In this post, I’ll share my recipe for light, airy, and totally delicious copycat gluten-free Krispy Kreme donuts. This recipe will satisfy your craving for a soft, sweet yeasted donut made without any gluten in sight! This post is sponsored by Lorraine’s Gluten Free and contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, gives baked goods rise and stretch. Without gluten, most baked goods fall flat.
And if you’ve been gluten-free long enough, you know how difficult it is to recreate your favorite yeasted foods, especially a yeast donut.
I gave up on eating yeast donuts and found cake donuts, baked in a donut pan, were much easier to handle. And while my gluten-free cake donuts recipes are delicious and much easier to make, they don’t quite satisfy my longing for a fried, yeasted donut, like the ones you find at Krispy Kreme.
Are Krispy Kreme Donuts Gluten Free?
Before I share my copycat gluten-free Krispy Kreme donut recipe with you, it’s important to know that Krispy Kreme donuts are not gluten free and the restaurant doesn’t offer any gluten-free donut options.
In fact, the original Krispy Kreme donut recipe calls for both wheat flour and wheat gluten. If you’re wondering why Krispy Kreme donuts are so light, airy, and stretchy, it’s because of the bonus addition of wheat gluten. Extra gluten makes a huge difference in the taste and texture of a yeasted donut.
How to Make Copycat Gluten-Free Krispy Kreme Donuts
If you miss Krispy Kreme donuts, aka, soft, yeasted fried donuts, you can make them at home with a few simple ingredients and a little ingenuity.
I made these copycat gluten-free Krispy Kreme donuts at home. I won’t lie to you, it’s taken me a few tries to get it right, and the glaze is still a work in progress, but these are darn good fried donuts as is.
Of course, I don’t want to over-promise anything, because, well, these donuts aren’t exactly the same as Krispy Kreme, but I think they are close enough so that you’ll feel like you’re eating a bakery-style yeast-risen fried donut at the end of the day.
If you’ve been baking gluten free long enough, you know that gluten-free flour can be fussy, and not all gluten-free flour is treated equally. Without the inclusion of gluten, you need a variety of flours, starches, gums, and sugars to mimic the elasticity and taste of gluten.
Instead of mixing your own gluten-free flour blend to make these fried donuts, I highly recommend picking up a package of Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix because Lorraine’s makes this process easy by doing all the hard work upfront!
In fact, Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix comes perfectly packaged with the right mix of flour, starches, and sugar to make any gluten-free yeasted baked good come to life.
It’s the only flour blend I use to make gluten-free cinnamon rolls, gluten-free monkey bread, and gluten-free babka. All of these recipes require a special blend of flour, starches, and sugars, and Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix works for them all.
Prepare the Donut Dough
This recipe takes a bit of time to prepare, so be sure to plan ahead, preferably the night before you want to make the recipe.
To prepare the dough, you’ll need:
- 1 package of Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk, warm (ok to use dairy-free milk)
- 3/4 cups unsalted butter, melted (ok to use dairy-free vegan butter)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix comes with three yeast packets so you’ll add both the flour mixture and the yeast packets to the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Add the warm milk, melted butter, and 2 beaten eggs to the flour mixture and mix on low for 30 seconds, then mix on medium-high speed for five minutes. Set your timer. You’ll see the dough come together and become fluffy. It will look and feel as if it contains gluten (it doesn’t!).
Using a spatula, scrape the dough into a large bowl greased with oil or cooking spray. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rise at room temperature for 1.5-2 hours, then place it in your fridge to rise and chill for another 2 hours.
Alternatively, allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes, then place it in your fridge overnight. This is the preferred time-saving method for me, but it requires planning ahead.
Be sure the dough is fully chilled before handling it. It will be less sticky and much easier to handle when it’s cold.
Form the Donuts
Once the dough has risen and is chilled, you’re ready to form your donuts. The dough will make 16 donuts + 16 donut holes, but if you don’t want or need so many donuts, save half of the dough to make something else that requires yeasted sweet dough like cinnamon rolls, monkey bread, or chocolate babka.
Lightly flour a clean surface, like your countertop, and roll the dough into a log, then cut the log into 8 even pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball by hand, then slightly flatten each ball to form a donut shape. Place the donuts on a piece of parchment paper and allow them to rise at room temperature for about an hour.
