Maple Twisty Donuts


Need a crazy good holiday breakfast recipe? If you miss Krispy Kreme, you might find these kind of the same only different. The dough is not as light, and they are baked, not fried,  but they are so very similar to that Krispy Kreme flavor that we ate a whole batch the first time we baked these maple twisty donuts.

Here’s how the story goes. A  GF friend asked me to take a look at a regular recipe and see if it could easily be made gluten-free. It was something the family traditionally made for the holiday – a once a year over-the-top treat, but now they wanted a GF version. Rumored to have come from the back of butter box a long time ago, the recipe was made with enough sugar to induce a coma but that was part of its charm. I’m not one to argue with the season that orders us to be more jolly. Fa la la la. I assume that Fa la la la is code for eat sweet treats.

The original maple twist is a yeasted sweet dough that required two rises plus filling, plus some handy dandy foot work with a sharp knife. Gluten-free dough hates two rises and without a whole compliment of dough helpers, this posed a challenge. Give me cake, pastry, cupcake or a cookie and I’m there. Stuff with yeast is something else and makes me slightly twitchy. But since I really like this friend, it was off to the Canteen laboratory or as most people call it, the kitchen to experiment.

Surprisingly it worked well enough that I made another, you know – just to test it again (read: ate it all). Then just to make sure, we tested it again and this time added a simple glaze and ate it while the twist was still quite warm because we were in a hurry (read: oink).

And that’s when it hit me over the head – if you eat this thing while warm, drizzled with a simple powdered sugar glaze it tastes remarkably like a Krispy Kreme donut. You know what happened next, right?

Donuts. Maple twisty donuts. Eat them warm. If they get cold, it just isn’t the same. And they should be eaten very fresh because they do not keep. This is a great recipe to make for the holidays if you know you are baking for a breakfast crowd. The dough can be made, formed and left to rise overnight in the refrigerator and then baked in the morning. Just add the glaze while they are warm and serve.

Don’t be daunted by the length of the recipe – it’s the same dough for all the incantations of this maple twisty goodie. It’s just spelled out so you can see the instructions for all the variations. The dough can make twisty or rolled donuts with filling. It can also make two 8-inch twisty cakes, or a dozen twisty rolls, both with filling. And then there is the simple but artsy holiday tree made from the sweet dough but without any filling with a flavor more like a morning pastry than the famous donut.

Around here, a dough that tastes like Krispy Kreme might even be better than a stocking filled with a giant chocolate Santa. Maybe.

Maple Twisty Donuts

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  • 100 grams granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 100 grams brown sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Canteen flour blend
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 57 grams unsalted butter, room temperature (4 tablespoons) (2 tablespoons for donuts)
  • 60 grams maple syrup (1/4 cup) (2 tablespoons for donuts)


  • 260 grams Canteen flour blend (2 cups) (see notes)
  • 50 grams tapioca flour (5 tablespoons)
  • 50 grams superfine sweet white rice flour (4 tablespoons)
  • 30 grams instant milk powder (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon instant or bread machine yeast
  • 40 grams granulated sugar (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pectin
  • 57 grams unsalted butter, room temperature (4 tablespoons)
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 120 grams whole milk, warmed (1/2 cup)
  • 60 grams Pellegrino or sparkling mineral water (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 110 grams powdered sugar, sifted (1 cup)
  • 2-3 teaspoons hot water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • To make donuts or maple twists, generously grease two 6-count regular size donut pans with non stick spray. Or grease two round 8-inch cake pans with butter or nonstick spray or one 12-count muffin pan.
  • To make a sweet dough holiday tree, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Skip the filling and follow the directions for the dough below.


  • In a small bowl or food processor, pulse or whisk together sugars, flour, cinnamon and salt. Blend in butter and maple syrup and mix or pulse until the mixture is smooth. Keep filling at room temperature.


