Vanilla Donuts with Lemon Cheesecake Frosting (Grain/Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free option)

Today, I wellness coached all morning (it was a great morning of talking to people, by the way! Lots of awesome blood pressure readings, good health updates, and positive attitudes/conversations). Next, I came home and worked some more…and after all that, I needed a break before I go to meet another client tonight.

So, naturally, I needed to eat something sweet and filling. I wanted a donut…but not a cake-y dense muffin in the shape of a donut (although sometimes, that is wonderful—the donut shape just has good associations, doesn’t it?).

I made this:



Vanilla Donuts with Lemon Cheesecake Frosting


5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup maple syrup (or you could use extra stevia to taste and/or another sweetener)
1/2 tsp vanilla stevia
1/2 tsp baking powder


2 Tbsp almond flour
6 Tbsp coconut flour
6 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (you could use butter)


Blend well, until all the lumps are gone (I used a hand mixer on high). Fill greased mini muffin cups or donut pan 3/4 way (one heaping Tbsp in each for the muffin pan). You may need to smooth out the batter before baking (it will be thick). Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.


Lemon Cheescake Frosting


8 oz Cream cheese
Juice from a whole lemon
6 Tbsp powdered sugar (or powdered xylitol or erythritol—you can powder it in a coffee grinder)
Add a few drops of yellow food coloring if you like (I use Select Yellow All-Natural Food Coloring)

Mix on high until smooth.

When the donuts are done, you can frost them right away–the frosting is thick and really won’t melt! I thought about trying to spread it, or thin it out and dip the donuts in it…but that sounded like too much work. So I used this: Easy Accent Decorator (I’ve had it for 10 years…and it is super easy/cheap). Notice: I like a high frosting to donut ratio! You obviously don’t have to be so generous, but I recommend it!

This recipe makes about 22 mini donuts, and has exactly enough frosting for the batch (ok, so I ate about a teaspoon of the frosting by itself) if frosted the same way as in the pic.

The donut is light and airy—and the frosting is thick and rich…the perfect combination in my opinion!

 Have you ever made donuts?


It’s interesting to me how when I have a conversation with a client about wellness and challenges/barriers, the same topic comes up several times in a row after that. I figured I would just share with you the topic theme that has been bouncing around for me and many of my clients for the past week.

I’ve been thinking and talking a lot lately about balance. It’s often a topic among my clients—how to balance work and responsibilities with self-care. There’s no one single answer to that, but I do know that the more you take care of yourself, the more capacity you have for your responsibilities…it’s a snowball effect.

The analogy I often use is to picture your capacity for life as a cup. You fill your cup with everything you do. Once your cup is full, you have to stop adding to it or it will overflow (and you’ll be stressed out and probably not do a great job at many things, including self-care). Most people in the overflowing-cup -situation just lament about how full their lives are and how stressed out they are. I really believe the trick is not to take things out of your cup (although that is sometimes part of the puzzle), but the best plan is often to work on making your cup bigger.

Being physically fit, eating healthy, managing your stress, and getting enough sleep are all ways to make your cup, your capacity for life, bigger. Oddly enough, those self-care actions are usually the first things we sacrifice.

You may think it’s easier said than done, and maybe it is (but I don’t think we should be afraid of hard work and a leap of faith that it will yield results either). I do  know that if you make your self-care a priority, other things in life will (1) not feel so stressful and (2) not be so overwhelming. You’ll feel happier and more positive too.

The world isn’t actually happening to you (you’re not a victim of it)—you can’t necessarily control events and situations, but you can definitely control your reactions to them. Challenges are opportunities, and perceptions/reactions pave the way for your next steps. At the end of the day, your body does not care if you had good or bad excuses, it merely takes an inventory of how you treated it mentally and physically and then pays you back accordingly.

It’s a simple concept. Maybe it doesn’t feel easy to implement, but it is simple.

And that is my message for the day because it’s fresh in my mind  🙂

I’m heading out to do a yoga session with a client, and then I’m going to relax and go in the sauna–it’s part of my self-care routine, and I’m loving it! I’ve also been getting up at 5am to start my workday–I love crossing things off my list early, and it feels great to hit 9am with half a day’s work under my belt (at that time, I usually eat, exercise, and go in the sauna…and then finish my workday at a normal time).

Are you an early riser? 

Do you make self-care a priority? Ever feel guilty about it? Please don’t feel guilty, by the way. The better condition you’re in, the better able you are to support everything and everyone in your life!


19 thoughts on “Vanilla Donuts with Lemon Cheesecake Frosting (Grain/Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free option)”

  1. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    Um, I want the icing please. I remember making donuts as a kid with my grandmother. She would just use those canned biscuits. After working for over a year at a bakery/donut shop, I haven’t had once since. I think making self-care should be a priority as it can lead to a better life overall – when you feel good and are happier you’re more likely to succeed I think. 

