Doughnut and healthy.  Did you ever think you’d see that in the same sentence?  Probably not!  If you’ve joined the Pinterest craze, you may have seen the ‘original’ versions to this recipe floating around.  I used the King Arthur Flour recipe and modified it as I wanted it to be gluten-free, lower fat and lower sugar 😉

They are really, really good. The secret is definitely the nutmeg.  It makes it taste like a doughnut!  Hubby loves them, and I won’t disclose how many he’s eaten already, but I will tell you the dozen muffins will be gone in the next day!  What better way to sneak in whole grain oats?  The kids will LOVE these too.

I did two versions, as you can see. Glazed and cinnamon sugar coated. Which is your favorite?

doughnut muffins 2 (Copy)

I didn’t add whey protein in this to boost the protein as I usually do, although I plan on trying it soon. Feel free to experiment and report back if you try any modifications.  Since I wanted them to be moist and as doughnut-like as possible, I omitted it.  But, if you want to add whey protein, my suggested ratio would be to use 2 1/2 cups oat flour and 2 scoops (1/2 cup) of vanilla whey protein. But like I said, I haven’t tested it yet, so I can’t guarantee you’ll get as delicious of a result.

The toppings I’ve left as “optional” and thus, aren’t included in the nutrition. But I’ll list how I did the options. Obviously, the stevia/cinnamon combo will be the lowest calorie add-on.

doughnut cinnamon sugar (Copy)


I ran out of Truvia, which would work well as a topping mixed with cinnamon as Truvia (stevia blend) is very granular like regular sugar.  Other stevia tends to be powdery.  I had some erythritol on hand (very granular, but not very sweet.  Its actually the other ingredient besides stevia in Truvia), so I mixed about 3 tablespoons of erythritol with a couple packets of stevia and a dash of cinnamon.  I brushed the tops of the warm muffins with melted Earth Balance (or butter) and sprinkled the ‘sugar’/cinnamon mixture on top.  This would be a virtually calorie-free add-on.

doughnut glazed (Copy)


If you’re a ‘glazed’ doughnut fan, you can mix a tablespoon of melted butter, coconut oil or Earth Balance, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tablespoon of water.  Mix into a glaze and dunk the warm muffin tops in it.  For a sugar-free glaze, blend your favorite sugar substitute with cornstarch, and use that as your ‘powdered sugar’.

I did 6 with the Cinnamon Sugar and 6 with Glazed and there will still some leftover topping for each.

Healthy Doughnut Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Yield: 12
  • ¼ cup butter (or vegan margarine for dairy-free)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup Krisda stevia baking formula (or any stevia/sugar substitute meant for baking, or 13-14 packets stevia)
  • ⅓ cup sucanat or coconut palm sugar (unprocessed brown sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites (or ¼ cup carton egg whites)
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups oat flour (grind up quick oats or old fashioned oats into a fine flour with your food processor or blender)
  • 1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Spray a muffin tin with oil, or use paper cups, or silicone muffin cups
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together butter (or vegan margarine), applesauce, stevia, sucanat (I used an electric mixer/egg beater) and beat together until smooth.
  4. Add the egg and egg whites and beat some more until combined.
  5. Stir in the baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and vanilla with a spoon into the butter/sugar mixture.
  6. Stir in the oat flour, alternating with the milk, stirring well after each addition.
  7. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 14-15 minutes, until they are a pale golden color and a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Serve warm, or cool on a rack.
  9. Eat them plain, or add the Cinnamon/Sugar or Glaze them 🙂
  10. Store in an airtight container. They'll last a few days at room temp, longer in the fridge. They freeze well too.
You could also use this recipe for mini-muffins, which would be like cute little doughnut holes! Cooking time will be much less.
Serving size: 1 muffin (plain) Calories: 157 Fat: 6 g Carbs: 24 g Sugar: 5.6 g Sodium: 289 mg Fiber: 4 g Protein: 4 g

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I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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Latest posts by Kristine (see all)

  • Alissa

    Found you via Pinterest and so glad I did! This recipe was wonderful! I ran out of oats partway through so for one cup of the oat flour, I used a 5 grain breakfast cereal (ground up), and it gave the the muffins a great hearty texture while still being light and fluffy! Yum!

  • marthaleon20

    i made this donut muffins over the weekend and we Love Them.  thanks this will help my hubby stay on track since he has been eating clean he was missing breads soo much but this one did it for him:)

    • Kristine Fretwell

      So happy to hear that! Makes me happy when things are hubby (and kid) approved too 😉

  • Amanda Dyal

    Kristine…quick question for you…

    Could I substitute agave in this recipe?  Can I use regular brown sugar?

    I don’t bake EVER but these caught my eye…and I want to use what I have on hand and I really only seem to be stumped in the “sugar” department.

    I do have Stevia from before when I started making some of your recipes

    I one day picked up agave in Costco in WA and haven’t used it yet so if you can help me out that would be awesome!  

    PS: been posting your recipes to Pinterest just because they are awesome and tonnes of peoples are repinning them – you are going to be the Queen of Healthy Recipes before you know it 🙂

    • Kristine Fretwell

       Hi Amanda,  I wouldn’t substitute all of the sucanat and stevia for agave in this recipe since its liquid and those are both dry, so it could effect the total outcome. You might be able to substitute one of them for the agave, but again, I haven’t tried it so you’ll have to experiment. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.  Please post with what you did in case it can help others with substitution questions.  And thanks for Pinning the recipes 🙂

      • Amanda Dyal

        ok here is my thought – again because I dont bake….

        I will use a bit of agave and then instead of RAW brown sugar, I will use the regular stuff…I think it’s the regular stuff I have? I dunno… I will let you know though for sure and I will post a pic!

  • Rochelle Black

    Hi Kristine! I made these today and I LOVE them. One question…you list applesauce in the ingredients but i did not see where to add it in in the directions…did I miss it???? 

    • Kristine Fretwell

       Good eye, thanks for catching that.  It wasn’t in the directions.  It was supposed to be added in with the butter and sugars.  I added it.  Glad you love them!!!

  • Veronica Miller

    I love this recipe, and I love your site (which I actually found through Pinterest, go figure!)! Thanks for making a healthy version. And about the oat flour, do you grind yours or buy it? I was wondering if you make it, if you measure the oats before grinding or just grind a bunch and then measure out three cups. Thanks.

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Hi Veronica! So glad you found me through Pinterest! Love that site! I grind my own oats just in my blender. You measure out the 3 cups of flour after its grinded. Typically I make oat flour in big batches so I don’t have to do it every time. Hope you like them! Kristine Fretwell, Busy But Healthy,

  • Anna @ The Guiltless Life

    I love these healthified treats you do! I actually think I’d prefer these as I’m not a fan of regular doughnuts – partly because they always make me feel gross afterwards and also because they taste so greasy, so these sound like they would deal with all of those issues!

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Thanks Anna! Yes, you totally get the doughnut taste with these, but without the grease and bloating! I like them better too, and they’re much more filling.

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