Gluten-Free Baked Donuts

Gluten-Free Baked Donuts
Gluten-free cake donuts with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Apparently it is National Donut Day. But don't be grumpy, my celiac lovelies. I've got a gluten-free donut recipe for you, from the friendly archives of Gluten-Free Goddess.

For those of us born and raised on the East Coast- specifically, near Boston, Massachusetts- a certain coffee BF with a hole in the center is spelled donut. Not doughnut. Why so not-snobby casual, you might wonder? Why switch the ough to o when Boston's rep is more of a Paul Revere and cobblestones conservative town than say, oh I don't know-- maybe, rainbow flag flying West Hollywood? Dunkin Donuts is the culprit, I suspect- that ubiquitous New England coffee and doughnut chain from Quincy, MA, infamous for the tag line, Time to make the donuts! muttered by Fred the Baker in television ads for a good fifteen years.

I have fond memories of the Double D, as we liked to call it. For two reasons. They made the best cup of dark roast coffee east of the Mississippi. No fancy skim foam or steamed soy milk offered. Just coffee. Strong and rich. I took mine with cream and sugar. And a donut. Usually a blueberry cake donut, or an old fashioned cake donut scented with nutmeg. The second reason? My first rendezvous with a certain individual sixteen years ago was a meet at the Double D. Yep. Coffee and donuts to go. We parked at the beach and sipped our Joe and talked with our mouths full, our laps dusted with sugar and crumbs, the car radio crooning Crowded House against the salty gusts of April wind.

Romantic? Hell yeah. My heart was pounding. And it's a good thing I was snug in a bucket seat. Because my knees were quivering Jello. You see, romantic doesn't need to be fancy. Or expensive. Not if you're with the right person. The person who makes you feel golden and voluptuous and awake. Who raises your game just by sitting there. Smiling at you. Who listens with their whole body- not to mention, their killer keen eyes. The person who feels slightly dangerous because your soul is at last being seen. And there is nowhere to hide.

So, Steve Baby?

This recipe's for you.

Gluten free cinnamon sugar old fashioned donuts recipe
Old fashioned cake style donuts that are gluten-free and vegan.

I've missed donuts, I admit. And I haven't eaten one since going gluten-free exactly nine years ago yesterday. That's right. This a gluten-free anniversary for me. Number 9. So I thought I'd finally give donuts a try. Why not? It's been way too long.

And the best news- for so many of you--- these are vegan. No dairy, no butter, no eggs. Believe me, they don't need all that farm fresh moo-cow cluck-cluck business. Seriously. The flavor is just right. Not too sweet, with a kiss of nutmeg and a cinnamon or powdered sugar dusting.

These little gems rock.

Old fashioned style gluten free powdered sugar donuts with cinnamon
A new breakfast treat- gluten-free donuts.

Gluten-Free Cake Donuts Recipe with Powdered Sugar or Cinnamon

Originally published December 2010.

I used my 12-count mini donut pan to bake these little beauties, so this recipe will make a dozen small donuts. They bake in only 15 minutes. If you have a pan for 6 larger donuts, the recipe may take slightly longer to bake. Check your manufacturer's instructions for guidelines in baking a bigger donut.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together:

1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup millet flour or certified gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
2 tablespoons hazelnut flour or almond flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1/4 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening
1/2 cup vegan sour cream (or plain vegan yogurt)
1/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk (or plain rice or nut milk)
Ener-G Egg Replacer for two eggs mixed with a scant 1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract


Add the shortening first, by spoonfuls, and use the mixer's whisk attachment or a pastry cutter to help it distribute the shortening until the flour mix becomes sand textured.

Add in the vegan sour cream, coconut milk, egg replacer and vanilla extract, and mix until the dough forms a smooth and pliable dough. It should be slightly sticky- but not too sticky to handle. (If the dough is too wet and cannot easily form a ball when you roll it in your palms, add a bit more flour.)

Divide the dough into 12 sections and roll each piece in your palms to form a ball roughly the size of a golf ball Your hands should be slightly oily from the shortening- this is good.

Using your palms, gently roll the dough into a log shape and carefully- gently- continue to roll it into a cigar shape about 4 to 5 inches long. Drape the dough into the well of a donut pan, and slightly overlap the two ends to make a circle. Don't get fussy yet. Just lay it in there.

Continue as above with the remaining dough balls.

Using oily or slightly wet fingers, smooth out the dough evenly. Don't smoosh it down into the well- simply finesse it a bit so that it comes together evenly as a ring.

Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes, until firm to the touch.

