Vegan Doughnuts

Vegan Donuts

The Spruce / Haley Hazell

Prep: 2 hrs
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yields: 12 doughnuts

There's no simpler decadence than a doughnut. Because the glory of this treat lies in its sweetness and the delicate puffiness created by frying, making doughnuts vegan is a shift that isn't at all noticeable. We bet you won't have any idea there are no eggs in this version!

Some fried vegan doughnut recipes utilize aquafaba, a whipped bean water, or vegan egg products, but 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, but because the fluffiness is imparted by way of the hot oil's reaction with the flour, you're good here to skip that ingredient. The only swap made from the usual method of doughnut-making was the removal of butter and subsequent replacement with a vegan butter or margarine

This recipe will make an even dozen doughnuts, giving you plenty of space for every glaze, topping, and/or filling of your choosing. While they are a yeasted dough, the process is straightforward; the most vital element is to fry at the correct temperature. We recommend a thermometer to ensure you don't over or undercook them, but you can also use doughnut holes as tests, before putting the full pieces of dough in. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 (2 1/4-teaspoon) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup, plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Neutral oil (such as avocado or vegetable, for frying)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

  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.

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

  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. 

  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.

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

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

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

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

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

  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.

  13. Allow to cool completely before glazing or filling.