I’m going to level with you guys, this has been a great Ramadan for me – but God almighty has it been tiring.
Between my over-ambitious plans to host (and be hosted – you know I never show up to an iftar empty-handed), scrambling to tackle my never-ending to-do list during the shorter working hours, a bounty of social engagements and truly the worst sleep schedule I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing, I am exhausted with a capital E.
That said, I haven’t experimented with nearly as many recipes this Ramadan as I would have hoped to, but I have managed to come out of Ramadan with one star signature dessert, akin to last year’s Salted Caramel Date Cake.
In the interest of not boring you with my usual preamble (as one reader so graciously suggested) – I will cut to the chase. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Ramadan (or Eid!) dessert of dreams: vegan vanilla saffron donuts, dipped in a rose-scented glaze and topped with sliced pistachio and pomegranate tendrils.
Need I say more?
- 1½ cups of organic unbleached all-purpose flour (190g)
- ¾ cup organic cane sugar (150g)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup melted organic coconut oil (60ml)
- ¾ cup almond or soy milk (180ml)
- ½ tbsp vanilla extract
- 1½ tbsp applesauce
- 1 tbsp hot water
- ½ tsp of saffron threads
- 1½ cups organic icing sugar
- 1-3 tbsp almond milk
- ½ tbsp rose water
- A few drops of beetroot water (from a can or a pre-packaged steamed beets) or natural food colouring
- Sliced pistachios
- Pomegranate tendrils
- Edible rose petals
- Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F and grease your donut pan with baking spray or coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and sea salt and set aside.
- Next, add the saffron threads to the hot water in a small cup and leave to rest for about 2-3 minutes until the water is golden in colour. Add to a measuring cup or small bowl to combine with the remaining wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredient mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk together until well combined and no major lumps remain.
- Divide the mixture across your donut pan, ensuring each donut whole isn't more than ¾ of the way full as these donuts will rise a considerable amount.
- Bake for 15 minutes - the donuts should be slightly browned and a toothpick or knife should come out clean. Set aside to cool for at least half an hour before frosting.
- Once cooled, dip the donuts into the frosting and sprinkle with toppings of choice, then pop them into the fridge for 5-10 minutes to set.
- In a small food processor, combine the ingredients starting with just one tablespoon of the almond milk, adding more as needed to thin. It should be pourable but still thick. You should only need a few drops of the beetroot water to impart a bright pink colour, but bear in mind that the more liquid you add the runnier the glaze will be.
- You could try baking these with an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix if you can't tolerate wheat.
- If you prefer a refined sugar-free glaze, try combining 3 tbsp of cashew butter, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp coconut oil, rose water and beetroot/natural food colouring instead.
- When glazing, you can dip the donuts into the glaze twice for a thicker glaze or just do the one for a more subtle sweetness and colour.
These donuts were a huge hit this Ramadan – I took them to two iftars and everyone who tried them enjoyed them immensely, to say the least.
I myself love them unfrosted – vanilla and saffron are two flavours that were meant to be married in my humble opinion. They remind me of a lighter version of Khanfaroosh, which is a fried saffron and cardamom cake typical of the Gulf region, if you’re not familiar.
It has to be said that even in spite of using organic and minimally processed ingredients, this isn’t the most “wholesome” of desserts, but I for one see nothing wrong with a little bit of indulgence from time to time, after all desserts are meant to be just that – indulgent.
Plus, I’m super impressed at how vibrantly pink just a few drops of vegetable water can turn the glaze!
Wishing all of you who celebrate Eid Mubarak in advance. May it be filled with family, loved ones, and a vegan sweet treat or two.