Vegan Donuts

by Steph Sunshine at StephSunshine.com

Yield12 donuts and 12 donut holes

Prep Time60 minutes

Cook Time10 minutes

Total Time12 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. vegan granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. instant dry yeast* (1 packet)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 6 tbsp. vegan butter sticks (such as Earth Balance), melted
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Neutral oil with high smoke point for frying (such as canola, peanut, sunflower, or safflower oil)

Plain Glaze

  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 tbsp. vegan butter sticks (such as Earth Balance)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cup vegan powdered (icing/confectioner's) sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Chocolate Glaze

  • 5 1/2 tbsp. plain, unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 tbsp. vegan butter sticks (such as Earth Balance)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cup vegan powdered (icing/confectioner's) sugar
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • vegan rainbow or chocolate sprinkles (optional)
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Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add flour, sugar, 1 tsp. salt, and instant dry yeast. Mix with paddle attachment until combined.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup non-dairy milk, melted vegan butter, applesauce, and 2 tsp. vanilla. Mix well, then add to dry ingredients in mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until a rough ball is formed. Switch to dough hook attachment and mix on medium speed for about 7-8 minutes, until smooth.
  3. Grease a medium mixing bowl with oil, then transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Then add additional oil to the top of the dough to coat it, and put the plastic wrap directly on top of the dough. Put in the refrigerator overnight to proof (at least 5 hours).
  4. In the morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit someplace warm until it's double its original size (about an hour). While the dough is rising, cut 15 squares of parchment paper (about 4"x4") and place them on baking sheets.
  5. On a floured work surface, roll out your dough so it's about 1/3 of an inch thick. You can either use donut cutters to cut your donuts, or a large glass that's about 3 1/2" in diameter and a smaller object 1" in diameter. I used the wide end of a large piping tip to cut out the donut holes. Coat the edges of your cutters in flour before using them, then cut your donut shapes. When cutting, try to get as close to the edges as you can to use up as much dough as possible in the first roll-out. You can roll the dough out a second time, but it doesn't stick together as nicely as it does on the first roll-out. Carefully transfer your donuts and holes to your pre-cut parchment paper squares (you should be able to fit one donut or four holes on a square).
  6. Once all your donuts have been cut, cover them with a kitchen towel and allow them to rise again for about an hour, until they're puffy.
  7. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, use a metal spatula to pick up a donut along with the parchment square and put both into the pan. This will ensure that the donut doesn't lose its shape or deflate while it's being transferred. Use tongs to pull out the parchment and put it in the trash (keep the trash can close by to avoid dripping oil on the floor). You can cook several donuts at a time, just make sure you leave enough space for them to move freely. When the donuts are golden brown (about 1 minute for donuts, 30-45 seconds for donut holes), turn them to the other side and cook another minute. Use the metal spatula to remove the cooked donuts from the pan and transfer to paper towels to drain the oil. Repeat with remaining donuts.
  8. If you're making a plain glaze, sift the powdered sugar and salt into a small mixing bowl. In a small saucepan over low heat, add the vegan butter, non-dairy milk, and vanilla, and whisk until the vegan butter is melted. Add the liquid mix into the powdered sugar and whisk until well-combined.
  9. Place a wire rack over a baking tray. Dredge the donuts through the glaze on both sides until coated. Allow the excess glaze to drip off the donuts, then transfer donuts to wire rack and let the glaze set.
  10. If you're making chocolate frosting, sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into a small mixing bowl. In a small saucepan over low heat, add the vegan butter, non-dairy milk, and vanilla, and whisk until the vegan butter is melted. Add the liquid mix into the cocoa-sugar mix and whisk until well-combined.
  11. Place a wire rack over a baking tray. Use a spoon or butter knife to spread the chocolate frosting on the top of the donuts. Top with vegan colored or chocolate sprinkles, if desired. Transfer donuts to the wire rack and let the topping set.

Notes & Hints

I don't recommend using vegetable oil (soybean oil) because it doesn't have a neutral flavor. The donuts are light, so the flavor of the oil will overpower the flavor of the donuts.

If you don't have time to refrigerate the dough overnight, you can just let the dough rise for about two hours (until it's doubled in size) before rolling it out. (The flavor may not be as good, however.)

If you're kneading the dough by hand, it will take a little longer. You should knead the dough until it's smooth.

Be sure you're using instant dry yeast for this recipe, and not active dry yeast. Active dry yeast needs to be activated with heat. If you can only get active dry yeast, check the description at the top of the page for instructions.

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