I noticed my dough balls had a few cracks in them. The dough is very fussy (like all gluten-free dough), so if you’re worried about looks, you can use slightly wet hands to smooth the cracks. Of if you’re going more for taste (like me), don’t worry about the cracks. It will all taste good in the end.
Fry the Donuts
About 20 minutes before you’re ready to fry the donuts, heat about 3-5 cups of vegetable oil in a small- to a medium-sized pot over medium heat. A small pot will require less oil. You want the temperature to be about 320º F. If the oil is too hot, it will brown the outside of the donuts before the center cooks through.
As the oil heats, use a small round cookie cutter to punch a hole in the center of each donut. These will become your donut holes and are just as delicious!
I test the oil by adding one of the donut holes to the oil. If the oil lightly bubbles around the donut hole, and the donut hole begins to lightly brown, the oil is hot enough to cook the rest of the donuts.
Add 2-3 donuts to your oil and allow them to cook for about 30 seconds before using tongs to flip them over and cook on the other side. Flip the donuts 3-5 times throughout the cooking period. This allows the donuts enough time to cook evenly.
Remove the donuts from the hot oil and place them on a wire rack to drain.
Once all the donuts and donut holes are cooked through, get ready to glaze them. Please note that the donuts may wrinkle a bit as they sit out. Again, this won’t affect the taste at all. It’s just that gluten-free flour denatures quickly.
Glaze the Donuts
There are a ton of copycat Krispy Kreme glaze recipes out there, and I’ve tried a few of them. I’m not sure I’m completely happy with any of them. I’ve tried making a glaze with evaporated milk and heavy cream, but the truth is, I think whole milk is the best.
To make a simple glaze, combine the following ingredients in a small bowl and mix well until smooth:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4-5 Tbsp whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
Add more milk if the mixture is too thick. Add more powdered sugar if the glaze is too thin.
TIP! I dipped each donut fully into the glaze to make it look like a fully coated copycat Krispy Kreme donut, but truth be told, I think you should drizzle the donuts with the glaze instead. It will be prettier and not as sweet. Do as I say, not as I did.
Place the glazed donuts on a wire rack to allow the excess glaze to drip off of them.
Allow the glaze to set before gobbling up these bad boys. They taste best when served immediately. Store any leftovers in a sealed container or zip-top bag at room temperature or in your fridge for one day. If the donuts aren’t soft, give them a quick 10-second zap in the microwave to bring them back to life.
Why We Love These Donuts
We love these donuts for so many reasons:
They Require Only a Few Ingredients: Thanks to Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix, you only need a few simple ingredients to make both the dough and glaze. The Mix comes with all the dry ingredients you need to make it, so all you have to do is add the milk, butter, and eggs. The dough comes together beautifully and is easier to handle than most gluten-free doughs.
The Texture is Amazing: These donuts come out extremely light and airy, just as a yeast donut should taste. And while they taste best right out of the fryer, they still will taste good the next day. The texture is truly outstanding!
You Can Make Many Donut Variations: If you don’t want to add a glaze to your donuts, you can roll the donuts in a cinnamon-sugar mixture instead. Also, instead of punching a hole in the center, you could fry the donuts in their roll shape and then stuff them with jelly or cream.
The Dough is Versatile: As mentioned, Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix is extremely versatile. I didn’t want too many donuts in my house (we can’t eat them fast enough!), so I used half of the dough for donuts and the other half for a gluten-free chocolate babka.
Substitutions, Troubleshooting, and FAQs
Flour: The ONLY flour you can use for this copycat gluten-free Krispy Kreme recipe is Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix. Keep in mind that this is a mix that includes the flour, sugar, baking powder, yeast, and all the dry ingredients you need to make this recipe.
Dairy-Free: You can use dairy-free milk and butter in this recipe. The dough may have a slightly different taste and texture but it will still be good.
Egg-Free: I have not tested this recipe without eggs.
Oil: Use a high-heat frying vegetable oil. I used avocado oil because it can safely be used at high temperatures.
Shape the Donuts: Do not roll out the donuts and then cut them out with cookie cutters. I did this when I was testing this recipe, and the donuts came out flat. Instead, gently roll half of the dough into a log, cut the dough into 8 pieces, and shape the 8 pieces into small round rolls. The dough will poof up more and fry better.
Frying: Do not fry the donuts at a temperature above 320º F. It will burn the outside of the donut and the middle won’t fully cook. Instead, set your stovetop to medium heat, then, when the oil is hot, add the donut and cook for 30 seconds on each side, flipping constantly until the donuts are golden.