  2. i have been cutting back on things (mostly social media) and at first it was hard. but i have been able to enjoy me time. alone time. and it has been great. finding balance is hard. i struggle with it everyday. but i do my best to control things i can and just deal with everything else as best i can.

    and oh yes i have had donuts 🙂

  3. The donuts sound great.  Especially the frosting.  I love the Easy Accent Decorator, too!  I have been thinking a lot about balance, too.  I try to be an early riser to exercise before Tyler gets up, but it has been hard lately.  I have been staying up too late.

  4. PS–I am NOT a morning person…and I DO make self care a priority! How can I take the best care of my family if I don’t care for myself!??

  5. It comes in sugar form. There may be a liquid, but I’m not sure‹I’ve only used the sugar-type (although, I primarily use erythritol these days).

  6. the story of homemade donuts is a classic, in our family. when we were little, mom tried to make donuts once – and they turned out like ROCKS, kid you not. we still laugh about that, to this day, esp since mom is a talented baker! glad yours turned out so well! and yes, more icing than cake, for me!!
    thanks for your observations on balance and life. i like that line, we are not victims. so many times, people use a woe-is-me excuse as to why they can’t do x, y,z. well, take steps so that you CAN, if x, y, z is important to you, your health!
    glad you’re enjoying your daily schedule! ah – sauna!!!

  7. I thought the first part of this post was amazing until I got down to the second part! WOW! Beautifully written and so true. 

    Yes, I do make doughnuts, but not often enough. I need to put these on my list to try. Also, I do make myself a priority during some parts of the day. That’s why I get up before everyone else to workout and I definitely eat right for my mental/physical health. After going through such horrible physical problems for awhile, I found that taking care of me is the first thing I need to do so I can take care of the rest of my family for a long time. 

  8. “Make the cup bigger” <– love, love, love that.  I was all ready to read your suggestions to simplify and take stuff out of the cup.  Your suggestion, instead, to make the cup bigger caught me by surprise.  It makes so much sense.  Very insightful.

  9. Loved the cup analogy… makes total sense!!
    I’m an early riser.  I accomplish so much more in the early morning!
    At this point i do need to make self care more of a priority.  I tend to get a bunch of stuff done in the morning and then as soon as my kids wake up they become the priority so self-care goes on the backburner.  I know that i need to incorporate self-care in the early morning before the kids get up… now I just need to do it lol!!

  10. I am capable of getting up early to be productive if that productivity involves things like studying or desk work AKA not much movement required. However I am pretty incapable of getting up at 5 or 6am to do an intense workout. On Tues/Thurs I now wake up at 6:30am to do yoga and I am really enjoying that, because it’s the only time for movement I really have on those days, but I would honestly feel WORSE if I tried to do a high intensity cardio workout at that time (I’ve tried before) because I just can’t seem to put my all into it.

    What a great comment about your cup getting bigger when you fill it with things that make you healthier. That is SO true! I never thought of that but it makes a ton of sense and I’m sure that puts it in perspective for a lot of your clients.

  11. I’m definitely an early riser! I have a hard time sleeping in on the weekends because I know I can get so much done!

    These donuts sound really good and the frosting probably take them over the top!! Mmmm lemony frosting sounds SO good right now. I’m feeling pretty tired today, but hopefully I’ll get some energy tonight to make these! Maybe a walk after work will help a little! 🙂

    I think I make self-care a priority for me. I stay on track with healthy eating, working out and getting enough sleep. I don’t feel guilty because those things make me feel really good. If I didn’t do all those things then I tend to slow down and feel sluggish and that’s no way to live!

  12. Gorgeous. Yum! I hear that- my cup overflows…sometimes regularly! I am an early riser. I prefer to get the majority of my to dos done EARLY. I make exercise a priority, but other self-care forms? They sometimes take a back seat

  13. oh my oh my oh my, lemon, vanilla, and cream cheese are my three weaknesses. these sound like heaven on a plate! Bookmarking and making the second i have kitchen access 😀

  14.  In concept, the emptying the cup thing may work, but once I began wellness coaching, I realized that it really isn’t realistic in practical application!

  15. I try to make self care a priority, but really when push comes to shove, I’m always first to sacrifice something for myself rather than something I need to do for someone else.  Good and bad, I guess.

    Those donuts look amazing!  You are the healthy treat queen and I honestly think you should compile them in a book — or even an ebook.  I know I’d buy it!

  16. I LOVE this post! So often we forget that we need to take charge of our lives. When I am exercising and eating well I am more clearheaded and have more energy so I am far more efficient. I sometimes forget this. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

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