Homemade Gluten Free Vegan Custard or Jelly Donuts Recipe- With No Weird Ingredients

I have made donuts in the past. I've even made gluten free donuts in the past, and have three different recipes on my blog, but all of them were for round donuts with a hole in the middle, not ones that really work well being stuffed with things like jelly or custard. I've tried stuffing them but when made just round, without the whole, the inside still felt doughy when fully cooked.
I was looking for a recipe for donuts that could be filled and were gluten free, and I came across this recipe for jelly donuts, and though the author of that recipe called them paczki, there are so many names for these types of filled donuts, from sufganyot to Berliners, bomboloni to ponchiki, and pampushky to munkki, depending on which parts of the world you hail from.

Let me tell you- right now, my prime goal in life is sanity, and my way to do that is via putting an emphasis on simplicity. Ok, my kids asked me to make donuts, but I wanted as easy as possible. In my cabinet right now I have currently white rice flour. And corn starch. And a drop of potato starch. And that's the extent of the variety of my gluten free flours, and I don't have the energy or mental head space to be grinding more flours now, so all my other donut recipes were out for that reason too, and the list of flours for this recipe was far too extensive. It called for 5 different types of flours. Who has energy for that? I certainly don't now... So I just added up how many cups total of flour there were- 2 and 1/6, and just split that, half white rice flour, half corn starch, and that was all. I'm sure you can do this recipe with any other flour mix you like for gluten free baking, or store bought all purpose flour mix.
I also made the recipe vegan (added bonus of being cheaper and not bothering my stomach).
While I used white sugar in mine, I'm sure it would work with any other type of sweetener, from jaggery syrup to brown sugar to coconut sugar to honey. But honestly, this was 2 tablespoons for the whole recipe, I wasn't too bothered.

For the filling, I didn't want to do jelly donuts. I wanted custard donuts. I grew up buying them at my local bakery and miss them so much. Last year I found a bakery selling gluten free custard donuts for a fortune but that bakery no longer is open. Custard donuts it was. For the custard, I made vanilla pudding using homemade almond milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and corn starch. I didn't measure, just did everything to taste and cooked until thickened, but here's an exact recipe if you want one. Unfortunately it was more vanilla pudding than custard, because the main difference between the two is egg yolks- still trying to figure out how to make vegan custard have that rich flavor that egg yolks add... next attempt will be adding some banana... Anyhow.
Once the donuts were cooked and filled with the custard, I simply broke a small piece of dark chocolate and put them on the donuts, popping them back in the oven for a minute or so until softened, then spread the chocolate on them.
If you want to fill them with jelly or any other filling you can do that instead. Or you can make them much smaller and just sprinkle them with powdered sugar, making donut holes. Your choice. Either way they're good.

Homemade Gluten Free Vegan Custard or Jelly Donuts Recipe- With No Weird Ingredients

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/6 (that's half of a third cup, if you don't have a 1/6th measuring cup) cup white rice flour or brown rice flour AND 1 cup corn starch or potato starch AND 1 teaspoon xanthan gum plus more flour for dusting
OR 2 1/6 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds and 6 tablespoons boiling water or 2 XL eggs at room temperature
Oil for deep frying (anything other than olive)
Filling ingredients such as jelly, custard, caramel (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)
Chocolate chips or bar for topping (optional)
Frosting or icing (optional)

1. Mix the yeast, sugar, water, and oil.

2. Mix the dry ingredients (flours, xanthan gum, salt).

3. Mix the flax seed and boiling water and let sit together if using.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and add the eggs or egg replacements, and mix well until uniform.

5. Sprinkle some flour on parchment paper, put the dough in the flour and flip it over, then roll it out on the parchment paper until about 1/2 inch thick (or a little thicker). Cut into circles with a cookie cutter or a large cup. I made about 12, the original recipe said about 8. If you roll it thicker then you'll have fewer donuts, but each one will be thicker, so take your pick.

6. Leave to rise for an hour in a warm place for about an hour.

7. Fill a pot with at least 2-3 inches of oil. I filled a small pot with this, less oil overall, and worked great like that. Heat up on a medium heat until totally hot. (You should be able to feel the heat when you put your hand above the oil but not touching.)

8. Put your donuts carefully into the oil, frying them until they are a medium brown on each side. Go darker than golden, because then they'll still be raw on the inside, but make sure they aren't darker than medium brown because you don't want them burnt. In my small pot I did about 2-3 donuts at a time, the amount I was able to get in there together with them barely touching/overlapping each other.

9. Drain your donuts in a strainer and let them cool off.

10. To fill them, poke a little hole in the side and use a pastry bag to pipe the jam or custard or other filling into it.
Who am I kidding? I mean you can do that if you want to, but the way I did it was more like this: Poke a hole inside your donut. Put boiling hot custard into a plastic bag because I don't have any pastry bags- seriously? And then attempt to squeeze the hot custard through a tiny hole cut into the corner and have it not go into the donut, smear all over, burning you in the process. Then put all the custard in the freezer to cool off for 10 minutes because you're running out the door to a party and you don't really have time to really let it cool off. In the next ten minutes, while that's cooling off, stick your finger in each hole in the donut, moving it around, making sure that there is actually room for the custard to go inside, ripping some of the donuts in the process, but by this point quite frankly you don't care anymore. Then take the now cooled off custard out of the freezer and pipe them into your donuts and voila, it works and actually goes inside. Then put half a square of chocolate on each donut and pop them in the oven for 1 minute, let them melt, then spread them on your donuts. By this point you're about an hour late for your party, oh well.

11. Enjoy your simple ingredient donuts, knowing that it wasn't too hard to make them, and they still taste delicious!

12. Pretend that they are photogenic, and then post pictures of them online.

Have you ever made homemade donuts before? Did you find them hard or easy? What is your favorite filling for filled donuts? What do you call filled donuts in your part of the world?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I call them Bismarcks. Not sure why, as I’m from Canada and that’s definitely not a Canadian name.

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