Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree
Confession: I have never made donuts at home.

Well, until the week before last when I was gearing up for Cinco de Mayo. I had this idea that I would make gluten free churros and we would dip them in hot chocolate after our massive Cinco de Mayo feast. It seemed like a great idea, but after a few attempts at trying to squeeze the batter out of a piping bag I realized that it just wasn’t in the cards. I still haven’t figured out what went wrong with that recipe, but what I did figure out is that the firmer dough I created is easily manipulated with my hands into rings and they make one heck of a fried donut.

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree

Just like the little tasty donuts you get at the fair, or in our case at the Farmer’s Market on Wednesday evenings, these bad boys get a little bath in a hot tub of bubbling coconut oil. Once they are golden brown and crisped to perfection they are dredged through a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. I wouldn’t suggest these as an every day occurrence, but they are definitely a treat worth keeping in your recipe arsenal. Maybe even a little early morning surprise for your mom this Mother’s Day…(hint, hint to my husband and kids!)

The fruit bandit and I have made these together twice now and they are so much fun I’ll probably do it again with him soon.  These cute little donuts cook up perfectly crisp on the exterior while retaining their doughy interior which is exactly what you want from a sinfully sweet fried donut right? There really isn’t anything that can top a fresh hot donut.

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree


Cinnamon Sugar Donuts (Gluten Free)

  • Author: Beard And Bonnet
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 18-20 mini donuts 1x


  • 1 cup of Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour or ATK flour blend
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • *Coconut oil for deep-frying, enough for at least a 2-inch depth.
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a small mixing bowl combine the all purpose gluten free flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, and salt with a whisk. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan bring the water and brown sugar to a boil.Once boiling add the butter and allow to continue boiling until the butter melts. Lower the heat to low, stir in the vanilla, and pour in a little of the flour mixture at a time, mixing constantly with a silicone spatula. In the beginning the mixture will look lumpy and like it isn’t blending with the liquid. Just keep stirring constantly and adding small amounts of the flour mixture at a time until it has all been incorporated. The batter will become very thick and will start to form a ball of sticky dough. Remove from the heat and continue to stir for about 30 seconds to ensure that all of the flour is mixed in and the dough is smooth.
  3. Turn the ball of dough out onto a plastic cutting board and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  4. While the dough cools, heat the oil in a cast iron or heavy pot on medium-high heat until you reach 350-360°F . You want there to be enough oil to reach a depth of at least 2 inches so that the donuts can float in the oil as they cook.
  5. While the oil heats combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small shallow dish and set aside. Then cover a large plate with paper towels for draining the donuts after they cook in the oil.
  6. At this point the dough should be cool enough to handle. Use a knife to cut off tablespoon size chunks of the dough. (Just guesstimate here..there is no wrong way to do this) Working with one piece of dough at a time begin to roll the dough into a log in between the palms of your hand or on your cutting board. Once you have formed a long rope that is even in thickness all the way across pinch the two ends together to form a ring. Set aside and continue this process with the remaining pieces of dough.
  7. When the oil has reached 350°F Carefully lower one donut at a time into the hot oil. I fried 3-4 donuts at a time so that the donuts had room to float and the temperature of the oil wouldn’t drop too much. **The donuts will initially sink to the bottom of the oil, but as they cook they will rise to the surface.** Cook for 5 minutes, turning the donut half way through the cooking time.
  8. When a donut has cooked for 5 minutes carefully remove it from the oil using a slotted spoon or tongs and transfer it to the paper towel lined plate to drain briefly.
  9. Transfer the still warm donut to the dish with the cinnamon and sugar mixture and gently roll to coat.
  10. Repeat this process until all of the donuts are complete.


*You can substitute a mild-flavored vegetable oil like canola or sunflower in place of the coconut oil.

**Towards the end of the cooking time you will notice that the oil isn’t bubbling as much around the donut, that is normal.

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  1. Kate @ Diethood May 9, 2014 at 8:49 am

    GORGEOUS! I’m printing the recipe as we “speak”!

    1. Meg May 9, 2014 at 9:02 am

      Thanks so much Kate. I hope you love them as much as we do. Don’t freak out when the dough gets weird, I noted it in the recipe, it’s supposed too. Haha!

  2. Carolyn May 23, 2014 at 3:18 am

    Oh, I love these. Cinnamon donuts are such a primal urge, don’t you think?

    1. Meg May 23, 2014 at 7:56 am

      Thank you Carolyn and I totally agree. There is no stopping the need for cinnamon donuts:)

  3. Annie @Maebells May 23, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Oh my husband would have a fit! We have been gluten free for almost 10 years now, so it has been that long since he has had a donut. Must try!

    1. Meg May 23, 2014 at 8:37 am

      Oh my gosh Annie! I am so glad you found the recipe they are SO good. I hope you LOVE them too:)

  4. phay lee August 20, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Hi 🙂 what can i substitute for the tapioca flour, cos i cant find any here in japan. 🙂

    1. Meg August 21, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Hi Phay,

      Cornstarch, arrowroot starch, and potato starch (not potato flour) would all be good substitutes for the tapioca flour.

  5. April September 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    I’m confused about the flour measurement. The recipes says 1 cup 4 cup…how much flour does it need?

