Doughnut or donut. Cake vs. yeast. Frosted or dusted with sugar? Donuts can be complex, but they don’t have to be. I’m going to show you how to make baked cake donuts as well as give you a little lesson in the varieties of donuts.
A Little History Lesson
The widely accepted spelling of the word is doughnut. However, in the US it’s more popular to spell it donut. Often, I use the spellings interchangeably.
Anyway, donut-like pastries have existed for centuries. In simple terms, a donut is a fried or cooked slab of dough. Dutch settlers introduced olykoeks. or oil cakes to North America. Early donuts didn’t have a hole in the center. According to legend, a 16-year- old named Hanson Crockett Gregory created the modern donut shape. Most historians believe that Gregory tore out the center of his donut to get rid of the raw dough. Ring-shaped donuts became much easier to fry and there were no soggy parts.
The two main types of donuts are yeast/raised donuts and cake donuts. Cake donuts are made using a simple batter of flour, liquid, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Yeast donuts use an enriched dough similar to brioche and require proofing. Cake donuts are sweeter, but usually more crumbly. Yeast donuts are airy and resemble a sweetened bread. Traditionally, both types are fried. However, cake donuts can be baked for a healthier option.
Some common donut varieties include cider donuts, crullers, Long Johns, jelly donuts, sour cream donuts, cronuts, and Boston cream. Many modern bakeries have themed donuts like maple bacon and monster donuts.
I can’t forget to talk about the toppings! A simple glaze or a dusting of cinnamon/sugar are common toppings. Sprinkle frosted donuts are another classic. I’ve seen donuts with cereal and chocolate chips on top. The opportunities are endless. Personally, I like jelly donuts with cinnamon and sugar on top.
You might be thinking that this is all common knowledge. But, I find the origins of baked goods and pastries fascinating. Whoever decided to put sweetened dough into hot oil is a genius.
How to Make Vegan Donuts
Lucky for us, it’s not laborious to veganize donuts. The major differences between vegan and regular donuts are eggs and fat. Not all, but a fair amount of donuts use eggs or egg whites and usually butter or shortening that contains animal fat. Only a few substitutions are needed, such as flax eggs and dairy-free butter. Frying donuts is the same as most recipes call for vegetable oil. For baked donuts, all you need is a donut pan.
A word of caution…I would stay away from recipes that claim to be sugar and fat-free. While baked cake donuts are a healthier option. Some type of fat and/or sweetener are required to make donuts. I can imagine that these ultra-healthy donuts taste like soggy bread. Just go ahead and let yourself have an indulgent donut!
If you are interested in a fried jelly donut, check out my vegan holiday recipes. See the recipe card below for these chocolate glazed cake donuts!
What You Will Need
For these chocolate glazed donuts, you will need:
- Donut pan. I use one with an assortment of shapes.
- Cooking spray.
- Unbleached all-purpose flour.
- Cane sugar.
- Baking powder.
- Ground flaxseeds.
- Dairy-free butter. I like Country Crock plant butters or Earth Balance.
- Non-dairy milk.
- Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
- Powdered sugar.
- Cocoa powder.
- Vanilla extract.
- Mixing bowls and other basic baking supplies.
The full instructions are listed below. If you can bake a cake, you can make this no problem!
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Chocolate Glazed Vegan Donuts
For the Batter
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour sifted
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 5 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp vegan butter melted
For the Glaze
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tbsp non-dairy milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Mix water and flaxseed together and set aside for later. Sift the flour and add sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk the ingredients to remove any lumps.
- Add lemon juice to the soy milk and allow to curdle. Add the flax eggs and butter to the mixture. Stir in soy milk and mix until just combined.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease donut pan. Fill each cavity about 1/2-2/3 full.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the middle is baked. Insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, the donuts are done! Let cool for about 10 minutes before removing donuts from the pan.
- For the glaze, sift together the powdered sugar anc cocoa powder. Slowly mix in the non-dairy milk until a desired texture is achieved. If the glaze is too sweet, add a pinch of salt. Add more liquid as necessary.
- To glaze the donuts, flip a donut upside down and dip into the glaze. Place on parchment to dry and repeat this process with each one.
- Serve fresh. Donuts keep for 3-5 days.
P.S. If you recreate any of my recipes, please tag me on Instagram @authentically_vegan. Thank you for reading! Let me know in the comments if you are a fan of donuts.
To get more than 30 vegan brunch recipes, check out my ebook.