This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whole Earth Sweetener Co. All opinions are 100% mine.
Mardi Gras snuck up on me this year, but I can’t let today go without a healthier treat that’s still plenty decadent to celebrate it, even if it’s after the fact. I lived in New Orleans for 12 years, and this time of the year is all about enjoying yourself.
What the heck are Beignets? Beignets are just rectangle yeast donuts that are usually drowning in powdered sugar. At Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, you’ll find them with up to an inch of powdered sugar!
In my opinion, the best way to make your own vegan powdered sugar is with Whole Earth Sweetener Baking Blend. It’s made up of just two ingredients: Raw Cane Sugar and Organic Stevia Leaf Extract. It’s Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, and contains zero preservatives, so you know you’re working with a great product.
You can find Whole Earth Sweetener products in your area at select Walmart Supercenters, Target stores, and many other grocery stores nationwide. Check here to find your closest store. You can get more information on their other products here: Whole Earth Sweetener or on their Whole Earth Sweetener Facebook page. In the photo above, the sugar at the top is how Whole Earth Sweetener Baking Blend comes in the package. Their blend has 50% less sugar and calories than traditional sugar per serving and is easy to use – just swap 1 cup of sugar for ½ cup of Baking Blend for the same amount of sweetness and 50% fewer calories.
In today’s recipe, we take a cup of the baking blend and mix with a small amount of organic cornstarch and blend to make the powdered delight you see at the bottom of the photo. The best part is that Whole Earth Sweetener’s Baking Blend has the round mouth-feel that you get from traditional powdered sugar with 1/2 the calories and sugar!
Use the leftover powdered baking blend to make a quick and easy glaze: just add a little non-dairy milk or extract to a small bowl of this powdered baking blend and make icing for cinnamon rolls, cookies, and even cupcakes! You’ll find yourself using it all the time once you have it in your pantry. The dough will be softer than a normal bread dough and will be a little shiny from the coconut milk and oil. While it is softer, it should still not stick to your hands very much. Once the dough has risen, you’ll pat, press, and pull it into a rectangle shape about 1/2 inch thick. Then, cut into 24 rectangles as evenly as you can. Remember that homemade treats are not about perfection.
Air Fried Vegan Beignets with an Oven Option
These beignets have a pillowy texture and are rich from the coconut milk. These have half the sugar of regular beignets because we're using Whole Earth Sweetener Baking Blend that's ½ raw cane sugar and ½ stevia. Their baking blend makes an amazing powdered sugar too!
For the powdered baking blend
- 1 cup Whole Earth Sweetener Baking Blend
- 1 teaspoon organic corn starch
For the proofing
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk from a can
- 3 tablespoons powdered baking blend
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active baking yeast
For the dough
- Add the Whole Earth Baking Blend and corn starch to your blender and blend until powdery smooth. The cornstarch will keep it from clumping so you can store it if you don't use it all in the recipe.
- Heat the coconut milk until it's warm but cool enough that you can stick your finger in it without burning yourself. If it's too hot, you will kill the yeast. Add it to your mixer with the sugar and yeast. Let sit 10 minutes, until the yeast begins to foam.
- Using the paddle attachment, mix in the coconut oil, aquafaba, and vanilla. Then add the flour a cup at a time.
- Once the flour is mixing in and the dough is coming away from the sides of the mixer, change to your dough hook if you have one. (If you don't, keep using the paddle.)
- Knead the dough in your mixer for about 3 minutes. The dough will be wetter than if you were making a loaf of bread, but you should be able to scrape out the dough and form a ball without it staying on your hands.
- Place dough in a mixing bowl and cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for 1 hour.
- Sprinkle some flour over a large cutting board and pat out the dough into a rectangle that's about ⅓ inch thick. Cut into 24 squares and let proof for 30 minutes before you cook them.
Cook in Your Air Fryer
- Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees. Depending on the size of your air fryer you can put 3 to 6 beignets in at a time.
- Cook for 3 minutes on one side. Flip them, then cook another 2 minutes. Since air fryers vary, you may need to cook yours another minute or two for them to get golden brown.
- Sprinkle liberally with the powdered baking blend you made in the beginning and enjoy!
- Continue cooking in batches until they are all cooked.
Cook in Your Oven
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the beignets on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle liberally with the powdered baking blend you made in the beginning and enjoy!
Don’t forget that Whole Earth Sweetener Nature Sweet 0 calorie sweetener packets are currently available at Starbucks to use in your favorite vegan latte!