Does Krispy Kreme make a vegan donut?

Krispy Kreme is known for its signature glazed donuts that melt in your mouth. The brand has become an icon in donut culture. But what about those who follow a vegan diet? Can they enjoy the delicious taste of a Krispy Kreme donut too?

In this article, we’ll dive into whether Krispy Kreme offers any vegan donut options for its health-conscious and ethically-minded customers. We’ll look at the ingredients that go into their donuts, research what vegan customers who have contacted the company report back, and scour their menu for any hidden vegan gems.

What Makes a Donut Not Vegan?

To understand if Krispy Kreme has any vegan donut options, we first have to look at what ingredients generally make donuts not vegan-friendly.

Here are some of the most common non-vegan ingredients found in donuts:

– Eggs – Donuts often contain eggs as an ingredient in the dough or batter. Eggs act as a binder and add structure.

– Dairy Milk – Milk is common in donut recipes, whether it’s whole milk, buttermilk, or condensed milk. It contributes to taste and texture.

– Butter – Many donut recipes call for butter or margarine in the dough ingredients. Butter adds flavor and moisture.

– Animal-Derived Shortenings – Shortenings like lard are used in some yeast donuts for a flaky texture.

– Honey – Glazes and fillings may be sweetened with honey, a non-vegan ingredient.

– Animal-Based Emulsifiers – Emulsifiers like mono- and diglycerides derived from animal sources are sometimes added.

– Carmine Food Coloring – Carmine, a red food dye, is made from cochineal bugs and is not vegan.

So in scanning Krispy Kreme’s ingredients lists, we need to watch out for any of these common animal-derived ingredients. Let’s look at what their donuts are actually made of.

Examining Krispy Kreme’s Donut Ingredients

Krispy Kreme proudly shares the ingredients they use to make their famous donuts right on their website. Let’s closely examine the ingredients lists of their original glazed donuts, cake donuts, and yeast donuts to determine if any animal products are included.

Original Glazed Donuts

According to the Krispy Kreme website, the ingredients for their signature original glazed donuts are:

– Enriched bleached wheat flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
– Sugar
– Soybean oil and/or Canola oil
– Yeast
– Water
– Egg yolks
– Contains 2% or less of the following: dextrose, salt, soy lecithin, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, L-cysteine hydrochloride), caramel color, corn syrup, natural and artificial flavors, modified cornstarch, mono- and diglycerides, sodium propionate (preservative), potassium sorbate (preservative), guar gum, xanthan gum, palm oil.

Unfortunately, original glazed donuts contain egg yolks as an ingredient. This means that Krispy Kreme’s signature donut is not vegan-friendly.

Cake Donuts

For their cake donuts, Krispy Kreme uses:

– Enriched bleached wheat flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
– Sugar
– Soybean oil and/or Canola oil
– Water
– Yeast
– Contains 2% or less of the following: dextrose, salt, corn starch, palm oil, soy lecithin, mono- and diglycerides, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, potassium sorbate and sodium propionate (preservatives), artificial flavor, modified tapioca starch, rice flour, sodium stearoyl lactylate, caramel color, guar gum, natural and artificial flavors, xanthan gum.

Again, no obviously animal-based ingredients here. But upon closer inspection, there are a couple of potential animal-derived ingredients:

– Mono- and Diglycerides – Emulsifying agents that may come from animal sources.
– Natural Flavors – Can contain animal products and byproducts.

Due to the ambiguity around these ingredients, Krispy Kreme’s classic cake donuts also fail the vegan test.

Yeast Donuts

Looking at the ingredients lists for Krispy Kreme’s yeast donuts including glazed raspberry filled and original glazed chocolate iced donuts, the ingredients are:

– Enriched bleached wheat flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
– Sugar
– Soybean oil and/or canola oil
– Water
– Yeast
– Contains 2% or less of the following: wheat starch, salt, dextrose, emulsifiers (mono and diglycerides, sodium stearoyl lactylate, soy lecithin), L-cysteine hydrochloride, rice flour, sodium acid pyrophosphate, xanthan gum, guar gum, enriched bleached wheat flour (niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), beta carotene for color, enzymes, palm oil, natural and artificial flavor, potassium sorbate (preservative), sodium propionate (preservative), colors (red 40, yellow 5 & 6, blue 1), caramel color, modified cornstarch.

Like the cake donuts, the potential animal-derived ingredients here are mono- and diglycerides and natural flavors. So yeast donuts also do not meet vegan standards.

What Krispy Kreme Customers Report Back

Beyond examining the published ingredients lists, it’s helpful to know what vegan customers who have contacted Krispy Kreme report back about any potential vegan options. Here’s what some Krispy Kreme customers who eat plant-based diets say:

– On Reddit threads, multiple redditors report that Krispy Kreme donuts are not vegan and that they have been told so directly by the company when reaching out. There are no vegan donuts on the menu.

– A reviewer on VeganLiftz who contacted the company was told plainly that none of their donuts are vegan. An official statement said all donuts contain dairy and/or eggs.

– On a ChowHound forum thread, a user who spoke with a store manager confirms that there are no vegan donuts because all of them contain eggs, dairy or animal shortening.

– A couple food blogs including Vegan Mime and Live Kindly have also reached out to Krispy Kreme PR and been told definitively that no items are vegan and no vegan options are planned.

