When I transitioned to a gluten-free diet, I found so much comfort in the gluten-free versions of my old favorite desserts. They’re even better when you make them at home!
I’ll walk you through how to make gluten-free doughnuts, with plenty of tips for working with gluten-free flours. Trust me—you can do this.
Are Doughnuts Gluten-Free?
Not usually. Typically, doughnuts are made with wheat flour, which contains gluten.
So, How Are Gluten-Free Doughnuts Made?
Gluten-free baked goods are made with flour milled from grains (or nuts, seeds, vegetables and more) that don’t contain gluten. There’s a wide world of “alternative flours,” from mainstream grains like rice and corn, lesser-known grains like sorghum and teff, nuts like almond or hazelnut, fruits like coconut and vegetables like sweet potato.
3 Tips for Baking Gluten-Free
- Don’t be surprised if your gluten-free dough is more tender, soft and difficult to work with at first. It will likely also call for a binding agent, such as xanthan gum, which mimics the role of gluten in the recipe.
- Every gluten-free flour is different. Most gluten-free recipes will combine multiple flours to create the ideal final baked good. You cannot just insert a gluten-free flour into your favorite gluten recipe and expect it to come out fine! Look for recipes specifically designed for gluten-free flours. (You can make your own GF baking mix, too.)
- Gluten-free dough is almost always much wetter than gluten-containing dough. The high moisture content is essential for a good texture and bounce after baking. Resist adding extra flour! If you’re having trouble shaping gluten-free dough, it will be easier if your hands are damp, and/or if you pop the dough in the fridge for a few minutes.
How to Make Gluten-Free Doughnuts
- 2 cups gluten-free biscuit/baking mix
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup apple cider or juice
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 2/3 to 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Doughnut pan (like this one)
Step 1: Mix the dough
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (from the baking mix through the baking soda). In a separate bowl, stir together the wet ingredients (from the water to the vanilla). Pour the wet mixture into the dry, and stir to combine.
Test Kitchen tip: When baking with gluten, many recipes call for kneading or mixing the dough for a long time. This step develops the gluten and helps build structure. In gluten-free dough, kneading isn’t necessary. Just mix until thoroughly combined, and then you’re done.
Step 2: Rest the dough
Let the dough sit for about 10 minutes. This both activates the yeast and allows the raw flour to absorb moisture for a better final flavor and texture. While the dough rests, spray a doughnut pan with nonstick oil.
Step 3: Pipe into the pan
Pour the batter into a pastry bag or a plastic bag with a hole snipped from a corner. Pipe into the doughnut pan. Each cavity should be about three-quarters full to allow space for the dough to rise.
Step 4: Bake
Bake at 325º for 11-14 minutes, or until golden-brown and firm to the touch. (Generally speaking, it’s better to bake gluten-free longer than shorter, to avoid stickiness.) Allow the doughnuts to cool in the pan for five minutes or so before transferring to a cooling rack.
If you have more batter, pipe it into the pan and bake.
Step 5. Make the glaze
In a small saucepan, boil the apple cider until it’s reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Pour into a small bowl, and add the butter, stirring until it melts. Gradually stir in confectioners’ sugar until the mixture has the consistency of a glaze: pourable but not thin and watery.
Step 6. Dip!
Dip each doughnut halfway into the glaze. Allow the excess to drip off into the bowl. Return to the wire rack to let the glaze set. Repeat until all the doughnuts are glazed. Then dig in!
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