EASY Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake Doughnut Recipe |Fried|

Hey there, sweet souls! Get ready to sprinkle some joy into your kitchen because we’re about to embark on a delicious adventure! Is there anything better or more comforting on a slow Saturday morning, than a warm, freshly fried cake donut. Pair a batch of warm donuts with some black coffee, and it’s even better. Make it gluten-free donuts, and it’s a winner. If it’s raining outside and you are forced to nap after eating too many donuts – heaven. 

What You’ll Need

  • Eggs – best to get these darlings at room temperature or straight from the chicken coop!
  • Milk – whole milk works best for this recipe. (I have not tested milk substitutes in this recipe)
  • Sour Cream – PSST … she is the secret ingredient, adding a lot of moisture to the donuts!
  • Sugar – you’ll need white sugar for the recipe + powdered sugar for the glaze (or to make a powdered donut).
  • Butter – softened butter at room temperature works best.
  • Gluten-Free Flour – I used Arrowhead Mills blend for this recipe, but I imagine Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur’s would work! Those are my top 3 favorites. 
  • Coconut Oil – you could totally use canola – BUT I will say, using coconut oil adds a scrumptious flavor!
  • Baking powder and Baking Soda – this duo really amps up the texture!
  • Salt – ahhh the spice of life!
  • Vanilla – a little va va voom! (and would it even be a donut recipe without it?)
easy gluten-free cake doughnut recipe - fried - image 1

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2006 – that’s nearly 20 years ago – and gluten-free flour blend have come a LONG way since 2006. Originally the main flour substitute was garbanzo bean flour – have you ever tasted it? NOT great for baking! Over the years, I have tried lots of different donut recipes, most that required baking as opposed to deep frying, because the idea of oil and frying kind of intimidated me. They were “okay” but a fried donut rises above. Baked donuts can sometimes just be glorified muffin texture. But frying the dough, gives it that elevated flavor and texture, that sets doughnuts apart from other baked goods. It had been years since I had a fried doughnut – YEARS! BUT this year, one of our family Advent activities was “eating reindeer droppings for breakfast” AKA donut holes. I could have just picked up some gluten free doughnuts from the store, but I challenged myself to homemake some fried cake donuts! And turns out, I made a batch of the yummiest, perfectly golden brown, homemade donuts. My boys gobbled them up and had a fun time helping to decorate!

On to the Step-by-Step!

Step 1:

In this step we are going to combine all the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt – in a large mixing bowl. Add the gluten free flour mix (for this recipe I used Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free Flour Blend – I imagine the Gluten Free King Arthur flour blend or the Bob’s Red Mill would work just fine – NOTE: I will be attempting my own gf flour blend soon!), baking soda, baking powder (make sure it is gluten free – I use Bob’s Red Mill), and salt. Whisk to combine. 

Step 2: 

Next we will work with the wet ingredients. In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, add the sugar and eggs and beat to combine. Then add the sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. While you are doing this, melt butter in a saucepan and let it cool. 

Step 3:

Next up! You will need to change the standing mixer attachment to a paddle or dough hook, this will work with us as we fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Then, slowly, using a measuring cup, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, while the mixer is on medium-low speed. You may need to increase speed as the donut batter gets thicker. Once the flour mixture is incorporated completely, slowly pour in the melted butter. Mix to combine. This dough is pretty easy to work with and should hold its shape when formed into donuts. 

