Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donuts (Gluten-free & Oil-free)

Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donuts (Gluten-free & Oil-free)

Learn how to make the most delicious Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donuts gluten-free and oil-free! These donuts are so soft, fluffy and moist, baked and not fried. It is hard to believe they contain no oil or gluten!

Stack of vegan cinnamon sugar donuts on white plate

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VEGAN CINNAMON SUGAR DONUTS GLUTEN-FREE OIL-FREE

I'm whistling at these donuts, because gluten-free never looked so pretty! I only have one donut recipe on the blog, these Vegan Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts and those are fantastic. I've received many requests for a classic cinnamon sugar donut, in particular, a gluten-free one. Cinnamon sugar donuts used to be one of my favorite types of donuts as a kid.

These Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donuts are not only oil-free and gluten-free, they are incredibly soft, light and fluffy. They are baked, not fried, so they have a cakey texture, that I just love. I'm not into the greasy fried donuts these days, yuck.

Overhead view of donuts next to cup of hot chocolate

GLUTEN-FREE BAKED DONUTS

Have you ever notice most gluten-free donuts are just lumpy bumpy and ugly? They just are! But not these my friends. I have to be honest, not only do I need my food to taste good, I want it to look pretty. These babies look just like ones made with all-purpose flour, don't they? These vegan cinnamon sugar donuts aren't just fluffy, they aren't dense or mushy! Gluten-free often is.

To make these fluffy and soft, I used my go-to flour blend that is the base of my most popular cake on the blog, my Funfetti Cake! That recipe has hundreds of remakes and I've seen so many of your kid's birthday parties and that cake is a hit with all the non-vegans too.

So, naturally I wanted to test the blend as a gluten-free donut. I simply added cinnamon and scaled down the recipe and added a cinnamon sugar coating. They turned out perfect!

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CINNAMON SUGAR DONUTS

To make the best baked vegan cinnamon sugar donuts, you will just need 8 ingredients:

  • blanched almond flour
  • white rice flour
  • potato starch
  • baking powder
  • cinnamon
  • maple syrup
  • lite coconut milk
  • sugar

You only need 1 big bowl and a donut pan and a tiny bowl for the coating.

First, you will add all of the dry ingredients to a large bowl, add the wet and whisk until a smooth batter forms.

vegan cinnamon sugar batter and donut tray on side

 

Bake for 14 minutes until light, fluffy and they are a light golden color.

Mix the cinnamon sugar in a small bowl and coat one side of the donuts.

Vegan cinnamon sugar donut in bowl of sugar

Or do the glaze option listed below if you prefer! Basically, both are delicious.

Vegan sugar glazed donuts on round plate

SUBSTITUTIONS

I will say what I always say. To get the best vegan cinnamon sugar donuts, you need to follow the exact recipe and weigh the ingredients. Anytime you sub a flour or ingredient, you are changing the result and sometimes it is a fail. Baking is a science, always remember that. However, I give suggestions below if absolutely needed.

Almond flour: Crucial as it is what gives these vegan cinnamon sugar donuts their moisture. It simply cannot be replaced. If you are allergic to nuts, it will be best to find a recipe online that doesn't use nuts. Or, you can try replacing it with ground up sunflower kernels. Note, this will obviously yield a sunflower taste and make them more dense.

White rice flour: It leaves no nasty aftertaste like brown rice flour does. It also gives much better binding. Brown rice flour will make them dry and crumbly. If you cannot have rice, then I think subbing with all-purpose flour would work in place of the rice flour (although I have not tested it), you will sub it with 3/4 cup (96g) which is less grams than the rice flour, since they bake up differently.

WHY POTATO STARCH?