The Dough is Cracking: This may mean the dough is too dry. Wet your fingers and add a little moisture into the donut to help seal the cracks.
Storing Leftovers: Add leftover donuts to a sealed container or bag and store them on your countertop or in your fridge for 1 day. If the donuts become stale, heat them in your microwave for 10 seconds to soften them up.
Freezing the Donuts: I don’t recommend freezing the cooked donuts, but you could shape the dough into donuts, then freeze the dough until you’re ready to fry it up. This way you can prepare the dough ahead of time and simply fry the donuts right before serving. Make sure you bring the dough to room temperature before frying.
More Recipes and Articles
- Gooey Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls
- The BEST Gluten-Free Monkey Bread (Dairy Free Option)
- Easy Gluten-Free Babka (with Chocolate Nutella)
- Who Sells Gluten-Free Donuts?
- Does Dunkin Donuts Offer Gluten-Free Donuts?
- Easy Gluten-Free Chocolate Donuts
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Glaze
Copycat Gluten-Free Krispy Kreme Donuts
- 1 Standing mixer to mix the dough
- 1 heavy-bottomed pot for frying the donuts
- 1 tongs for handling the fried donuts
- 1 wire rack to place the fried donuts on to cool
For the Dough
For the Glaze
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4-5 Tbsp whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Dough:
- To make the dough, combine the package of Lorraine's Sweet Dough Mix with the three included yeast packets in the bowl attached to your standing mixer. Fit the standing mixer with your paddle attachment. Give the yeast and flour a light whisk and set it aside.
- Add the warm milk, melted butter, and eggs to the flour mixture and mix on low for 30 seconds to gently incorporate the flour. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and mix the dough for 5 minutes.
- Scrape the sides of the dough with a spatula to form it into a ball. Add the dough to a lightly greased large bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and store it in a warm, draft-free place in your home for 1.5-2 hours to rise. After the dough has risen, place it in your fridge for 2 hours (longer okay). Chilling the dough will make it much easier to handle. (Alternatively, allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes, then place it in the fridge overnight. I prefer this method and find that the dough is puffier as a result.)
- Divide the dough in half. You can either use all of the dough to make 16 donuts, or use half the dough for 8 donuts, then use the other half of the dough to make another recipe (suggested recipes available on my website include babka, monkey bread, and cinnamon rolls).
- Roll the dough into a log on a lightly floured surface, then cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each of the 8 pieces into a round roll and place on a piece of parchment paper to rise for another 40-60 minutes. (Repeat these instructions for the second half of the dough if you're making 16 donuts.)
- About 20 minutes before you're ready to fry the donuts, add 3-5 cups of oil to a heavy-bottomed pot (a smaller pot will require less oil). Heat the oil over medium heat for 20 minutes until the temperature is about 320º F.
- Using a small cookie cutter, punch a circle/hole into the center of each donut. Reserve the extra dough to make donut holes.
- Add 2-4 donuts to your pan (depending on the size) and watch them lightly cook for about 30 seconds on one side before flipping them to cook on the other side. You'll want to flip the donuts 3-5 times to cook them slowly. This will allow the inside of the donut to fully cook without burning or over-cooking the outside of the donut.
- Remove the donuts from the oil and place them on a wire rack to cool. Repeat the process until all the donuts and donut holes are cooked.
For the Glaze:
- Combine all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. The glaze should be thin but not watery. Add more water and/or powdered sugar to get the right consistency.
- Drizzle: Drizzle the tops of the donuts with the glaze and allow the glaze to set in place before handling.ORDipping: Dip the donuts in the glaze to coat both sides. I did this method but felt like it was too much glaze and wish I had used the drizzle method instead.
- Enjoy immediately for the best results. Store leftovers in a sealed container or zip-top bag on your countertop or fridge for about 1 day. The donuts will still taste good on Day #2, but not as good as on Day #1.
- This recipe works only with Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix, which includes flour, starches, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, and yeast already. You cannot use this recipe with any other mix or flour blend. You can find Lorraine’s Sweet dough mix at lorrainesglutenfree.com.
- You can use dairy-free milk and butter to make this recipe dairy free.
- I have not tested this recipe without eggs, but it is not recommended without eggs. The eggs will add structure and rise.