Pumpkin Pie Donut Holes (Paleo & AIP)
These pumpkin pie donut holes are the easiest paleo and AIP treat for fall! They taste just like the real thing, but are made with healthier ingredients.
Pumpkin Pie Donut Holes
Remember donut holes? If you have food intolerances it may feel like an eternity since you last had them. I never thought I would be able to have donut holes that taste like the real deal again, and you may feel the same way, but these will change your mind!
These pumpkin pie donut holes are the ultimate donut hole if you’re grain-free, egg-free, and dairy-free, complete with a coconut-based glaze.
The Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Donut Holes
- Tigernut Flour. I really love baking with tigernut flour because it’s a grain free, nut-free way to get really great baked goods. Tigernuts are a tuber, not a nut, and they taste great in these donut holes.
- Coconut Flour. This helps to offset the moisture from the pumpkin. I haven’t tried subbing this out.
- Tapioca Starch. These help bind and make the donut holes more “doughy”. You can sub arrowroot in it’s place, and possibly even cassava flour.
- Maple Syrup. Gotta sweeten donuts! You can also sub honey.
- Palm Shortening. Palm shortening makes this super cake-y! I typically work with coconut oil, but I love the texture that palm shortening gives these donut holes.
- Pumpkin Puree & Cinnamon. These ingredients give it the pumpkin pie element.
- Gelatin. Gelatin helps to bind the donut holes, however, you can add it in without blooming it like a gelatin egg for this recipe. Just scoop it in dry 🙂
- Coconut Butter. Also known as coconut mana or coconut cream concentrate. This acts as a glaze over top the donut holes. You can leave this out if you don’t have any on hand.
How to make Pumpkin Pie Donut Holes
- Sift together the flours.
- Cream together the palm shortening and maple syrup.
- Combine the palm shortening, maple syrup, and flours.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients. Add in the pumpkin, dry gelatin, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.
- Roll the dough into donut holes. Place on the parchment paper.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to lightly cool.
- Make the glaze. Combine the ingredients for a glaze in a bowl and spoon over the donut holes.
Can you swap out different flours in this recipe?
I’ve found that this specific flour blend works best, and I wouldn’t swap out any of the flours in this recipe. The only swap that could work 1:1 here is arrowroot starch instead of tapioca starch!
Can you make this recipe ahead of time?
This recipe is definitely best fresh, but you can store them in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Can you make this recipe without the palm shortening?
I find that the palm shortening gives this recipe a cakey crumb. I haven’t tried it with alternatives like coconut oil.
You’ll also love…
Just look at that yummy, cake-y texture! So, so good! Here’s how you make them…Print
Pumpkin Pie Donut Holes (Paleo & AIP)
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6-7 donut holes 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 1/3 cup tigernut flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup palm shortening
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp gelatin
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
FOR THE GLAZE (optional)
- 2 tbsp coconut butter, melted
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Sift together the flours and set aside in a separate bowl. Cream together the palm shortening and maple syrup until thoroughly combined.
- Combine the palm shortening, maple syrup, and flours and stir. Then add in the pumpkin, dry gelatin, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda and mix to combine.
- Roll the dough into donut holes (you’ll have 6-7) and place on the parchment paper, evenly spaced. Bake for 15 minutes or until baked through and lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to lightly cool.
- Combine the ingredients for a glaze in a bowl and spoon over the donut holes.
All nutritional information are estimations and will vary. Estimations do not include optional ingredients.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 15
- Serving Size: 1 donut hole
- Calories: 165
- Fat: 9.2g
- Carbohydrates: 15.5g
- Fiber: 1.9g
- Protein: 2.6g
This post appeared on Unbound Wellness in 2017 and was updated in 2021.
Recipe by Michelle, Unbound Wellness. Photos by Eat Love Eats
Thanks girl!! ????
This looks great! Can I use collagen powder instead of gelatin here?
Thanks!! Collagen won’t swap for gelatin here, but you can use an egg in its place if you can tolerate it
Hi! Would cassava flour or extra coconut flour work instead of tigernut flour? 🙂
I haven’t tried the swap, but let me know if you do!