Step 4: 

Now we are ready to form our gluten-free vanilla donuts! I typically like to roll the dough into balls to make doughnut holes, BUT if you are wanting the traditional gf donuts shape, you can roll this dough onto a floured surface and use the biscuit cutters I linked above! Although, you could also form the traditional donuts by hand as well! Before you start forming the perfect gluten free dough you have made, it’s time to start melting the coconut oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add several cups of oil to the pot and turn to medium heat. Once the oil has melted you will want to make sure there is a depth of 2 inches of oil. I have a gas stove and keeping the flame at medium heat is the perfect heat for the frying process – your stove may be different!

easy gluten-free cake doughnut recipe - fried - image 2

Step 5: 

Pro tip! Before you fry your delicious homemade gluten free doughnuts, it’s best to make the frosting or glaze or sugar mixture. Once the doughnuts have cooled slightly, I like to drizzle on the glaze or roll them around in the cinnamon sugar. I have a crowd of donut lovers in my house, each with their opinion on the best glaze or topping, haha! SO I end up make 3 or 4 options for decorating to make bellies happy! Recipes for a chocolate glaze, a vanilla glaze and a cinnamon sugar blend for gluten-free cinnamon sugar donuts can be found below!

Step 6:  

Once the oil reaches 375 degrees, we are ready for frying! Prepare a baking sheet, lined with paper towels or a cooling rack, so you have a place to put the doughnuts once they have cooked in the oil. Using a ladle, add the donuts to the hot oil. Make sure to not overfill the pot – you don’t want them touching. After about 3 minutes, use the ladle to gently flip the donuts. Cook another 2-3 minutes until donuts are a golden brown. Use the ladle to gently remove and place the donuts on the prepared paper towels or wire rack. 

easy gluten-free cake doughnut recipe - fried - image 3

Once they have cooled slightly, decorate with your glaze or mix of choice! Place back onto the cooling rack to set. You will repeat this process until the donut batter has been used. Remember to keep your oil temperature at a steady 375 degrees – for my gas stove this usually means a steady medium/ medium heat heat. 

NOW, pour yourself another cup of coffee, fill your plate with a donut (or two), plop down into your cozy chair and savor the heavenly treat. 

Frosting and Fun Toppings: 

No party is complete without a little frosting flair! Dip your gluten-free wonders in a simple powdered sugar glaze or get creative with toppings like colorful sprinkles, shredded coconut, or a drizzle of your favorite fruity sauce.

  • Chocolate Glaze 

Whisk together 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons cocoa powder. Stir in 2 tablespoons of milk and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. 

  • Vanilla Glaze

Melt 1/4 cup of butter on the stove. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and whisk in 2 cups of powdered sugar. This will form a thick paste. Slowly add enough milk to thin the glaze, about 1 1/2 tablespoons. Add a dash of salt for flavor enhancement. 

  • Cinnamon Sugar 

Whisk together 1 cup of sugar (you could use coconut sugar here) and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon. 

easy gluten-free cake doughnut recipe - fried - image 4
easy gluten-free cake doughnut recipe - fried - image 1

EASY Gluten-Free Cake Doughnut Recipe |fried|

Print Recipe
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups gluten-free all purpose flour blend I use Arrowhead Mills
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5 tbsp butter; melted
  • Oil |for frying|

