Baked Vegan Maple Bacon Donuts

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I’d like to think I live in a pretty progressive town for it being smack-dab in the middle of cornfields (also known as the ‘meat-and-potato region’). Bloomington, Indiana is home to around only 40,000 people (80,000 if you count the students from the university) yet we have 4 co-op grocery stores, an entire street dedicated to ethnic restaruants, a vegan diner, numerous international grocery spots, a bike trail that runs the length of the city, and bakery dedicated to only serving vegan goodies.


I bring this up because our local vegan bakery specialized in baked (or cake? I’d like to think they are the same thing but my boyfriend said this is 100% false) donuts. Theres always an array ranging from traditional toffee to more unique lavender-lemon. My usual go-to (after the huge cinnamon rolls and buckeyes) is always their maple bacon donut. They are wonderfully sweet with a hint of smoke from the coconut bacon.


Although it’s easier to just take a short 10 minute stroll (yes, I live that close to the bakery. Very very bad for my self control), I really wanted to try tackling these myself. I guess this was because life presented itself with the most gorgeous, giant chunks of unsweetened coconut flakes that were just begging to be turned into coconut bacon. Once I had a big batch of coconut bacon, it only felt natural to top them on some moist and maple-y baked goods since that is how I’m used to enjoying them.


The coconut bacon is incredibly easy to make. Its as simple as mix, pour, and bake. Although the process is full-proof, don’t get over-confident because these little chunks of amaziness burn in seconds if not watched closely. You’ll need to be nearby to toss the chips every 5 minutes so make them while you are already moseying around the kitchen doing the dishes or cleaning off the counters. These chips can also be made up to 5 days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container until ready to use.


I used my go-to donut recipe here but pretty much any standard baked donut recipe will do (as long as you make sure to top them with the maple glaze and coconut bacon). I really like this recipe because it replaces half of the fat with applesauce which makes even moister donuts than if you’d have used all butter or oil. Plus, the lack of refined sugar in them makes the guilt of eating 3 (okay, maybe 4) donuts for breakfast seem a little more manageable.

Baked Vegan Maple Bacon Donuts recipe below:


Baked Vegan Maple Bacon Donuts
Donuts inspired by Rainbow Bakery, Coconut Bacon adapted slightly from Fettle Vegan
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Author: Shelly Westerhausen
For the Coconut Bacon:
  • 1 cup unsweetened large coconut flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
For the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • For the donuts:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (I've always used 1/4 cup maple syrup + 1/4 cup honey)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup nut milk (I used this almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 vanilla bean , seeds only (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (heating up just enough to be in liquid form)
  1. To make the bacon: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the liquid smoke, maple syrup, and soy sauce in a bowl. Fold in the coconut flakes until evenly coated and transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping and shaking the flakes around every 5 minutes to keep from burning.
  2. For the donuts: Turn oven temperature up to 350 and grease two donut pans. Combine the milk and vinegar and set aside for at least five minutes. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla bean seeds, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add in the applesauce, coconut oil, milk, and maple syrup. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until everything is combined. Distribute the dough between the pans and bake for 12 minutes or until browned.
  3. Whisk together the powdered sugar with the maple syrup a teaspoon at a time until your desired consistency is reached. I like to use the whole tablespoon to create a thin glaze but I won't judge if you enjoy yours thicker.






If you are ever in Bloomington, Indiana then don’t forget to stop off at the Rainbow Bakery and try the real version of these! Heck, you might as well pick up half a dozen while you are there and stroll on over to my house. I’ll provide the peppermint tea if you bring the baked goods.



  • Ashlae W.
    March 10, 2014

    I miss Bloomington way too much. Thom and I lived there just before moving to Denver and although I love living out here, a little piece of my heart will always be in B-town.. and I secretly hope Thom ends up teaching history at IU one day. 😉 When I’m in town this summer, we’re going to Rainbow Bakery to get some donuts and then to Soma for coffee and then to Laughing Planet for burritos. And then I’m going to let Bloomingfoods take alllllllll my monies.


