Does Voodoo Doughnuts have gluten free?

Voodoo Doughnut is a popular doughnut shop based in Portland, Oregon that is known for its unique and creative doughnut flavors. With the rising popularity of gluten-free diets, many customers wonder if Voodoo Doughnuts offers any gluten-free options.

What is gluten and gluten sensitivity?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it keep its shape. Gluten also gives doughnuts and other baked goods their chewy texture.

Around 1% of Americans have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. People with celiac disease must follow a strict lifelong gluten-free diet to manage their condition.

It’s estimated that 6-7% of the population has non-celiac gluten sensitivity. People with gluten sensitivity may experience gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain when they eat gluten.

The only treatment for celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is removing gluten from the diet by avoiding foods and ingredients containing wheat, barley, and rye.

Does Voodoo Doughnut offer gluten-free doughnuts?

Unfortunately, Voodoo Doughnut does not offer any certified gluten-free doughnuts at this time. Their doughnuts are made with wheat flour, which contains gluten. None of their classic doughnuts like the Voodoo Doll, Memphis Mafia, or Bacon Maple Bar are gluten-free.

Voodoo Doughnut’s website states: “We do not recommend our products for customers with celiac disease. At this time we do not offer certified gluten free products.”

So for customers with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or who are avoiding gluten for other health reasons, Voodoo’s signature doughnuts are off limits.

Why doesn’t Voodoo Doughnut offer gluten-free options?

There are a few reasons why Voodoo Doughnut does not currently have gluten-free doughnut options:

  • Gluten provides structure and texture – Gluten gives doughnuts their distinct chewy, spongy texture. Removing gluten makes doughnuts crumbly and dry.
  • Gluten-free baking is challenging – Recreating the taste and texture of traditional doughnuts without gluten requires a lot of trial and error.
  • Risk of cross-contamination – Even if they offered gluten-free doughnuts, the risk of cross-contamination with flour in their open kitchens is very high.
  • Niche demand – Only around 1% of the population absolutely requires a gluten-free diet, so there may not be enough demand to justify the costs.

Dedicated gluten-free bakeries struggle to perfect gluten-free doughnuts. For a traditional doughnut shop like Voodoo that sells dozens of varieties, it poses an even greater challenge.

What about their vegan doughnuts?

Voodoo Doughnut does offer several doughnuts that are dairy-free and egg-free, making them suitable for vegans. However, they are still made with wheat flour so they are not gluten-free.

Some of their vegan doughnut options include:

  • Grape Ape – raised yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting and grape dust
  • Mango Tango – raised yeast doughnut with mango frosting
  • Dirty Face – raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting and peanut butter dust
  • Coco Loco – raised yeast doughnut with coconut frosting

These doughnuts do not contain milk, eggs, or other animal products. But they still have gluten from wheat flour, so they are not safe for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Gluten-free snack options at Voodoo Doughnut

Although their signature doughnuts are off limits for gluten-free diets, Voodoo Doughnut does offer a few alternative snacks that may be gluten-free:

  • Coffee – Coffee drinks like lattes, americanos, and espresso are typically gluten-free.
  • Bottled drinks – Bottled sodas, juices, tea, and energy drinks that don’t contain malt or barley ingredients should be gluten-free.
  • Chips and snacks – Packaged gluten-free chips, candy bars, and other snacks may be available.

However, there is still some risk of cross-contamination from shared equipment and surfaces. Customers with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should explain their dietary needs to staff.

Are there any gluten-free doughnut options nearby?

Portland has a booming gluten-free food scene, so there are a few bakeries near Voodoo Doughnut that offer gluten-free doughnuts:

Back to Eden Bakery

Back to Eden is a popular 100% vegan and gluten-free bakery located just 5 minutes from Voodoo. They offer creative gluten-free and vegan doughnuts like:

  • Matcha doughnut with vanilla glaze
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate doughnut
  • Lemon Poppy doughnut

Kyra’s Bake Shop

Kyra’s Bake Shop is a dedicated gluten-free bakery with two locations about 10 minutes’ drive from Voodoo. Their doughnuts are baked instead of fried. Flavors include:

  • Strawberry Frosted
  • Chocolate Iced
  • Vanilla Cake

Petunia’s Pies & Pastries

Petunia’s is a gluten-free bakery with three locations around Portland. They offer both classic and rotating seasonal doughnuts like:

  • Blueberry cake doughnut
  • Chocolate coconut doughnut
  • Pumpkin doughnut (seasonal)

So while Voodoo itself doesn’t offer gluten-free options, Portland has some fantastic dedicated gluten-free bakeries nearby for doughnut lovers looking to avoid gluten.

Are Voodoo Doughnut’s toppings and fillings gluten-free?