Mine baked at exactly 15 minutes. Don't over bake these little babies- remember, the center of the mold is hot too, so the donut rings are baking from both sides.

Remove the pan and set it on a wire rack to cool a bit. As soon as it's cool enough to handle, remove the donuts from the pan and place them bottom side up on a wire rack (if they stay in the hot pan too long, gluten-free goodies get soggy bottoms).

When cooled a bit, sift confectioner's sugar or a mix of confectioner's sugar and ground cinnamon all over the donuts.

Scarf down immediately with a hot cup of Double D coffee. Best eaten the day you bake 'em.

Cook time: 15 min

Yield: One dozen mini donuts.

Recipe Source:

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GFG Notes:

This recipe may be doubled for 12 larger sized donuts.

If you are nut-free, replace the two tablespoons of hazelnut flour with sorghum or rice flour.

If you'd rather use an egg, use 1 large free range organic egg, beaten.

I used vegan soy sour cream, but any sour cream or plain yogurt will work.

For milk subs, choose a good tasting neutral milk- the flavor of these donuts is pretty subtle. Don't pick a strong milk like hemp. If you want to make these ahead of time, bake, cool, and freeze plain. Then thaw and dust with powdered sugar for serving.

I'm now using w-a-a-a-y less brown rice and brown rice flour, and eating fewer rice cakes, etc. Here's why- there are elevated arsenic levels in rice.

My gluten free donuts are baked not fried
I baked these donuts in a mini donut pan. They are cute as buttons!



  1. Baked donuts? This I could maybe do...

  2. Could I see a picture of the pan??? I've never heard of a donut pan!! (small town saskatchewan girl - we don't get the fancy schmancy stuff here... lol!)

  3. If you "mouse over" the donut pan link you'll see a pic of it at That's where I ordered it from. xox Karina

  4. These look every bit as delicious as the Dunkie (that's what we call it now) donuts (yes, still spelled this way) here in Rhode Island. What a wonderful way to celebrate your GF anniversary!

  5. Oh I am super excited to try these! DO you think they would work without the pan? If I just shaped them into a ring shape and put them on a cookie tray for example? I already have a lot of pans and I think my husband might lose his mind if I buy another right now haha

  6. ♥ A donut love story ♥

  7. Hi Karina, this looks great! I love donuts. Could I use coconut oil instead of the shortening? Thanks!


  8. Oh my! I put a donut pan on my Christmas list! And I will definitely try these. I LOVE your english muffin recipe; it's my standard! Thanks for all your recipes!

  9. Congrats on 9 years. I am just having my 10th year anniversary....things were pretty bleak back them for gf'ers. I love your blog, your writing and your recipes!!! and grateful that you are vegan too. I think some gf'ers are going to have heart attacks, the recipes call for so many eggs. I saw one recently for a cake that called for 10 eggs!! Yikes~~! You have a real talent ! Thanks!

  10. Julie Kracower21:51

    Oh my, a true holiday gift! Thank you!

  11. Love the recipe dedication! You two are a great team.

  12. So excited to try these! I've been gluten-free for eight years. Oh, I have missed cake donuts. Our little town doesn't have fancy stuff either, but we're heading to Austin later this week, and I intend to do some stocking up. Thanks for the great recipes!!!

  13. raissa00:23

    Any workable subs for the brown rice flour? If not, I'm willing to risk my pesky rice allergy!

  14. Monika00:26

    Thanks so much Karina...
    I grew up on the E. Coast and could so easily connect with what you're saying...except that my food carb connection was with bagels. Any chance that a bagel can be made GF?
    Not to say that a GF donut is not a miracle for us GFers, but a that would be something.

  15. Thanks, Everyone for your kind words and donut love. xox

    As for working without the pan- I suppose it is possible- but I cannot guarantee they won't flatten without the support. I wonder if you could create little foil rings- or better yet--- use English muffin rings set on a lined baking sheet? They'll be flat on the bottom.

    As for replacing the brown rice flour- I think it's easily done. Try more sorghum instead, or use millet flour.

    xox Karina

  16. Iumi- Glad to know you are a veteran, too. Things really *have* improved since ten years ago. So much more available now.

    Thanks for appreciating my healthier recipes. I don't know how so many celiacs can eat all that butter, eggs, and saturated fat. I find I feel so much better on an vegetarian anti-inflammatory diet.

    xox Karina

  17. Monika, yes, I believe a gluten-free bagel recipe is in our future (I'm working on it!). I miss them too- and the commercial ones I've tried were just "okay". I'll share soon- in January, I hope! xox Karina

  18. Finalmente le ciambelle senza glutine.Sono Rut e scrivo per il senza glutine,mamma di un bambino celiaco da 5 anni.Guardando la ricetta mi sono un po scoraggiata nel vedere tutti gli ingredienti,ma credo con un po di pazienza si possono realizzare.Complimenti a lei!

