Vanilla-frosted chocolate cake donuts (vegan & low-sugar)

Who doesn’t love a chocolate donut?!

I’ve been obsessing over my new donut pans, and this particular recipe I used for my third attempt at homemade donuts. Prior to this flavor, I already made an oatmeal chocolate chip donut (recipe from sarah lynn) and a vanilla cinnamon donut. Both came out absolutely fabulous. It was time to attempt chocolate.

sarah lynn’s oatmeal chocolate chip donuts
complete with chocolate glaze… omg

Donuts are VERY sugary, and most of the recipes I came across also had added fat from eggs and dairy. I tried lightening things up a bit by using stevia in place of sugar, nondairy milk, and applesauce as a binder instead of eggs. The texture still came out perfect and the donuts were still sweet. Unfortunately, I still have yet to come up with a low-sugar frosting that still tastes great…

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Fruity crunch cake (a dump cake variation)

This is basically my own twist on a classic dump cake. I don’t personally like how a dump cake is baked in layers – with the fruity pie filling on the bottom of the pan. I like a more cakey texture, so I combine my fruit filling with a cup of the cake mix and some fresh fruit – and use the rest of the dry mix to make the buttery crunchy topping.

For this particular cake I used blackberry pie filling and lemon cake mix. My family LOVES lemon, and blackberries (or blueberries) work so nicely with lemon cake. Other pairings I love for this recipe are:

peach (or strawberry) pie filling + yellow (or golden butter) cake mix

cherry pie filling + devil’s food (or chocolate) cake mix

pumpkin (or apple) pie filling + spice cake mix

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Loaded protein pancakes

My husband and I LOVE breakfast foods, especially pancakes and waffles. On the down side, they have little to no nutritional value – especially protein.

For me this is a big no-no. Since I work out regularly and lift weights, I need to eat enough protein to remain full, fueled, and ready to build muscle. This pancake recipe uses hemp, a plant-based protein. Though I prefer the taste of standard whey protein, it often gives me an upset stomach where hemp does not. The vanilla flavored hemp has a pleasant taste, and it blends in seamlessly with the Bisquick powder to create a mildly sweet pancake with great texture.

With a mix-in of chocolate chips, blueberries, or whatever else you want to toss in there – these pancakes will keep you full & energized and are super tasty.

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Low-sugar BREAD MACHINE banana bread

Well… LOWER sugar, at least. This recipe makes about 16 servings, and each one is around 9.5 grams of sugar… which is pretty damn low for a fruit-based bread. This is still as yummy and sweet as ever, and super simple to make because the bread machine does everything for you – from mixing to baking!

This bread makes a killer french toast for breakfast, or warmed up with butter and jam. It’s also perfect if you want it for dessert with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and some berries.

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No-bake nutella pie

It’s technically still summer, and still pretty warm. And I still don’t feel like turning my oven on.

When my mom found a recipe for a Nutella cream cheese pie that was no-bake, I was all over that. With a few tweaks like incorporating Oreos, adding some vanilla extract, substituting full-fat cream cheese for some lighter Neufchatel, and using Cool Whip Free instead of regular Cool Whip, I was ready to dominate this pie. Each bite is a piece of pure, chocolatey, creamy, heaven.

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PB&J greek yogurt parfaits

This is the second day of school with my kiddos and the hectic bustle of the school year has officially hit me. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s exhausting – So I’m keeping this brief and cutting to the chase.

Who doesn’t love a peanut butter & jelly sandwich?! This epic dessert takes the delicious nostalgia of a PB&J and turns it into a sweet, creamy, & crunchy treat. The best part is that it contains 18g of protein and is only 280 calories per serving (this recipe makes 2) – so it will keep you feeling full without destroying your diet. And it’s totally giving me a much-needed energy boost right now. #winning

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Banana strawberry ice cream

There’s no doubt that the ultimate summer dessert is ice cream – and though I love store-bought ice cream or something from Mr. Softee, nothing beats homemade ice cream.

Strawberries have been so perfect and delicious this summer, and I have been buying tons of them. I’m not the biggest fan of strawberry ice cream, but I definitely wanted to incorporate some of them into the ice cream without overpowering it.

I was trying to come up with ideas for the base flavor, and I narrowed it down to three – chocolate, peanut butter, and banana. All three pair very well with strawberry, but I decided on banana because it has the mildest flavor and I felt it would truly let the fresh strawberries shine.

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Semi-homemade peanut butter & chocolate “sliders”

Sometimes we all need something sweet in a pinch.

For those times, I always keep baking mixes and cans of frosting on hand.

Yeah, yeah. It’s “cheating” if you truly like to bake, like myself. But it’s fast and easy – and still satisfies an immediate sweet tooth. Don’t hate.

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