While Voodoo Doughnut’s doughnuts themselves contain gluten, some customers wonder if their toppings and fillings may be gluten-free.

Certain toppings like fruit jams, nut butters, and candies are likely gluten-free. However, toppings containing cookies, cereals, pretzels, or other wheat-based ingredients would contain gluten.

For fillings, flavored creams made with ingredients like butter, sugar, and natural flavors are probably gluten-free. But fillings containing cookies, wheat-based ingredients, or unspecified “artificial flavors” may contain gluten.

So it’s impossible to know for sure if Voodoo’s unique toppings and one-of-a-kind fillings are gluten-free without seeing a full list of ingredients. Even if a topping seems gluten-free, there’s still a risk of cross-contact from shared equipment.

Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid all Voodoo Doughnut products, including their toppings and fillings, due to the likelihood of cross-contamination.

Are Voodoo Doughnut locations gluten-free friendly?

When considering the gluten-free friendliness of a restaurant or food shop, cross-contamination risks are just as crucial as the menu itself. So how cautious are Voodoo Doughnut’s policies and practices when it comes to avoiding cross-contact with gluten?

Unfortunately, Voodoo Doughnut locations are not particularly gluten-free friendly:

  • Their open kitchens have a high risk of airborne flour spreading and cross-contaminating surfaces, equipment, and ingredients.
  • Staff may not be thoroughly trained on gluten cross-contact risks.
  • They don’t offer any certified gluten-free products or call out gluten-free menu items.
  • Their website states they do not recommend their products to those with celiac disease.

While some trace amount of cross-contact may be unavoidable even in restaurants that try to be gluten-free careful, Voodoo Doughnut does not make any particular accommodations to be a safe option for gluten-free diets.

Steps to make Voodoo Doughnut safer

Here are some steps Voodoo Doughnut could take to reduce the risk of gluten cross-contact if they wished to become more gluten-free friendly:

  • Use separate work areas and equipment just for gluten-free doughnuts
  • Carefully clean all equipment between uses
  • Employ dedicated gluten-free staff
  • Offer staff training on gluten cross-contact
  • Label gluten-free menu items
  • Use separate gluten-free ingredients verified to have no cross-contact

Implementing procedures like these takes commitment, but helps provide much safer options for gluten-free guests.

Should you eat Voodoo Doughnut with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?

Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid eating any products from Voodoo Doughnut due to the unchecked risk of cross-contamination.

Consuming even small traces of gluten can cause intestinal damage for those with celiac. And people with gluten sensitivity may experience uncomfortable symptoms after exposure.

It’s simply not worth the aftermath you’d likely experience after eating Voodoo Doughnuts with a gluten-related condition. While they may look tempting, it’s safest to admire their creative designs from afar instead.

Other gluten-free dining options in Portland

While Voodoo Doughnut itself is off limits, the good news is Portland has tons of delicious gluten-free dining options. Here are some recommended gluten-free friendly restaurants to check out instead if you’re visiting the city:

Bless Your Heart Burgers

This build your own burger joint offers gluten-free buns, clearly labels menu items, and has excellent gluten-free practices.

Groundbreaker Brewing

Fully gluten-free brewery with tasty beer, cider, and gluten-free bar food.

Harvest at the Bindery

Elegant gluten-free comfort food and baked goods prepared in a dedicated gluten-free kitchen.

Mariposa Baking

Bakery entirely dedicated to gluten-free breads, sweets, and savory items made fresh daily.

Niche Gluten-Free

Trendy gluten-free cafe offering breakfast, lunch, and desserts made without gluten-containing ingredients.

Portland also has great gluten-free grocery stores stocked with gluten-free snacks, bakery items, pasta, and more so you can stock up on glutern-free goodies during your visit.

The bottom line on Voodoo Doughnut

While Voodoo Doughnut’s creative and colorful doughnut creations look tempting, the popular Portland doughnut shop currently does not offer any gluten-free options.

Their signature doughnuts contain wheat flour, and the open kitchens pose a high risk of cross-contamination. Voodoo Doughnut states on their website that they do not recommend their products for those with celiac disease.

Some bottled drinks and packaged snacks at Voodoo Doughnut may be safe, but those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should steer clear of their doughnuts and toppings due to the likelihood of trace gluten exposure.

Nearby gluten-free bakeries like Back to Eden, Kyra’s Bake Shop, and Petunia’s Pies & Pastries offer much safer gluten-free doughnut options for anyone avoiding gluten.

While you may need to pass on Voodoo’s doughnuts, Portland still has amazing gluten-free dining choices. But when it comes to doughnuts, stick to the dedicated gluten-free bakeries to truly indulge gluten-free.

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