Potato starch: Do everything you can to find this ingredient if you want the best results. Many grocery stores sell it or simply order it off Amazon. I buy Bob's Red Mill. Potato starch does not behave the same as other starches. When there is a good amount of it in a recipe, like with these donuts, subbing it will have very different results. This ingredient is the very starch that makes these donuts light and fluffy. Tapioca starch and cornstarch simply will not yield the same results. Tapioca will make them gooey and rubbery. Cornstarch will make them more dense and chewy. This is the result I've noticed when combined with almond flour. It would be better than tapioca, so it's up to you if you want to try the cornstarch. Just please keep in mind that it will make them much more chewy and dense.

Coconut milk: Okay, I know people will ask about this one. Lite coconut milk yields no coconut taste, yet adds wonderful moisture and lightness to the donuts. If you are allergic to coconut, I would suggest another high fat milk for best results. Cashew milk will likely work, although they will perhaps be a tad less light and less moist.

Scattered vegan cinnamon sugar donuts next to coffee

Donuts and coffee, or even better, the Best Vegan Hot Chocolate with whipped cream, never looked so good.

Stack of vegan cinnamon sugar donuts with bite missing

I really hope you all love these Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donuts! As always, please come back and leave feedback if you love them. I hope these detailed tips are helpful.

Other Sweet Vegan Breakfast Desserts to try:

 

Vegan cinnamon sugar donut in bowl of sugar
5 from 16 votes
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Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donuts (Gluten-free & Oil-free)

Learn how to make the most delicious Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donuts gluten-free and oil-free! These donuts are so soft, fluffy and moist, baked and not fried. It is hard to believe they contain no oil or gluten!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword cinnamon sugar donuts, vegan donuts
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Servings 7 donuts
Author Brandi Doming

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (84g) superfine blanched almond flour (I love the brand Nature's Eats)
  • 3/4 cup (120g) white rice flour
  • 6 tablespoons (60g) potato starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (200g) pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (150g) canned "lite" coconut milk, shaken first (I use and highly recommend Thai Kitchen brand, very creamy)

CINNAMON SUGAR

  • 6 tablespoons (60g) white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

SUGAR GLAZE OPTION

  • 2 tablespoons (30g) canned "lite" coconut milk, you can sub other milks, but the glaze will be thinner
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (140g) powdered sugar, sifted if it is lumpy

NOTE

  • Regarding SUBS, refer to the notes listed above in the post. For measuring, decide which option you choose, whether by SCALE or by CUPS, knowing that using a scale with my weights will yield exact results. Cups are NOT needed when using a scale. You do not compare your weight measurement of cups to mine. That defeats the purpose of following my recipe's weight measures. You simply need the scale and a bowl and to hit zero in between adding each ingredient (except spoon measurements). I test recipes BASED on weight, not cups, so that is why you would rely on my weights, not yours. This is because we all scoop and measure flours differently with cups, making it unreliable and incomparable. If you choose cups over a scale, scoop up the flours with the cup and gently pat down and level off.
  • I use this scale.
  • I use this donut pan.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and spray a 6 regular size donut pan well with nonstick spray. If you don't spray them, they WILL STICK. This recipe makes 7 donuts, which I know is a little annoying since the pan is only 6 but hey, you get an extra donut and the batter is totally fine sitting out as the first batch bakes. Also, this may VARY depending on your pan having different donut size holes or depth of each one.
  2. To a large bowl, add the almond flour, rice flour, potato starch, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and whisk very well to ensure there are no lumps. Pour the syrup and milk over the dry ingredients and whisk until completely smooth. It should be similar to a cake batter, pour-able. Do not worry about over mixing, this is a gluten-free batter and the smoother, the better.
  3. Divide the batter evenly into the 6 donut pan, reserving enough for the 7th donut. Basically the batter should be filled up to about 1/8- 1/4 inch gap remaining at the top of each cavity.
  4. Bake 12-15 minutes. Each batch mine were perfect at 14 minutes. They are done when a toothpick basically comes out clean. A few dry crumbs are ok, as they will still finish cooking as they cool. Do not overbake.
  5. Leave the donuts to cool in the pan JUST 5 minutes. This will allow them to set a bit, but then you will want to gently remove them to coat the bottoms of the donuts while still warm. This will help the sugar to stick better.
  6. You can choose to either add the cinnamon sugar coating or the glaze. I did both and loved both equally! For the cinnamon sugar, combine them in a bowl and whisk until well combined. After the donuts have cooled in the pan for just 5 minutes, gently remove the donuts. Slide a toothpick around the edges of the donuts if needed to loosen and they should pop right out. Place the bottom side of the donut (that had the spray on it) and coat with cinnamon sugar. The sugar sticks well since there is a bit of nonstick spray on it, the dry side did not stick well. I also found this half amount was perfectly sweet enough! If you used a pan and no nonstick spray, the cinnamon sugar will not stick, so the glaze will be a better option.
  7. Place all the coated donuts onto a cooling rack to cool completely. They will still finish "cooking" as they cool and get even more fluffy. So, it's best to let them cool before eating.
  8. For the glaze, combine the sugar and milk and whisk until completely smooth. Place the donut flat into the glaze and rotate it to coat it. Place on a wire rack to let the glaze set. You can also speed up the drying by placing it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  9. Store the cooled donuts in a covered container so they don't dry out. They will stay moist and fresh this way.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition based on 7 donuts (per donut), which will obviously vary depending on your donut pan: 289 calories, 7.5g fat, 1.8g protein, 53.4g carbs, 2.3g fiber, 26g sugar, 177mg sodium

