Banana Doughnuts with Caramel & Chocolate (Vegan & Gluten-free!)

Banana Doughnuts with Caramel & Chocolate (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Before I get to the subject of the day, I just wanted to announce that Coconut and Berries won 2nd place in The Vegan Woman’s “Top 20 Vegan Blogs to Watch” (See the new little badge in my sidebar)! I’m thrilled to be featured, especially alongside so many bloggers I follow and admire.

All the wonderful support from my readers is what keeps me blogging so it wouldn’t have been possible without you! Maybe one year we’ll get on the “Top 10 Vegan Powerhouse Blogs” list!

Banana Doughnuts with Caramel & Dark Chocolate (Vegan & Gluten-free) |

I just went back and forth about ten times between the spelling “doughnut” and “donut” and the more I looked at them the more wrong they both looked! Anyway, it turns out we usually use “doughnut” here in the UK, and since my writing gets more and more American…probably from all the US blogs I read…I thought I better stick to my country’s own spelling!

Baked Banana Doughnuts (Vegan & Gluten-free)

Naked banana doughnuts

If you’re reading this, the chances are you’re into cooking, and therefore likely appreciate the joy a new piece of kitchen equipment can give! Certainly the case with me and my new doughnut pan. I somehow restrained myself from buying one until now. I don’t know what finally made me crack but I don’t feel too guilty about it as it’s been a lot of fun playing with it, and now I get to share this recipe with you!

Banana Doughnuts with Caramel & Dark Chocolate (Vegan & Gluten-free)|

Topped with date caramel and dark chocolate

These Banana Doughnuts with Caramel & Chocolate are vegan, gluten-free, yeast-free and baked not fried! It took a few tests to get what I was looking for- I kept ending up with muffins in doughnut shape or hockey pucks, neither of which were exactly what I was looking for. I also wanted to keep these gluten-free as a lot of you have requested gluten-free recipes, but that did complicate things a little.

In the end I hit on Ashley Mclaughlin’s book “Baked Doughnuts For Everyone” and adapted one of her recipes to produce these little yummies. 

Date & Almond Butter Caramel

They have a light, springy texture and a tighter crumb than muffins. They’re also not too sweet so I could top them with a thick layer of my favourite date caramel and a generous drizzle of dark chocolate without taking the sweetness overboard.

Banana Doughnuts with Caramel & Dark Chocolate (Vegan & Gluten-free)|

They’re very easy to make but do require one ingredient which might not be a staple in your pantries- Sweet rice flour/ glutinous rice flour. It’s not the same as regular rice flour so please do not substitute! It’s not too hard to find online though as it’s used frequently in South East Asian cooking for desserts (you might have tried Mochi?). Give them a go and let me know what you think!

Banana Doughnuts with Caramel & Chocolate (Vegan & Gluten-free!)

Yield: 6 standard-size doughnuts and a few minis OR 8 standard-size doughnuts

Banana Doughnuts with Caramel & Chocolate  (Vegan & Gluten-free!)


  • Banana Doughnuts
  • 1/2 C Oat flour
  • 1/2 C Sweet rice flour
  • 1/4 C Coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Almond flour/Ground almonds
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp Ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 C + 2 Tbsp Almond milk
  • 1/3 C Mashed banana (approx 1 small banana)
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • *1 Recipe Date caramel (you will have leftovers)
  • 50 g Dark chocolate/ 1/3 C Dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Lightly oil a doughnut pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and stir until just combined (do not overmix!).
  3. Leave to sit for 5 minutes. The batter will be very thick and not pourable.
  4. Spoon or pipe mixture into your prepared doughnut pan, filling to just below the top of the pan. Gently smooth out the tops with a spatula.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and a tester comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a rack to completely cool.
  7. When cool, spread with a thick layer of date caramel and place in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate.
  8. Melt and drizzle the chocolate over the doughnuts any way you like. For drizzling, I like to break up the chocolate bar into chunks and place in a sealed freezer bag. I then immerse the bag in a bowl of boiling water until melted, snip off a tiny corner of the bag with scissors and then drizzle straight from the bag.
  9. Refrigerate briefly to allow the chocolate to firm up again.

