Gluten Free Glazed Vanilla Bean Donuts

Gluten Free Glazed Vanilla Bean Donuts

These gluten free glazed vanilla bean donuts are soft, moist and tender, and bake up in minutes. They’re basically the perfect vanilla donut.

Gluten Free Glazed Vanilla Bean Cake Donuts

I’ve been sitting on this recipe for gluten free glazed vanilla bean donuts for a looooooong, long time. It’s adapted lightly from the yeast-free plain donuts recipe in Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy, and it’s just my favorite plain cake donut in the whole wide world. It’s moist and tender, so easy to make and bakes up just as nicely in a donut pan (my favorite donut pan is a simple nonstick pan made by Wilton) as it does in one of those electric miniature donut makers.

Gluten Free Glazed Vanilla Bean Cake Donuts

You can skip the glaze, of course, and you can use vanilla extract in place of the vanilla seeds, but of course I’d rather you didn’t. I used to shy away from anything that called for real vanilla seeds because I only bought vanilla beans in the grocery store in those jars with one or two beans, and frankly they cost a mint. No recipe ever seemed vanilla-bean worthy. I’m pretty sure I still have a jar or two of those single beans. I still can’t bring myself to use them!

Gluten Free Glazed Vanilla Bean Cake Donuts, Step by Step

But then I finally got wise and started ordering vanilla beans in bulk online. I make a single batch of vanilla extract with rum and pile every single vanilla bean I buy in bulk into the jar, and then the beans never go bad. And you simply can’t beat the vanilla flavor you get. And when I use the seeds from a pod, I usually just put the empty pod back into the extract. Gotta get my money’s worth out of every pod!

Gluten Free Glazed Vanilla Bean Cake Donuts

If you’re thinking about a chocolate version of these perfect gluten free cake donuts, they’re on the cover of Quick & Easy! The recipe is on page 44, and it’s also reprinted right here on the blog.

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 8 regular or 15 mini donuts


For the Donuts
1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch (or try potato starch or arrowroot)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

4 tablespoons (48 g) nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, melted and cooled (can be replaced with an equal amount of unsalted butter, by weight)

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

3/4 cup (193 g) plain yogurt, at room temperature

1 vanilla bean (can replace with 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)

For the glaze
1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar

2 to 4 teaspoons milk or buttermilk


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.* Grease a donut pan or muffin tin and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, nutmeg, and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter, shortening, eggs and yogurt, mixing to combine after each addition. Using a sharp paring knife or kitchen shears, snip off the end of the vanilla bean and, starting at the uncut end and running your finger along the length, squeeze out the seeds from inside the vanilla bean into the donut batter, reserving some of the seeds for the glaze. Mix to combine.

  • Fill the prepared wells of the donut pan or muffin tin about three-quarters of the way full. For perfectly shaped donuts, place the donut batter into a piping bag fitted with a large, open tip, and pipe the batter into the wells. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the donuts are set and just lightly browned. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • While the donuts are cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl, place the confectioners’ sugar, 2 teaspoons of milk and the reserved vanilla seeds, and mix well. Add more milk by the half-teaspoon until you have a smooth but thickly pourable glaze. Working quickly, dip the top of each cooled donut in the glaze, turn back and forth a bit to coat well, invert the donut so the glaze is facing upward, and place on a flat surface to set.

  • *VARIATION: Instead of baking in the oven, these donuts can be made in a BabyCakes Mini Doughnut Maker (or similar machine). Rather than preheating your oven, warm the donut maker according to the manufacturers’ directions. Make the batter according to the recipe instructions. Fill the bottom of the wells of the donut maker completely full with batter, then close and secure the lid. Allow to bake for 3 minutes. Open the donut maker and remove the donuts with the remover tool included in the package. Transfer the donuts to a wire rack to cool, and repeat with the remaining batter. Cool the donuts and glaze according to the recipe instructions.

  • Adapted from the Yeast-Free Glazed Plain Doughnuts on page 42 of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy.



P.S. Did you know I have 4 published gluten free cookbooks? If you haven’t considered a purchase, I hope you will! They’re each a labor of love, and your support of the books keeps the blog going!

If you liked this recipe, you'll love this book!

People who follow a gluten-free diet don’t always have the quick and cheap food options that their friends do…until now.

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Quick and Easy contains 100 new quick-prep and make-ahead recipes for dinners, yeast-free breads, baked goods, snacks, breakfasts, and more. These unique timesaving recipes take advantage of readily available gluten-free ingredients and kitchen shortcuts.

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Comments are closed.

  • September 6, 2015 at 10:11 PM

    I made your custard cake this weekend and it was amazing. These donuts are next on my list! They look so good and I have not eaten a donut in a year or more. Thank you!!!!!

  • Victoria Donaldson
    August 31, 2015 at 6:07 AM

    Just ordered your new cook book, Classic Snacks, and quick and easy!!!! Can’t wait to get them. Have had your bread book almost since it came out and LOVE IT, my Friends have even bought it after tasting my bread. I use it at least once per week usually wayyyyyyy more…. Everyone can’t believe it’s gluten free. My Husband loves it more than he ever liked ‘normal'(ha) bread! (He is the one who’s intolerant) Thanks so much for the hard work that goes into your books, and of course the blog. :)

  • Kristina Haasakker
    August 29, 2015 at 9:03 PM

    Ahh…Nicole! Thank you, again, for your awesome recipes! I’m making these tonight. Your recipes are the only gluten-free recipes my kids and husband like! :)

  • Carole
    August 28, 2015 at 1:28 PM

    Now where do we get the bulk vanilla beans ?????
    The Grandkids will be here tomorrow morning and we definitely are having this.

    • Victoria Donaldson
      August 29, 2015 at 5:18 AM

      In Australia we can get them from eBay real cheap but not sure about USA … Hope that helps

  • youngbaker2002
    August 28, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    these look soooooo goooooood!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jennifer S.
    August 28, 2015 at 11:13 AM

    Yum – how about that vanilla bean paste? Love that stuff! :)

    • youngbaker2002
      August 28, 2015 at 2:47 PM

      was wondering the same, Jennifer!

  • Anneke
    August 28, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    I think these might be the First Day of School Breakfast Donuts in my house! If that day ever comes…Yum!

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