 

47 Comments

  1. Looks awesome but i dont use refined sugar. Have you tried substituting the sugar for stevia & granulated dried dates (date sugar)?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi! There isn't sugar in the actual donut recipe base, just the coating. For the coating you can try a date sugar I guess, I've never tried it before! Or even coconut sugar if you don't mind the darker color and different flavor. I use regular since I wanted them to taste like the classic. I wouldn't use stevia though, that is very strong and will obviously be too much for coating a donut.
  2. I made these today, right after seeing your recipe pop up on my Facebook page. I'm bowing in your honor now; these taste marvelous, delicious, very special. You are a marvel yourself, Vegan 8. Thank you, thank you. (I didn't have a donut pan but I do have a mini bundt cupcake pan and that worked very nicely).
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Yay! Wow, so happy to read your feedback that you loved these so much. Thank you Annie! Would you mind clicking the star rating as well? Thank you!
  3. As long as it contains sugar, it's not healthy. Why no oils. We need healthy fat to nourish cells. Use alternatives like Real stevia and maple syrup or dates. This recipe can be further altered for healthier ingredients. 😉
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Carmela, if you read the recipe base, you will see I used maple syrup in the donut base, the coating is the only part that has sugar. Besides, this is a donut, not a salad, not exactly health food nor would I call it healthy. However, it is certainly healthier than the traditional white flour fried in grease donuts. 😊 These don't make me feel sick like those would. I'm not anti-sugar either, but if you want to use maple sugar, there is maple sugar or date sugar out there. Additionally, this is oil-free, NOT fat-free. The almond flour and coconut milk contain plenty of fat, so you are confusing the oil-free statement with being fat-free, they are very different. I'm not at all fat-free. I am not a fan of dates or stevia, I do not use those in my recipes, so if those are the kind of recipes your prefer, there are plenty of other blogs that focus on those types of sweeteners. Good luck!
  4. Oh. My. God. To. Die. For. I have to say, I'm a rebel, and not much of a direction follower😎, so I didn't weigh the ingredients. Perhaps that's why I got TEN yummy donuts!! These are amazingly light and fluffy. Not at all dense and just the right amount of sweetness! Thanks for your creativity and willingness to share your recipes💕

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Woohoo, love hearing that Tami, thank you so much for this amazing review!!
  5. Thank you, Brandi! I just made these, and my husband and stepchildren INHALED them! Delicious. I had a yield of 9 donuts using my Wilton pan (3 3/4" size donuts).

