Cinnamon and Sugar Doughnuts

Freshly deep fried and sugared doughnuts.

My transition to allergy free eating has been anything but smooth; just full of temptations and slip ups and angst over treats I can’t eat. It is really challenging to eat out and be social when dairy and eggs are off the menu, they seem to show up everywhere I go.

My approach to most problems is to figure out how to solve them quickly, and so recently, I bought a vegan cookbook and an allergy free baking book. I figure that if I can create the treats I crave, it’s win-win: no cheating and no feeling deprived. I’ve also started feeding my experiments to ordinary folk, and the feedback to date is tasty.

I’ve never made doughnuts, or even thought about it, but when I opened the Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book, the cinnamon doughnuts caught my eye. Tim Horton’s recently stopped making my favourite cinnamon doughnut, and I shouldn’t be eating at Tim’s even if they hadn’t, so this was very exciting.

Kevin was game to put ourselves in peril and do some deep frying, and away we went. You definitely need two people for this adventure, there’s so much to do and an assembly line works best.

These doughnuts are soft and cinnamon-y, but not too sweet. I think they give Tim’s a run for the money. I brought them to girls night and the last one got fought over.

Three big tips I discovered:

1. Do not knead the dough very much, or it will make really dense doughnuts. Just bring the dough together, and don’t worry if the doughnuts look a bit cracked once they hit the oil. They’ll be the perfect texture.

2. Make sure the dough is rolled out fairly thin before you cut out the circles. 1/4 inch to a 1/2 inch maximum to keep them from being too dense our doughy.

3. They only need 1-2 minutes per side in the oil, don’t be afraid to take them out when they are still light brown in colour.

The recipe below is egg and dairy free, but could be adapted with butter instead of margarine and milk instead of soy milk if you prefer.

Cutting them out with a tumbler for the large circle and a water bottle cap for the small circle.

Cinnamon and Sugar Doughnuts

Adapted from the Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book


  • 4.5 to 5 cups flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3.5 tsp. baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 tbsp. vegan margarine, melted
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • Canola oil for deep frying
  • Extra cinnamon and sugar for coating the doughnuts: 1/2 cup sugar to 2 tsp. cinnamon

Don't crowd the pot to ensure even cooking.


  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, and combine all the wet ingredients, except the soy milk, in a larger bowl.
  2. Gradually add the dry ingredients and the soy milk to the wet ingredients, stirring gently. Alternate both until a not too sticky dough forms. Add more flour if needed.
  3. Just mix it until combined, do not over stir or knead. Take 1/4 of the dough and transfer to a floured board or counter.
  4. Roll out to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness.
  5. Use a doughnut cutter, or 2 circles to cut out the doughnuts. I used a large glass tumbler for the outside and a small water bottle cap for the inside.
  6. Repeat the process until you have 12 to 16 doughnuts. Do not re-roll the scraps, they will make tough, dense doughnuts.
  7. Once the doughnuts are underway, pour 2-3 inches of canola oil in a large pot. Heat the oil on the stove until it reaches 375 F. If you don’t have a thermometer, wait until the oil shimmers and a wooden spoon causes bubbles when inserted into the oil.
  8. When your oil is ready, transfer 3-4 doughnuts to the pot. They should bubble and float around the pot.
  9. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side, remove just before they become golden brown.
  10. Immediately roll them in the cinnamon and sugar. You can shake them in the coating in a paper bag, which I found easier than rolling.

The doughnuts are ready to go once they cool a bit, and will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container.

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