These Vegan Yeast Donuts are based on an old-fashioned recipe, using yeast. See post for making these donuts either baked or air fried for healthier donuts. The end result is a tender vegan yeast donut recipe with a crispy crust, and either a vanilla or chocolate glaze with all your favorite toppings.
Celebrating National Donut Day
You know how they say every dog has its day? Well, today is that day for donuts. It’s National Donut Day (or Doughnut Day – however you want to spell it). The first Friday in June has been donned as such since 1938 when donuts were served to soldiers in World War I. Today, many donut shops will even give patrons free donuts in honor of this day. There’s a rumor that Canadians are jealous of this American holiday.
Personally, I wish every day was a donut day. Why? Because this is the one food item that can saunter its way around me and I’m not remotely tempted to indulge. Well, I might be slightly tempted (I have a tendency to exaggerate sometimes).
The Appeal of Donuts
Donuts for me are like coffee: smells intoxicating, but I don’t like to consume it. I wish I had this kind of willpower around more sweets, but I’ll take what I can get. I think my main beef with donuts is that after I eat them I feel rotten. It must be the combination of sugar and oil on an empty stomach that does it. The pleasure is not worth the pain.
How to Make Vegan Yeast Donuts
You can make this vegan donuts recipe by having the following ingredients on-hand:
- plant-based milk
- vegetable oil
- maple syrup
- coconut sugar (or regular granulated sugar works too)
Those are the primary ingredients. I also highly recommend using a donut pan. However, if you don’t have a donut pan, you can roll these into dough balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Once they’ve risen, just poke a hole in the middle of each, using your thumb. Stretch that hole out a little and return it to the baking sheet and then bake them.
It may seem like a lot of time is involved with this recipe, but most of it is what I refer to as “resting” time. That said, if you’d love to see examples of easier vegan donuts, check out my Vegan Blackberry Donuts. This recipe is so easy and doesn’t require yeast.
Are Vegan Donuts Good for You?
Vegan donuts are an indulgence for sure. So, even thought I wouldn’t call them health food, they can be incorporated in a healthy diet. Absolutely! And the beautiful thing about vegan donuts is that they’re cholesterol free, and because these are baked, they’ don’t have as much oil as most fried donuts. In addition, we’re using coconut sugar in this recipe with is better at reducing glycemic index than some sugars.
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons plant-based creamer * See notes for chocolate glaze
- Combine milk, oil, and sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let it cool for 10 – 15 minutes, until it is about 105 F. If you don't have a thermometer, just dip your finger in. It should be about as warm as your finger.
- Once the milk mixture has reached the right temperature, stir in the yeast, ground flax, and vanilla. Let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour and salt. Create a well in the middle and pour in the milk/yeast mix. Stir to combine. Knead in the bowl for 1 – 3 minutes. Cover and set aside so the dough can rise until its about double in size (about an hour).
- This dough is very sticky. Flour your surface and create 2" dough balls. Use your thumb to create a hole in the middle, to create a ring. Place these on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with a light-weight kitchen towel and set aside, until they have risen to double their size.
- To bake donuts, when the donuts have doubled in size and are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F.
- Place baking sheet with donuts in the oven and bake for 15 – 17 minutes, until golden brown.
Air Fryer Method
- To make air fryer donuts, when the donuts have doubled in size and are ready to bake, preheat air fryer to 375F.
- Place donut in the air fryer in a single row at the bottom and air fry for 5 minutes. Then use tongs to flip donuts and cook for another 5 minutes, until golden and crispy.
- While the donuts are baking or frying, mix your glaze by combining the powdered sugar and creamer in a bowl. If you prefer chocolate glaze, add a tablespoon of cocoa powder too and stir.
- Once the donuts are done, remove from oven and let them cool enough so you can handle them. Dip each donut into the glaze. Icing the donuts while they’re still warms helps coat each donut evenly and will create a crispy crust on the icing.
- You can add favorite toppings like chopped nuts, sprinkles, coconut and more. Just be sure to add these before the frosting dries.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.