Gluten Free Doughnuts: Forget Krispy Kreme; Make These Instead

Gluten free doughnuts….hot, covered in vanilla glaze, pillowy soft, fluffy, and so delicious you want to swoon when you take the first bite.

Yes, you’re reading that right. Hot, yeast-risen doughnuts can be yours on a gluten free diet =)

Keep reading… and make you sure you clear your schedule for Friday night and Saturday morning, because you’re going to be making gluten free doughnuts this weekend!

How did these doughnuts come about? Well, after a couple of months of living in our RV and not making any new recipes, I was ready for a challenge. We happened to pass a doughnut display in a grocery store one Friday night and John and I both looked at each other and without a word being spoken I knew what I would be making for breakfast the next morning.

The recipe that I’m giving you here is actually the 2nd attempt at this. The first flour mix that I tried was too heavy, so I tried a different one a few weeks later and it worked perfectly. It’s just another good example that the flours you use do make a difference.

There are several steps to this recipe and I was serious when I said to clear your Friday night. You dough has to be started on Friday night and if you don’t get a relatively early start, then you’ll be up to 1:00 AM like I was =)

Also, set an alarm for Saturday morning if you’ll need to wake up before your kitchen assistants. The doughnuts need to sit for an hour before they go into the fryer, so I try to get up and do that early, before little people with little hands wake up and start trying to flatten my gluten free doughnuts.

These doughnuts are delicious with the glaze recipe at the end of this post, but we also enjoyed them spread with Nutella.

Gluten Free Doughnuts

Gluten Free Doughnut Recipe
yield: approximately 1.5 dozen

1 c. warm water
2 envelopes active dry yeast (1.5 Tbsp)
1 c. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. butter, softened*
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt

3.5 c. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. xanthan gum

1/2 gallon of oil (for frying)

*dairy free butter substitutes like Vegan Buttery Sticks or coconut oil would work

Step 1: Add the yeast to the warm water and proof for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of flour, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Whisk the sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and salt together and add it to the yeast/flour mixture. Then add in the remaining 3.5 c. of flour and the xanthan gum. Mix the dough together for several minutes. The dough should be somewhat thick but still soft, not thick enough that you think “this is going to be easy to roll out”, but more like “this dough may be a bit too soft to work with”

Step 3: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm spot for 2 hours. Then put it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, (but up to 16 hours) and get some sleep.

Step 4: Rise and shine! Roll out the dough to 3/8″ thick. Use a 3″ round cookie/biscuit cutter to cut out the doughnut, and then cut a 1″ hole (or thereabouts) in the middle of each with a floured knife. Re-roll the scraps and continue as above until you’ve used all of the dough. Let the doughnuts rise in a warm place for an hour. Do not cover them – the exterior needs to dry out slightly.

Step 5: Pour the oil into a large deep skillet (or stock pot) and heat it to 375 degrees F. I start the oil after the doughnuts have risen for 45 minutes so that everything is ready at the same time. Carefully drop a few doughnuts into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd. When one side has browned nicely (this doesn’t take long) flip the doughnut over and cook until the other side has browned as well. Cut one of the first doughnuts in two to make sure they are completely cooked and adjust your oil temperature as needed.

Step 6: When the doughnuts come out of the oil, lay them on a cooling rack or paper towels to drain. Once they’ve cooled just a little bit, roll them in the vanilla glaze and set them on a cooling rack.

Step 7: Sit down and eat while these are still hot. Keep eating until you can’t move or the doughnuts are all gone =)

Vanilla Almond Glaze

1 c. confectioner’s sugar
2 – 3 Tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Just stir briskly until all of the ingredients are combined. Make more as needed =)


  1. Would this work with your GF flour mix instead of Bob’s Red Mill? I can’t bring myself to pay that much for 1 pound of flour! (We’re very fortunate – we live literally next door to an Indian grocery that carries 10 lb sacks of rice flour for $5.49, so I’m pretty spoiled on price!)

  2. where can you purchase the ingrediants for gluten free foods such as flour and xanthan gum or what u need to make breads

    • Crystal Laws says:

      Weney…depending on where you live, you may be able to find these ingredients in the Health food section of your grocery store, in a Whole Food Market, or a local Health Food Store. If all these options prove fruitless…you can order on line, and mix them yourself. Bob’s has a Gluten Free mix, but my husband complained everything tasted like licking a penny. I had to agree. So, I pitched the works and set about collecting various organic gluten free flours and it was a lot of trial and error. I’d like to avoid waste, so I hesitantly try recipes from others. I did find the internet to be very helpful.

  3. I agree that there must be a better flour option than Bob’s. I normally like the quality of Bob’s Red Mill products (even though they’re pricey), but I’ll never get their GF All-purpose flour again — I tried making cookies with it and they were the worst things I’ve ever tasted!

    I really miss good, fluffy doughnuts and have yet to find a recipe I love :(

  4. Do you think I could bake these instead of frying them?

    • Amie » I haven’t tried baking them. They do puff up quite a bit when they’re fried and I’m not sure that you’d get the safe effect if you baked them. I think the rising mainly comes from the steam, rather than the yeast.

  5. Any thoughts on how to make stuffed LongJohns with this, and not just doughnuts? My daughter has had to give up her absolute favorite, Blueberry LongJohns, from the bakery here in town. I could come up with a replacement she would be in heaven!

    • Shelly » I had to google Long Johns to see what they were, but it does sound like you could make them with this dough. Would the bakery in town be willing to give you some tips on how they fill them?