So accounts direct from Krispy Kreme all unanimously indicate that there are currently no vegan donuts on the menu, disappointing many plant-based customers. The ingredients lists confirm eggs, dairy or animal-based emulsifiers in all their donut offerings.

Are Any Menu Items Vegan?

While no doughnuts are vegan, some investigative vegan customers report that they have been able to customize orders to make some menu items plant-based. Here are a couple options:

Iced Coffee

Krispy Kreme’s iced coffee is dairy-free if you order it with soy milk or without any milk. Ask them to be sure sugar or flavors are not added with animal products.

Cinnamon Rolls

Some cinnamon rolls may be made vegan by asking for them without icing and glaze, which likely contain dairy. However, cinnamon rolls vary by location, so you’ll want to check with your specific Krispy Kreme store on ingredients.

Fruit Juice

The fruit juice options look like they are likely vegan by ingredients, but check with your location to be sure no clarifiers or sweeteners contain animal products.

So in summary, while no standard menu items are vegan, modified orders of iced coffee, cinnamon rolls or juice may be possible at some locations. But availability likely varies, so be sure to ask store staff.

Should You Expect Vegan Options in the Future?

While Krispy Kreme currently offers no vegan donuts or baked goods, is it reasonable to hope they might expand their menu in the future as plant-based diets grow?

Some optimistic signs:

– Customer Demand – Many vegan customers are asking for inclusive options and reporting disappointment at the lack of vegan items. There is a demonstrated demand.

– Trend Toward Plant-Based – Krispy Kreme may follow the trajectory of other chains like Dunkin’ and Tim Hortons in offering vegan donuts as plant-based eating trends up.

– Dairy-Free Milk Options – The fact that Krispy Kreme locations already offer soy milk and almond milk is a good sign they may further expand dairy-free and vegan options.

– Precedent of Customization – The ability to customize some items like iced coffee and potentially cinnamon rolls indicates there is openness to plant-based requests.

On the other hand, some reasons Krispy Kreme may be slow to offer vegan donuts:

– Signature Recipes Rely on Eggs and Dairy – Their flagship original glazed donut recipe yields its signature taste and texture from ingredients like eggs and buttermilk. They may be reticent to alter a classic recipe.

– Costs of Ingredient Changes – Developing new recipes without eggs and dairy that achieve similar tastes and textures could require pricey R&D.

– Slow Pace of Menu Innovation – Looking at their menu additions historically, Krispy Kreme has never been quick to add major new options. Gradual change is their tendency.

– Perception of Niche Appeal – There may be a sense that vegan customers are still a niche rather than mainstream audience. So far, chains have been more reactive than proactive.

My prediction is that based on rising demand, changing social values around animals in the food system, and pressure from competitors adding vegan options, Krispy Kreme is likely to offer vegan donut choices within the next 3-5 years. However, widespread change would be gradual.

In the meantime, consumers seeking dairy-free, egg-free donuts have some available options…

Where to Find Vegan Donuts Now

While Krispy Kreme currently offers no vegan donuts, if you follow a plant-based diet, you still have plenty of spots to get your donut fix:

Local Donut Shops

Many independent donut shops offer vegan options, like:

– Dun-Well Doughnuts in Brooklyn with creative flavors like Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup.

– General Porpoise in Seattle with doughnuts like Lemon Poppyseed and Double Chocolate.

– Psycho Donuts in California with fun names like Peace of Mind Piña Colada.

Large Chains Expanding Options

Major chains that now include vegan doughnuts on menus:

– Dunkin’ – Their doughnuts include The Beyond Doughnut Sausage Breakfast Sandwich made with Beyond Meat.

– Tim Horton’s – Options like the Apple Fritter Donut and Vanilla Dip Donut are vegan.

– Entenmann’s – They offer delicious vegan-friendly Classic Crumb Donuts.

Grocery Store Varieties

You’ll also find dairy-free and egg-free donuts in the freezer aisle of most mainstream grocery stores and at natural food stores like Whole Foods, with brands like:

– Krimpet Raspberry Filled Donuts
– Entenmann’s SofTEX Mini Donuts
– Immaculate Bakery Assorted Donuts
– Whole Foods Market Vegan Mini Donuts

So while you sadly still can’t get a vegan version of Krispy Kreme’s melt-in-your-mouth glazed donuts, there are plenty of plant-based donut options to keep any sweet tooth happy. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that Krispy Kreme catches up soon!

The Bottom Line

Here’s the key takeaways on whether it’s possible to enjoy Krispy Kreme donuts while following a vegan diet:

– Krispy Kreme’s signature original glazed doughnuts contain eggs and are not vegan. Their classic cake donuts and yeast donuts also have non-vegan ingredients.

– Customers who have contacted Krispy Kreme report being told definitively there are no vegan options currently on their menu.

– Some menu items like iced coffee and potentially cinnamon rolls may be able to be customized to be made vegan at some locations. But availability varies.

– While the current menu is entirely non-vegan, customer demand and shifting dietary preferences provide hope Krispy Kreme may add plant-based options in the coming years.

– In the meantime, there are many places to find delicious dairy-free, egg-free donuts from local shops, large chains like Dunkin’, grocery store varieties, and more.

So for now, those following plant-based diets will have to get their donut fix elsewhere. But never say never that future Krispy Kreme customers could “Have It Vegan Way” too!

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