An Easy, Healthy Doughnut Hole Recipe (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

If you came here for a fluffy, fried donut hole recipe, you may just want to click away now. While I think that great doughnuts have a place, you can eat these a whole lot more often and feel super righteous about your nutritious choices, oh and they taste great too.

This easy, healthy doughnut hole recipe is vegan and gluten-free, requires no baking, and comes together quickly in your food processor.  I’m including here a general formula that you can tweak to make your own along with a couple recipes for ways that my son and I like to make them.

Hint: These are basically homemade Larabars rolled into balls – hence doughnut holes.  They’re way more fun to eat and share if you call them this.  They were inspired by this original recipe from Ani Phyo.

As as side note, you know that feeling when you stare at the same word over and over again for so long that it eventually doesn’t even look like a word anymore?  I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure out whether donut or doughnut is the right spelling and I’m feeling no closer to a conclusion. Opinions welcome!

Raw Doughnut Hole Formula

This is the formula I use to make all different kinds of “doughnut hole” or DIY Larabar variations. Basically, for making one batch you’ll want: 2 cups dried fruit (mostly dates), 1 cup nuts (walnuts or almonds work well), 1/4 cup cocoa powder if you’re going for the chocolate variety, and a pinch of seasonings (I like vanilla bean powder or extract and a generous pinch of salt).


Chocolate Doughnut Holes

This has proven to be the most popular variety in our house and is a great place to start if you’re looking to back away from sugar sweetened treats to rely on a more whole-foods based sweetener.


Chocolate Doughnut Holes
Yields 12
Raw, vegan, gluten-free "doughnut" holes for the whole family
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
  1. 2 cups dates, pitted (preferably Medjool)
  2. 1 cup walnuts
  3. 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  4. 1 tsp vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract
  5. Generous pinch sea salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until well blended but small chunks still remain. Take about 1 Tbsp scoops and roll between your hands to create "doughnut holes". A little bit of water on your hands can help keep it from sticking if needed.
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