blueberry.” He would call them “bur bur bur.” We still to this day call blueberries in our house burburburs.

Burburbur donut didn’t have quite the same ring to it, though.

The origin of the donut

After quite a bit of research on where donuts originally came from and how they got their name, I’m afraid I still don’t have a straight answer for you.

There are a few different common theories, though, so I’ll share with you what I found:

Donut theory 1: The oily cake

The earliest origins to the modern doughnuts are generally traced back to the olykoek (“oil(y) cake”). This is something the Dutch settlers brought to New York.

They were made by dropping balls of dough into oil, hence the name. These doughnuts closely resembled later ones, but did not yet have the current ring shape.

Donut theory 2: Dough with nuts

The second theory says that an American gentleman named Hanson Gregory claimed to have invented the ring-shaped doughnut in 1847 aboard a lime-trading ship when he was 16 years old.

Gregory claimed he was dissatisfied with the greasiness of doughnuts twisted into various shapes with the raw center (they apparently wouldn’t cook all the way through.)

He claimed to have punched a hole in the center of dough with the ship’s tin pepper box, and to have later taught the trick to his mother.

Smithsonian Magazine states that his mother, Elizabeth Gregory, “made a wicked deep-fried dough that cleverly used her son’s spice cargo of nutmeg and cinnamon, along with lemon rind,” and “put hazelnuts or walnuts in the center, where the dough might not cook through”, and called the food ‘doughnuts’.

Donut theory 3: “Dow nuts”

Last but not least, a third theory arose in 2013 – a recipe for “dow nuts” was found in a book of recipes and domestic tips written around 1800 by the wife of Baron Thomas Dimsdale.

The recipe was given to the dowager Baroness by an acquaintance who transcribed for her the cooking instructions for a “dow nut”.

If you want to learn the full history of the donut, as well as a breakdown of different traditional donut varieties, check out this article from Eater.

How to make healthy donuts from scratch

paleo blueberry donuts in a red silicone donut pan

To be clear, there aren’t any donuts, paleo or not, that fall into the “healthy” category. That said, there are healthIER options than your traditional chain restaurant donuts.

Standard donuts are typically loaded with sugar and trans fats and are often fried, which racks up both calories and points in the “unhealthy” category.

To make a healthier choice, you can use this recipe to make a gluten free, grain free, dairy free option – otherwise known as paleo donuts.

Oh, and we all know how I feel about complicated recipes – so you know this is not that.

paleo donuts on a wire cooling rack

So here’s the deal – you’re going to combine all your wet ingredients in one bowl and beat them.

Then you’re going to combine all your dry ingredients in another bowl, stir them, then add them to the wet ingredients and beat them together.

Stir in the blueberries, and spoon the mixture into a silicone donut pan like this one.

donuts on a cooling rack with a cup of glaze and a basting brush

Then you’ll bake ’em, cool ’em a bit, and pop ’em out onto a cooling rack for them to get the rest of the way.

(If you want to leave them a little bit warm, you can! We’re just looking for them not to be so hot the glaze melts right off.)

paleo donuts on a cooling rack surrounded by blueberries

While they’re cooling, make the glaze – measure out your sweetened condensed coconut milk + whisk in your vanilla.

Now, that only took about 3.7 seconds, so you’ve probably got some more time to kill before those donuts are done cooling.

Keep in mind that if you put the glaze on the donuts while they are warm, it may melt and/or soak into the donuts. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just something to be aware of!

stack of donuts from overhead with a cup of glaze being poured on top

When to glaze paleo donuts

If you don’t plan on serving these immediately, I recommend waiting to put the glaze on. They are best if you add the glaze and serve right after.

That said, you can glaze ahead of time – just know that some will get absorbed by the donut.

How to store paleo donuts

These paleo donuts can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container or tightly covered for up to one week. I experimented with some having glaze, and some not.

The glaze did harden a bit on the ones that were pre-glazed, which helped it stop from soaking in all the way.

However, my preference was to warm them up in the oven unglazed, then add the glaze to the warm donut and serve immediately.

Take a bite. It might just make you say burburbur!

National Donut Day

National Donut Day is celebrated America on the first Friday of June each year.

Unlike a lot of other randomly proclaimed national holidays surrounding food, this one actually has a tie to history – the Doughnut Day event created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor those of their members who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I.

The story says that During WWI, About 250 Salvation Army volunteers went to France.

It was difficult to provide freshly baked goods from huts established in abandoned buildings near the front lines, so two Salvation Army volunteers (by the names of Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance) came up with the idea of providing doughnuts.

These are reported to have been an “instant hit”, and “soon many soldiers were visiting the Salvation Army huts”.

Margaret Sheldon wrote of one busy day: “Today I made 22 pies, 300 doughnuts, 700 cups of coffee.”

The women who did this work became known by the servicemen as “Doughnut Dollies”. Now, on the first Friday of June, we honor the Donut Dollies with donuts.

I’ll eat to that!

Blueberry Paleo Donuts

Blueberry Paleo Donuts

Yield: 9 donuts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Dry

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup cassava flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup blueberries

Wet

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup ghee
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Salted Vanilla Glaze

  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of coarse sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients except blueberries in a mixing bowl and stir. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients and beat or whisk until smooth.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix again until combined.
  5. Gently stir in blueberries.
  6. Spoon the batter into a donut pan, filling each one to the top.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the donut comes out clean.
  8. Allow donuts to cool completely before removing from pan. Once cool, remove to a cooling rack.
  9. In a small bowl, combine the sweetened condensed coconut milk with the vanilla and whisk.
  10. Brush the cooled donuts with the glaze and pinch of sea salt and serve immediately.

Notes

1. I use this silicone donut pan I got on Amazon. It makes removing the donuts easy, as you can gently pull it away and down from the donuts, and push them off.

2. It's best to glaze the donuts right before serving. If you're storing them for later use, I recommend mixing up the glaze and keeping it on the side until you're ready to serve. It's ok to glaze and refrigerate, just know that the donuts will soak up some of the glaze.

3. Donuts can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 304Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 254mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 8g
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