Meet my favorite donut in the whole world – Vegan Boston Cream Donuts! Filled with vegan pastry cream and topped with thick chocolate glaze. Fry, bake or air fry options!

lots of cream filled chocolate topped donuts on rack

Fancy Boston Cream Donuts are not difficult to make at home, and this recipe is free of dairy and eggs!

Filled with vegan pastry cream and topped with a shiny chocolate glaze, these donuts are crave worthy and sure to become your new favorite treat! They can be fried, baked or air fried.

cut open boston cream donut on rack, more in back

How to make Boston Cream Donuts

With instant yeast, the process goes quickly! See the recipe card below for full amounts and instructions. This is simply an overview with photos.

  1. In a large bowl (or stand mixer bowl), add warmed soy milk, yeast and sugar. Then add the applesauce, softened vegan butter, vanilla, salt and 2 cups of flour. Mix, then add the rest of the flour and mix.
  2. If making by hand, knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes. If using a stand mixer, knead with the dough hook for 2-3 minutes, until a soft ball of dough forms. Place the dough on a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  3. It should nearly double in size after rising. Punch the dough down, place on a floured surface, roll out to 1/2 inch thick and cut into rounds.
  4. Place the donuts on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and let sit while you heat the oil.

collage of how to make vegan boston creams

Heat the oil in a large pot to 375℉ (use a food thermometer for accuracy). Drop 3-4 donuts at a time into the hot oil and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Place fried donuts on a cooling rack with a pan or parchment paper underneath.

Bake or air fry instead

To bake, preheat the oven to 350℉. Spray donuts with oil and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown on top.

To air fry, spray the air fryer basket with oil. Place donuts in a single layer (3-4 at a time) and cook at 375℉ for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 3-5 more minutes. For baking or frying, you could brush the donuts with melted vegan butter when they are done, for added richness. But it’s not necessary.

Make the chocolate glaze

To a small bowl, add 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons vegan butter, 1 tablespoon corn syrup (may leave this out) and 1 tablespoon of water. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until completely smooth and melted.

many fried round donuts

Cut a deep slit in each donut and pipe pastry cream into each one. Dip in chocolate glaze and enjoy!

close up of donut on rack

Want more amazing vegan donuts?

square image of boston cream donuts on rack
5 stars (4 ratings)

Vegan Boston Cream Donuts

Meet my favorite donut in the whole world - Vegan Boston Cream Donuts! Filled with vegan pastry cream and topped with thick chocolate glaze. Fry, bake or air fry options!
Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 16 donuts

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 packet instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 Recipe Vegan Custard

Chocolate glaze

  • 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup, optional
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions 

  • Heat the soy milk in the microwave for about a minute until it's as warm as bath water. Too hot and it could kill the yeast. You could also warm it in a small pot.
  • Pour the warmed milk into a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the instant yeast and sugar, give it a little stir and let sit for 3-4 minutes, until it's a bit frothy.
  • To the bowl with the yeast/milk/sugar mixture, add the applesauce, softened vegan butter, vanilla, salt and 2 cups of flour. Mix on low speed with a dough hook (or by hand with a spoon) for a few minutes, then add the rest of the flour and mix, until a soft dough starts to form.
  • If using a stand mixer, beat with the dough hook for 2-3 minutes. If you are mixing the dough by hand, mix it as well as you can with a spoon, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until you have a soft, sturdy ball of dough. It may be slightly sticky, but if it's very sticky, add flour, a little at a time, until it's easier to handle.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl, then place the dough inside the bowl. Cover with a tea towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. I preheat my oven to 170℉, then turn it off, place the bowl inside and leave the oven door cracked.
  • After 30 minutes, punch the dough down gently, and place on a floured surface. Roll to about 1/2 inch thick and use a donut cutter (or biscuit cutter) to cut the donuts into round circles. You will get around 16.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the cut donuts on it. Cover with the towel for about 15 minutes while you heat the oil.
  • Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a large pan or pot until it reaches 375℉. Use a food thermometer to ensure the right temperature.
  • Add a few donuts at a time to the oil and cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown, being careful not to let them get too dark and burnt. If the oil is hot, this won't take long. Beware of splattering oil!
  • Place the cooked donuts on a cooling rack with a pan or parchment paper underneath to catch any oil drippings. Repeat until all donuts are fried.
  • Make the chocolate glaze: Place chocolate chips, vegan butter, corn syrup and water in a small bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each time, until completely melted and smooth.
  • Cut a deep slit in each donut, then use a piping bag with large tip and pipe pastry cream into each one. Dip the tops of the donuts in the glaze, then place back on the cooling rack. Enjoy!

