Gluten Free Vanilla and Powdered Sugar Donuts

Gluten Free Vanilla and Powdered Sugar Donuts {Beard and Bonnet}

It is no secret that I am a girl who loves donuts. I make a version of them every few weeks and usually don’t even get a chance to shoot them before my family and I devour them all. However this gluten free donut recipe is so good that I couldn’t help but make them especially for the purpose of snapping a few pictures for you.

These babies are very similar to my cinnamon sugar donuts. The base gluten free donut recipe is the same and they are both fried in coconut oil which gives them a subtly sweet coconut flavor that my family loves. The difference is the coating of the two donuts. Where one gets a sweet, churro-esque cinnamon and sugar coating these babies get a nice shake in confectioner’s sugar and vanilla powder. It’s kind of amazing! If you don’t have access to vanilla powder you shouldn’t worry, just omit it and enjoy truly decadent gluten free powdered sugar donuts.

Although I think these taste WAY better than the powdered sugar donuts I had when I was a kid, I can remember just how excited I would get when my mom brought home a bag of those little white, powdery donuts from the grocery. These donuts give me the same excitement except its just all grown up and a little more sophisticated with the whole double vanilla thing going on.

If you’ve tried this Gluten Free Donut Recipe I would be so grateful if you would rate the recipe. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I just love hearing from you and your reviews and comments really help others that visit This Mess is Ours!


Gluten Free Vanilla and Powdered Sugar Donuts

Don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think about this Gluten Free Donut Recipe in the comments below. I just love hearing from you and your reviews/comments really help other people that visit This Mess is Ours!

  • Author: This Mess Is Ours
  • Yield: 18-24 mini donuts 1x


  • 1 cup 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.
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder


  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 confectioner’s sugar and vanilla powder in a gallon size plastic bag. Seal and shake to combine then 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 bag with the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla powder mixture, seal the bag shut and gently shake to coat completely.
  10. Repeat this process until all of the donuts are complete.


*You can substitute a mild-flavored vegetable oil like canola, grapeseed, 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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What are the health benefits of coconut oil?

While moderation is key when eating fried foods, frying with coconut oil is a much better option than using butter, lard, and most other frying oils made with other foods. Coconut oil raises the amount of good cholesterol in your body which reduces the risk of heart disease.

Click here for more information on the health benefits of coconut oil.

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Gaye August 29, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Wow, these taste just like Elephant Ears from the county fair. Awesome!!! It’s been years since we had those. We used GFJules for the flour mix and fried them in our french fryer.

  2. Anjali @ Vegetarian Gastronomy May 29, 2015 at 9:21 am

    These look so awesome! Powdered donuts were my favorite growing up =) I was wondering if you’ve ever tried baking these donuts instead of frying? Thank you!

    1. Meg May 29, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      I wish I could tell you that I had, but I haven’t. I am sort of obsessed with the crisp exterior that this recipe gives to the donut. I do however have a banana bread and a strawberry donut that are baked and they are pretty darn amazing!

  3. Alyssa February 5, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    These look delicious! Just wondering, would Bob’s Red Mill all purpose of flour work for this recipe? Would I need to add xantham gum? If so, how much? Thanks for your help and the recipe! I’ve been craving donuts so bad lately!

    1. Meg February 6, 2015 at 6:56 am

      Hi Alyssa, I have never tried to make these with Bob’s Red Mill gfree all purpose flour because I am not a big fan of the aftertaste it lends (due to the garbanzo bean flour in it) I would probably opt for King Arthur Flour, Cup 4 Cup, or Better Batter for this one. That being said, if you give it a try with Bob’s Red Mill let me know how it works out. Definitely use xantham gum for this, I would try 3/4 teaspoon per cup of flour.

  4. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen November 12, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Yes! I am so excited about this recipe. Everyone’s been posting donuts willy nilly that are making me DROOL, but I hadn’t yet figured out how to make them gluten-free. I’ve got a bag of Cup4Cup in my cupboard right now and these look so so so delicious!

    1. Meg November 13, 2014 at 7:43 am

      Woohoo Sarah it’s donut time!! I find that Cup 4 Cup works really well for fried donuts because of all of that cornstarch in it. I wouldn’t recommend baking donuts with it though – it gets way too dense.

  5. Ruth Clark November 12, 2014 at 9:54 am

    These look great. I am a little confused about how much flour to use however? Is it 1 cup or 4 cups?

    1. Meg November 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks Ruth, Cup 4 Cup is a bra d of gluten free all-purpose flour. This recipe uses 1 cup of it or your favorite gfree all-purpose flour.

  6. Magic and Mayhem November 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Oh my! These look incredible, but I can’t imagine how much that quantity of coconut oil would cost. I think I’d have to go with peanut oil or another non-GMO oil. I have some oils in my fridge that I keep for the occasional deep fried treat, but I’m afraid those would make my donuts taste like onion rings and that’s no good either. 🙂 I make some GF donuts in my mini donut maker ($15 at Aldi). They’re not as decadent, but they’re quick and pretty healthy!

    1. Meg November 11, 2014 at 8:57 am

      Thanks! I buy coconut oil in bulk and get a really great price. Under $20 for a gallon! I also use a small saucepan and only fry a few donuts at a time so it only takes a small amount. Once the oil solidifies I store it in a separate mason jar for my next batch of donuts. You can use other oils like peanut or grapeseed and the donuts will still be delicious.

      1. Bonnie January 24, 2016 at 1:30 pm

        First off where do you get your coconut oil from… second I’m reading the recipe and not really understanding it… it says 1 cup 4 cup of the flour… which is it , 1cup, or 4 cups… I’m new at the gluten-free stuff we just found out this last year both my daughter and son are allergic to it. Thanks Bonnie

        1. Meg January 25, 2016 at 7:10 am

          Hi Bonnie, I actually order coconut oil from Amazon in bulk ( Native Forest 1 gallon is my favorite: ). I use it so much that it is worth it to me to order it that way and sometimes they have great sales through Amazon. As far as the flour goes it is 1 cup of Cup 4 Cup flour. Cup 4 Cup is a brand of gluten free flour. It’s a little pricier than other brands so I only use it for things like pastries where texture is key.
          I know how overwhelming it can be to have family members diagnosed with a gluten allergy and am always happy to help answer any questions you might have 🙂 Enjoy the donuts!

  7. Gaby November 10, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Okayyy!! These look gorgeous and delicious!!

    1. Meg November 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks Gaby!!

  8. Amanda November 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    These are gorgeous. I am SO impressed with the gluten-free aspect… and love that I can serve these during the hoildays without fear of someone not being able to enjoy! 🙂

    1. Meg November 10, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Yay! Amanda, I hope you and your family love these little donuts as much as we do.

  9. Kristen November 10, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Oh my – these look so good! I haven’t had a powdered sugar doughnut in too long!

    1. Meg November 10, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Kristen, you must have powdered sugar donuts!!! 🙂

  10. Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen November 10, 2014 at 12:58 am

    These donuts sound amazing and remind me of the powdered sugar donuts we used to get at the fair growing up (but these look so much better!!). Pinned 🙂

    1. Meg November 10, 2014 at 8:38 am

      Thanks so much!! They totally take me back to my childhood and those powdered sugar donuts.


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