Vegan Donut Recipe

Pink doughnut with sprinkles.

Eggs, milk, and butter seem to be in every conventional donut recipe, which leaves vegans no choice but to "veganize" the ingredients and come up with donut recipes that are every bit as tasty and special. Perfect for a lazy Sunday morning breakfast or a brunch gathering, rich and gorgeous vegan donuts certainly don't taste as if they're missing anything!

How to Make Vegan Donuts

No matter what your heart's desire is, from sprinkles to glazed to chocolate to bear claws, it's possible to create it in a vegan version.

Vegan Cake Donuts Recipe

The following recipe makes 20 classic mini cake donuts that are baked, not fried, so they have fewer calories and less fat than most conventional versions. You'll need a mini donut or full-sized donut pan to make these cake donuts.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. soy milk or rice milk
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 T. ground flaxseed mixed with 3 T. water or an alternate egg substitute
  • 1/4 c. vegan butter substitute

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put the soy milk or rice milk in a small bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar, stir once or twice, and set the mixture aside for 10 minutes to curdle. Your goal is to make vegan "buttermilk."
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the vegan "buttermilk," vanilla, egg substitute, and butter substitute. Warm the mixture on low-medium heat until the "butter" has melted, but don't let the mixture begin to simmer or boil.
  5. Take the mixture off the heat, and pour it into the dry ingredients. Mix to form a soft dough.
  6. Spray your donut pan with nonstick cooking spray, and spoon the dough into the molds in the pan.
  7. Bake the donuts for 12 minutes (longer for full-sized treats) or until they are dry and cooked through but not browned.
  8. Pop the donuts out of the pan, and let them cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before decorating.

Alternative Cooking Method

If you don't have a donut pan, you can fry the cake donuts in oil. The temperature of the oil is important; if it's too hot, your donuts may burn, but if it's not hot enough, they won't cook through and will become greasy.

  1. Fill a pan to a depth of at least three or four inches with canola oil or vegetable oil, and heat the oil on the stovetop.
  2. Use a thermometer to gauge the temperature, which should be around 350 degrees Fahrenheit before you pop in the donuts.
  3. Let them fry for a minute or two before flipping them, and drain the donuts on a bed of paper towels.
  4. Check the oil every few minutes to make sure it's maintaining the proper temperature until all the donuts are fried.

Raised Vegan Donuts Recipe

This vegan donut recipe uses yeast to give the donuts a lighter, airier texture and makes them rise.

Ingredients

Coffee and doughnut.
  • 1 package rapid-rise, active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp.)
  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 2 T. shortening or vegan "butter"
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 3 T. warm soy milk
  • 1 T. flaxseed mixed with 3 T. water or another egg substitute
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3-5 c. oil for frying the donuts

Procedure

  1. Proof the yeast by mixing it with 1/4 c. of the warm water and allow the mixture to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  2. Melt the shortening or vegan "butter" in a saucepan along with the remaining 1/4 c. warm water. Add the sugar, whisking until it's dissolved. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool.
  3. Combine the warm soy milk with the yeast mixture. Add the flax and water (or other egg substitute), flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in the cooled sugar mixture.
  4. The dough should be soft. Turn it out onto the counter or another flat surface and knead it until it is smooth, five to 10 minutes.
  5. Coat the bowl with oil, return the dough to the bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a warm, moist dish towel. Allow the dough to rise for one hour.
  6. Remove the puffed dough from the bowl and use a rolling pin to roll out a sheet that is about 1/2" thick. Cut out donut shapes with a sharp knife or a drinking glass. When you've cut out all the donuts you can, roll out the scraps and use them to form a few more donuts.
  7. Set the donuts on parchment paper, cover them with plastic wrap, and let them rise at room temperature for one hour.
  8. Near the end of the rising time, pour the oil into a pot and heat it to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Drop the donuts into the hot oil and cook until they rise to the surface and turn light brown.
  9. Drain the donuts on paper towels.

Decorating Your Donuts

Coconut doughnut.

Decorate finished donuts with one of the following:

  • Granulated sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Sprinkles
  • Glaze made with powdered sugar, soy milk, and vanilla
  • Melted chocolate

If you'd like, you can tint your glaze with food coloring before applying it, and use brightly colored sprinkles to finish.

Nothing Like a Homemade Donut

Few things are tastier than a warm, homemade donut. Give these recipes a try, and you'll end up with a feast for the eyes and the taste buds!

Vegan Donut Recipe