Carrot Cake turned donut is a sweet, but not too sweet, little treat for spring brunches. Topped with a cream cheese frosting and garnished with unsweetened coconut, it’s a stunner. This recipe is based off my vanilla bean baked donut complete with a little wheat flour and less sugar to cut some of the guilt. To enjoy it in all its glory, make the night before and leave uncovered overnight for the frosting to harden and the flavors to ripen.
- 1/3 c. + 1 tsp. milk
- 1 tsp. vinegar
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
- dash of cloves
- 1/4 c. pure cane sugar
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. carrots, freshly grated (about 2 carrots)
- 1 oz. cream cheese
- 1/2–3/4 c. powdered sugar
- 2–3 tbsp. half and half
- finely shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix together milk and vinegar. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes to curdle. Melt butter in a small bowl and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, whisk together flours, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Into the cooled butter, whisk in sugar, honey, egg, and vanilla extract until evenly combined. Add in curdled milk. Side note, dip honey measuring utensil in the melted butter first for easy honey removal.
- Stir together carrots, wet, and dry ingredients until just combined. Over-mixing will create a dense donut.
- Spray donut pan. Add batter to a piping bag and pipe evenly into the pan, filling about 2/3 full.
- Bake for 7 minutes. Allow to cool 1 minute before turning pan over to remove donuts onto a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, make frosting. In a flat-bottomed bowl using a hand-held blender, whip cream cheese until fluffy. Add in 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon half and half. Whip until evenly combined. Add in another 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon half and half and whip to combine. For a thicker, less sweet consistency (as pictured) stop here. For a thinner, sweeter consistency, add in another 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon half and half and whip to combine. Note: the frosting of a thicker consistency will take much longer to harden.
- Once donuts have cooled completely, about 15-20 minutes, dunk in frosting rocking the donut around the bowl to evenly coat. Place on cooling rack and allow to dry, 1-2 hours for the thinner frosting or overnight, uncovered for the thicker frosting. Sprinkle with toasted coconut (toast over low heat in a skillet until lightly browned). Serve. If storing leftovers, lightly cover if at all.
I found your donut recipes back in April. My daughter said carrot cake would be the first variety we tried. Well, we finally made them and they are delicious! We’ve decided to take on a new baked donut recipe each week this summer. We’ll be working through your list and maybe finding a few others. Thanks for sharing!
Can these be made using buttermilk instead of whole milk and can drained crushed pineapple be added to the batter?
Hi Patti! I can’t say without testing. Let me know how it goes if you try it!
I’ve been looking through your older recipes for additional inspiration and was so happy to have found this! What a perfect idea of three things, packing a carrot cake into a donut and kinda making it healthy by baking and even adding some whole wheat flour with the carrot, thank you for this!
Wonderful recipe Melissa! I was wondering if I could use 1 cup all purpose flour rather than 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all purpose? Don’t have any whole wheat flour with me at the moment 🙂
You can! I’ve never tried it but I’d imagine an extra tablespoon might be needed to compensate. Let me know if you try!
Easter might be five months away, but there is no way I’m waiting so long to make these. Going to order donut pan and will definitely bake these beauties. Looks super yummy.
I’m in Australia & never seen it so will make my own mix! 🙂
I’ll be trying them on the weekend, my kids are excited! 🙂
Would love to hear what you thought!
Are you able to tell me what ‘half and half’ is?
Sure! Half and half is half cream and half milk commonly sold in US grocery stores.
I got your recipe today from my DTLL email, and I can’t wait to try them out, but I’m wondering in the frosting recipe what 2-3tsp of half and half is?
Half and half is half cream and half milk commonly sold in US grocery stores. You could replace with cream or milk. Hope you love them!
Am I the only one wondering why is the quantity of milk required 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon? Is that just the required amount or are we supposed to do something else with the remaining 1 tablespoon?
Hi Pish! I found that the extra teaspoon of milk is necessary in this recipe. Typically, for my baked donuts, I only use 1/3 cup milk.
I love carrot cake and your donuts look delicious! I recently made a carrot cake and mentioned your donut recipe on my blog. If you get a chance check it out: http://cupsandspoonfuls.com/2014/04/23/carrot-cake-with-maple-cream-cheese-frosting-5-carrot-cake-treats-you-need-to-check-out/
I write and bake against the nap time clock too. Not easy!
Hi Kelly! Thanks for the link love! Also, your cake is beautiful! Love how you decorated it. Gonna try that next time.
How cute! Visiting your blog always leaves me inspired to whip out my doughnut pan. I’ll have to try this 🙂
I finally gave in and got a baking doughnut pan, and now I have another reason to use it! I think the coconut is what sealed the deal. And, I kinda like the way you schedule your “alarm.” Enjoy her while she lasts!
Oh my…these look like perfect little treats. Personally, I prefer the thicker frosting with a little less sugar. Well worth the wait.
Delightful, delectable & delicious doughnuts! Love that you have two options for frosting here, so (folks like me,) can get in & munch quicker!
So this is basically a mutual agreement that I can eat carrot cake for breakfast? I love it!!
My hubbie just bought me my very first donut pan. So excited! Think these will have to be made!
They’re so plump and puffy! And that cream cheese hat! LOVE. Can’t wait to make these!
I’m hoping if I make these for the Easter Bunny that he’ll bring me a huge Easter egg ; )
SUCH beautiful swans!!! These are gorgeous — and turning carrot cake into a donut is genius.
Carrot cake anything always makes me happy, but DONUTS?! I love this recipe!
i havent made donuts in so long, this is just perfect.
Love everything about these.. especially that toasted coconut topping.
What a lucky Easter Bunny 🙂
Love bake doughnuts – somehow, because they’re baked I seem able to persuade myself that they’re a health food…
I am definitely making a batch of these donuts for the Easter bunny. I’ll have to test a couple out though, for quality control.
I am all about the less sweet doughnut toppings and I love using cream cheese to help mellow it out. Love how pretty + white that topping is. These sound spectacular.
total mistake reading this one right before lunch. my stomach is officially growling and grumbling in the middle of my office. can’t want to try these!
Melissa, these are absolutely adorable! The pictures are stunning as usual, and this recipe looks delish. Thanks for sharing!
You better believe I’m going to make these with sweet memories of you.
I will so be the Easter Bunny if it means I can get some of these! Gorgeous as always Melissa : )
Ooh toasted coconut and carrot donuts? Sign me up, I’ll wear the ugly bunny costume and be the Easter bunny.