No Fail Gluten-Free Donut Recipe

no fail gluten free donuts

UPDATE: The person who wrote this post no longer writes on Travel Parent Eat, and as such, questions will likely go unanswered, as I did not make these donuts and do not know how to answer the questions. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

A few months ago (the end of May, actually), I tried to create a gluten-free donut for my sister’s birthday.  She has Celiac, so she has to eat gluten-free, and she was craving a yeast-risen gluten free donut.  It was a failure!  Read more about my experiences here.

I was determined to try again, and succeed, and I have done just that.

yeast risen gluten free donuts

I am calling this the “No Fail” gluten-free donut recipe because I don’t know if you can mess it up, if you follow the directions.  I tried messing it up (not on purpose of course).  I started mixing all the ingredients and let it rise as it was supposed to.  After my first attempts were so dismal, I did a little dance in my kitchen when  saw the poofy dough!  I knew it needed just a little more time to rise, but then I had to rush my oldest to school, and by the time I got back the dough had fallen!

I was crushed, and mad, and frustrated that I was going to have to waste more of the expensive gluten-free flours.  I decided to try cooking the donuts anyway because I hate wasting all those ingredients.  And I remembered my sister telling me that gluten-free flours really don’t need proofing time, they will rise as they bake.

I started piping circles onto parchment paper and plopping them into the hot oil.  I did another little dance when the donuts began expanding in the hot oil and a third little dance when I allowed them to cool, and I bit into them, and they tasted like a yeast-risen donut!  Now, they aren’t Krispy Kreme, by any means, but they are yummy, and soft, and just a little springy like a good yeast-risen dough-nut should be.

chocolate glazed gluten free donuts

On to the recipe (because you have to try these for yourself)

I used the recipe from Gluten-Free Girl and she adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe.  So I’ll share her link (and the recipe here), and you can follow back if you’d like.


1 1/2 c milk

1/3 c shortening

2 packages instant yeast (4 1/2 tsp)

1/3 c warm water (110 degrees)

2 eggs

1/4 c sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp nutmeg

3 c of gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (I used 1 c white rice, 1 c tapioca, and 1 c cornstarch)

3 T ground chia seed (this is the gum, you could use xantham gum, just add the amount per cup recommended on the package)


Warm the milk just enough to melt the shortening.  Pour warmed milk over shortening and whisk together.  Sift the flour, salt and nutmeg in a separate bowl.  In your mixing bowl add warm water and sprinkle yeast over water.  Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar over the yeast.  Let proof for 5 minutes.  Then add milk and shortening mixture, make sure it’s not too warm or it will kill the yeast.  Use your paddle attachment, and add the eggs, the rest of the sugar, and half the flour to the water/milk mixture.  Mix on low until all ingredients are combined, then on medium for about a minute.  Add the rest of the flour mixture, starting on low and then on medium until well combined.   Switch to your dough hook and “knead” for 3 to 4 minutes.

Do not add more flour!! The dough will be very wet at this stage, like a cake batter.  I saw this in my first attempts and thought I needed to add more flour so it would pull away from the bowl.  Nope! That was my problem, I was adding too much flour and the dough was too heavy to rise.

Cover and let rise for about an hour, or until doubled in volume.  The dough will still be wet, you won’t roll these donuts.  The tip I found from gluten-free girl is to pipe the dough onto parchment squares.  I cut up my parchment into the size donut I wanted.  Add the dough to your piping bag, or just a plastic baggie with the corner cut off.  You will want to use a large circular tip.  Pipe a circle around the piece of parchment.  Pick up the whole square and drop it all into the hot oil, carefully.  The parchment will slide right off when the donut is cooked.  Remove the donut after about a minute and allow to cool on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath.  Add whatever toppings you desire.

chocolate and maple gluten free donuts

I made a chocolate glaze and a maple frosting.  The chocolate glaze was just melted chocolate chips whisked with warm milk (ganache).  Use whatever frostings you would like.

Just because they are gluten-free doesn’t mean they are calorie free, so I made these donuts smaller.  I also made a slightly healthier version by baking them in a donut baker, instead of frying them.  The ones from the donut baker turned out just a nice as the ones I fried.

This really is a no-fail gluten free donut recipe!  Just follow the instructions!

How did yours turn out?

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About Anne Banks

Hi, I'm Anne! I am an active learner on this crazy road called life. I love learning about anything, but currently spend most of my study time researching parenting tips and improving health. I get excited about crafting, reading, running, baking, and spending time with my three crazy boys (in no particular order, and sometimes at the same time)! I love sharing what helps me get through the day, and I hope my tips help you!

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16 Responses to No Fail Gluten-Free Donut Recipe

  1. dishofdailylife August 30, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    Your donuts look delicious! I do cook gluten free on occasion. My youngest son was allergic to wheat when he was very young and we didn’t know if it was celiac at first so we just went completely gluten free for a couple years. Some of the ingredients we used we really liked so we just kept using them once he outgrew the allergy. I just might have to try making these, even though I am not the best baker. They look really good! Thanks so much for linking them up with us at Foodie Fridays!

    • Anne Banks September 1, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by! I was really surprised at how great these donuts turned out!

  2. Karen December 3, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    I have one word to describe these donuts. Dangerous. My kids kept asking when I was going to make my gluten free ones. Very good.

    • Anne Banks December 10, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

      Thanks Karen! They are dangerous because they are so yummy! Thanks for visiting!

  3. Karen January 2, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

    I am getting ready to make these for the second time. They turned out great the first time. I dropped the dough by the tablespoon into the oil and rolled them in cinnamon and sugar after removing from the oil. Tonight I am going to try baking some.

    • Anne Banks January 6, 2015 at 12:34 pm #


      That sounds like a great idea! I love cinnamon sugar donuts, or powdered sugar even. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your success!

  4. ashleystone December 9, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    A question – the doughnuts in the photos have the line around them from a doughnut baking pan. Where the ones pictured cooked in the oven? If so what modifications did you make (baking time etc.) to have them come out?

    Thanks :)

    • Anne Banks December 10, 2015 at 10:47 am #


      I didn’t bake any of these in the oven. The donut baker was only about 5 minutes long, and the rest I deep-fried and had my oil at about 375 or 400. It only takes a minute in the hot oil. I don’t know exact heat and time for an oven, but I would suggest 350 for 5-8 minutes. Try it and let me know!

  5. Angie December 16, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    Sorry if I missed it, but when do I add the ground chia seeds?

  6. Bev February 2, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

    I just made these for my grandson and they were awful! I forgot the chia seeds! maybe that’s why they did not turn out that well.I also baked them at 350 for 10 mins. I also think they could use a bit more sugar

  7. Hai-Chin February 6, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

    I never use shortening. Do your think coconut oil would work to replace it?

  8. Julie February 9, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

    Sadly the pop up ads on your page make it near impossible to read. :(

    • Rachael February 16, 2016 at 11:52 pm #

      Oh no! Thanks for letting us know, we will block them

  9. christie April 2, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

    I had an issue…I used 1c tapioca, 1c rice, 1c quinoa flour….and they taste like rotten beer. I am not sure if it is the combination of the flours I used or the amount of yeast, or a combination. But I will try again.

    • Rachael April 15, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

      Sorry to hear that!


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