Banana Doughnuts with Caramel & Dark Chocolate (Vegan & Gluten-free)|

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Review: Coconut Collaborative Coconut Yoghurt

Coconut Collaborative Coconut Yoghurt

Coconut Collaborative Coconut Yoghurt

New product alert! My UK friends might be familiar with the company Bessant & Drury and their delicious coconut-based frozen desserts. They’ve been around for a few years now and their ice cream/sorbet is widely available in supermarkets and independents nationwide. The company has now become the “Coconut Collaborative” and have recently launched a range of coconut yoghurts.

It’s a little ridiculous how excited I am about these but they really are amazing.

This is a yoghurt EVERYONE can eat as it’s free from dairy, soya, and gluten.

Coconut Collaborative Coconut Yoghurt (Natural)

Until recently, the only dairy-free yoghurt available in the UK has been soya which I know not everyone’s so keen on. It also tends to be quite light and not really an ideal stand-in for richer dairy Greek yoghurt.

Well, this coconut yogurt is certainly that. It’s thick and luscious with that distinctive tang from the live cultures which are oh so good for us too.

They’re available in a few varieties- natural, raspberry (natural with a layer of raspberry compote), mango & passion fruit (natural with a layer of tropical fruit compote) and natural with berries & seeds (which comes with a little bag of seeds & berries for sprinkling).

Coconut Yoghurt, Granola, Strawberries

Natural coconut yoghurt with homemade granola and fresh strawberries.

I always flip over packaging and check out the ingredients list of anything I buy  and I was seriously impressed with these- just live coconut milk, dairy-free cultures and some starch for thickening, and the compote is only sweetened with fruit- a little grape extract.

They’re very low even in natural sugars and though they are quite high in fat, hopefully you know by now that coconut fat is friendly fat! And actually has some amazing health benefits.

Coconut Collaborative Coconut Yoghurt (Mango & Passion fruit)

Natural Coconut Yoghurt with Mango & Passion fruit Compote

 The Coconut Collaborative Coconut Yoghurts are currently available in Waitrose, all Itsu stores, Daylesford Organics, Harvey Nichols, Planet Organic and other smaller independent stores. Soon to be stocked by Ocado and Sainsbury’s too!

Keep an eye out for the store locator going up on their website soon.

Coconut Collaborative Coconut Yoghurt (dairy-free)

Follow the Coconut Collaborative on Facebook and Twitter for updates and competitions.

[Disclaimer: The Coconut Collaborative provided me with some free samples for review purposes but I received no other compensation and, as always, all opinions are my own]

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Sesame Hummus Bites with Mango-Tahini Sauce

Sesame Hummus Bites with Mango-Tahini Dressing

Sesame Hummus Bites with Mango-Tahini Sauce

I ate a lot of hummus during my time away. I packed lunch every day to take to work, and while sometimes I was prepared enough to make grain/bean/veggie salads to-go, I often resorted to the lazy option and ate hummus/salad sandwiches for several days straight.

I’m sure I’ve already mentioned how much I dislike eating the same thing over and over again, but even worse was that I had no food processor in Geneva so had to rely on supermarket hummus most of the time. I don’t know how it’s possible to make hummus bad but this really was terrible!  Fortunately, the good farmers’ market seedy spelt bread almost made up for it.

That said, it’s nice to return home to my kitchen ingredients and equipment (I especially missed my food processor, blender and decent knives!) and the first thing I made was hummus. Well, sort of.

Sesame Hummus Bites with Mango-Tahini Sauce

I’m sure I’m not alone in eating hummus with a spoon sometimes…please tell me I’m not! But it’s not exactly something you can do at a table/in public. So these bites were devised as a more acceptable way of getting hummus to mouth efficiently, without crackers, bread or anything else getting in the way.