Just made these!! Can’t wait to eat them for dessert for Thanksgiving!!
These are delicious! With or without the glaze I love them as does my family! Thank you, absolutely loving them!!
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Can I use coconut oil instead of the palm?
Palm shortening has a different texture than coconut oil and gives these more body. Coconut oil wouldn’t give it the same cakey texture.
These are amazing! They have the taste and texture of traditional baked goods! Such a yummy treat!
Thank you so much Nicole!! So happy you like them 🙂
This is counter-intuitive to your recipe, but I’m mostly Paleo (about 1/3 AIP)… don’t have Tigernut flour, is there something I can sub?
If you tolerate almonds, you can try it.
I subbed the tigernut flour for almond flour and arrowroot starch for the tapioca and they came out wonderfully! I also didn’t have any palm shortening on hand so I used half coconut oil and half red palm oil and they turned out great! The orange of the red palm oil doesn’t change anything because the pumpkin already makes it nice and orange. 🙂
Yum! Thanks for sharing those subs, Samantha!! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!
Oh. My. Word. These are AMAZING. Every recipe I try of yours…you totally hit it out of the park. These were quick and easy and taste like those cake pops you get at Starbucks. I’m in heaven.
The pumpkin pie donut holes are amazing! I did not have Tigernut flour so I substituted almond meal. Turned out great, though they spread more than in your photo, which doesn’t bother me. I didn’t have Coconut Manna so we skipped the glaze. They don’t really need it. I’m ordering Tigernut flour to make them again. This recipe will be made often! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Great recipe!! Thanks so much!!
Thank you so much Nathalie!!!
I like be reading your recipes. I have to follow an AIP diet and I am unable to digest Tigernut flour or Cassava flour. Both tigernut flour and cassava flour produce a beautiful end product, but unfortunately I cannot tolerate either. However I just purchased sweet potato flour and green banana flour as alternatives to almond, coconut, cassava and tigernut flours. I only mention this to you because you are so creative in the kitchen and maybe someday you’ll create recipes with these flours. In the meantime I’m experimenting, even tho I lack your expertise. Thank you for all the inspiration and hard work you put into your recipes, I really appreciate your passion.
Thank you so much, Elaine! I haven’t played with those flours much, but I will totally add it to my wishlist 🙂
Ridiculously good!! I subbed arrowroot for tapioca starch ‘cause that’s what I had. Turned out great! Made 10. You are my hero! Keep turning out those recipes!
Thank you so much Lori!! I’m so happy you liked them!!
These are absolutely fabulous! The only substitution I did was I dusted with an AIP Cinnamon-Sugar mix that I had. It made 11 donut holes for me! Yum!
These were sooooo delicious! The texture of them is amazing, and the taste is awesome. Thanks for a great recipe!
Wow. These are A.MA.ZING! I’m relatively new to AIP but I seriously miss baked goods. I’ve tried so many recipes, only to have them come out gritty, flat, too moist, or with NO flavor. These were none of the above. So soft, so flavorful, so yummy. The palm oil really does make all the difference. So glad I happened upon this recipe and decided to give it one more try. Thank you for making this recipe real!
Thank you SO much Meagen! I’m so happy you enjoyed them! The palm shortening really does make a huge difference 🙂
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Made these tonight. I substituted cassava for the tigernut because that’s what I had on hand and it turned out great! My husband said you can’t tell the difference from a normal bakery food and these. Thanks for the recipe!
YAY! So happy you liked it, Julie!! 🙂
I can’t get my coconut butter to melt. It’s either solid or burnt…is their a secret?
Using a homemade double boiler method is my favorite way to melt coconut butter 🙂
These are delicious! I only used one TBS of maple syrup and no glaze because I’m trying to consume very little sugar. They are still so yummy, especially warmed up with some ghee! Perfect healthy Fall treat!
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These are soooo good!! And they were really easy to make!!
Thank you so much, Shalayne!!
Love these! Such a treat on AIP. Easy and fun to make, too. Thanks so much! I make these probably bi-monthly!
So good. I don’t know why I’m just now trying these. They would be great to make a double batch to share with family before thanksgiving dinner or friends at brunch.
