“Better Than Paula Deen” Doughnut Burgers


Paula Deen’s had a rough year. I don’t  mean to beat her while she’s down, especially because she does seem like an entertaining, humorous lady, but this recipe is leaps and bounds better than one of her most-discussed recipes!

Have you heard of “The Lady’s Brunch Burger“? She introduced the word to the fried egg-topped bacon burger served between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts (whoa!) in 2008 and shocked the country with the artery-clogging dish. I plugged her recipe into a nutrition calculator to get an estimate on the diet damage:

  • 1,332 calories
  • 101 grams of fat (39 grams saturated fat)
  • 429 mg cholesterol



I can do better. Much better. Introducing, the clean eating doughnut burger. No kidding!


This vegetarian twist takes a bean burger that takes on the consistency similar to a pancake and stuffs it between a light, just-sweet-enough cornbread doughnut. Top with a touch of maple syrup, honey or agave to stand in for the fried doughnut’s powdered sugar glaze and voila: breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) is served!

Bean Burgers, adapted from Foodie Fiasco

  • 1/2 cup cannelini or garbanzo beans
  • 3/4 cup cubed butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup egg whites (or 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water for vegans)
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender. Mix until burgers reach even consistency.
  2. Use a spoon or measuring cup to scoop 3 evenly-sized patties into a nonstick pan.
  3. Heat on the stove over a medium burner, flipping once the edges of the burgers begin to solidify (about 5 minutes).
  4. Cook another 3 minutes or so, until both sides of the burger are evenly browned and the center is cooked through.

Nutrition information per burger: 74 calories, 0 g fat, 120 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, .5 g sugar, 5 g protein


Now grab your doughnut pan. Time to bake!

This same batter would work as muffins or bread, although you might want to add an extra tablespoon or two of stevia/sugar and perhaps a half cup of corn to jazz things up a bit.


Cornbread Doughnuts, adapted from Eating Well

  • 7/8 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour (or alternate flour of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons stevia baking blend (or sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup egg whites (or 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water for vegans)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Stir together cornmeal, flour, baking powder and soda, stevia and salt.
  2. Mix almond milk, lemon juice, egg whites and applesauce, then add wet ingredients to dry.
  3. Evenly distribute cornbread batter among 6 spaces of a pan that makes 3 1/4-inch doughnuts.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops begin to turn golden-colored and a toothpick inserted into a doughnut comes out clean.

Nutrition information per doughnut: 95 calories, 1 g fat, 58 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 3 g protein


To serve, slice one cornbread doughnut in half, add burger patty to bottom half of the doughnut, drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey or agave), and top with other half of the doughnut. Enjoy!

Nutrition information per doughnut burger served with 1/2 tablespoon real maple syrup: 195 calories, 1 g fat, 179 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 8.5 g sugar, 8 g protein

How do you feel about doughnut burgers? Yay or nay?

I was a nay, since bacon + beef + butter doesn’t really hold the same appeal to me as it does for some. That is, until I dreamed up this recipe. The whole thing for less sugar, 6 more grams of protein and just 5 more calories than just one of those Krispy Kremes? I’ll bite!

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