  • In a large bowl whisk together flour, tapioca starch, sweet white rice flour, milk powder, yeast, sugar, xanthan gum, salt and pectin. Add cubed butter to the flour mixture and blend with a fork until the mixture looks like uneven coarse crumbs.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, Pellegrino and olive oil. Blend into flour mixture and knead on a floured surface with well floured hands, until the dough is smooth and tacky. For everything but the holiday tree, divide dough in half.

For Donuts

  • Place half the dough on floured plastic wrap. Flour top of dough and cover with plastic wrap. Roll into 18×4-inch rectangle. Remove plastic on top. Sprinkle 3-5 tablespoons filling randomly on dough trying to cover as much as the surface as possible. Place piece of plastic wrap on top and press gently to adhere the filling. Remove top plastic wrap. Roll the long edge of the dough rectangle just to the center. Roll other long edge to center. The dough should look like a scroll. Cut dough between rolls making two logs. Cut each long length into three even pieces. Pinch the edge seam together. You should have six small logs. Hint: you can take each small log and place it in the donut pan pinching the edges together and leave it at that if you don't want to do the twisty part. To make the twists: Cut each log in half the long way using a very sharp knife or bench scraper so that the filling is now exposed. Place the two pieces side by side. Cross them in the center and then keep crossing them until the two pieces of dough are fully twisted together trying to keep the filling and cut side up. Bring the two ends together into a donut shape and pinch together. Gently place in each donut opening. Repeat until both donut pans are filled. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight or if continuing on, in a warm spot to rise about an hour or so until doubled. If refrigerated overnight, let the donuts finish rising on the counter for about 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
  • Meantime, preheat oven to 350°F. Place both donut pans in the oven and bake 18-22 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 185-200 degrees. Let donuts cool for a few minutes in the pan and then invert onto a rack. Cool just slightly before adding glaze to the twisted side. Serve warm.

Maple Twists in round pans

  • Dust a sheet of plastic wrap with flour and roll half the dough into a 14×8-inch rectangle. Square up the edges. Spread 5-6 tablespoons of filling on the dough all the way to the edges. Roll dough tightly into a 14-inch long tube. Using a bench scraper, small knife or pastry cutter, slice through the length of the roll cutting it in half. Lay the rolls cut-side up next to one another. Stretch the rolls to even them out. Cross them over in the center forming an X. Continue to twist the rolls from the center out in both directions so it ends up being a long twisted rope with the cut-sides still facing up as much as possible. Form the dough into a ring or a coil and place in prepared pan. Repeat with the other half of dough and filling. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Let come to room temperature for 30 minutes (still covered) before baking. If baking the same day, cover and let rise in a warm place (but not warm enough to melt the filling) for one to two hours or until the dough has doubled and looks sufficiently puffy.
  • Meantime, preheat the oven to 350°F. When the dough is finished rising, place in the oven and bake for 28-35 minutes or until the center of the twist is about 185°F on an instant read thermometer. The twist will be dark golden brown and the filling will be oozing everywhere. Set the pans on a rack to cool for about 20 to 30 minutes. As the twist cools, the filling will settle and it should look twisty. Top with glaze while warm and serve immediately.

Maple Twist Rolls

  • Follow the directions for the donuts above. Coil each twist and place in the prepared muffin tin with the twisty side facing up. Follow directions above for refrigerating overnight or baking right away.

Holiday Tree

  • Skip making the filling. After kneading the dough, roll the dough into a long log, about 24-inch long. Gently place on parchment lined pan forming into a tree beginning with the top. Follow directions above to refrigerate overnight or bake the same day. Let the tree cool slightly and add glaze. Top glaze with sugar or sprinkles and serve warm.


  • Add the hot water one teaspoon at a time to the powdered sugar stirring until it runs off a spoon but is slightly thick. Stir in vanilla extract. Drizzle over the baked donuts, rolls, rounds or tree with a fork in any pattern you want. Serve warm.


Canteen flour blend is 2 parts superfine brown rice flour plus 1 part each superfine white rice flour and tapioca flour by weight. See About Flour or Resources: Flour for more information.