These vanilla-baked vegan donuts are soft and cakey, bake up perfectly, and are a sweet delightful mouthful in every bite! Pair with one of my sweet and tasty donut icings or glazes for the best vanilla cake donuts around!
No reason to give up your favorite treats just because you are on a vegan diet! I discovered the joy of vegan cake donuts last fall when I developed my absolutely delicious Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut recipe. Wow, who knew vegan donuts could be so good! Since then I’ve been experimenting with other flavors.
This recipe for vanilla cake donuts is just in time for Valentine’s Day with festive heart sprinkles! But don’t limit yourself to special holidays. I’ll take a baked vegan donut any day and for any reason.
Reasons you’ll love these easy baked vegan donuts
- moist and cakey
- sweet enough but not overly sweet
- lovely vanilla flavor
- perfect for special ocasions or any day of the year
- easy to make in a donut pan
- baked not fried
- no eggs
- The recipe makes a quick half dozen donuts. You can easily double it to make more.
- Did I mention how cute they look with sprinkles on top?
Table of contents
- Reasons you’ll love these easy baked vegan donuts
- Pin now to save for later
- Ingredients needed for vanilla cake donuts
- How to make vegan homemade baked donuts
- Step 1: Get ready!
- Step 2: The dry ingredients
- Step 3: The wet ingredients and mixing
- Step 4: The donut pan
- Step 5: Time to bake!
- Last step, cooling and removing from pan
- Decorating the donuts
- For some other delicious vegan recipes for tasty baked goods, try
- The printable recipe card for Vanilla Vegan Baked Donuts
Pin now to save for later
Ingredients needed for vanilla cake donuts
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- oat milk or other plant milk
- unsweetened applesauce
- vegan butter
- baking powder
- vanilla extract
- ground cinnamon
- you’ll need a donut pan
- cinnamon sugar topping or donut glaze, see suggestions below
- lots of festive sprinkles – I get mine from Baking Time Club (all vegan) or Fancy Sprinkles (many vegan)
How to make vegan homemade baked donuts
You’ll love this vanilla cake donut recipe. It’s unbelievably easy – just follow the steps and soon you’ll be taking a bite of a tender cakey vanilla vegan donut! Yum!!!
Step 1: Get ready!
Preheat the oven and prepare your donut pans. This recipe makes 6-8 donuts depending on the exact size of donut molds on your donut pan.
I always spritz my donut pan with a little cooking spray even though it is non-stick. Nothing is worse than stuck donuts in the pan!
Melt the butter in a microwave-safe dish. You want the vegan butter to be melted, not just softened. Depending on your microwave oven, this will take 1-3 minutes. I start out with one minute and then 30-second increments after that.
Step 2: The dry ingredients
In a medium to large bowl, add the dry ingredients. Add the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt.
Whisk together the flour mixture. It’s important that everything is mixed thoroughly and that there are no dry clumps before adding the wet ingredients. You will want to stir only enough to moisten – not vigorously enough to stir out clumps.
Can I substitute other sugars/sweeteners for the granulated sugar?
I don’t recommend swapping for brown sugar. Brown sugar will change the moisture content. You can substitute coconut sugar if desired. As far as other sweeteners go, I do not have experience working with them. If you do and you were successful using them with this recipe, please let me know.
Can I substitute other flours/gluten-free flours for the all-purpose flour?
These vegan donuts are not healthy donuts! They are for a special treat. Remember, just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
I really don’t recommend using oat flour or almond flour with this donut recipe. I have some gluten-free friends and they tell me they just substitute gluten-free flour in most recipes. Again, I’d love to know what works for you!
Step 3: The wet ingredients and mixing
This vegan donuts recipe is a one-bowl recipe. It is not necessary to mix the liquid ingredients together in a separate bowl.
After you’ve mixed the dry ingredients, add the dairy-free milk, melted vegan butter, vanilla extract, and apple sauce. I used oat milk. You can use any unsweetened plant milk such as almond milk, cashew milk, or other non-dairy milk.
