Do Donuts Contain Dairy Products? [Read This if You Can’t Eat Dairy!]

Donuts are loved by everyone, and there are all types of donuts to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. But if you’re on any type of special diet (think vegans or people who are lactose intolerant) you might wonder if donuts have any dairy products in them.

Bunch of colorful donuts that have dairy

Do Donuts Have Dairy?

Yes, most donuts do have dairy, but you can still find vegan donuts or dairy-free donuts if you know where to look. Most donuts have ingredients such as milk, eggs, butter, and even yogurt, and these ingredients work together to give all sorts of donuts the yummy taste and texture you’ve come to love. To be sure, if you want your next donut to taste like the real thing, you’ll have to accept that it’s going to have dairy in it.

Typical Donut Ingredients

Most varieties of donuts have more than one common ingredient, including both milk and eggs. In fact, it is specifically these and other common dairy ingredients that give donuts their unique taste. If you’re lactose intolerant or a vegan, you’ll have to be careful when buying donuts.

Unless it is specifically stated that the donut has no dairy in it, you’ll have to assume that it does. Most donuts contain more than one dairy product, so for the most part you’re out of luck if you don’t want any dairy in your donuts.

Role of Dairy in Donut Recipes

Dairy ingredients in regular donuts are there for the same reason that they’re in cake mixes and breads. Ingredients such as milk, butter, eggs, and yogurt are there to make sure the donuts have just the right texture and a nice fulfilling taste once they’re finished. They work together to create the result that everyone looks for when shopping for donuts, and most of the time it takes a variety of ingredients to get the right results.

So not only do donuts contain dairy, but in most cases, the dairy is crucial for the donuts to taste the way they’re supposed to.

Dairy in Donut Frosting, Icing, and Glazes

While the vast majority of donuts have some type of dairy in them, you might be wondering about the contents in their icings or frostings. Simply put, any type of glaze put on top of a donut almost always has some type of dairy in it. Again, this is because those ingredients are needed to give the glaze its texture and taste.

People love sweet donuts, and some of the dairy ingredients included in donuts are what give it a nice sweet taste. If the ingredient itself isn’t sweet, it is included in the donuts with other ingredients that work together to create a sweet taste.

And if you’re wondering about cake donuts and think that they have no dairy because they aren’t always as sweet as a standard donut, think again. Recipes for these types of donuts often mimic recipes for cakes and breads, so while they might not be super-sweet, they still have a slightly sweet taste and a unique texture that is a direct result of dairy-like ingredients.

Non-Dairy Donut Options

Woman frying homemade donuts that do not have dairy
Vegans might be better off making their own dairy-free donuts at home.

It can be challenging to find non-dairy donut options. Let’s take a look at the two main donut brands, Dunkin’ and Krispy Kreme, and see what they have to offer.

Dunkin’ Donuts recently launched a line of dairy-free donuts. Unfortunately, they are only available in Belgium at the moment. So if you’re not in Belgium, all donuts from Dunkin’ will have some type of dairy in them.

That being said, Dunkin’ has a massive menu that now includes dairy-free products that aren’t donuts, such as muffins, bagels, sourdough bread, and tortillas. They also have dairy-free snacks and drinks that include hummus toast, avocado toast, and numerous beverages made with ingredients such as oat milk.

Krispy Kreme has roughly 45 types of donuts, including mini donuts and donut holes, and they all contain some type of dairy product, most commonly milk powder. Even if you take into consideration their teas, coffees and other drinks, they cannot be considered dairy-free since most of them have milk added to them. Simply put, if you are looking for dairy-free or vegan donuts and drinks, you likely won’t be accommodated at either Dunkin’ or Krispy Kreme.


Biting into a warm fresh cake or glazed donut can make anyone’s day start off better, but if you’re looking for a non-dairy/vegan product, you won’t have much luck finding it. The truth is that the vast majority of commercial donuts are made out of one or more ingredients considered to be dairy.

If you’re on a vegan diet and you miss donuts, your best bet is to find online recipes that will teach you how to make vegan donuts yourself with non-dairy items.

1 thought on “Do Donuts Contain Dairy Products? [Read This if You Can’t Eat Dairy!]”

  1. GREAT INFO! As I am allergic to milk and all milk products so reading this confirmed what I thought I already knew. Lots of very helpful information! Thank you!

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