Vegan Doughnuts

Vegan Doughnuts

The Spruce / Haley Hazell

Prep: 2 hrs
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 12 doughnuts
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
336 Calories
19g Fat
37g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 336
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 180mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 14%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 57mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There's no simpler decadence than a doughnut. While it's difficult to buy vegan doughnuts anywhere but at specialty bakeries, making them from scratch at home is a fun kitchen project. The glory of this treat lies in its sweetness and the delicate puffiness created by frying, so making doughnuts vegan is a shift that isn't at all noticeable. Most people wouldn't even suspect that there are no dairy or eggs in this version!

Some fried vegan doughnut recipes utilize aquafaba (whipped bean water) or vegan egg products; we didn't find that either added anything important to the texture. If these were baked, you would want to use a vegan egg replacer. However, because the fluffiness is imparted by way of the hot oil's reaction with the flour, you're good to skip that ingredient here. The only swaps made from the usual method of doughnut-making were replacing butter with vegan butter or margarine and using non-dairy milk.

This recipe will make a dozen doughnuts, giving you plenty of space for every glaze, topping, and/or filling of your choosing. While they are made with a yeasted dough, the process is straightforward; the most vital element is to fry at the correct temperature. Use a thermometer to ensure you don't over or undercook them and they'll turn out great.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided

  • 1 (2 1/4-teaspoon) package active dry yeast

  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter or margarine, melted

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • Neutral oil, such as avocado oil or vegetable oil, for frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vegan Doughnuts ingredients

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  2. Heat milk on the stove or in the microwave until about 105 F, or warm to the touch.

    milk in a glass

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  3. Add the milk, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, and yeast to a stand mixer or mixing bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes, until the yeast is bubbly.

    Add the milk, sugar, and yeast to a stand mixer

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  4. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, vegan butter, 3 1/2 cups of flour, and salt to the bowl. Mix on low speed or by hand until a soft dough is formed.

    add sugar, vegan butter, flour, and salt to the mixture in the stand mixer

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  5. Continue to knead, in the bowl or by hand for 5 minutes, adding flour 1 tablespoon at a time if the dough is too wet. The dough should be softer and stickier than bread dough, but should have visible elasticity and hold together completely. 

    dough in a stand mixer

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  6. Transfer the dough to a greased or sprayed bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel. Let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

    dough ball in a bowl covered with a towel

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  7. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness. Alternately, you can press it out with your fingertips.

    dough rolled out on a floured surface

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  8. Cut the dough into the desired shape(s) and size(s) with doughnut or biscuit cutters. For leftover dough, re-roll and cut until all of the dough is used.

    donut shapes cut out of the dough

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  9. Transfer cut doughnuts to a parchment-lined baking sheet and allow to double in volume again, about 45 minutes.

    donut dough pieces on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  10. Heat 1 1/2 to 2 inches of oil in a Dutch oven or deep skillet until a thermometer reads 350 F. 

    Dutch oven with oil

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  11. Add doughnuts to the oil one at a time, keeping space between and avoiding overcrowding.

    place donut into the pot of oil

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  12. Fry for about 1 1/2 minutes per side, until golden, then remove and drain on a paper-towel lined baking sheet or a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet. Repeat with the next batch until all doughnuts have been fried.

    donuts frying in a pot of oil

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  13. Allow to cool completely before glazing or filling. Serve and enjoy.

    Vegan Doughnuts

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

Tips

  • Yeasted doughs rise best in a warm place. The most consistent option in most kitchens is in the oven: Turn on the oven light for a little warmth and make sure no one turns the oven on while the dough is rising.
  • If you don't have a deep-fry or candy thermometer, check the oil temperature with a wooden spoon. Popcorn kernels and even doughnut holes can help test the oil temperature before cooking the whole doughnuts.
  • Vegan doughnuts are best fresh and can be stored for up to two days at room temperature in a sealed container. Refrigerating the doughnuts can dry them out, though they can also be frozen for a couple of months.

What Are Good Fillings and Glazes for Vegan Doughnuts?

When making vegan doughnuts, the real fun comes with finishing them off with yummy glazes and fillings. That can be as simple as squirting some gelatin-free fruit jam inside. You can also adapt cream fillings by switching to dairy- and egg-free ingredients. Glazes are simple and versatile as well, and vegan versions use the same type of substitutions as this doughnut recipe. Pick up your favorite vegan chocolate for a dairy-free chocolate glaze, or use plant-based milk for a simple vanilla glaze. Maple syrup is a favorite option for vegan doughnut glazes, too.