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On My Kitchen Shelf: Red Bean-Filled Muffins or Baked Donuts

Kathy Hester, queen of vegan cooking, has done it again in The Great Vegan Bean Book.  Kathy has worked her magic, transforming ordinary dishes in vegan wonders packed with protein, fiber, and oodles of nutrients. I absolutely loved The Vegan Slow Cooker, so when I had a chance to be part of the blog tour for Kathy’s latest book, I was over the moon.

The book has dozens of delicious recipes for every time of day.  One of the ones that I had to try right away, though, was the recipe for Red Bean-Filled Muffins or Baked Donuts.  While it sounds exotic, the recipe calls for simple ingredients, and the results are fantastic! The recipe is easy and delicious and it is the perfect way to sneak some protein into something sweet. The following recipe has been reprinted with the author’s permission.

I left the bean paste a bit chunky for the muffins, but used the food processor to make a smooth bean paste for my donuts.  Either way it is delicious!

These mini donuts are delicious and tempting. Plus, they are so darn cute!

Red Bean Mini Muffins or Baked Donuts
Soy-free   Gluten-free option*   Oil-free option**

Not only does the batter have red bean paste, but if you make the mini muffins you also add a dollop right in the center. Red bean paste is made from adzuki beans and used in many Asian desserts.
For the dry ingredients
¾ cup (90 g) whole wheat pastry flour
(*use gluten-free)
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
For the wet ingredients
2⁄3 cup (160 ml) unsweetened nondairy milk
2⁄3 cup (115 g) Sweet Red Bean Paste
¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Sweet Red Bean Paste for filled muffins (see below)
Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C, or gas mark 4). Oil a mini muffin pan or mini donut pan **or line with paper liners.
To prepare the dry ingredients, mix the ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
To prepare the wet ingredients, add the ingredients to a small bowl and mix with a whisk to help break up the bean paste. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon.
For the filled muffins: Spread about 2 teaspoons of the mixture in each muffin cup to cover the bottom. Then add ½ teaspoon of extra red bean paste in the center. Top with about 1 tablespoon of the batter and press a little so it covers the sides and none of the red bean paste in the middle shows. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
For the donuts: Scoop the mixture into a mini-donut pan. I use a small cookie scoop, which gives you just the right amount. Then turn the scoop over and pat the middle so the post shows through the center. This ensures you’ll get a good hole in your donut. Bake for 10 minutes.
Yield: 12 mini muffins or mini donuts
Per filled muff in: 76.3 calories; 0.7 g total fat; 0.3 g saturated fat; 4.0 g protein; 12.7 g carbohydrate; 1.5 g dietary fiber; 2.2 mg cholesterol.
Per donut : 68.9 calories; 0.7 g total fat; 0.3 g saturated fat; 4.0 g protein; 11.6 g carbohydrate; 1.4 g dietary fiber; 2.2 mg cholesterol.
Total Prep Time : 10 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 10 to 15 minutes
The delicious red bean paste hidden inside makes these muffins extra special.
Sweet Red Bean Paste
Soy-free  Gluten-free  Oil-free

This sweet bean paste is used in many Asian desserts and in a few in this book, too. Before I made it, I figured it would have exotic ingredients, but I was wrong. You probably already have what you need in your pantry right now.
1 cup (197 g) dry adzuki beans
3 cups (705 g) water
1 cup (200 g) sugar
Put the beans and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and cook until the beans are soft, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Once the beans are done, add the sugar and stir to combine. You can keep cooking until the beans are thick, like the texture of miso. I like to leave a few bean chunks, but you could put it into the food processor if you’d like it smooth.
Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can also freeze the rest for another batch of goodies later.
Yield: 3 cups (510 g)
Per 2-tablespoon serving: 87.9 calories; 0.6 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 7.3 g protein; 13.2 g carbohydrate; 1.0 g dietary fiber; 5.0 mg cholesterol.
Total Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 1 to 1 ½ hours


  1. Anonymous
    July 2, 2013 at 9:57 am (288 days ago)

    I cannot find adzuki beans anywhere. Could you use kidney beans or another alternative?

    • Kristin
      July 2, 2013 at 11:16 am (288 days ago)

      You could use kidney beans or any red beans for that matter. The texture may be slightly different, but not noticeably so.


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