Are you missing Krispy Kreme style donuts in your gluten free life? Have I got a treat for you! You’re gonna FLIP over these incredible gluten free yeast donuts that are so much like Krispy Kreme, you’ll think you’re cheating on your gluten free self!!
We no longer have to sit and salivate when gluten-eating people around us bite into a soft, fluffy Krispy Kreme donut because we can have our very own!!
I don’t know about you, but back in my pre-gluten free days (what I like to call BC, before Celiac), I rarely ate donuts. Sure, I’d have my share way, way back when I worked outside the home and someone would bring donuts into the office. Or when there was a special occasion like my kids having a slumber party of sorts (more than one kid staying overnight). Then I’d down a few donuts no prob and not think twice about it.
But like I’ve said before (especially with my cinnamon rolls), when we’re told we can’t have something, we want it even more (or at least I do). And since developing this recipe, I haven’t made donuts every single weekend. But I definitely like having the option to make them whenever I want.
The Simple Steps for Making Gluten Free Yeast Donuts
When I first made these donuts, it was for a friend whose husband has Celiac. She used to buy my pizza crusts from me and I was experimenting at the time with donuts. When I thought I had perfected them, I gave her a batch of donuts with the pizza crusts.
She later called me and said both she and her husband couldn’t tell my donuts weren’t Krispy Kreme. In fact, she said they both thought they might have been BETTER than Krispy Kreme! I couldn’t believe it!! My little ‘ole gluten free donuts better than Krispy Kreme? That was the ultimate compliment!!
You might think making your own donuts is super time consuming. I’m here to tell ya it can be done in just minutes of hands-on time!
Great gluten free donut making begins with a batch of my cinnamon roll dough. Keep a batch of this in your refrigerator for any time the passion to make something yummy strikes. It’s easy to work with and can be split in half if you only want to make a dozen donuts at a time. Which really is all you should make at a time, unless you’re feeding more than a family (donuts are best when they’re very fresh).
Roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness and use a donut cutter like this one or two different sizes of biscuit cutters to cut out your donuts. You can also use one biscuit cutter to make a round donut that’ll be perfect for filling!
Cover the donuts with plastic wrap and set them in a warm, draft-free location to rise for about an hour. They should be about doubled in size.
Frying Gluten Free Yeast Donuts
Frying can be messy, but it’s truly the best way to get a copycat Krispy Kreme donut. When I researched it, I found that Krispy Kreme fries their donuts in vegetable shortening, so that’s what I use. However, you can also use vegetable oil, canola oil, or any other kind of neutral oil (flavorless).
Bring the oil to proper frying temperature for donuts. I’ve done a lot of research on this subject as well. When I tried to fry my donuts at the temp the entire internet told me to, they were way too dark. Maybe it had something to do with the gluten free dough, but regardless, 375 degrees F wasn’t gonna cut it for these donuts. So I bumped it way down to 325-330 and that was perfect!
Making the Glaze
What makes this glaze unique is that it includes melted butter. The butter in the glaze makes it a little richer, which is what I feel Krispy Kreme’s glaze is all about. It helps keep the glaze slightly soft instead of drying to a hard covering on a soft donut. It cracks only slightly, exactly what I remember from a Krispy Kreme donut!
Combine all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to incorporate. Drop warm donuts into the glaze and let dry on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet to catch drips. I will sometimes double dip the donuts if I want an extra dose of glazy goodness 🙂
Can I Air Fry These Donuts?
The answer you want to hear is…YES!!!! These donuts “fry” beautifully in an air fryer! Check out my post for air fried yeast donuts for all the deets on how to do it.
Topping and Filling Ideas
You can leave these donuts as big, beautiful glazed donuts and call it a day. And they’ll still be so good, you won’t care about a thing in the world. But if you have the time and want to delve a little further into the donut making world, go crazy with some different fillings and toppings like these:
- Jelly–to thicken up store bought jelly, put it in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until reduced by about 1/3. Let it cool completely.
- Creme–I don’t mean whipped cream (that would just melt into a puddle when added to the center of a warm donut). I mean stable vanilla creme filling, like the one I use in my Hostess style cupcakes. This is basically the same filling used in donut shops like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin.
- Pie filling–crack open a can of gluten free pie filling and spoon it into a decorating bag (or plastic baggie with the corner cut off).
- Chocolate glaze–the fudge icing, also from my Hostess style cupcakes, will work great as a chocolate glaze.
- Granulated sugar–simple granulated sugar surrounding a jelly donut is SO GOOD!!
- Cinnamon sugar–fill a donut with apple pie filling and roll it in cinnamon sugar. YUM!!
What are you waiting for? Get a batch of my special dough going and make up these donuts pronto. You won’t believe how easy they are to make, but you REALLY won’t believe they’re gluten free 🙂
Incredible Gluten Free Yeast Donuts
- ½ recipe ultimate gluten free cinnamon roll dough
- oil for deep frying (canola, vegetable, or melted shortening)
- 2 cups (250 g) powdered sugar
- 4 tbsp (½ stick or 56 g) butter
- 4 tbsp (60 ml) whole milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour blend, sugar, baking powder, yeast, and salt and whisk to combine. While mixing on low speed (using the dough hook OR the beater), slowly pour in the milk and then add the butter (the butter can either be very soft or melted, but not cold). Finally, add the eggs.
- Increase the speed to high and beat for 5 minutes. It will be very sticky and look like a thick cake batter. This is normal. It will change consistency when it's properly chilled.
- Cover the dough and allow it to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1-2 hours. Your rising time will depend on the temperature of your proofing area. A great trick is to turn your oven on to the lowest setting (mine is 170° F). Let it heat up briefly (a couple of minutes only) and then turn it off. Put your dough in the turned off oven and leave it there until doubled in size.
- Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, preferably overnight, but a minimum of 4-6 hours. It's so much easier to work with when it's properly chilled. To cut this time in half, put the covered dough in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and knead on a well floured surface until smooth*** (see notes below for alternative). Roll dough out until it is about ½-inch thick. Cut the dough with donut cutter dipped in flour, or biscuit cutter to make fillable donuts. Reroll scraps. Place donuts and holes on parchment squares on a baking. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm, draft-free area until about doubled in size.
- When donuts are almost completely risen, heat the oil or shortening in a deep fryer or large heavy duty Dutch oven to 320-330° F. Carefully lower donuts, only a few at a time, into the oil, parchment and all (especially if they're sticking to the parchment). Use tongs to remove the parchment from the oil. Fry for 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Remove donuts from the oil and place onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet or a piece of waxed paper to catch drippings. Glaze or garnish and fill as desired. Donuts are best eaten fresh, but will keep for a day, well covered, and can be heated very briefly in the microwave (15 seconds or so).
For the Glaze:
- In the microwave, melt butter with milk in a one-quart measuring cup or bowl. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, whisking constantly until a pourable consistency. Dunk donuts in glaze as desired.
- Take a chopstick or something similar (the end of a wooden spoon or a long, skinny decorating tip) and puncture a hole on the side of the donut. Wiggle and move it around to create more space to fill the entire donut. Fill with jelly, vanilla creme glaze, or anything else you'd like (see other suggestions within the post itself).
These donuts were originally posted in January 2019 and have been updated with new pictures, a video, and new tips and information.