A simple, light version of our beloved chickpea dip, with green onions, herbs and carrot folded in for extra flavour and texture, shaped into bite-size balls and rolled in toasted sesame seeds. Perfect for popping into your mouth. No spoon necessary!


They’d be a fun alternative to your classic hummus & crudités platter appetizer. Kick them up a notch and serve them alongside my Mango-Tahini Sauce for dipping.
Tahini on tahini? Yes please!

Mango-Tahini Sauce/Dressing

My favourite way to serve them is over a giant rainbow salad. Great for clearing out all the odds and ends in your fridge and getting lots of colour and variety into your diet. I just fill a bowl with whatever veggies I have on hand, top with several of the Sesame Hummus Bites and drizzle generously with Mango-Tahini Sauce.  Much more fun than a dollop of hummus.

Rainbow Salad with Sesame Hummus Bites and Mango-Tahini Sauce

Sesame Hummus Bites with Mango-Tahini Sauce
Yields 20
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Sesame Hummus Bites
  1. 1-1/2 C Cooked chickpeas (1 can)
  2. 2 Tbsp Tahini
  3. 3 Tbsp Lemon juice
  4. 3 Tbsp Water
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 1/2 tsp Paprika
  7. Pepper
  8. 1 Medium carrot, grated
  9. 2 Green onions, finely chopped
  10. Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  11. 1/2 C Sesame seeds (white, black or a mixture)
Mango-Tahini Sauce
  1. 1 Mango, cubed (approx 2 C)
  2. 1/4 C Lime juice
  3. 1/4 C Tahini
  4. 2 Green onions, chopped (white part only)
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. A few pinches of cayenne pepper (optional)
  1. For the hummus bites, in a food processor blend the chickpeas, tahini, lemon, water, paprika, salt and pepper until you have a smooth, thick hummus-like consistency. Transfer to a large bowl, add the carrot, green onion and coriander and mix well to incorporate.
  2. Roll mixture into small balls, using slightly moistened hands. The mixture shouldn't be particularly sticky.
  3. Meanwhile, toast sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat for approx 5 minutes, or until fragrant.
  4. Pour the sesame seeds into a wide dish and gently roll the hummus bites in them to coat.
Mango-Tahini Sauce
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth.
  1. You will have extra sesame seeds but I find it's easier to coat the bites if you're rolling them in a larger amount.
Coconut and Berries
Rainbow Salad with Sesame Hummus Bites and Mango-Tahini Sauce

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Banana-Almond-Oat Bars

Banana Almond Oat Bars

Banana Almond Oat Bars

I’m definitely a breakfast lover. It just doesn’t make sense to me why so many people would skip it!

But as much as I enjoy my morning meal, I’m not someone who can eat the same thing day in, day out and, probably unlike most of the population’s breakfast eaters (in the UK at least) I rarely eat cereal or toast.

Banana Almond Oat Bars

Instead, I go for porridge with various toppings, baked oats, big smoothies, pancakes, waffles, chia puddings, overnight oats, sweet potatoes with nut butter and homemade treats like muffins, scones or breakfast cookies! Then there are all the savoury options too. 

It makes me cranky to have to rush breakfast, or heaven forbid, miss it altogether (!) so I try and make the time to have a leisurely start to the day.

Banana, Almond Butter, Maple Syrup, Coconut Oil

I do like my sleep though, so more often than not, my mornings are a bit of a scramble…

That’s where these Banana-Almond-Oat Bars come in. Chewy and nutty and with all the staying power of my bowl of porridge but in portable form! I can just grab a couple as I’m dashing out the door! They’re easy to make and super healthy with very little added sweetener needed since the bananas provide most of the sweetness.

I kept them simple and just added chopped almonds for some crunch, but you could try them with your favourite dried fruit and nuts, or even chocolate chips!

