Vegan Turtle Doughnuts

Yield 6 servings

For the batter:

  • 3/4 cups quinoa flour (or all purpose gluten free flour)
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup packed soft medjool dates, pitted, soaked in water for 30 minutes and 1/2 cup of the soaking water reserved
  • 2 tablespoon pecan butter or almond butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree or applesauce
  • 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

For the caramel and fudge:

  • 1 cup soft Medjool dates, pitted (if they are not soft, soak them in water and drain well first)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons pecan butter or almond butter
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil, warmed to liquid
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup filtered water (plus more as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder

For the topping:

  • Pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and position rack in center of oven. Oil a 6 hole doughnut pan.

2. Whisk flour, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, spices and sea salt in a large bowl to blend well. Set aside.

3. Place dates, reserved water, almond butter, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract into a blender, and blend until smooth. Then ,whisk this blended mixture into the flour mixture until well blended. Whisk in the cider vinegar until bubbles form. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven). Cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour. Remove from pan.

4. To make the caramel, combine all ingredients but the cacao powder in a blender, and blend until smooth (adding a little water if necessary—it should be the consistency of pourable but still thick caramel). Divide between 2 bowls, and whisk the cacao powder into one (if it becomes too thick, add a little more water, since cacao powder thickens).

5. Once the doughnuts are ready, drizzle with the caramel and fudge and sprinkle with pecans.

6. Serve!