Answer: It depends.
Some specific doughnuts, like the Greggs, are 100% vegan. But many are far from vegan, as several animal-derived ingredients frequently sneak into the topping, filling, dough, or worse, all three.
Most doughnuts are typically made from a combination of dairy products. So, doughnuts are a no-go for vegans unless ingredients like white sugar, dairy milk, and eggs can be substituted with safer vegan alternatives.
In this article, we will try to understand: are doughnuts vegan? Apart from that, we will also go over why most doughnuts are unsuitable for vegans and the particular animal products to avoid.
Read on to learn about vegan doughnuts, their nutritional value, and the ingredients needed to make them.
What Makes Doughnuts Unsuitable For Vegans?
We all equate doughnuts as a favorite sweet dough snack chemically prepared or leavened by yeast. At present, doughnuts have become quite popular. Apart from shops or bakeries, they also get sold at promenades, seaside stalls, and funfairs. This sweet fried doughnut comes in a variety of flavors too!
This sweet snack typically has three main components. They are:
● The dough
● The filling
● The toppings
Of these, only the dough is applicable for all kinds of doughnuts. The filling and the topping can substantially vary based on personal favorites or preferences. Let us look at each of the three components and determine how any or all of them can jeopardize your vegan way of life.
Several vegan-friendly doughnuts are available in the market, like Gregg’s doughnuts. So, it is possible to produce a dough that doesn’t involve animal products.
When it comes to doughnuts that are said to be non-vegan, a few animal-derived ingredients make them unsuitable for vegan consumption. These are mostly dairy products like butter, milk, and eggs.
Additionally, doughnuts from supermarkets generally contain emulsifiers and additives which are not vegan.
If the doughnut recipe uses vegan alternatives for these ingredients, you can consume them quickly without worry.
These days, numerous filling options for doughnuts would leave anyone spoilt for choice. These can be vegan or non-vegan, depending on the ingredients used in making them.
For instance, the two most common fillings are custard and jam. Custard is almost always non-vegan, and jam is more often vegan.
However, jam can sometimes contain gelatin, which is an animal-derived product. On the other hand, vegan custards do not use dairy products.
Our advice would be to always consult the baker or bakery regarding the ingredients used to avoid the consumption of any animal products unknowingly.
Toppings, just like fillings, can be achieved with almost anything depending on individual choice. Chocolate is an extremely popular doughnut. But if it happens to be milk chocolate, it is unlikely to be suitable for vegans.
In many cases, the topping can be made with only water and sugar, too, making it vegan-friendly in most cases.
But if the topping contains butter or gelatin, it becomes a no-go. Once again, double-check the ingredients or contact the manufacturer if there is any doubt.
Nonetheless, vegan doughnuts do exist.
Safe, plant-based products can replace the animal products such as milk, eggs, and butter in vegan donuts. Some restaurants and small bakeries have started to catch on to the vegan lifestyle with the growing demand for vegan-friendly alternatives.
But what does the vegan doughnut contain?
What Is A Vegan Doughnut?
A traditional doughnut recipe calls for all-purpose flour, eggs, milk, yeast, sugar, butter, vegetable oil, and a pinch of salt. All the animal products from the list are substituted with vegan alternatives in a vegan doughnut.
Dairy product/milk is replaced by non-dairy alternatives such as soya, almond, rice, or coconut milk. The quality and type of dairy can affect the texture and taste of the doughnut.
Several powder egg replacers can be used to replace the eggs. In a few recipes, the egg part is eliminated altogether. The egg replacements work similarly to eggs. For instance, bananas add moisture, and when flaxseed is used, it holds the flour together.
You can use these egg replacements:
- Mashed banana
- Flaxseeds/Chia seeds
- Powder egg replacements
- Aquafaba (obtained from a can of beans)
The fillings, toppings, and glazes that are animal obtained in vegan doughnuts are also avoided. Sugar may also be removed since some sugar is processed with animal bone char to remove impurities while manufacturing. This is replaced with beet or turbinado while making glazes.
Strawberry, lemon, or raspberry can also be used to add glazes.
You can make vegan doughnuts with the right ingredients at home; however, you can also buy them from shops to avoid any fuss.
Let’s take a look at places where you can buy doughnuts.
Where To Buy Vegan-Friendly Doughnuts?
Vegan-friendly doughnuts are rare to find. However, to cater to your sweet tooth, many restaurants and shops have started to stock vegan doughnuts for their vegan consumers.
Supermarkets do sell vegan doughnuts, but these doughnuts may not be suitable. Firstly, there may be possibilities of cross-contamination, and the doughnuts might contain animal products sneakily.
Check the ingredients of the doughnuts before buying them. Also, we recommend you buy from trusted shops.
Many famous doughnut stores and companies do not sell vegan doughnuts. Let’s discuss vegan doughnut availability at two popular stores.
Krispy Kreme, the pinnacle of doughnut shops, sells Original Glazed vegan doughnuts, but their website states that they may contain milk or eggs. Many varieties are mentioned on their website, from classic to glazed, which essentially have eggs and milk.
The doughnuts can be suitable for vegetarians but not vegan. They usually add milk to enhance the flavor or consistency. Hence, they are not 100% vegan.
Dunkin has started incorporating vegan food into their menu. The chain itself is famous for doughnuts. They have vegan bagels, hash browns, and different meals.
However, there are no vegan doughnut options at Dunkin’s.
Besides, you can buy vegan doughnuts from other bakeries and supermarkets.
Alternatively, you can check out PETA’s guide, which has listed some vegan-friendly shops and bakeries across the country.
Remember that most locations offer vegan doughnuts, which are often not 100% vegan. Additionally, there may be possibilities of cross-contamination.
If you are okay with a mishap of contamination, you can straight buy them. But if not, look for a shop devoted to vegan items.
Things To Consider Before Buying Doughnuts From Supermarkets/Shops
The sweet doughnut snack can sneakily contain non-vegan products. For instance, the sugar you use might be processed with animal bone char. Also, there may be risks of cross-contamination.
Before buying from a shop, ensure that the ingredients they use are vegan-friendly. Ask them what replacements they use for animal-based products.
Besides, note the environment where they manufacture and store doughnuts. In supermarkets, cross-contamination is possible. Moreover, contamination risks may be low to negligible if you buy doughnuts from a dedicated vegan shop.
If you buy from a bakery or retail that handles non-vegan products, ensure that vegan and non-vegan doughnuts are kept in separate places.
You can ask the bakery staff about the utensils they use. You can also check out the ingredients for any gluten intolerance or allergies. For instance, some vegan doughnuts are made using wheat flour which is gluten.
Are Vegan Doughnuts Healthy?
It depends. Usually, we think anything vegan is healthy, which might be untrue at certain times.
Vegan doughnuts may be healthier than their non-vegan counterparts. Still, the parameter that decides whether it is beneficial depends on its ingredients and nutrition content. The more saturated fat, trans fat, added sodium, and sugar, the less healthy doughnut is.
A vegan doughnut contains egg replacements, bananas, chia seeds, and many more healthy ingredients. However, the doughnut may be unhealthy if it is extensively processed or contains added sugar and sodium.
So, are doughnuts vegan? Yes, if you are a vegan looking for a delightful counterpart to this treat, various vegan options are available.
Though popular places like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts do not sell vegan doughnuts, other small shops and bakeries are coming up specifically to cater to vegan dietary preferences.
Besides, many recipes are available on the internet to make vegan doughnuts in the comfort of your home. If you are feeling adventurous, give them a try today.
You can also prepare nutritionally dense doughnuts with sweet toppings and glazes. In the end, do not miss out on delicious vegan doughnuts.