• Baked vanilla and pea doughnuts (Chris Middleton)Source: Chris Middleton

Peas? Yes, really! We use lots of vegetables and fruits to add natural sweetness to our baking, so why not peas? They are unusual, but rather fun, I think. These donuts are also equally delicious dipped in chocolate glaze. Garnish with frozen peas for added texture if you like.






Skill level

Average: 4.4 (7 votes)


  • 300 g (10½ oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 140 g (5 oz/1 cup) frozen green peas, thawed, plus extra to garnish
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) full-cream (whole) milk
  • 100 g (3½ oz) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • 100 g (3½ oz/⅓ cup) apple purée
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp liquid stevia
  • 1 tbsp slivered pistachios


Avocado coconut icing

  • 1 ripe avocado, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut powder
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice, plus extra if required

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 1 hour

Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (fan-forced). Generously grease two 6-hole 80 ml (2½ fl oz/¹⁄³  cup) capacity donut tins with the extra melted butter. (If you don't have two, don't worry, they will be fine cooked in two batches.)

Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the peas, milk, butter, apple purée, eggs, vanilla and stevia, and then stir until combined.

Put the batter in a piping bag fitted with a 1.5 cm (½ in) plain nozzle (or use a large sealable plastic bag with the corner snipped off) and pipe the mixture into the prepared donut holes (alternatively, you can spoon the batter in). Fill each hole about two-thirds full.

Bake for 12–15 minutes or until well-risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Carefully loosen the donuts and
turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the avocado coconut icing, mash and stir the avocado until smooth. Add the coconut powder and lime juice and mix well. Add a little more lime juice to adjust the flavour balance and consistency if you like.

Spread the cooled donuts with the icing and sprinkle with the pistachios and extra peas. Serve immediately.

If you prefer, dip these donuts in chocolate glaze instead.



• Apple purée helps to add bulk to recipes that have had the cane sugar removed, as well as providing natural sweetness and fibre. Peel, core and roughly chop 4 large apples (about 800 g/1 lb 12 oz). Put the apples and a splash of water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8–10 minutes or until tender. Stir and mash the apples, still over the heat, until broken down – they should be mushy and quite thick. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. It is fine to have a little bit of texture, but if you prefer a smooth sauce, whiz in a food processor or use a hand-held blender and purée until smooth. The purée will keep for 3–4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It also freezes well for a couple of months – portion the purée into small containers or spoon into ice-cube trays, freeze and seal in an airtight container. Makes 600 g (1 lb 5 oz/2 cups).


Recipe and image from Incredible Bakes That Just Happen to be Refined-Sugar Free by Caroline Griffiths (Smith Street Books, $39.99 hbk) .

View more refined sugar-free recipes from Incredible Bakes here.

View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.