Banana-Almond-Oat Bars

Yield: 16 squares or 8 bars


  • 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut nectar OR agave nectar (you could also try brown rice syrup or maple syrup)
  • 2 Tbsp Almond butter
  • 3 Very ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 C Rolled oats (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 C Chopped almonds (or other mix-ins)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a small, square brownie tin ((mine was 7"x7") with coconut oil.
  2. Mash the bananas very well with a fork until smooth. Set aside
  3. In a small pan, melt the coconut oil, almond butter and coconut nectar over a low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the mashed banana and vanilla.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the oats, salt and ground flax.
  5. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir very well until a sticky mixture is formed.
  6. Fold in the chopped almonds or other mix-ins, reserving a small amount to sprinkle over the top.
  7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin, pressing it down firmly, and smooth over the top. Sprinkle the remaining almonds over the top and press down slightly to help stick.
  8. Bake for approx 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  9. Allow to cool before cutting into squares or bars.

Banana Almond Oat Bars

Sorry for all the irregular posting these last few weeks. Cooking and blogging haven’t been the easiest while I’ve been away in Geneva- both for lack of time and lack of kitchen equipment and ingredients! This is my final week here though so it won’t be long until I’m home and back to my regular cooking/blogging schedule. Thanks for sticking with me!

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Polenta-Olive Tapenade Bites

Polenta Olive-Tapenade Bites

Polenta-Olive Tapenade Bites

I’m so enjoying these stretched out evenings. I took my book to the park after work today, plonked myself on a bench and soaked up some rays while indulging in a little “me-time”. 

I was thinking how nice it would be to have a garden and be able to invite a few pals around for evening drinks and nibbles outside. These Polenta-Olive Tapenade bites would hold up well to travelling so I suppose you could even take them to the park for a light picnic!

Olives et Al "Love a Dukkah" Hamper

If you caught my recipe for Middle-Eastern Lentils with Roasted Caulifower, Sweet Potatoes & Dukkah, you might have spotted the “Tapenade Marocaine” amongst the goodies I received from Olives et al. Tapenade is a bold paté usually made from olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil. Apparently the French word comes fromthe Provençal name for caper buds, tapeno.

Anyway, before you wonder what’s going on with me using fishy ingredients, note that Olives et al replace the typical anchovies with preserved lemons. A brilliant idea in my opinion.

If , like me, you’re into gutsy flavours like olives and capers, I’ve got a few other recipes you might want to try:

Lightened-up Caponata

Tofu Agrodolce

Mediterranean Israeli Couscous Pilaf

Celeriac, Pear & Rocket Salad (with capers)

Polenta-Olive Tapenade Bites

Tapenade usually ends up on crostini or oatcakes in my household, but for a change I went with these little polenta squares. They’re easy peasy to make, creamy in the middle and crisp on the top and the perfect foil to the punchy paté.

When I cook with polenta I almost always make my Pesto Polenta Triangles as they seem to go with everything. I store them in the freezer and just defrost  a couple when I fancy them.

Polenta-Olive Tapenade Bites


Polenta-Olive Tapenade Bites
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  1. 1-1/2 C Quick-cooking polenta
  2. 4-1/2 C Vegetable broth
  3. 3/4 tsp Salt
  4. Pepper
  5. Olive oil
  6. Vegan olive tapenade
  7. Cherry tomatoes (slow-cooked or raw)
  8. Fresh parsley
  1. Lightly grease a square brownie pan with olive oil.
  2. Bring the vegetable broth to the boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and add the polenta. Whisk vigorously as it will thicken immediately. Keep whisking to remove any lumps.
  3. Once very thick pour into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Set aside to cool and then refrigerate for at least an hour until firm.
  4. Slice the polenta into small squares, brush with a little olive oil and place under the grill (broiler) for a few minutes until crisp.
  5. Top each square with a heaped teaspoon of tapenade and half a cherry tomato (I slow-roasted mine for extra flavour)
  6. Sprinkle with parsley and black pepper to serve.
Coconut and Berries

This is really more of an idea than a recipe. You could top your polenta squares with your favourite dip. Try hummus or perhaps my Roasted Red Pepper, Walnut & Parsley Pesto?

How are you making the most of the light evenings?

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