These light and airy glazed yeast-raised gluten free donuts taste like they’re from your favorite bakery from way back when. Now, you can fry them in oil, or make them in your Air Fryer with almost no oil. Either way, don’t forget the glaze!

There’s no shortage of gluten free donut recipes on this blog. But these old fashioned donuts needed an upgrade!

Why this is the best gluten free fried donut recipe

Don’t get me wrong: cake donuts are quite nice. But when you’re craving a fluffy donut, the cake variety isn’t going to do it for you.

This fried donut recipe is what I imagine a Krispy Kreme gluten free doughnut would taste like, if there was such a thing. These homemade donuts are golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside and soft, rich, and fluffy on the inside — just like Krispy Kreme donuts!

What’s especially nice about this gluten free doughnuts recipe is that there’s room for variation. Love to deep fry? We’ve got your covered. Prefer to air fry? We’ve got instructions for that too.

What if plain glazed doughnuts are not quite your thing? That’s okay — you don’t have to hunt down other gluten free donut recipes. With these fried morsels, you can make a jelly donut, a powdered sugar donut, donut holes, and more.

What are gluten free yeasted donuts made of?

  • Gluten free flour blend – my go-to gluten free flour blend is Better Batter. If you use a different gf flour, I can’t guarantee that you’ll get the same results as me, especially with yeast breads. As always, click through to our all purpose gluten free blends page for full info on this super important topic.
  • Salt – salt is a magic ingredient that brings out and ties together all the other flavors in these donuts; it also helps keep the yeast from overproofing the dough.
  • Cream of tartar and baking soda – when these ingredients combine, they create a reaction that helps these gluten free yeast donuts puff up.
  • Sugar – sugar contributes to the sweetness of these donuts, but it also feeds the yeast so it can do its thing and adds tenderness.
  • Instant yeast – I use instant yeast to make my gluten free yeast donuts, but you can also use dry active yeast if you use 25% more, by weight, and soak it in some liquid in the recipe first.
  • Apple cider vinegar – this may seem like a strange ingredient, but it’s an excellent flavor enhancer.
  • Eggs – egg helps your donut dough stay together and adds a rich flavor, plus helps rise.
  • Milk – warm milk (room temperature) will help activate the yeast so it can start its rise
  • Melted butter – butter adds to the softness and richness of these homemade gluten free donuts
  • Oil – use vegetable oil or another neutral oil with a high smoke point for frying your yeast donuts

Should I let the gluten free donuts dough rise twice?

I now recommend allowing this donut dough to have the first rise in a sealed container in the refrigerator. But when I first made this recipe, I honestly didn’t bother.

At the time, gluten free yeast bread dough wasn’t considered stable enough to shape properly. Ever since I developed the recipes for Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, though, I’m more inclined to let yeast dough rise twice.

The first rise, ideally, is slowly in the refrigerator. I find that it not only makes the dough easier to shape, but it allows the dough to develop that yeasted flavor that I really love.

A half eaten donut

How to cook your gluten free yeast doughnuts

Oil frying gluten free

Old-fashioned donuts like these yeast-raised gluten free donuts are meant to be fried, not baked. If you’d like to begin with baked donuts, I’ve got plenty of recipes for cake donuts from classic gluten free vanilla donuts to gluten free chocolate cake donuts.

When you bake a yeast-raised donut, it mostly tastes like, well, a really light bagel. Deep-frying can be messy and time-consuming, but it shouldn’t result in oily donuts at all.

Just be sure your oil is hot enough, and the outside of the donut will seal quickly once it hits the oil. Then, the inside of the donut will just cook evenly and without any oil for the rest of the time.

Use “dirty” oil for the best gf fried donuts

Oil that is not quite clean is best for frying. Frying a few chunks of old bread in the oil before using it for the doughnuts will help all of your doughnuts come out golden brown and delicious. They brown quickly.

I first published this donut recipe way back in 2012, long before I had ever even heard of an Air Fryer. I fried them, and many of you who have made them over the years have done the same.

The original photo of the fried donuts is just above. They are a bit more tender inside and crisp outside when they’re deep fried in oil. An air fryer is so incredibly easy, though…

Air frying your gf donuts

As we discussed when we made our gluten free chicken nuggets in the Air Fryer, an Air Fryer is not really created to “fry” anything at all. I think of it more as a very efficient, rather small convection oven.