    • Shellywest
      Ashlae W.
      March 11, 2014

      YES YES YES! Throw in a vegan shake from Chocolate Moose and we’ve got ourselves a perfect (and filling) summer day! Oh man, if Thom got a job at IU then we could spend all of our free time making delicious baked goods together – it would be wonderful!

      • Ashlae W.
        March 12, 2014

        We’d be so fat. And happy. I’ll keep you posted on our ETA. 😉

  • cheri
    March 10, 2014

    Sounds like a neat little town you live in, college towns are so fun. Anyway, you donuts look good, really good.

  • Erika
    March 11, 2014

    I will probably have dreams of coconut bacon now.. seriously! Everything about these donuts sounds amazing.. and I now need to make a trip to Bloomington. 🙂

  • Gabby @ the veggie nook
    March 11, 2014

    your town sounds amazing! If I ever find myself in Indiana, I will have to pay Bloomington a visit 🙂

    These are epic, by the way. Coconut bacon just makes everything better!

  • Katrina @ WVS
    March 11, 2014

    I love the liquid smoke in there! So yummy!

  • Allyson
    March 11, 2014

    I just made coconut bacon for the first time last week and it’s the bomb. If I can find a donut pan in a store nearby I’ll probably be buying it and making these, because this looks so fantastic. There are a few donut shops around me that sell bacon donuts and I’m always sad and angry that I can’t eat them, because they get raves from everyone else.

    I went to college in an even smaller midwestern town (10,000) and while we didn’t have all of that glory, we did have a wonderful co-op and a lot of good restaurants. I miss it so much, and when I tell people I miss living in Iowa they look at me like I’m insane. Oh well.

  • Stephanie
    March 11, 2014

    As always, gorgeous photos. Can’t wait to try the recipe.

  • Linda
    March 13, 2014

    When I was interning at San Francisco magazine, my editor was this woman who’d gone to school in Bloomington, and, having no conception of any part of America east of Colorado, I was like, where is Indiana? Shows how insular Californians are. Or maybe it was just me. 🙂 But seriously, Bloomington sounds AWESOME.

    And what your story really makes me think of is the post on which you wrote about the Kinfolk cookbook and how it featured no one from the Midwest. I felt genuine outrage, Shelly! So thank you for shedding light on your part of the world. I could always use the perspective-shifting.

    And these donuts! Sweeet! (Love the idea of the coconut flakes on top – makes me wonder if miso butter might kinda sorta emulate the bacon-y flavor?)

  • maria | pink patisserie
    March 13, 2014

    I’m so intrigued by the coconut bacon, I must, must give it a try. What a fantastic combination of flavors.. I would have a really have difficult time restraining myself to a few of these!!

  • kum
    March 17, 2014

    Donuts look so YUM! Thanks for sharing so many tasty vegan recipes.

    Blog : global vegan fare

  • Grace
    March 20, 2014

    I’m late to this post – but better late than never. This is a thing of beauty right here, ugh. your styling just gets more beautiful with every post! And maple bacon doughnuts?! So good! Can I come visit you in your hip little town and can we eat these and go for a bike ride?

    • Shellywest
      March 20, 2014

      Uh duh! Please come visit very very soon!

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchen
    March 22, 2014

    Wow, that’s pretty much for a town that small! How nice for you. And to live within a 10 minute walking distance from a bakery? I guess that’s called small town convenience, right? 🙂
    These donuts look luscious! I love baked donuts as I’m not very into deep frying at home (all that hot oil makes me freak out a bit). Can’t wait to try these.

  • Kate
    March 24, 2014

    Oh man! I love coconut bacon. Somehow I never thought to put it on donuts… brilliant!

  • Alanna
    March 28, 2014

    Coconut bacon?!?! How have I not heard of this? These donuts look absolutely superb. I know some vegans (and non-vegans!) who would be ecstatic to be fed these. Thank you for sharing!

  • Deena Kakaya
    April 1, 2014

    These deliciously attractive donuts are baked? I need these in my life. Your photography is stunning too! X

    August 1, 2014

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    March 15, 2015

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