  19. These look delicious and I would love to make them. Is there any such thing as non-dairy non-soy sour cream or yogurt? Or is there some other substitute for the sour cream in this recipe? I have just entered my 2nd gf/df year and have had to add soy to my list.

  20. You know, I've always hated fried donuts. But, these - these actually look tempting. :)

  21. These look amazing. Thanks for posting this. I haven't had a donut in over 10 years. I have seen some in the frozen isle at whole foods but they don't look nearly as beautiful as yours and they are covered in chocolate not powdered sugar. Now to order the donut pan...

  22. Anonymous09:23

    Hi Karina-
    These look great! I second Angelina's question. I'm also dairy and soy free. I'm thinking coconut yogurt instead?
    Also, is there a way to make a chocolate donut variation? Could I sub unsweetened cocoa powder for some of the GF flour? Thanks! Julie

  23. these look great!!! i love that they're not fried- i've seen some recipes that are. if you don't mind, i had a question for you- are you no longer intolerant to coconut and soy? i know you had a long list of things a few years back and i've been curious about people's healing after going gf. thanks again for another lovely recipe!!

  24. Oh my goodness! These look awesome! I can't wait to try this recipe after the holidays! Congrats on your gluten free anniversary! I have only been GF for 3 months, but I got my antibody test back today and my levels are back to normal. Better yet, I am not getting sick all of the time.

  25. What a sweet story, I think any relationship based on pastry is destined to succeed! Delicious!

  26. I was excited immediately upon seeing the first picture and even more so to learn that these are baked donuts! I'll have to try them, adding to my to-do and bookmarking. Thank you so much, Karina.

  27. Maria21:37

    This recipe may really be for Steve, but I feel like it's just for me! I've been baking with Spectrum and So Delicious, and getting amazing results. But I never dreamed I would ever be able to eat a decent gluten, dairy, and egg-free donut. So thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!

  28. I am so excited to make these on Christmas morning. My gf 5 year old son will be beyond thrilled. I even bought chocolate frosting and sprinkles. I ordered that donut pan from Amazon and it will be here on the 24th!!

  29. These are so beautiful! I have never attempted donuts/doughnuts at home (much less gf/vegan ones), but these are calling. Ps your new site design is absolutely lovely.

  30. Thank you all for your lovely comments. These were easier to make than I had imagined. As easy as muffins, basically. xox


  31. Karina - I could not wait to make these! Tried them last night and simply: they.are.AMAZING. So so good! Thank you again!

  32. I'm with Helen! My husband would think I am insane if I purchase another pan, but oh well! I have been wanting to try to make gluten-free doughnuts (and thanks for the explanation on the East Coast spelling), but did not have the pan. I have, however, deep fried tried banana and mango fritters. They're easy because you don't need any special pan and they have a doughnut taste to them. Thanks for sharing this recipe! Happy holidays to you all!

  33. Yum! I'm so excited about trying these. It's been YEARS since I've had a donut. Now I just need to get one of those cool pans. TY!

  34. Balla18:02

    I got a ? I love vegan Food, but I don't have any Egg re-placer. Or a Milk sub, Can I use just real butter and real Milk? And it's so close to Xmases that I don't have time too go out, and get Egg re-placer. I hope they turn out!

  35. Holly- YAY!

    Carla and Nancy- I'm glad I bought the pan ;-) Makes it so easy.

    Balla- Eggs and milk and butter will work. Start adding the milk very slowly as you may need less using real eggs. The dough shouldn't be too wet.

    xox Karina

  36. Shannon18:08

    Hi Karina,
    I’ve been following you for nearly a year but have never posted. I figure no better day than today to say Thank You! I made the donuts this morning as a Christmas treat and they were great! My 7 year old daughter has Celiac and while I can bake (generally speaking) I completely lack the ability to create recipes. Thanks so much for the ideas and all time you must invest keeping our taste buds happy!! We have many favorites but to name a few… pumpkin muffins, Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sour Cream Enchiladas, and our latest staple - Sweet Potato Cornbread.

  37. Donuts? SERIOUSLY?!! Thank you so much for this recipe!!! I have been dreaming and craving donuts lately and I have only been GF for about 3 months. I am definitely getting one of those donut pans the next time that I am out!

