Why should those with dietary restrictions be held back from the donut revolution?  Donuts are like kisses from heaven and they should be enjoyed universally. But why is gluten an issue in the first place, and what role does it have in donuts?

Gluten is a protein which can be found in rye, barley, and wheat.  In some people, those with celiac disease, gluten causes damage to the small intestine. Even a tiny quantity of gluten can cause people to feel irritation and discomfort. Other people believe that gluten causes sub-clinical allergic reactions and inflammation, and thus choose to avoid it. But gluten is also the protein that causes springiness in bread. Without gluten, it’s really hard to make bread or bread products. Fortunately, food geniuses have found ways to make flour-based treats without gluten, and now gluten-free bakeries are springing up everywhere.

While you can make gluten-free donuts at home, more commercial options are becoming available, and they are super-tasty.  We’re going to take a look at a few of the shops around the country who offer up these tasty treats.  The pictures that we’re using are from the websites themselves.  

Coming from Gluten Free Cutie in beautiful Roswell, Georgia, we have the Maple Infused donut.

Gluten Free Maple Infused Donut

They look delicious, don’t they?  Now, what goes better with maple syrup than bacon?  This donut features some crispy apple wood smoked bacon to literally top off this donut.  We’re going to have to head down to the Deep South to get some of these goodies.

Let’s drop down I-75 to Miami.  Not only does the city have a rocking Art Deco district, they’ve also got a shop which serves vegan and gluten-free donut.  The Bunniecakes Bakery gives diners the delights of donuts without the worry and grumpiness that comes from eating gluten.   It’s a match made in heaven.  Their picture is the epitome of love on a plate.  That chocolate one is sure to please.

For gluten-free donuts in New York City, you need to travel to Erin McKenna’s Babycakes.  Ten years ago, Erin McKenna decided to open up a bakery that served the underserved: those with food allergies that kept them from enjoying their favorite foods.  They also wanted to have cute uniforms.  The caption on the site says that the donut makers wanted to make a mess with the powdered sugar blueberry donut.  We think that this picture makes it look rather dignified.  We almost expect it to be wearing a bow tie (because… bow ties really are cool).

When you run out of #sprinkles, color your #vegansugar

A photo posted by Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC,Baby (@erinmckennasbakery) on

There’s one shop in Chicago which sells wheat-free and gluten-free pastries to the public.  That’s the Cookie Bar.  The menu rotates, but their commitment to quality doesn’t.  When I looked, they were advertising the apple cider donut (mm, can you just taste the apples in your mouth right now?).  So, if you’re traveling around the Windy City and need a little donut pick me up, take a look at these guys.

If you’re interested in making gluten-free donut at home, there are several options. Betty Crocker and King Arthur do sell gluten-free flours with recipes that you can try. The main flour used for gluten-free cooking is rice. To simulate gluten, there are two main methods. One is to use food gums like guar gum or xantham gum, but some people can’t tolerate these well. Another method, and one that tastes better, is to add in ground flax seeds or ground chia seeds. When water is added to them they become very sticky. A little research will tell you all about how to use these products.

We’re going to have many more donut excursions coming up, as there are so many varieties and flavors to explore.  Do you have any gluten-free donut places that you’d like to share?  Tell us about them in the comments and let our readers know.