By Del Sroufe, The China Study Family Cookbook 

My mom never let us have foods like doughnuts for breakfast at home. She tried to make sure we had a healthy breakfast and doughnuts had a reputation as the bad boy of breakfast foods. Rightfully so—until now. These doughnuts are not only whole grain but also free of oil and processed sugar, so you can include them on the list of healthy breakfast foods you serve to your family.  


  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour 
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder 
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt 
  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce 
  • ¾ cup Date Puree* 
  • ¼ cup unsweetened plant milk 
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

Chocolate Frosting

  • ½ cup sweet potato puree (see Tip)
  • ¼ cup Date Puree* 
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter 
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

*Date Puree recipe can be found in the The China Study Family Cookbook


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and sea salt. 
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, date puree, plant milk, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. 
  4. Spoon or pipe the batter into eight or nine wells in a nonstick doughnut pan. Bake until the doughnuts spring back when gently pressed, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the doughnuts cool slightly in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. 
  5. While the doughnuts are cooling, combine all the chocolate frosting ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth and creamy. 
  6. Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of the chocolate frosting over each doughnut. Serve.

Makes 8 to 9 doughnuts. 


It is important not to overmix any batter or dough when baking, and especially when baking without oil or added fat. Overmixing causes the finished product to be tough and chewy.

Oil-free baked goods go from done to overdone very quickly. Watch the timer and check them in the last few minutes of baking. If they feel firm on top, they are done.



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