Living Gluten-Free


By Donna Easto

In my very British family, not finishing your meal was considered scandalous. After all, there were starving children out there who’d love that toad-in-the-hole! My suggestion to mail the poor things my dinner was icily ignored. I still believe making children feel guilty without speaking a word was an essential skill learned by Victorian women. Otherwise, being raised by my Victorian Great-Grandmother and Edwardian Grandmother and Great Aunts – outstanding. Trying to explain my aversion to gravy, English fish and chips, Melton Mowbray pie and Yorkshire pudding – not so much. My Grandmother visibly cringed when introductions came around to me. Various aunts, uncles and cousins snickered, “The fussy one,” staring at Gran as though it was entirely her fault. 

Long after my Great-Grandmother died at 105, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disease to which some folks have a genetic predisposition. If not correctly managed, usually with a gluten-free diet, it can make the body receptive to other conditions such as “celiac” rash (DH), anemia, diabetes, osteopenia, and T cell lymphoma.  

I didn’t miss most things excluded from my diet. But, the smell of mini-donuts at fairs drove me near mad with longing. Recently I began experimenting with creating gluten-free doughnuts. Baked, not fried. I mentioned this on “Around the Block Lumby,” and a few folks asked for the recipe. Here it is. As with most GF baking, the magic begins with the right blend of flours:  

Basic Flour mix: 

2 cups white rice flour, 1 cup tapioca flour, 1 cup potato starch, 4 tsp xanthan gum. You can add 1 cup of Quinoa or Amaranth flour for a 5 cup flour mix.

Preheat oven to 400F, lightly grease doughnut pan(s). 


  • ¾ cup granulated sugar mixed with the grated zest of 1 lemon. 
  •   ¾ cup of almond milk, stir in 1 ½ tsp of lemon juice (or use buttermilk). 
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil or melted butter. 
  • two large eggs. 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract. 
  • 1¼ cups GF flour mix. 
  • ¼ cup GF cornstarch. 
  • 2 tsp GF baking powder. 
  • ½ tsp kosher salt ground fine


  1. Whisk sugar, milk, oil, eggs & vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Add to liquids and whisk until you have a smooth, fluid batter.
  3. Fill doughnut cups ¾ full. Bake 8-10 minutes until doughnuts spring back to the touch, but are not browned. Cool for 10 minutes in pan.
  4. Tip out of the pan and coat while still warm. 


 Lemon: coat with ¾ cups granulated sugar to which finely grated zest of one lemon has been added. Chocolate glaze: 2 tbsp almond milk, 3 tbsp pure cocoa powder, 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (increase for thicker glaze).  Vanilla glaze: 2 cups powdered sugar, ¼ cup coconut or heavy cream, 1 tsp pure vanilla. Cinnamon:  8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter melted, mix together ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp ground cinnamon. Dip doughnuts in butter, then in the sugar-cinnamon mixture.

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