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      I'm so thrilled to hear how much these were a hit Jennifer, thank you for making them!
  6. When I saw you were making a donut recipe yesterday, I went out, bought a donut pan, and then made them last night! Your recipes have always turned out wonderfully, and this one did as well. Absolutely delicious, and just as moist the morning after. I cannot vouch for any later than that, however, as they are all gone now. :) Thank you!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Haha, that is hilarious! So glad you enjoyed these Kylie, thank you so much for leaving feedback!
  7. Hi I wanted to know how many carbs in one of these donuts?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Beth, I've added the nutrition above under Notes :)
  8. Can these be made in a mini donut maker like baby cakes?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Debbie! I’m sure they could, they will just cook much faster. I’ve never tried them as mini but the review below just did!
  9. OMG! Saw this yesterday and was waiting for you to post recipe!! I made these this evening (pregnancy cravings) love that they are oil free!! Only downfall is... when i bought my donut pan, I bought a 12 mini donut one!! But for those who have mini donut pans it yields 24 mini donuts haha so more donuts!! Lol!! So delicious! Thanks Brandi for another amazing recipe!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Oooh hey 24 donuts sounds even better, haha, thank you so much for making them!!
  10. I have never made donuts in my life but because I have tried your other great recipes I thought I’d give them a try. Unbelievably delicious!!! I couldn’t wait to purchase a donut pan but had a mini bunt pan. They turned out fantastic even though they don’t look uniform. I lightly brushed the tops with leftover coconut milk so the sugar would stick. The taste is exactly perfect don’t know how else to describe these wonderful donuts. I love how you intuitively give answers questions and also give good alternatives if possible in your recipes. Your recipes have made it so easy and delicious to be a Vegan. Thank you!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Yay, so glad you loved these Carol Ann!! So wonderful to hear! Thank you for your kind words!
  11. Made these today, success! I made 6 small donuts, and turned rest of the batter into pancakes, turned out great! For the alterations with the recipe, I used quinoa flour(110g)+coconut flour(10g) instead of 120g of white rice flour, soy milk instead of coconut, lastly, only added 1/2 of maple syrup instead of 1/2 cup+2 tbsp of it. Fantastic recipe that allows some alterations!
  12. I'm laughing at the lumpy and ugly part😂 It's so true though, usually they are just basically muffins that happened to be baked in a donut shape. But that is definitely not the case here, this is some donut shop level fluff! They look so soft and delicate and mmmm I just cannot resist a cinnamon sugar coating. Definitely a mix of flours/starches I've never tried before, but in my mind I can totally imagine where it would work wonderfully well. A great mix of moisture and binding, all of your experimentation to find this blend is certainly paying off. I was really thinking spelt flour at first when I saw them in your stories, so I'm amazed they are gf...THAT TEXTURE!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Haha, right though? That is so true, muffins in a donut pan, lol! I wanted these to truly look and taste like a donut, not a muffin pretending to be a donut, hahaha! Thank you so much Natalie for checking them out! The texture is perfection for a baked donut!
  13. Just made these today. We are not GF or vegan but these were a huge hit with the family. Can't wait to share with my friends who do have dietary restrictions.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So awesome to hear that Cinnamon, thank you for making them!
  14. Perfect in every way! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the texture! Thank you, Brandi, for yet another amazingly fluffy, delicate and light donut recipe! You rock! My son loved them so much!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Yay, thank you so much Lana, really happy to hear this!!
  15. Scrumptious!! Omg they're soooooo good! I literally just baked and ate them!...Well, us....hehe. I gotta tell ya, as soon as I saw your email, I showed it to my husband and he immediately said, "you gotta make em"! Haha. He loves everything cinnamon, if you ever come up with a cinnamon cake, ohhh he'll go nuts! Hahaha Anyways I glazed them all except 1 because I realized that they were yummy just like that, plain. Also I don't have nonstick spray, never used it, so I used coconut oil. It worked ok but the cinna/sugar did not stick, which was no big deal because like I said, I glazed them. Another comment suggested brushing them with the coconut milk, which is brilliant so I'll try that next time. Thanks again for sharing your amazing talent with us and making our vegan journey wonderful, easy, and worth it!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Woohoo! So happy to hear that Mzee!! Yes, I love the idea of the milk too, so great! And funny enough you mention cinnamon cake. As I was making these donuts, I literally thought "Oh, I need to do a cake next!" Haha, so that will definitely be happening soon, so stay tuned!!
  16. Oh my gosh!!!! These Donuts are Amazing! So fluffy and moist. We drizzled some of the frosting on top and could not resist eating them! Had to save a couple for daddy for when he gets home! But wow- I usually doubt most “vegan” healthy versions of junk food - but these did not disappoint or leave me feeling guilty (other than I broke my fast 4 hours earlier than usual today for one!) very very good! I can’t wait for the next family gathering so I can show off my new trick.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      This is so wonderful to hear Hope! Thank you so much for making these and leaving feedback and I'm so glad these were such a hit with you all!
  17. Came back to click the star rating at 5 stars.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you Annie!
  18. Made these tonight as a treat for tomorrow.... amazing feat of baking! I didn’t have lite coconut milk so I used regular. maybe they took 3 min longer to bake and maybe I overfilled the wells, also I used coconut Sugar and cinnamon to coat them and I had to let them Rest a bit longer , But I’m so impressed! They look And taste like delicious donuts ( actually Better I think ) and they are easy , and simple to whip up . Something that can be made on a weekday to make it special . For the kids Finals week or teatime ? Perfect. Thank you !!!Ps. I doubled the recipe because I had faith in you and you didn’t disappoint,plus we got some “ tasters” 😊😋
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you for the amazing review Cassidy!
  19. These donuts are so delicious! I made them while my teenager was home from school due to the bitter cold "polar vortex" and they were a great treat. My son and husband both loved them. I will definitely be making them again. Thank you so much for another wonderful recipe!

