Totally Baked Donuts is growing! If you’re unfamiliar with the local business, be prepared to jump at the chance to try some of these donuts soon.
The gluten-free, vegan donuts are made in a peanut-free, Celiac Safe Kitchen. With an extensive list of delicious flavors to choose from, including Lemon Hempseed, Maple Walnut, Maple Bacon, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, Matcha, Cardamom Pistachio, OMG! Chocolate, and even a Jalapeño Cheese donut that rotates at pop-ups. The donuts are made with fair trade organic cocoa, organic non-GMO cane sugar, non-GMO flour mixes, and local maple syrup. The donuts do not contain palm oil (a very environmentally unfriendly, plant-based ingredient that displaces and harms orangutangs and other residents of the forests it is harvested from that is unfortunately in many vegan products) and are baked.
We connected with Karrie Vrabel, the mastermind behind Totally Baked Donuts to learn more about her vegan, gluten-free donuts and the story behind them.
What drew you personally to veganism?
There were many moments as a young child of not understanding why herbivores were hunted. I always loved animals but the first vegetarians that I knew were my first high school boyfriend and Morrissey. Knowing they existed created a path of dedication for me. It was definitely frowned upon in my Wisconsin German family.
I was vegetarian for many years and saw the documentary Peaceable Kingdom at an ARC screening in 2013 and immediately realized I was not doing enough for the animals and went vegan that day. Living in alignment with my values is the best decision I’ve ever made.
What’s the story behind Totally Baked Donuts?
Well, I didn’t start thinking it would be a business. I was at a local coffee shop with another vegan and we were misled that the baked goods we ordered were both gluten-free and vegan so out of frustration I started to make my own. I have Celiac Disease so constantly feeling left out of food socializing isn’t fun. I would bring my donuts to parties and people would ask if it was my new business and I thought maybe. I bought the domain name on Valentine’s Day 2015.
What did you prioritize when creating your gluten-free, vegan donuts and what goes into creating a new flavor?
I prefer to eat organic, non-GMO, and dye-free so I source those ingredients for my donuts. When I add a new flavor I ask my customers for input and make what I personally love like Green Tea Matcha with coconut milk—I drink it every day.
Why do you not use palm oil in your donuts?
I was trained by Rainforest Action Network in 2014 as a Conflict Palm Oil activist. I have led teach-ins on the consequences of Conflict Palm Oil on both human health and the extinction of Orangutans, Sumatran Rhinos, Tigers and Pigmy Elephants in Indonesia. Protected forests and Peat Forests are illegally destroyed, and animals are murdered just for this unnecessary ingredient to be added to junk food. These forests also sequester tons of CO2. Susanna Tol, a researcher with Wetlands, told mongabay.com, “The production of one ton of palm oil results in carbon dioxide emissions of up to 33 tons (9 tons carbon)” — which is roughly ten times that of ordinary diesel.
What’s the best way for folks to get their hands on your donuts?
I am in a distribution transition phase currently but if you join my Donut Club via www.TotallyBakedDonuts.com you will be kept in the loop.
Karrie will continue to have donut pop-ups but is expanding to sell at coffee shops and grocery stores. If you have location suggestions for her, email her at TotallyBakedDonuts@gmail.com.