Low-Carb Doughnuts

They taste like doughnuts, and you fry them up like doughnuts, but the texture of this treat is much lighter - somewhere between a traditional doughnut and a popover. Unfortunately, they don't keep well -- plan to eat them within a few hours of making them.


  • 1/2 cup whey protein powder (Vanilla works well. I used Designer Protein when I made these.)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (rounded)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup sugar equivalent in a substitute (I used a liquid for zero carbs)
  • Oil (for frying)
  • .
  • For Topping:
  • 3 packets powdered sugar substitute, such as Splenda
  • Pinch cinnamon


1. Mix sweetener with cinnamon, and set aside.

2. Whisk dry ingredients together. Whisk egg with other wet ingredients, add to dry ingredients, and whisk to combine well.

3. Fill a deep skillet, cast-iron pan, or dutch oven with about 1½ inches of oil and heat. I find that using a fry/candy thermometer that clips onto the side of the pan is helpful for determining when the oil is ready, but you can estimate by dropping small amounts of the batter in -- it should sizzle fairly vigorously.

4. When oil reaches around 350 to 360 F, drop tablespoon-sized amounts of batter into the oil. The batter will spread and puff up. If you let the oil go higher than about 375 F, the batter will fry quickly, leaving you with more of a funnel cake than a doughnut. (This, of course, is not a big tragedy.)

5. When the underside browns (about a minute, give or take 20 seconds for temperature variation), turn the doughnut. In another 30 to 45 seconds, it will be ready to remove. I like cooling them on a cake rack sitting in a sheet pan. If you place them on paper towels, be sure not to let them sit too long, as they will lose their crunchy outside.

6. Sprinkle sweetener and cinnamon mixture over both sides of the doughnuts.

Makes 12 doughnuts, each about 2½ inches in diameter.

Nutritional Information: Each serving has less than a gram effective carbohydrate and 2 grams protein. Each doughnut has 26 calories, prior to frying (total calories per doughnut is dependent on the amount of oil absorbed.)

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