But by making fried wontons in the Air Fryer, I learned that you can make foods that taste sufficiently like they were, in fact, deep fried in the Air Fryer. Of course, you don’t use nearly as much oil as you do in deep frying, where you use oil by the quart.

You can still give food cooked in the Air Fryer that “fried” taste. Just spray or brush the food generously with nonaerosol cooking oil spray

You can also use another high-heat-safe cooking oil, like avocado oil. It’s just easiest to evenly distribute it on the food when it’s in spray form. You’ll still be using far less oil than you otherwise would.

Donuts in an air fryer

More tips for making the best gluten free glazed doughnuts

Use a stand mixer if you can

If you’ve got access to a stand mixer, I highly recommend you use it for mixing your donut dough. It will be a lot less work for you, and the dough will come out nice and smooth with all the ingredients properly incorporated. Otherwise, try using a food processor, but this isn’t the sort of dough you can make successfully by hand.

The longer the chill, the better the flavor

Once you’ve made the dough, I advise that you put in the fridge for at least an hour. This is to give the ingredients time to mesh, especially the gluten free flour, which needs to absorb the liquids in the mix.

While the dough is suitable for use after just an hour, I suggest that you leave it in the fridge as long as you can so it has time to develop a better flavor. If you can swing it, try making the dough the night before and frying your gluten free doughnuts in the morning or in the afternoon.

Don’t skip the candy thermometer

If you’re frying these gluten free yeast donuts the old-fashioned way in a pot of oil, you definitely want to use a candy thermometer to ensure you’ve got your hot oil at the perfect temperature.

Here’s the deal: If your oil isn’t hot enough, your gluten free fried donuts will absorb oil as they cook, resulting pale, greasy lumps. If your oil is too hot, the outsides of your doughnuts will darken and possibly burn before the center is done.

How to store gluten free fried donuts

Gluten free recipes, especially for baked or fried goods, have a bit of a reputation of coming out dry. This is because gluten free flour tends to be drying; it absorbs the moisture in recipes like a sponge.

However, I’m thankful to report that not only do these gluten free fried doughnuts come out soft and fluffy, they stay that way for several hours. That comes from a recipe that was properly developed to be made gluten free from the start, with the right balance of ingredients, measured properly.

For as delicious as these gf fried donuts are out of the fryer or when still warm, they don’t store well beyond a few hours. After about five hours, you’ll notice these donuts hardening up.

So what are you to do if you want to get your donut fix every morning? I recommend making the dough in advance and frying a gluten free donut (or three) as needed.

Can I make GF doughnuts in advance?

Absolutely! You can enjoy fresh yeasted doughnuts whenever you’d like by preparing the donut dough in advance and storing it in the fridge. Remember, the dough stays good for up to two days, so you can fry up warm donuts rather than settle for cold, hard ones.

Dough on a platter with a donut cutter

Gluten free donuts substitutions and ideas

Gluten free dairy free donuts

I’ve made these donuts dairy free quite easily by replacing the unsalted butter with virgin coconut oil and using unsweetened almond or coconut milk (in the carton). Those substitutions work perfectly well.

You can also replace the butter with Melt VeganButter or Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, each melted and cooled.

Gluten free egg free donuts

Since there are only one egg and one egg white in this recipe, you can try replacing the egg with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel).

Try replacing the egg white with aquafaba (the brine from a can of chickpeas). I haven’t tried either of these substitutions, so you’ll have to experiment!

Apple cider vinegar substitute

In place of apple cider vinegar, you can another neutral or full-bodied vinegar. I would not use a particularly bright, tart vinegar, like white wine vinegar.

White balsamic vinegar is rather mellow. That works well in place of apple cider vinegar. You can also use freshly-squeezed lemon juice.

Gluten free refined sugar-free donuts?

The donut dough is only lightly sweet, with a mere 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in the whole batch. If you’d like to make the donuts without refined sugar, you can try.

I recommend replacing the granulated sugar with an equal amount, by weight, of coconut palm sugar. The donuts will be darker in color.

If you’d like to try using a sugar replacement, I recommend Lankato monkfruit white sweetener or Swerve granulated sugar replacement. You may have to add some more milk as those sugar replacements tend to be drying.

The glaze is essentially all sugar confectioners’ sugar. If you can’t have refined sugar, I recommend just eliminating it entirely.