  38. Anonymous01:02

    I have been wanting to make these and now that i have a little yogurt in the house I tried them tonight. I do Not have a donut pan. Made them on a cookie sheet. And it worked! They did not flatten like pancakes. I used coconut oil for the shortening and one egg (and no hazelnut flour). Next time i might make them a little sweeter or dip them in butter and cinn/sugar after baking. Nice to have a donut option that isn't fried!

  39. I am sitting here sampling my first try at these donuts! (When my hubby heard my scream of delight that you had created a donut recipe, he quickly and secretly ordered me the donut pan that came yesterday!) I was wondering if you could give me some more to go on about how the dough should look/feel. Mine was rather sticky, and I had to add more sorghum flour a few times, to get it so I could shape it at all, and they do sort of crumble in my mouth from the extra flour I assume. I used a real egg, and I used butter (allergic to the shortening). Any suggestions I can try for a better texture?
    P.S. I am already dreaming about your bagel recipe!

  40. Shannon, Anon, Thanks for the feedback on your success with the donuts!

    Spring- I didn't use a real egg, so I'm guessing, but--- my suspicion is there was too much liquid in your version. If you use a real egg, use less liquid- start with only a tablespoon- and only if it looks like you need it. You may need it, you may not (eggs add a lot of moisture to gluten-free dough). Also- make sure the butter is chilled, not melted.

    xox Karina

  41. Ok Thanks Karina! I am finishing up the first batch tonight, and will try again tomorrow. I do have egg replacer, so I might just go with that this time to be safe. I am going to melt some chocolate for dipping this batch too! ;)

  42. I'm dying to make these. We can't have rice flour or any nuts; do you have suggestions for subs for the rice flour and hazelnut/almond flour?

    I also haven't found a yogurt that's DF, SF and doesn't have rice starch. Suggestions there??

    Maybe it's a lost cause!!

  43. Natural Mama00:45

    Loved these! Here's what worked for our family...
    Ingredient Modifications:
    *almond flour- I don't buy premade almond flour due to rancidity issues. I make my own almond meal in my food processor and just live with a coarser texture in my baked goods. However, when only a small amount of almond flour is needed, it can be ground in a coffee grinder and it comes out like flour. I have a $15 grinder I use daily for flax seeds (no coffee here). Got that tip from another blog.
    *Sugar, loved the lower amount in this recipe. I prefer Raw Organic Coconut Crystals as my sugar. It's not a refined sugar like traditional white, brown, or "raw", and it's low glycemic. I use Coconut Secret brand.
    *We used only a sprinkle of nutmeg.
    *We used egg replacer (egg allergy here), but did use dairy: butter, sour cream & milk.
    *powdered sugar. Again, instead of using refined sugar you can make your own by putting coconut crystals in a blender and blending to a powder. So it's brown, but healthy!

    Preparation Modifications:
    *Place whisked dry ingredients in a food processor. Add butter and pulse. Then add remaining ingredients and pulse until blended. Our dough came out awesome, sticky but workable.
    *We don't use a donut pan by choice as we don't want to eat the chemicals from the non-stick coating. Instead we used the smallest size cookie scoop (1 inch?) from Pampered Chef, and made about 40 donut balls. We cooked them for about 10 minutes on a silpat mat. Fabulous! We only made the recipe as printed and it's plenty for a few meals for my little ones (rounded out with a healthy protein and veggie or fruit!)

    Thanks so much for sharing your great recipes. Your Sour Cream Enchiladas are a favorite here, as are the Quinoa Breakfast Brownies (with 50% less sugar.)

  44. Anonymous00:57

    16 Years and you still have a crush on your hubby. That is the coolest thing I have heard in a very long time!

    Oh and donuts? YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. My sweetie and I still like to go to Dunkie for coffee and the occasional donut. With the right guy, it never gets old.

  46. Such a sweet, sweet story. Congratulations!! I love that these are egg and dairy free. My daughter is allergic to both. Thank you for all your wonderful posts. I'm ordering a donut pan now....

  47. My son's fiance will love this recipe. She's quite the baker! I like that these are baked and not fried, and yet they look incredible.

  48. Karina - I have been looking for a good vegan doughnut recipe for my little guy who has multiple allergies, so I am so happy to find this! Thank you!!

  49. These look amazing, and I am so glad this recipe calls for baking the donuts to make them a little more healthy. I can't believe they are vegan, my friend is dairy free so she will be amazed by this.

  50. I do not have Celiac disease but with a diabetics hubby and over weight by lots, I thought dropping wheat might help him and me. My daughter-in-law does have the disease and is free for about 9 years also. Anna got me thinking about our bad eating habits. I was pleased to find a donut recipe..apparently I shouldn't deep fry them...major wrong... Right? I'll stay tuned.