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Are Donuts Vegan & Dairy Free?
Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Heather Turner
Published by Heather Turner
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: February 15, 2021

Regular donuts are tiny cakes that conveniently come with a ring-shaped hole because, marry me, you bitesize pocket cake. While many like me who would struggle to resist the allure of these god-tier level treats are glad they’re mostly not vegan-friendly, others will find workarounds.

So can you make vegan donuts? Are donuts vegan and are they out there ready to buy?

Wipe up the drool, and let’s take a closer look.

Common Non-Vegan Ingredients

woman making dough with flour

Here's the list of the ingredients in a basic donut batter that aren't vegan:

  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Eggs or egg whites
  • Shortening
  • Salt
  • Sugar and flavorings
  • Mono- and di-glycerides

Ingredients like milk and egg stand out as non-vegan, animal products. The more conscious vegan should also be wary of ingredients such as sugars, dairy, artificial flavorings, and some glycerides. P.S. You can find similar ingredients in marshmallows.

White sugar occasionally uses bone char in the whitening process, artificial flavorings are routinely tested on animals, and glycerides can be plant-based. Still, they can also be animal-based, and there is no way to tell.

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Consider the Toppings on Vegan Donuts

Even if you manage to find a vegan donut, that doesn’t mean that the coating ingredients will be vegan. As mentioned above, sugar can be a problem ingredient, and tasty donuts are often dripping in the stuff.

Cream, artificial flavors, and colors, and even gelatin-based candy toppings would be other very non-vegan toppings to look out for. If you’re a simple man like me and just like a simple glazed donut, then make sure the glaze is a natural sugar alternative, and you should be good to go.

Are Vegan Donuts Healthy?

No, vegan donuts and baked donuts are not healthy. I can’t believe I have to spell this out, but no matter what the latest foodie trend tells you, the baked donuts and regular donuts can never be healthy. If it were truly healthy, it would stop being cake.

Sure, you can get healthier ingredients that limit the bad and even add in some benefits, but you’re never going to inhale multiple donuts in a sitting and still carry “this body is the temple that whole foods built” card. Vegan donuts are often healthier, but they’re far from healthy.

4 Alternative Ingredient Swaps

chia seeds, vanilla, flour

1. Vegan Alternatives To Milk

It’s truly an excellent time to be a vegan. If you rewound the clock even just ten years back, you wouldn’t have a wealth of milk alternative options that we do today. There is almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, and more. Quite honestly, I think it must be more challenging to choose milk than to choose plant-based milk nowadays. Who wants cow lactate with a side of blood and puss when you can have delicious and ethical cocoa-flavored hemp milk?

2. Vegan Alternatives To Eggs

Eggs are admittedly more tricky, and if you’re not a keen baker, you might not know of the cheeky vegan alternative tricks and tips to replace eggs in a recipe. My personal egg replacements favorite-because they’re useful and straightforward-would be mashed banana or apple sauce. You can also use soaked flax or chia seeds, aquafaba (bean juice), and there are even store-bought egg replacers now.

3. Vegan Alternatives To Sugar

From a health standpoint and a vegan one, too, you shouldn’t use too much sugar. Luckily if you’re following our tips and using mashed banana or apple sauce instead of eggs, you are already well on your way to sweetness. Vanilla extract, maple syrup, homemade cinnamon sugar (with vegan-friendly brown sugar) are just a few great ways to add a little sugar while avoiding too much sugar.

4. Using Whole Wheat Flour Instead of All-Purpose Flour

While this tip isn’t strictly for vegans, it is a great way to give your naughty indulgences a little more nutritional worth. Wheat flour is a lot less processed and is higher in protein and fiber but lower in carbohydrates than all-purpose flour [1].

When using it in a recipe, don’t replace all-purpose flour, or you’ll end up with dense baked goods that don’t taste very good. I usually replace about a third of the flour with wheat flour to benefit but not impact the taste.

Are Dunkin’ Donuts Donuts Vegan?

Unfortunately, Dunkin' Donuts are not vegan. According to their website, every single one of them has non-vegan ingredients such are eggs and milk. However, they do have some vegan options like hash browns, English muffins, bagels (multigrain, plain, sesame, cinnamon raisin), etc.

Are Krispy Kreme Donuts Vegan?

Sadly, Krispy Kreme Donuts aren't suitable for vegans either. If you take Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donut for example, they contain milk and eggs which makes it non-vegan. But luckily, they announced you'll be able to order the new completely vegan donuts called Original Glazed Vegan Dozen that's equally delicious as the original.

FAQs

Where to Buy Vegan Donuts?

If you’re looking to buy vegan donuts, you should start with the more health-focused food stores like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. There is also an ever-growing list of vegan grocery stores, coffee shops, and vegan donut shops all across the country dedicated to making delicious and cruelty-free sweet snacks. [2]

Are Glazed Donuts Vegan?

More often than not, no, glazed donuts are not vegan. If So even the most basic bitch donut is still a no-no on a plant-based diet.

Are Jam Donuts Vegan?

Yes, most jam donuts are probably vegan but don’t let this confuse you. These donuts are most commonly found in the UK supermarkets and are very different from the US donuts we’re used to. Also, these donuts are dipped in sugar, which, as mentioned above, is a problematic ingredient for vegans.

Are Donuts Vegan?

Yes, donuts can be vegan, but they are not natively, so with most things in this world. The recipe can be adapted and modified, and if you’re making some recipes for yourself or searching out vegan donut shops, you can be very pleasantly surprised.

As standard, donuts use both eggs and milk in their batter and other non-vegan ingredients like artificial colors and flavors in their toppings. As a sweet treat, they use way too much sugar, which is a no-go ingredient for most vegans, white sugar especially.

What’s your favorite donut shop or recipe? Did we miss anything out in this article? Let us know in the comments below.

References:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6941730/
  • https://www.peta.org/living/food/best-vegan-dougnut-shops-across-the-country/

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