While some donuts are vegan, and you can make your own quite easily, the majority of regular donuts are not vegan.
Let’s look at the ingredients that donuts have from a few popular chains.
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Ingredients in Donuts (Eggs/Dairy)
If you buy donuts from a big chain, they have a huge ingredients list.
I’m not going to list them all here, but here are the main ingredients in most donuts:
- Enzymes (Enzymes are usually vegan)
- Oil (Palm, Soybean, and others)
- Milk ingredients (Whey, skim milk)
- Mono- and di-glycerides (some glycerides are vegan, some are not)
The dairy and eggs are in almost all store-bought donuts, unless you’re buying from a bakery that specifically makes vegan donuts.
Are Krispy Kreme Donuts Vegan?
If we look at the ingredients in the “original” Krispy Kreme donuts, we see a few clearly non-vegan ingredients:
- Dried milk powder
- Egg yolk
- Palm oil (although that’s debatable)
While that’s just for the original flavor, they all have the same base which includes those ingredients.
So no, Krispy Kreme donuts are not vegan.
However, they do seem to be fine for vegetarians.
Are Dunkin Donuts’ Donuts Vegan Friendly?
Let’s take a look at the ingredients in their old fashioned donuts, which are arguably the most basic ones they have.
Palm Oil, Skim Milk, Sugar, Water, Egg Yolks,
Again, there are multiple non-vegan ingredients:
- Skim milk
- Egg yolks
- Palm oil
So nope, Dunkin Donuts’ donuts aren’t vegan either.
Are Tim Hortons Donuts Vegan?
I’m not sure how many of these are in countries aside from Canada, but they came to the top of my mind when writing this post, so I thought I’d include Tim Hortons.
Again, vegans are out of luck.
Here’s a PDF of all the ingredients in each Tim Hortons product.
While there are no eggs this time, there’s still palm oil and whey powder (a milk derivative).
Summary: Are Donuts Vegan?
One of the humongous sacrifices that vegans have to make is giving up donuts from chains and most bakeries that aren’t specifically vegan.
Most donuts are vegetarian, but clearly aren’t vegan.
On top of the base ingredients, which aren’t usually vegan as we’ve seen, you then need to consider the toppings:
- Chocolate Chips
These are all sometimes vegan, but often not.
So unless you’re specifically at a bakery that offers vegan donuts, the chances of any donut being vegan is very small. The same goes for donut holes, or “timbits” up here in Canada.
Alternatively, Make Your Own Baked Vegan Doughnuts
Most people don’t have the equipment needed to fry your own vegan donuts at home.
However, there are plenty baked vegan donuts recipes. These taste more like cake, so they might not completely satisfy your cravings, but they’re pretty darn good taste-wise (and probably a bit healthier).
Here’s a recipe for chocolate glazed vegan baked donuts that I really liked.