Instructions

  • 1) In this step we are going to combine all the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt – in a large mixing bowl. Add the gluten free flour mix (for this recipe I used Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free Flour Blend – I imagine the Gluten Free King Arthur flour blend or the Bob's Red Mill would work just fine – NOTE: I will be attempting my own gf flour blend soon!), baking soda, baking powder (make sure it is gluten free – I use Bob's Red Mill), and salt. Whisk to combine. 
    2) Next we will work with the wet ingredients. In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, add the sugar and eggs and beat to combine. Then add the sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. While you are doing this, melt butter in a saucepan and let it cool. 
    3) Next up! You will need to change the standing mixer attachment to a paddle or dough hook, this will work with us as we fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Then, slowly, using a measuring cup, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, while the mixer is on medium-low speed. You may need to increase speed as the donut batter gets thicker. Once the flour mixture is incorporated completely, slowly pour in the melted butter. Mix to combine. This dough is pretty easy to work with and should hold its shape when formed into donuts. 
    4) Now we are ready to form our gluten-free vanilla donuts! I typically like to roll the dough into balls to make doughnut holes, BUT if you are wanting the traditional gf donuts shape, you can roll this dough onto a floured surface and use the biscuit cutters I linked above! Although, you could also form the traditional donuts by hand as well! Before you start forming the perfect gluten free dough you have made, it's time to start melting the coconut oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add several cups of oil to the pot and turn to medium heat. Once the oil has melted you will want to make sure there is a depth of 2 inches of oil. I have a gas stove and keeping the flame at medium heat is the perfect heat for the frying process – your stove may be different!
    5) Pro tip! Before you fry your delicious homemade gluten free doughnuts, it's best to make the frosting or glaze or sugar mixture. Once the doughnuts have cooled slightly, I like to drizzle on the glaze or roll them around in the cinnamon sugar. I have a crowd of donut lovers in my house, each with their opinion on the best glaze or topping, haha! SO I end up make 3 or 4 options for decorating to make bellies happy! Recipes for a chocolate glaze, a vanilla glaze and a cinnamon sugar blend for gluten-free cinnamon sugar donuts can be found below!
    6) Once the oil reaches 375 degrees, we are ready for frying! Prepare a baking sheet, lined with paper towels or a cooling rack, so you have a place to put the doughnuts once they have cooked in the oil. Using a ladle, add the donuts to the hot oil. Make sure to not overfill the pot – you don't want them touching. After about 3 minutes, use the ladle to gently flip the donuts. Cook another 2-3 minutes until donuts are a golden brown. Use the ladle to gently remove and place the donuts on the prepared paper towels or wire rack. 
    7) Once they have cooled slightly, decorate with your glaze or mix of choice! Place back onto the cooling rack to set. You will repeat this process until the donut batter has been used. Remember to keep your oil temperature at a steady 375 degrees – for my gas stove this usually means a steady medium/ medium heat heat. 
Servings: 2 dozen

Tips and Tricks!

  1. This doughnut recipe is not an oven baked recipe, but rather an oil-fried doughnut recipe. I was aiming to recreate that cake donut vibe, with a crunchy outside and a perfectly moist center.
  2. Room temperature ingredients work best for this gluten-free donut recipe!
  3. This recipe makes a fairly large batch of deliciousness, so if there happen to be leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen for 3 months. To reheat, simply pop the donut into the microwave.
  4. This gluten free doughnuts recipe can be shaped into traditional donuts or donut holes. For traditional donut shaping it’s easiest to use tiered sized biscuits cutters, like the ones you see here! For donut holes. this donut dough can be easily formed and rolled into a ball before frying. 
  5. Don’t forget to make your glaze BEFORE you start frying!
  6. And for this recipe I love using coconut oil for frying the delectable dough. I prefer unrefined oil as opposed to refined – simply brings in some extra yummy flavor. 
  7. It’s always fun to add sprinkles, especially if you have ones that match the season! My go-to sprinkle brand is Supernatural because they are ADORABLE and they are free from artificial dye.

Why You will LOVE this recipe?

  • There are no tricks and it’s easy to follow. 
  • Recipe yields plenty for left-overs, which makes for perfect grab ‘n go breakfasts on busy mornings!
  • Donuts are SO fun to make with your kids! 
  • And if food is about making memories, the process of start to table with this recipe, 

Why Gluten-Free Joy?

  1. All-Inclusive: Gluten-free donut holes welcome everyone to the dessert table – no gluten sensitivities left feeling left out!
  2. Flavorful Frolic: Gluten-free baking opens the door to a world of exciting flavors, making each bite a playful adventure for your taste buds.
  3. Smart Treats: Even if gluten isn’t your foe, choosing gluten-free treats can be a lighthearted and mindful way to enjoy a sweet escape.

Dear friends, It’s time to unleash your inner baker, preheat that oven, and let the playful magic unfold with these gluten-free delights. Your taste buds will thank you, and you’ll be spreading joy with every bite. So, get ready for a delightful journey into the land of gluten-free goodness – where every donut hole is a playful treat for the young at heart!

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