Gluten Free Hostess-Style Crunch Donettes

Gluten Free Hostess-Style Crunch Donettes

Stacks of donettes on white surface

To calm my nerves when I have a new cookbook come out, I bake my way through the recipes in it. That’s how I remind myself that yes, I did develop develop develop then test, test and retest every recipe, and that they all work.

Along the way, I also end up developing some new recipes that could have been in the new book, but that I honestly just didn’t think of in time. With my newest cookbook, Gluten Free Classic Snacks, nothing has changed.

I’ve been baking plenty of gluten free Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes and Twinkies (the Twinkies are in the oven as I type!), and I just couldn’t resist a copycat recipe for gluten free Hostess Crunch Donettes.

I mean, just look at them. But if you find yourself resisting, we have at least 9 other gluten free donuts recipes. To each his own. :)

Gluten Free Hostess Crunch Donettes

Do you remember these mini Hostess donuts? They’re the yellow cake ones that are topped with that crunchy-sweet crumb that tastes of honey and faintly of coconut. Can I get an amen?!

Gluten Free Hostess Crunch Donettes, Step by Step

The donuts can be made in a mini donut pan in the oven (my current favorite donut pans are the cheap-o ones made by Wilton), or in an electric miniature donut maker. Mine is Babycakes brand, and I bought it at Kohl’s. With a coupon. On sale. For next to nothing. And I highly recommend it. It makes the cutest, roundest donuts.

Donettes on metal tray

I know we’ve already talked about why I love copycat recipes, but I think it bears repeating. Being able to duplicate a favorite snack (or even just one you’ve never tried but have seen on grocery store shelves!) means that nothing is out of reach. That if you loved it before, you can have it back, which creates a sense of possibility where maybe before there was sadness. And it also means that you can and should share your childhood memories with your children and grandchildren. Along the way, you’ll create new memories that they can then share with theirs. Basically, we’re saving the gluten free world, one Twix bar at a time. ;)

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 18 miniature donuts


For the Crunch Topping
3 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) unsweetened gluten free cornflakes (I used Erewhon corn flakes), crushed into small crumbs (I used a food processor, but you can crush them by hand as well)

1/3 cup (32 g) nonfat dry milk powder (try replacing with an equal amount blanched almond flour)

1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, melted

For the Donuts
1 5/8 cup (228 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)*

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

6 tablespoons (54 g) cornstarch (try replacing with arrowroot)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup (133 g) granulated sugar

1/4 cup (56 g) neutral oil (like canola or safflower oil)

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) plus 1 egg white (25 g) at room temperature, beaten

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (5 fluid ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature

2 tablespoons (42 g) honey

1/2 teaspoon pure coconut extract (can replace with an equal amount of pure vanilla extract)

For coating
4 to 6 tablespoons (84 g to 126 g) honey

Crunch topping (above)

*If you are using Cup4Cup gluten free flour. my mock Cup4Cup blend, or another high-starch blend like King Arthur Flour all purpose gluten free flour, replace the all purpose gluten free flour, xanthan gum and cornstarch in the ingredients list with 2 cups (280 g) Cup4Cup.


  • First, make the crunch topping. Preheat your oven to 300°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside. In a large bowl, place all of the crunch topping ingredients, and mix to combine well. Turn the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet, and spread into an even layer. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until just beginning to brown (about 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet while you make the donuts.

  • Make the donuts. To make the donuts in the oven, increase your oven temperature to 350°F. Grease a miniature donut pan, and set it aside. To make them in an electric donut maker, warm the appliance according to the manufacturer’s directions. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil, egg, egg white, buttermilk, honey and coconut extract, mixing well to combine after each addition. The batter will be thick.

  • Bake the donuts. If making the donuts in an oven, fill the prepared donut wells about 3/4 of the way full. Place in the center of the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the donuts are set and a toothpick inserted in the center of a donut comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If making the donuts in an electric donut maker, fill the bottom of the donut maker wells completely with batter, then close and secure the lid. Allow to bake for 3 minutes. Open the donut maker and remove the donuts with the remover tool or the tines of a fork. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter.

