Are Donuts Vegan? Here Is Everything You Need To Know

10 billion donuts are produced annually in the United States alone. Which is not unexpected, given that there are fast-food companies devoted to their manufacture.

Unfortunately, because they frequently contain animal products like milk or eggs, most donuts are not vegan. However, vegan donuts are an option. 

Are Donuts Vegan? Here Is Everything You Need To Know

There are certain places in the United States where you can discover vegan donut shops.

You can also choose to make them at home without requiring being a skilled chef if they are not available from where you reside. It is also worth always asking your local donut shop if they have a vegan alternative

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about how donuts are created.

We will then see why donuts generally aren’t vegan and provide a few suggestions on where you may be able to find some vegan donuts.

How Do You Create Donuts? 

In essence, a donut is a fried ball or ring of sweet dough that has either been chemically or yeast leavened.

After being mixed and molded, the dough is thrown into boiling oil to be fried before being covered in glaze.

The components are essentially the same, with the exception of the leavening agent, regardless of whether the dough is chemically or yeast-leavened.

The ingredients in a donut recipe usually contain the following:

  • Milk,
  • Shortening,
  • Flour,
  • Eggs or egg whites,
  • Yeast or baking powder (these are your two possible leavening agents),
  • Sugar,
  • Natural or artificial flavors. 

Once the dough has been cooked, glazes or frostings are added.

Usually they are made of a mixture of sugar, flavors, flour, and occasionally shortening, which isn’t vegan. Shortening is essentially butter made from dairy.

Frequently, pre-packaged mixes are used at stores, bakeries, or businesses. Nevertheless, during the baking process, fresh components like milk, water, and eggs must also be added.

In addition to the milk and eggs, you’ll also likely find sugar and occasionally palm oil used. Which are seen by the vegan community as extremely questionable components.

Even though it is obvious that the chemicals come from plants, things get murky as you look into them more closely.

As a result, with the original donut recipe, there are a lot of non-vegan products used. 

Why Is Sugar Not Always Seen As Vegan?

Are Donuts Vegan? Here Is Everything You Need To Know

Sugar beets and sugar canes are two possible sources of sugar.  

However, sugar made from sugar cane may not always be vegan. While sugar made from sugar beets will always be vegan.  The sugar canes are smashed and the juice and pulp are removed before the sugar made from them is refined.

Unfortunately, there are certain instances where the juice is filtered, treated, and bleached using bone char. This is a decolorizing agent that is basically a carbon-like substance generated by incinerating cow bones.

The bones used to make bone char, according to PETA, come from cattle in nations like India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Argentina.

To make bone char, the bones are sold to dealers in Brazil, Scotland, and Egypt, who subsequently resale them to sugar producers in the United States.

It’s crucial to stress that not all cane sugar is processed using bone char. Rather, a lot of suppliers are switching to plant-based substitutes such as ion-exchange resins or granular carbon.

Nevertheless, because many businesses utilize a diverse range of suppliers, it can be challenging to determine the sort of sugar being used.

Due to this, sugar might not always be regarded as vegan.

Is Palm Oil Good Or Bad For The Environment?

Another ingredient in donuts is palm oil. Palm oil is another substance derived from plants.

However, acres of forests, including natural habitats and entire ecosystems, are destroyed to make palm oil plantations. As a result, many of our species of animals are now in danger of extinction. 

A horrible example is orangutans.  Cell has data that shows that between 1999 and 2015, the production of palm oil caused the deaths of 100,000 orangutans.

Having said that, the majority of vegans do not avoid using palm oil. The same is probably true for any other substance that is regarded as “questionable,” including sugar.

What we are trying to convey is that whether you choose to consume these substances depends on their personal understanding of veganism.

Where Are You Able To Source Vegan Donuts?

Are Donuts Vegan? Here Is Everything You Need To Know

There are in fact various places around the United States where you can go to purchase a vegan donut.

Therefore, if you suddenly have a craving for a vegan donut, you may be able to find a store near you that produces them. 

With that being said, the majority of these establishments do not provide only vegan food, therefore you will also find non-vegan options there.

Hence, be sure to ask the business about it if they have tight rules against cross-contamination.

The following are establishments and areas they are in, that you can go to for a vegan donut:

  • Beet Box Bakery (Colorado and Denver)
  • Donut Friend (California and Los Angeles)
  • Le Cave’s Bakery (Arizona and Tucson)
  • Mighty-O Donuts (Seattle and Washington)
  • Ronald’s Donuts (Las Vegas and Nevada)
  • Sticky Fingers (Washington, DC)
  • The Donuttery (California and Huntington Beach)
  • Vegan Treats (Bethlehem and Pennsylvania)
  • Voodoo Donuts (seven locations available, including Austin, Denver, Eugene, Hollywood and Portland)
  • Union Square Donuts (Boston and Massachusetts)

How Do You Make Donuts Vegan?

You’ll discover components such as sugar, salt and all-purpose flour in vegan donuts just as you would with a traditional recipe. 

However, a lot of the vegan donut recipes you’ll find focus on an assortment of plant-based substitutes, which are available for you to use.

You can use plant-based milk substitutes like oat milk, soy milk and almond milk in place of regular milk.

When it comes to replacing eggs for a more vegan friendly donut recipe. You can choose the following ingredients to use as a substitute.

In a recipe, these substitutes perform extremely similarly to eggs. This includes:

  • Aquafaba – this is the remaining liquid that comes from boiled chickpeas. 
  • Applesauce.
  • Chia seeds.
  • Flaxseeds.
  • Mashed Banana
  • Vegan egg alternative.

The previously mentioned vegan-friendly donut restaurants may employ some of these substitutes.

However, this isn’t a guarantee on how they make their donuts. Other ingredients not on our list might be used.

It is known knowledge that flax seeds function effectively as a binding agent to keep the flour together. While mashed bananas are fantastic for adding moisture and a little flavor.

The following section contains 5 incredible vegan donut recipes if you want to learn how to create your own vegan donuts at home using these ingredients.

5 Vegan Friendly Donut Recipes To Try Yourself 

Shop Style Vegan Donuts

Vegan donuts that are soft and pillow-like and taste like they were from a bakery. 

These donuts will fulfill your cravings because they are created with yeast-risen dough. Then they are fried and covered in a sweet vanilla glaze.

Baked Blueberry Donuts

Light, soft, and very nutritional blueberry donuts that are ideal for breakfast.

This recipe is really easy to make and doesn’t use refined sugar, which helps it to be vegan. Each bite will be flavorful and melt in your mouth.

Simple Chocolate Baked Donuts

This recipe just calls for basic ingredients and takes 30 minutes to make.  They are also vegan and naturally sweetened.

Any chocolate enthusiast will like these freshly made, rich, and delicious donuts.

Brioche Vegan Donuts

These will become your favorite vegan donuts ever! When you bite into the fluffy, soft, tender vegan brioche donut, the vanilla frosting on these donuts crunches between your teeth.

Your mouth will water when you eat this donut, and you’ll immediately crave another.

Vegan Cinnamon Donuts

The fact that making these vegan donuts only takes 20 minutes is their best quality. These baked, rather than fried, cinnamon sugar-coated donuts are sure to be a hit with everyone.


The majority of donuts you will come access are not vegan because they contain eggs, milk and butter/shortening. However, it is still possible to find or make your own vegan donuts.

In this article, we have shared the places where you can find vegan donuts or recipes to follow to create your own. 

We hope this article has been useful in helping you discover whether donuts are vegan.

Eve Mason
Latest posts by Eve Mason (see all)