To bake

  • Once the donuts are cut and placed on the parchment lined pan, preheat the oven to 350℉. Spray the tops of the donuts with oil, then bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden on top. You may also brush the outside with melted vegan butter, but it's not necessary. Fill and glaze the tops the same as if they were fried.

To air fry

  • Spray the air fryer basket with oil, then place 3-4 donuts in a single layer. Spray the donuts with oil, and cook at 350℉ for 5 minutes, then flip and cook 3-5 more minutes until golden brown. You could brush them with melted butter when they are done, but you don't have to. Pipe with cream and glaze.

Notes

  1. May use almond milk or another milk instead of soy, if needed.
  2. Donuts are best when eaten the same day, but they can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days if needed. They can also be frozen.
  3. Gluten free - Try a gluten free all purpose flour like King Arthur Brand or Bob's Red Mill.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 16 donuts | Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 124mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 299IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. Amazing! We just made these this morning. We made the dough as instructed but then instead of the warm 30 min rise we did an overnight rise in the fridge. Then this morning rolled them out cut them up and then cooked them. We did a few baked and the rest fried. We definitely loved the fried version the most! We also used a syringe injector to add the cream instead of cutting them open. Probably didn’t impact the taste but did give them a super professional look. 

    Thank you for yet another incredible recipe. My daughter is anaphylactic to dairy and allergic to eggs so it is amazing being able to make her fun treats we are not able to safely go out and buy. 

    1. Hi Ashley. Thank you for sharing your feedback and ideas. Your donuts sound amazing and beautiful! I’m so glad your daughter can enjoy these treats!

  2. WTF mother friggn Boston cream donuts!! Are you kidding me? Wholly….!! I have not made this deliciousness.  So  I have been vegan, gluten free, soy free for a really long time.  I have never found a recipe so normal, this recipe will make me forget about my list of things I can’t enjoy. Please keep making more of your amazing recipes.  I look forward to it!! XOXO 

    1. Not kidding Crystal!! I’m thrilled you love the discovery! Creating delicious and easy vegan recipes is my passion! Let me know how my recipes turn out for you, and happy cooking!

  3. Hi Nora, I was wondering if the custard needs to be warm when filling the donuts. Or it doesn’t matter ? Also, do the donuts have to be warm when filling them ? 
    Thanks for your help!

    1. No, in fact you will chill it before using it, so it should be cold. The donuts don’t have to be warm when you fill them, no. Hope that helps!

  4. Hi Nora, 

    Thank you for all your amazing recipes!

    Have you tried or recommend freezing the dough for future use? I was thinking of making a large batch and having it ready for the cravings 😉

    1. Thanks Amy! I’m glad you are enjoying the recipes. I have never tried freezing donut dough, but I suppose it might work? Not really sure!

  5. Another amazing recipe!  I made the donuts all three ways- baked, fried and air fried.  All were delicious.  Surprisingly, I liked the baked donuts the best (again, all were amazing but if I had to choose, baked).  Thank you for yet another fantastic dessert recipe!

  6. These were so delicious! I’m going to try these again but will fill them with a vegan lemon curd and dust them with powder sugar.

    1. You could replace the applesauce with vegan yogurt, or maybe a few flax eggs, but I haven’t tried it. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Nora, I love the foods that you make, I have gluten free and vegan in my family, I tried the gluten free, but it wasn’t easy to knead so I scooped them into donut pan. They baked beautiful, I hope they taste good as they look.

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