Vegan Yeast Donuts

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.

Vegan donuts sit on a white plate.
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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)
  • yeast
  • vanilla
  • applesauce
  • salt
  • flour

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.

Vegan Chocolate Sprinkle Donuts

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.

Vegan Chocolate Sprinkle Donuts

Vegan Donuts

These old-fashioned vegan donuts will tantalize your taste buds! Enjoy these yeast-based donuts with vanilla or chocolate glaze and any of your favorite toppings!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vegan Donuts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 162kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plant-based milk (I used almond milk)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based creamer * See notes for chocolate glaze

Instructions

  • 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.

Baking Method

  • 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.

Notes

Chocolate Glaze 1 cup powdered sugar ⅓ cup cocoa 3 tablespoons soy milk
You can make these as overnight donuts by placing the donut pans in the fridge in step 6. Leave them there overnight. And then when you get up in the morning, place them on the counter to rise, for about 30 minutes. Then begin following the steps in the recipe.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Donuts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 162 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 115mg5%
Potassium 90mg3%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 85IU2%
Vitamin C 1.6mg2%
Calcium 38mg4%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.

Enjoy!

19 Responses to Vegan Yeast Donuts

  1. Ryan woke me up this morning to tell me it was Donut Day, but like you, I have never been a big fan of donuts…so instead of donuts, we made pancakes. But after seeing this recipe for vegan donuts, I’m tempted to give them a try! I love the thought of using maple syrup to sweeten the dough, and how can you go wrong that chocolate glaze? Yum!

    • Hi Monet
      I think you’ll like these. They’re not too heavy and the chocolate glaze is my favorite! And the great news is, no stomach ache afterward!

  2. Hey Marly, I love doughnuts! I’ve never had fast food ‘donuts’ though, so I don’t know about the stomach ache of which you speak (smile). And I’m pretty good about sharing sweets, hence a whole sweet of any kind doesn’t usually hit my tum. I’m going to try these soon. I like the way there is no solid fat component like margarine, etc.
    Hey, you don’t drink coffee? Whoaaaa…I can’t even get up without it.

    • I don’t do caffeine very much at all. Sometimes I’ll have some green tea. Occasionally I’ll have a diet soda that has caffeine. I’m weird that way I guess. I think coffee smells so good. I wish I liked it, but I figure it’s one habit I don’t need to pick up. Hey, you need to show me how you do that sharing sweets thing. It’s probably good for the waistline, eh?

  3. I’m the same way with coffee: I love going to the coffee shop and basking in the aroma, but I always drink tea. Thanks for sharing this recipe – I’ve been intimidated by donuts for the longest time because I don’t like to make fried foods. But now I can make these baked donuts!

    • They are a bit messy in the making, but the end product is worth it. I had one (ok, actually two) yesterday and they didn’t weigh me down. I loved it! I have to confess to liking the chocolate glaze a little more. I also wish I would have added some sprinkles. Wouldn’t that have been fun? Next time!

  4. I don’t know about the rest of the Canadians but I am extremely jealous. I absolutely love donuts and could eat a whole dozen myself. You would think having a Tim Hortons on every corner that we would also honour this day. I may just have to write them a nice little letter.

    These look absolutely delicious Marly, you are tempting me into leaving my bridal shower baking and making some of these instead!

    • I had a feeling this would be the case! Hey everyone, Grace confirmed the rumor. Just so you know, these donuts are a lot easier to eat by the dozen because they’re not so heavy. Problem is, they’re not calorie free. Some willpower is required!

  5. Tweets that mention Happy Donut Day! Have You Had a Vegan Donut? « Namely Food « Namely Marly -- Topsy.com says:

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  6. Donuts don’t taste the same to me as they did when I was a kid. Back then they were akin to heaven – I can easily resist them now. But I love this baked version of overnight donuts! Terrific for a holiday or special occasion.

    • Yes, it’s true! If you have family staying or a big group of kids, these would be perfect! I actually froze half our batch because, like any pastry, they’re not as good when they sit on the counter for a few days. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  7. My mom used to make homemade donuts, what a special treat for us kids. But, I like your version and I always have soy milk on hand. I’m pretty good about sharing sweets but sometimes I just want to hoard something I’ve baked or something that has been given to me, it could be something like homemade pickles. Sometimes you just don’t want to share but I think hoarding homemade donuts would probably not be a good idea!

    • Hi Patty – hope you like the recipe. I give you permission not to share these with anyone…unless you want to. In fact, you can even double the glaze recipe and double dip all you want! I would add sprinkles too and then eat them in front of your family and friends. By the way, this is NOT the way to win friends and influence people. And, this is not the way to stay on a diet. But it can lead to a fairly satisfied sweet tooth!

  8. I don’t think you mentioned when to add the salt… It normally goes in w the yeast, but you have it listed so far down that maybe you add it in with the flour?

    • Great catch, Lisa! I fixed the directions to include adding salt to the flour. I haven’t made this recipe in awhile…I think it might be time to try it again!

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