Shaped donut dough rising on a platter with plastic wrap

Filling and topping ideas for gf donuts

Plain gluten free glazed doughnuts are amazing, but if you’re seeking something a little more exciting, here are a few ideas:

  • Chocolate – gluten free fried donuts drizzled in a chocolate glaze? **chef’s kiss**
  • Jelly donuts – use a pastry bag to make gluten free jelly doughnuts — just skip the hole in the donut, and pipe your favorite flavor into the center of the donuts after frying
  • Pie filling – for a richer taste, use your favorite pie filling in place of jelly
  • Sugar – granulated sugar, cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar — top a freshly fried donut with sugar as soon as it comes out of the fryer
  • Sprinkles – most sprinkles don’t add a lot of flavor, but they do add some texture and are beautiful eye candy. Just be sure to sprinkle them on before the glaze has set, so they’ll stay in place.

FAQs

Are yeasted donuts gluten free?

Unfortunately, most yeasted donuts are not gluten free. This is because manufacturers use wheat flour to make their doughnuts. These donuts are gluten free because they’re made with a gluten free recipe!

Is Krispy Kreme gluten free?

You would think it’s about time there was a gluten free Krispy Kreme doughnut, but I’m sorry to say that such a thing doesn’t exist. Worse, the popular donut chain has said that it has no plans to introduce gluten free donuts any time soon.

That’s fine, though. I’m serious when I say that my recipe for gluten free yeasted donuts is good enough to be a Krispy Kreme copycat recipe.

What’s the difference between yeast donuts and cake donuts?

The differences between cake donuts and yeast donuts lie in how they’re prepared and their textures.

Cake donuts tend to be sweeter, and because they’re not made with yeast, they don’t have the same airy texture. As they’re generally cooked in an oven using a donut pan, these baked donuts are a bit more dense, like cake.

Yeast donuts, on the other hand, are soft and fluffy after they’ve been cooked. You can’t bake these types of donuts as the consistency will come out too tough, so it’s to the deep fryer or air fryer for these yummy treats.

What’s the best gluten free flour for fried gluten free donuts?

I’ve perfected my gluten free donut recipe using Better Batter. It contains a mix of lightweight gluten free flours, including potato starch, potato flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, and tapioca flour/tapioca starch, to give these donuts their soft consistency.

Can I halve or double this gluten free fried doughnut recipe?

You can absolutely halve or double this recipe. Consider making half a batch if you want to ensure you won’t have leftovers that may go stale, or double the recipe if you’ve got company that’s hungry for delicious gf donuts.

Can I roll fried gluten free donuts by hand rather than use a cutter?

Yes, you can roll the gluten free dough by hand, but note that it won’t have the traditional donut shape with the hole in the middle.

Can I bake gluten free yeasted doughnuts?

No, it’s not a good idea to bake yeasted donuts — they just don’t come out right! Frying them ensures that they cook quickly while maintaining their fluffy center. If you bake them instead, you’ll likely end up with a dense, biscuit-like result.

If you’d rather have baked donuts, try my gluten free chocolate cake donuts. We also have apple cider gf cake donuts, if you’re in the mood!

What’s the best oil for frying gluten free doughnuts?

Vegetable oil is probably the most popular oil for frying donuts, but you can use any neutral oil of your choosing. You can go the route of Krispy Kreme and use vegetable shortening, or you can try canola oil, peanut oil, or sunflower seed oil. Anything with a comparably high smoke poitn will work.

How do you make a gluten free jelly doughnuts?

It’s easy to turn plain gluten free doughnuts into mouth-watering jelly donuts. All you need is a jam or jelly of your choosing (I love grape jelly and strawberry jam) and a pastry bag, and to skip the hole cut in the center of the donuts before you rise and fry them.

Cut the tip of a pastry bag and drop in a piping tip. If you have one, a Bismark piping tip, which is the kind with the long, narrow tip that ends in an angle, is ideal.

Scoop your jam, jelly, chocolate glaze, or other gluten free filling into the bag. Cut a hole in your doughnut using a small knife or skewer (or the end of your Bismark tip), and then pipe the filling into the doughnut just until it starts to spill back out.