      • Mary and Shelly–just cut the rolled out dough into 1″ to 1 1/2″ by 3″ strips instead of rounds. After the doughnuts have cooled, fill a pastry bag fitted with a long tube with a 1/2″ opening with your filling (be sure the blueberries are chopped fine enough or they will clog the tube). Use a skewer to make a hole at either end of the long john through to the middle, insert the pastry tube to the middle and squeeze the pastry bag firmly and slowly pull the tube out of the bag as you press to fill from the center to the end. Do this on both ends. Also, if no pastry bag is available, then a heavy zipper style storage bag with the tip of one of the corners cut may work–it just won’t go all the way in–you may want to try cutting the dough into donuts without the middle cut out and filling them when they cool.

  6. Also, I just wanted to let you know that these were delicious! Thanks for the recipe! I put my formed donuts onto 4″ squares of parchment to rise–then when I needed to pick them up to fry, I carfully lifted the doughnut, parchment and all and placed it into the oil. After a few seconds the parchment releases and I fish it out of the hot oil with tongs–solves my previous dilema of overhandling and deflating the dough before I get it into the oil!! =)

  7. Bonnie McCurdy says:

    Can these be fried in a deep fryer instead of a stock pot/deep skillet? I’ve recently burned my hand and I’m not wishing to try burning the other one if I can help it! Long story, stupidity rules! lol

  8. Betty Hutchinson says:

    A great recipe!! The doughnuts are wonderful. My 5 year old grandson with multiple food allergies has been wanting doughnuts, and I just made these. The whole family loves them, even those who can eat regular doughnuts. There is none of that off-flavor that alternative flours often have. And they look like doughnuts are supposed to (important to a 5 year old.) I had to use EnerG egg replacer because my grandson is allergic to eggs, so mine aren’t as light as they would be with eggs, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem for any of us! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe. There are so many things my grandson can’t have, so it is wonderful to have one less food for him to be denied.

  9. devora cziment says:

    Can I shape the dough into its form before frying and freeze raw? I was also wondering whether this recipe halves nicely?

    • devora cziment » I see no reason why it wouldn’t freeze well and halve well. Since the five of us managed to down an entire batch in one meal this past weekend I don’t anticipate halving the recipe any time soon, however freezing it is a great idea. Making the doughnuts is not hard, but it does require that you plan ahead. Having a frozen batch in the freezer would be convenient, but not so tempting that you’d succumb to a craving too easily.

  10. My hubby and kids loved these. I didn’t care for the texture which is very much like a cake donut. I wonder if they would be a lighter texture if rice based flour mix was used vs. the garbanzo/fava bean based that Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour uses? Once I learn how to make gf white bread, I may try frying that dough.

    Thank you for your website, for paving the way for us newbies, and for your recipe collection! I appreciate all of your work!

  11. Jennifer says:

    I just tried your recipe. I made the dough last night, using white rice flour, tapioca starch, and corn starch. I waited, slightly impatiently, over night for the dough to be ready. The dough rolled out so smoothly and held together better than any dough I’ve ever made. The donuts are killer delicious! Even my step mom, who despises GF bread, smacked her lips and yelled for more. I glazed some, sugared some, and filled some with haupia…coconut cream. Oh. My. Gosh. Thank you so very much

    • Jennifer, could you share the amount of rice flour and tapioca and corn starch you used? The best gf rolls I’ve ever had were made from tapioca starch so I know there’s something magic there :)

    • Jennifer, I’d love to hear the measurements of the rice flour, tapioca starch, and corn starch if you don’t mind :)

      • Leah and Jessica; I just made these donuts this morning using a flour blend I got from the back of a GF magazine. It called for 0.5 cups white rice flour, 0.25 cups tapioca starch and 0.25 cups corn starch. They turned out to be fantastic! The dough was also the best GF dough I have ever worked with. It rises and rolls out beautifully. So use 2 parts rice flour to one part of each starch and that should do it. :)

  12. I have horrible luck getting anything with yeast to rise and my bad luck struck again. Mine never rose….any suggestions on getting them to rise?

    • Your yeast could be bad. It should get foamy and frothy after a few minutes of being mixed with warm water. I usually will add a tbsp. of sugar to help it proof. Make sure the water you are mixing it with is not hot, it will kill the yeast! Just luke warm. Basically you should hardly be able to feel the water because it should be about body temp. or slightly warmer.
      Good Luck!

  13. I’m trying this recipe with Domata Living flour – cutting the zanthan gum to 1 teas. since there is already some in the Domata – I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  14. If you use rapid rise yeast does it shorten the rising time?

  15. Hello. I made this this afternoon, but started them last night. I made my own flour mix from Taste of Home recipe. (I also ground my own rice to make rice flour). These are so good. I haven’t had anything gluten free since April of 2012, due to getting sick whenever I ate anything with gluten.

    I fried mine in a huge cast iron skillet. I think next time that I will drop the temperature to 350, because they came out pretty dark. I don’t have a dutch oven. My husband (who went gluten free for me) and I both loved them, but he suggests omitting the almond extract from the glaze because it is very prominent. However, I formed the dough into 2—9×9 squares and cut them into 9 pieces each. I left parchment paper on the bottoms, because when I cut the doughnuts, the parchment cut as well. It worked great. So, my doughnuts looked more like beignets than traditional doughnuts, but still excellent.

    Thank you so very much for an excellent recipe. First time in nearly 2 years, and I finally am able to have a doughnut, without 2 or so days of sickness following it.

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