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Cake batters require a lot of food coloring or they end up looking faded. For these un-fried doughnuts, we use both sweet red beets and powdered freeze-dried pomegranate arils to deliver a rich, natural red color along with bonus antioxidants and fiber.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, April 2020


Recipe Summary

45 mins
1 hr

Nutrition Profile:





Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare doughnuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously coat 12 standard-size doughnut pan cups with cooking spray.

  • Process beets in a food processor until finely chopped, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add granulated sugar, egg yolk and salt; process until completely smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Add buttermilk and 1 tablespoon vanilla; process, scraping down the sides as needed, until evenly incorporated.

  • Combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, pomegranate powder, cocoa and baking powder in a medium bowl. Beat oil and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until thoroughly blended. With the mixer on low speed, alternately mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients into the oil mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients and scraping down the sides as needed, until just combined. Divide the batter among the prepared doughnut cups.

  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of a doughnut in the center of the pan comes out clean, 13 to 16 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the doughnuts from the pan, inverting so the bottoms become the tops, and let cool completely on the rack.

  • To prepare frosting: Beat confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Dip the doughnuts in the frosting. Let stand for about 5 minutes so the frosting can set.


To make ahead: Refrigerate airtight for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Equipment: Two 6-cup doughnut pans

Tip: Freeze-Dried Fruit for Food Coloring

Freeze-dried fruits have all their water removed in a heat-free, vacuum process that also protects colors, keeps flavors fresh and fruity and creates a crumbly texture (unlike the leathery, traditionally dried ones). Ground into powder, they're ideal for coloring.

Where to Buy: Both freeze-dried fruit and pre-ground powders are readily available. Look for them at the supermarket with other dried fruit or online at amazon.com.

To Prepare Them: Grind freeze-dried fruits in a food processor until they become a fine powder. (If you find dried fruits already powdered, there's no need to grind them.)

Nutrition Facts

1 doughnut
272 calories; protein 3.7g; carbohydrates 43.4g; dietary fiber 1.9g; sugars 24.8g; fat 9.8g; saturated fat 2.6g; cholesterol 23.9mg; vitamin a iu 120IU; vitamin c 0.7mg; folate 41.8mcg; calcium 46.3mg; iron 2.2mg; magnesium 10.9mg; potassium 86.4mg; sodium 169.3mg; added sugar 25g.