If you don’t have apple sauce on hand, you can add a like amount of mashed banana. Be aware though that bananas will impart a banana flavor. (Hmmm, might be the next donut recipe I develop!)
Now, mix together the flour mixture along with the wet ingredients until everything is thoroughly mixed. You only want to mix long enough to fully incorporate and mix everything. Overmixing might cause the gluten to overdevelop, and you risk losing that lovely tender bite of a vanilla vegan donut!
Step 4: The donut pan
Time to put the donut batter into the pan! Putting batter in the small donut molds can be tricky. If you are not careful then the batter will go all over and leave a mess. You only want to fill each mold a little over half full.
I have tried spooning in the batter and always make a mess. You can try putting the batter into a pitcher and pouring it into the molds.
This worked but was a little frustrating because the batter was so thick that I ended up spooning out the last bit of batter into the donut pan.
Or you can spoon the batter into an icing piping bag like I did when I made my pumpkin spice donuts.
This was ultimately easier but I did end up using two pastry bags for about 3 donuts. So not very efficient. But probably using a piping bag is the easiest way. Watch my TikTok and please follow along with me!
Wipe any excess messy spills away before you put the donuts into the oven.
Step 5: Time to bake!
To make it easier to place in the pan and take out when they are finished, I place my donut pan on a cookie sheet and then put it in a preheated oven.
Bake at 350° for about 14-16 minutes. You’ll know they are done with they are lightly browned on top and bounce back when lightly touched.
Last step, cooling and removing from pan
Remove from the oven and allow cooling on a rack for a few minutes. Once you can handle the donut pan without burning your fingers, wiggle the donuts around in the molds to loosen them a bit. Then turn the pan over onto a cooling rack. You might need to tap on the bottoms of some of the molds to loosen.
If you are using a silicone pan like the one pictured above, then you can easily push them out. If you are using a metal pan, you might need to let gravity work for a few minutes and then gently assist.
Decorating the donuts
This is my very favorite part! Because plain donuts? What’s the point?!? You can top them with cinnamon sugar or your favorite donut glaze. Or some of each!
Start to ice with glaze and decorate before the donuts cool completely. The glaze has a better chance of not cracking if the donut is slightly warm.
Here are some delicious recipes for donut glaze
- Classic Buttery Glaze (my favorite!)
- Browned Butter Glaze
- Cinnamon Brown Sugar Glaze
- Chocolate Donut Glaze (comming soon)
- Maple Donut Glaze (comming soon)
Get everything set up and ready to go before you start glazing. And make sure to ice and decorate one donut at a time. If you wait until they are all iced then the glaze will have dried too much for the sprinkles to stick.
For some other delicious vegan recipes for tasty baked goods, try
- Pumpkin Spice Donuts
- Ooey Gooey Rocky Rode Brownies
- Scotcheroos, Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats
- Almond Butter Blondies
- Chocolate Mint Brownies
The printable recipe card for Vanilla Vegan Baked Donuts
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Vegan Baked Donuts, Vanilla
- donut pans
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup oat milk or other plant milk
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
- 1 Tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 350° and prepare your donut pans. Even though I use non-stick pans, I still give them a little spritz of cooking spray for easy removal.
- Melt your butter and set aside. I put mine in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add the plant milk, butter, apple sauce, and vanilla extract. Stir by hand until smooth and all ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Fill each donut mold about 3/4 the way full. You can put the batter into a container with a pour spout or use a pastry bag.
- Put the filled donut pan in the preheated oven and bake for 14-16 minutes or until nice and golden brown. When you press gently on the top of a baked donut, it should spring back.
- Remove from the oven and cool enough to handle – about 10-15 minutes. The donuts will ice better if still a little warm.
- Prepare your icing while the donuts are cooling. You will have better luck icing the donuts before the glaze has begun to set up. Ice and sprinkle right away! See suggestions below for my favorite donut glazes and icings!