Thanks so much, Sara!
OH MY GOODNESS these are DELICIOUS! And so easy!! Next time I’m making a triple batch, haha. We ate them all up the same day.
Just made these and they taste delicious, but I must have done something wrong because they did not keep their shape and turned out more like cookies than donut holes. I followed the recipe to the letter and did not substitute anything. I wonder if I made them too large even though it yielded seven? Any suggestions?
Absolutely delicious even after subbing Almond Flour for Tigernut, and Coconut Oil for Palm Shortening. I added a tablespoon more of all flours since I knew I was using liquid coconut oil. I did use an immersion blender to mix the liquid coconut oil and maple syrup, which seemed to thicken it up very well! Then dipped one side of the raw dough balls into coconut sugar. Nothing more needed!
I’ve made this recipe twice and followed it to the letter. Both times they came out more flattened. Any reason why this could be happening? I’d really prefer them to be round like donut holes.
So thankful I found this recipe! AIP is no joke and these were a blessing in the midst of cutting out so many foods! I didn’t know what to expect with tigernut flour and I ended up using coconut oil instead of palm shortening , and they turned out better than I imagined! My husband and our 7 year old loves them, especially warm out of the oven!
Hi, where did you find the tigernut flour?
These turned out perfectly. I’m so thankful for your site. I’ve been able to make a few of your recipes and they’ve been excellent, which is such a relief, not to mention a time and money saver.
So glad they turned out well!!
These were absolutely delicious! I was so excited to make them after being on an even more restricted plan for 3 months – once I was able to introduce a little maple syrup I knew these would be the perfect fall treat. They did not disappoint and I can’t wait to make them again!
YAY! So glad!
Love these! Taste amazing and so easy to make!
This recipe is another winner! The crumb of these donut holes is so cake-like! A delicious call treat! Now to excercise some self-control! The only thing that didn’t work for me is the glaze. I used the double-boiler method to melt the coconut manna, but I also added the sugar before it melted. I also wonder if it’s old? I’d def try again, but the donut holes really don’t need the glaze!
So glad you enjoyed!!
I’m so bummed by the number of recipes that call for Palm Oil! It rapes the environment! But I’m glad you shared an alternative with your preference. Can’t wait to try these! They look and sound delicious. Also, thank you for this awesome site. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so wonderful to have such a great resource at the beginning of such a daunting lifestyle change. <3
So glad you are loving the recipes, good luck with all the lifestyle changes!!
These look delicious! If I wanted to sub the cinnamon and turn it into a carob donut, what would you recommend for carob measurements? (I’m avoiding cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg. I’m unsure about mace and clove.) I’ll probably try doubling this and use a duck egg since your previous comment said eggs will work. (I can tolerate duck eggs but not chicken. Yay!)
Thanks in advance. I’m trying to find a dessert for my birthday! 🙂
Almost forgot….will agar agar work? Would I use it dry too? I tried a plantain bread yesterday and swapped gelatin out for agar agar and it was NOT the same. I crumbled it up for breadcrumbs or stuffing instead. I’m new to agar agar but supposedly it’s a 1:1 gelatin replacement, so for avoiding beef, I bought it and actually haven’t used it much.
I actually haven’t used agar agar a lot so I’m not sure!
I actually have a carob donut hole recipe in my cookbook that has the exact measurements!
For anyone asking – I’ve been making these for about a year, and have never had palm shortening on hand. I’ve always subbed coconut oil 1:1, and they come out amazing. I heat it for like 12 seconds in the microwave so it creams with the maple syrup, and the donut holes come out absolutely epic.
Your recipe has become a staple to my health! Helps me stay on track when we’re craving something sweet.
Thanks for sharing!!
These are really, really good! I made them just as directed. The pumpkin flavor was a little weak and they were a bit dry, so I think next time I’ll try adding more pumpkin and a little mace. And maybe roll them into smaller balls.
Also the icing was really weird and gritty when the donut holes were warm but when I chilled them in the fridge, it was great! So I think next time I’ll have a few un-iced while hot and then chill the rest.
So glad you enjoyed this!!