  • Assemble the donuts. Place 4 tablespoons of honey for the coating in a small, heat-safe bowl and warm in the microwave for about 20 seconds or over a double-boiler until thinned. Place the cornflake crunch in a shallow bowl and set it next to the honey. Dip both sides of each cooled donut in the warm honey, and then press firmly into the crunch topping on all sides so the topping adheres before placing on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining donuts, adding more honey to the dipping bowl as necessary. Allow the donuts to set before serving.

  • Donut recipe adapted from the copycat recipe for Gluten Free Hostess Powdered Sugar Donettes on page 263 of Gluten Free Classic Snacks. Crunch topping adapted from Momofuku-Style Cornflake Crunch.



P.S. Don’t forget my new cookbook, Gluten Free Classic Snacks! Thank you so much to everyone who has purchased a copy so far, and I’m so proud of all the baking you’ve already done and shared on Facebook!

Comments are closed.

  • Victoria Donaldson
    April 27, 2015 at 5:12 AM

    I made half the recipe (cause I didn’t have enough corn flakes)probably a good thing cause I couldn’t stop eating them…. Oh and the crunch was delicious even by itself. I swapped out the sugar for coconut sugar and a little less. So good! Thank you for so many delicious things I’ve never even heard of

  • Sharon Anne
    April 25, 2015 at 2:38 AM

    I know you have a young family, with all their friends; yet I was mentioning to my hubby the other day. “I clearly don’t know how she manages to stay so trim, while baking all these decadent, delightful treats. It’s such a marvel to me, and the photography.” Kudos! I’ve lost 40 lbs after going gluten-free, so I’ve been reluctant to going back to baking bread and desserts for just two. Truly how do you manage so well?

    • Sharon Anne
      April 25, 2015 at 2:43 AM

      Oh how I remember how good these donuts use to taste. Hahaha, think I’ve gained two pounds just looking at those scrumptious little morsels.

    • April 29, 2015 at 12:12 PM

      As you said, Sharon Anne, I have a relatively big family and they eat a lot, plus plenty goes in to the office with husband. That, and I think baking 7 days a week for all these years has nearly cured me of the need to eat more than just a serving of any one thing!

  • youngbaker2002
    April 22, 2015 at 5:10 PM

    We just got a coupon from Kohls, so we’re going to go get a baby cakes mini doughnut maker on sale for next to nothing tomorrow. Lol! i saw these in the store the other day and went to see if they were in the new book. when i saw that they weren’t i went to request them… and there they were! thank you nicole!

    • April 22, 2015 at 6:07 PM

      Well if that’s not meant to be then I don’t know what is! :)

  • Mary Ann
    April 20, 2015 at 8:22 AM

    Bought 2 of your books and can’t wait to get them so I can enjoy a lot of old favorites again

  • Biana S
    April 19, 2015 at 2:27 AM

    I can’t wait to try this, and all of the other recipes in the book! Unfortunately it’s not available as an ebook in Australia so I’m waiting for the book to arrive. I’m so excited!!!

  • Michelle N
    April 17, 2015 at 4:37 PM

    I’m salivating over these right now. I’ll be making them tonight! Thank you for sharing. I have purchased all your books in kindle and a physical copy. Thanks for sharing!

    • April 18, 2015 at 7:56 AM

      Thank you so much for your support, Michelle ! It means so much to me. :)

  • Michelle
    April 17, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    I saw a kid eating the gluten version of these the other day, and wished I could have one. Thank you! My very, very favorite donuts are the yellow ones with the chocolate glaze, so I may make the powdered sugar ones in the book, and use the glaze from the chocolate ones. I made the Mc Vities chocolate digestives the other day, and they are delicious! I love all of the possibilities!

    • Michelle
      April 17, 2015 at 8:52 AM

      And I swear I correctly typed “donettes”. Stupid autocrrect.

    • April 17, 2015 at 1:46 PM

      So glad you liked the Digestives, Michelle! Believe it or not, the texture was really hard to master on those, but they turned out great in the end.

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