    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 7:52 am

      Hi April, the recipe calls for 1 cup Cup 4 Cup flour blend (which is just the brand I used in this particular recipe) or you can use another all-purpose gluten free flour blend.

      1. Mary Gospodarek January 23, 2016 at 5:18 am

        I had the same question about the flour. Thank you for taking the time to answer it.

    2. Karen June 10, 2015 at 8:46 am

      We tried it with 4 cups flour and that is too much! It took about 3 c water to make a batter.

      1. Meg June 10, 2015 at 2:15 pm

        Karen, Cup 4 Cup is the brand of flour that I used. The recipe calls for 1 cup of Cup 4 Cup gluten free all purpose flour. I hope this helps!

  6. Paul Buchanan October 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Hi, I cant afford large amounts of coconut oil (I’m a student in a place where its expensive) what would be a good substitute?

    1. Meg October 9, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Hi Paul, any type of neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point will work. You can try vegetable oil or grapeseed oil.

  7. Sally October 11, 2014 at 7:22 am

    I really was craving cinnamon sugar donuts on this rainy morning in Austin,TX. to go with my cup of coffee. This recipe is great and so easy I also added millet flaxseed to it and use sugar substitute truvia to the cinnamon sugar mix. But I also made a dip of melted butter and maple syrup equal amounts teaspoon of each and dipped the donut in the butter syrup mixture before add the cinnamon sugar mixture. It was great I haven’t had a good homemade style donut since New Orleans eating beignets. Thank you!!

    1. Meg October 11, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      That is awesome Sally!! I am so glad you enjoyed them. Comparing them to New Orleans beignets is a HUGE compliment:) Thank you.

  8. Andrea October 26, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Awesome easy recipe. Printing it out right now!! Time to make the donuts :0)

    1. Meg October 26, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      Enjoy Andrea!! They are so good.:)

  9. Katie October 26, 2014 at 12:18 pm


    Can these amazingly awesome little doughnuts be prepared & shaped, and then frozen?

    I’d love to be able to prep them in advance and then thaw / fry at will.

    1. Meg October 26, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Hi Katie,
      That is a great question! I haven’t ever tried to freeze the dough, but would love to know how it turns out if you do. Man, what I wouldn’t do for a freezer full of donuts.

      1. Katie October 27, 2014 at 7:05 am

        I’ll definitely let you know 🙂

        I’m currently 37 weeks and am looking for things I can prep in advance – hubby doesn’t really ‘get’ GF cooking yet 🙂

        Already made these once “fresh” and they’re divine! First doughnuts I’ve had in almost a year.

        1. Meg October 27, 2014 at 9:31 am

          Awww yay!! Congratulations! I am so happy that you like the donuts. They are totally my favorite treat:)

  10. JILLIAN August 23, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    These are just like churros!!! I think I made my donuts too big, so they are kind of gooey in the middle. So I pulled apart the later batches and rolled them into little logs and cooked them longer on a lower temp. So yummy!

    1. Meg August 26, 2015 at 6:22 am

      Yay Jillian! I am so glad you like these. I think they taste like churros. My donuts are minis too 😉

  11. Cami September 21, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    is there any use for the leftover coconut oil? I’d hate to throw it out.

    1. Meg September 21, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Absolutely, you can totally strain it out and keep it in a glass jar for the next time you make donuts 🙂

  12. Cheyenne December 2, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    HOLY SPAMOLESSSS Meg!!!! I just made these tonight for my husbands birthday and we were drooling! They are amazing!!! Definitely a keeper! I have been gluten free for over 2 years and trying to introduce my in-laws to gluten free and they loved these babies. They didn’t miss any gluten!

    1. Meg December 2, 2015 at 7:41 pm

      YYYYEEEESSSS!!! Cheyenne, you just made my day 🙂 I am so, so glad that these donuts were a big hit. Happy birthday to your husband!

  13. Ava korzeniowski December 19, 2015 at 10:58 am

    OH MY GOD!!!! These are the only good recipe for gf donuts I’ve found that are actually delicious. This recipe is so easy and I know because I am 12. Although I did have my dad help with frying. A warning- e sure to make the hole in the donuts big because when they puff up the small holes send oil flying everywhere. Thank you so so so much.

    1. Meg December 19, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      Ava, you are the sweetest! My daughter is about the same age as you and she loves these donuts too. I am so glad you came back and shared with us how much you like them. Try them with powdered sugar next time – they are so good that way too!

      1. Ava korzeniowski December 19, 2015 at 2:20 pm

        I’ll try that next time. Thank you again

  14. ilr July 30, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Oh my goodness I just made these at the last minute for some guests who were stopping by…..they were amazing! I will definitely be using this recipe again. Thanks so much. If anyone has some suggestions for extra add ins it will be much appreciated

    1. Meg August 6, 2016 at 10:08 am

      That is so great!! I am so happy that you and your friends liked them. They are one of my favorite donuts ever!

  15. Wendy April 19, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    We’d love to make these, but don’t have enough coconut oil (and don’t use any other oil). Have you tried baking them?

    1. thismess April 19, 2018 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Wendy! I have never tried baking these, but would love to know how they turn out if you give it a try!

  16. JOSEFINE September 16, 2019 at 5:59 am

    These look tasty and beautiful!


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