  20. If i make a double batch, is it ok to put some of the dough in the refrigerator and use for later?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      No, you don't want to store the dough in the fridge. It will make it excessively thick and dense donuts. The batter needs to be baked right away.
      • Ok 👍 thank you!
  21. Just made them. Saw the recipe and had to order the pans!!! Turned out so good. I had almond flour,Brown rice flour (substituted white flour),no potato starch so subbed vital wheat gluten. I know they aren't gluten-free now, but still taste great. Want to get all the listed ingredients and try them again. Love all your recipes!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So glad you enjoyed them Debbie!
  22. Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe! I finally got to get my donut pan back out after going gluten-free a few months ago, and it did not disappoint! I followed the recipe to a T, and dipped in cinnamon sugar. I cannot believe how perfect they are! I got 10 donuts in my Wilton pan. They froze & thawed perfectly, and I'm eating the last one this morning. :-)
  23. I bought my first donut pan for these. So glad I did!! They are absolutely delicious! I didn’t have regular sugar so I used coconut- tasted great but next time I will grind it finer. For dinner we had the Brussels sprouts and alfredo. It was a vegan 8 kinda day!! Loved it all! Thanks, Brandi!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Aww, yay, so happy to read this Cori, glad you had success with all 3 recipes, haha!
  24. These donuts were so simple to make! Not only simple to make but love that the taste and texture are not compromised. My kids and husband have loved these donuts! I have lost count on how many times I have made them for other family members to try as well! Always a hit! Thank you Brandi! Best of all thank you for keeping the recipes simple enough while using whole food ingredients.
  25. Amazing. How is it possible that so few ingredients that it can be this good. So simple for the novice baker. Better tasting than the local bakery. I’ve always though GF donuts had an off taste. These are so good. Thank you so much for the recipe.
  26. 5 star recipe. So wonderful. Thank you.

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