How To Make Donuts Without Yeast?

Did you have your heart set on making donuts but found out you were out of yeast? Or, maybe you have a yeast intolerance but don’t want to give up donuts. Luckily, you are in the right place!

Donuts are the most delicious food of all time and taste incredible. That’s why I am here with a fantastic donut recipe without yeast and all the information you need on what donuts are and how you can make them without yeast.

What Is A Donut?

According to Merriam-Webster, a donut is a small, usually ring-shaped piece of sweet fried dough. They are famous worldwide and can be purchased at supermarkets, gas stations, and bakeries.

Donuts come in various shapes and sizes, for example, Bear claw, Long John, Glazed Twisted, and Jelly. There are many toppings too, like chocolate, caramel, coconut, and sprinkles.

Where Did Donuts Come From?

Donuts have a Dutch origin, but they were not popular until they arrived in The United States. Dutch used to call donuts oily cakes, which were balls of dough usually fried in pork fat. These oily cakes, or donuts, were typically filled with fruit like apples or prunes.

According to Smithsonian, in the mid-nineteenth century, a woman named Elizabeth Gregory from Rockport, Maine had a fantastic dough recipe with nutmeg and other spices. She would fry the sweet dough for her son, Hanson Gregory.

Hanson Gregory was a ship captain, so his mother used to pack the fried dough for his venture, and she stuffed the center with nuts such as almonds and walnuts in case the center of the dough remained raw. Because of this, she called them doughnuts.

Elizabeth’s son, Hanson Gregory, Claimed credit for giving the doughnut its iconic hole in the middle. He had the idea to remove the raw centers of the doughnut with the lid of a tin pepper box.

Donuts In The U.S.

Donuts are the comfort food of all time! They were served to the American soldiers by women known as “Donut Girls” or “Donut Lassies” during WW1 to give them a taste of home. This would help them feel less homesick and continue fighting.

According to Food 52, Adolph Levitt created the first donut machine in 1920 because of the demand for doughnuts. His donut machine could turn out around 80 almost identical donuts an hour! That is pretty incredible.

The doughnut is the older version used in ancient times, and the donut is used in the United States and is a simplified version of the spelling doughnuts. Both spellings are correct in the dictionary.

What Is Yeast?

According to Healthline, yeast is a substance that causes the dough to rise, which is why it is commonly found in dough recipes. It is a brown, powdery substance, and you can find it in most supermarkets under the name instant or active dry yeast.

Yeast is a single-cell organism that works as a leavening agent and feeds on sugar which causes carbon dioxide production. This process creates bubbles inside the dough, rising at room temperature or heat exposure.

How To Make A Donut Without Yeast

Donuts without yeast
Image Credit: Just is a Four Letter Word

The best way to make a donut without yeast is to substitute the yeast for baking powder and baking soda. These two ingredients work as a leavening agent similar to yeast, except for baking powder and baking soda, which are chemicals as opposed to yeast which is an organism.

This delicious No-Yeast Homemade Donut Recipe from Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking is easy and yields amazingly delicious results. This recipe is for fried donuts. However, you can bake these instead if you prefer.

If you decide to bake them, I recommend using a donut pan. If you do not have one, a regular baking pan is ok. Just cut your donuts according to the directions and bake them at 350F for 10-12 minutes.

This recipe is great because these donuts use the shallow frying method instead of deep-frying, which means you don’t need a deep fryer and a lot of oil. Just a frying pan and a little bit of vegetable oil.

How To Make A Glaze

Glazes are very easy to make and complete any donut! A basic glaze only uses milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract—heat 1/4 cup milk with 1 tsp of vanilla over medium heat on your stovetop.

Slowly stir in the powdered sugar. You will want to keep the glaze warm to make it easier to glaze your donuts.

If you are looking for a chocolate glaze, Errens Kitchen has an excellent recipe for you to try! You use the same ingredients as the basic glaze and add cocoa powder, salt, and corn syrup.

Finally, it is time for the best donut recipe without yeast! I listed all the ingredients and instructions to make it easy to follow. You can find the recipe video here if you want to follow the recipe.


  • 3 1/2cups(1lb 2oz/497g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4cup(6oz/170g) sugar
  • 1/2teaspoonbaking soda
  • 2teaspoonsbaking powder
  • 1teaspoonsalt
  • 1teaspoonground cinnamon
  • 1/2teaspoonground nutmeg, optional
  • 3/4cup(6floz/170ml) buttermilk
  • 1/4cup(2oz/57g) butter, melted
  • 1tspvanilla extract
  • 2eggs*
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. First, put vegetable oil in your pan, around an inch. You will need a wire rack with a paper towel for the donuts to cool when they come out of the frying pan. A paper plate lined with a paper towel will work fine if you do not have a cooling rack.
  2. Next, mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set them aside. Combine the buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla extract, and eggs in a large bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until a dough is formed. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Next, bring the dough together on a lightly floured surface and pat it out until it is a 12-inch rectangle and around 1/2 inch thick. Heat your oil on medium heat, and then begin cutting your donuts.
  4. Use a 3-inch and a 1-inch round cookie cutter to cut out the donuts and the middles. You can bring any leftover dough back together and continue the process until you have used all the dough.
  5. Test the oil with a donut hole before frying any of your donuts. After cooking for two minutes on each side, the donut hole should be puffy and a pretty golden brown color.
  6. In small batches, transfer the donuts into the oil and fry for around two minutes on both sides,r until they are puffy and golden.
  7. Carefully remove the donuts from the hot oil and transfer them to the paper towel-lined cooling rack or paper plate.

The donuts can be tossed in cinnamon sugar as soon as they are cool enough to touch. If you are using a glaze, make sure to glaze the donuts while they are still warm. Dip the donuts in the glaze, then return to the wire cooling rack or paper plate. If you prefer a thicker layer of glaze, you can dip them a few more times.

Recipe Notes

If you need to substitute the eggs, the recipe states you can substitute four tbs of applesauce or 1/2 of mashed banana for the eggs. Buttermilk is also an essential ingredient in this recipe, but if you only have regular milk, mix 2 Tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar with one cup of milk.

Consuming sugary food lifts your mood and increases your energy slump, so if you are ever feeling low, consider whipping up a batch of delicious donuts. Please comment regarding any questions you have about making donuts without yeast!


No-yeast donut
Image Credit: MasterClass

What can you use instead of yeast for donuts?

Most donut recipes are leavened with a raising agent like yeast. If you are not using yeast, you need to use another leavening agent. Baking powder and baking soda are the best substitutes for yeast, but you can also use a sourdough starter if you have it on hand.

Are donuts better with or without yeast?

Without yeast, the donuts might not be as raised as you get from the donut shop, but they will have a cakey crumb that will satisfy your sweet tooth craving!

What kind of flour is best for donuts?

It is highly recommended to use all-purpose flour for donuts, especially ones made without yeast. The reason is that bread flour makes donuts a bit tougher than light and fluffy.

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