Donuts with white glaze on a rack

How to make donut shop-style gluten free donuts

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Glazed Yeast-Raised Gluten Free Donuts

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These yeast-raised gluten free donuts taste just like they came from your favorite donut shop, but you made them at home with basic gf pantry ingredients. Deep-fry to perfection, or air fry them with almost no oil!
Course Bread, Breakfast, Donuts
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten free donuts
Chilling time 1 hour
Servings 12 donuts
Author Nicole Hunn

Equipment

  • Stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment
  • Candy thermometer or electric deep fryer or Air Fryer

Ingredients

For the donuts

  • 2 ½ cups all purpose gluten-free flour blend (I used Better Batter; click through for full info on appropriate blends), plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum omit if your blend already contains it
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast also called breadmaker or rapid rise yeast
  • ½ teaspoon fresh finely-ground nutmeg optional
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1 egg white at room temperature
  • 1 ⅛ cups milk at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled (or virgin coconut oil, by weight)
  • Oil for frying or non-aerosol oil spray for Air Frying

For the glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or honey)
  • 2 tablespoons water plus more as necessary

Instructions

Make the donut dough.

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, place 2 1/2 cups flour, the xanthan gum, salt, cream of tartar, baking soda and sugar. Whisk to combine well. Add the yeast and optional nutmeg, and whisk again to combine well.
  • Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment.
  • Add the vinegar, egg, egg white, milk and melted butter, and mix to combine. Mix on low speed until the liquid is absorbed by the dry ingredients, then turn the mixer speed to high and mix for about 2 minutes or until very well-combined.
  • The dough will be wet but should scrape easily off the sides of the mixer with a spatula.
  • For best results, cover the inside of a lidded bucket or bowl with cooking oil spray, scrape the donut dough into the container, and cover the bucket or bowl.
  • Place in the refrigerator to rise and chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days. You can work with the dough immediately, though, if you prefer. It will just be stickier and a bit harder to handle, and will have less flavor.

Shape the dough.

  • When you’re ready to work with the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.
  • Sprinkle the dough lightly with some extra flour and turn over on itself a few times to create a smoother dough. Press the dough into a disk, sprinkle lightly with more flour, and roll it out about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Flour a doughnut cutter or biscuit or large round cookie cutter, and cut the dough into donut shapes. If you’re using a large round cutter, use a much smaller cutter to cut out donut holes from the rounds.
  • Place the shapes on the prepared baking sheets about 1 1/2-inches apart. Gather scraps and reroll, then cut more shapes.

Let the dough rise.

  • Cover the baking sheets with oiled plastic wrap, and place in a warm, draft-free spot and allow to rise to about 150% of their original size.

Air Fryer Instructions.

  • Spray the bottom of the Air Fryer basket with non-aerosol cooking oil spray. Place as many donuts and holes as will fit comfortably in the basket of your Air Fryer in a single layer, without crowding.
  • Spray or brush the tops of the nuggets generously with cooking oil, and place in the Air Fryer. Set the machine to fry at 380°F for 12 minutes. Allow to cook for about 6 minutes.
  • Remove the basket carefully from the fryer and, using heat-safe tongs, flip each of the nuggets over. Spray or brush again generously with cooking oil, and return to the fryer.
  • Finish frying until lightly golden brown all over. Remove the donuts and place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining donuts and holes.

Deep-frying directions.

  • In a large, heavy-bottom stock pot, heat at least 2 inches of oil to about 350°F.
  • Once the oil reaches temperature, fry a few old chunks of bread in the oil. They will blacken pretty quickly. Discard them.
  • Fry the doughnuts and holes in the hot oil in small batches, about 1 minute (or less) per side, until golden brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack lined with paper towels.

Make the glaze.

  • In a small-to-medium-sized bowl, place the confectioner’s sugar. Add the syrup or honey, and mix to combine into a thick paste.
  • Add water, a teaspoon at a time, and mix well until you have achieved a smooth and thickly pourable glaze.
  • Dip the top of each donut and donut hole in the glaze, allowing any excess to drip off, and then return to the wire rack to set, glazed side up.

Video

Notes

Originally published on the blog in 2012. In 2018, some photos, Air Fryer instructions, and video all new; recipe ingredients unchanged, method simplified. More text and resources added in 2022.
A close up of food, with Yeast and DoughThese glazed yeast-raised gluten free donuts taste like they're from your favorite bakery from way back when. Now, you can fry them in oil, or make them in your Air Fryer with almost no oil. Either way, don't forget the glaze! #glutenfree #gf #airfryer #donuts

The post Glazed Yeast-Raised Gluten Free Donuts | Krispy Kreme Copycat appeared first on Gluten Free on a Shoestring.

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