Donuts are a breakfast staple among some of us. These sweet treats pair extremely well with black coffee to give us that much-needed energy boost throughout the morning. They’re a universally loved treat, whether or not you are inclined to sweets.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts are among the world’s famous donuts, having been in business since the 1930s. But is Krispy Kreme vegan? We’ll give you our verdict on these donuts shortly.
Krispy Kreme - Is It Vegan?
Krispy Kreme didn't carry vegan donuts... not until 2021, that is. In celebration of Veganuary last January 2021, the doughnut company released a vegan donut version of the classic Krispy Kreme’s Original Glazed. The Original Glazed vegan donut is just as fluffy and irresistible as its non-vegan donut counterpart, and it uses only plant-based ingredients. 
However, the catch to this is that the vegan donuts are available exclusively in Krispy Kreme UK for now to test the UK vegan market. We haven’t heard any news on whether or not the Krispy Kreme company will be releasing the vegan donut in the US main menu.
So as of writing, all of Krispy Kreme’s donuts in the US are not vegan donuts.
Are Krispy Kreme donuts vegetarian, though? Yes, they are!
What Are Krispy Kreme’s Donuts Made Of?
There are over 30 different flavors in Krispy Kreme’s menu, including classics like the iconic Original Glazed Doughnut, Chocolate Iced Glazed, and Glazed Raspberry. Krispy Kreme doughnuts are so well-loved that each store makes about an average of 20 million each year.
The Krispy Kreme donut batter is made from enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), palm oil, sugar, water, yeast, soy lecithin, hydrogenated soybean oil, mono- and diglycerides, salt, wheat gluten, monocalcium phosphate monohydrate, BHT, egg yolks, dried milk powder, cellulose gum, calcium propionate (to maintain freshness), coat fiber, ascorbic acid, sorbitan monostearate, and tocopherols.
Right off the bat, Krispy Kreme doesn't carry vegan donuts as they contain plenty of milk-based ingredients.
The original glaze from Krispy Kreme is made from sugar, water, corn starch, palm oil, calcium sulfate and/or calcium carbonate, agar, dextrose, natural and artificial flavors, salt, disodium phosphate, locust, bean gum, and/or mono and diglycerides.
The glaze is safe-ish for vegans to consume, but then again, it’s no good without Krispy Kreme’s fluffy donuts.
What Non-Vegan Ingredients Does Krispy Kreme Have?
Eggs are a common non-vegan ingredient found in Krispy Kreme donuts. Humans tend to exploit hens in chicken coops for them to lay more eggs, which vegans have a strong aversion to. There are many other vegan options for this ingredient, such as flaxseed meal, applesauce, or overripe mushy bananas.
All dairy products come from milk, a non-vegan ingredient. Cows are often subjected to poor treatment such as steroid use and forced impregnation so that they can supply plenty of milk. Dairy products include cheese, butter, yogurt, and cream, which vegans also stay away from.
Any form of milk (milk powder, buttermilk, etc.) is a definite no-go for vegans, but thankfully there are plenty of plant-based milk alternatives out in the market now. Soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk are dairy-free vegan choices.
Whey is a by-product of cheese production, wherein curdled milk is dehydrated and turned into powder form. It is commonly found as an inexpensive cheese flavoring in snacks and biscuits. Since cheese comes from milk, whey is definitely not a vegan option.
Nonfat milk, also known as skim milk, is still made from actual cow milk, so it’s not a vegan ingredient. The only thing eliminated in nonfat milk is its fat content, which may slightly alter the milk’s taste, but it’s still non-vegan at the end of the day.
Just like nonfat milk, nonfat whey comes from whey, which is a by-product of milk processing. The fat content is eliminated in order to make it somewhat healthier, but it still comes from a non-vegan source.
But, Does Krispy Kreme Have Vegan Options I Can Order?
Krispy Kreme carries pretty limited vegan options for someone on a vegan diet, so you won’t really find yourself enjoying your stay here (we certainly didn’t) should you decide to visit. There are no vegan options on Krispy Kreme’s menu, but you should be able to enjoy some of their vegan drinks. Here are your options:
- Black coffee (order without creamer as Krispy Kreme does not carry non-dairy creamer)
- Frozen Lemonade or Strawberry Chiller, both Krispy Kreme slushes
- Fountain sodas
- Fresh fruit juices
- Hot tea
However, outside of the US, Krispy Kreme stores sell bagels, so we’ll just quickly mention that here. Their bagels aren’t vegan friendly right off the bat, but they can easily suit someone on a vegan diet by simply asking the staff to omit the butter upon serving. Krispy Kremes abroad have an impressive list of bagel toppings, such as avocado, jam, vegemite, and peanut butter. If you're craving donuts, why not try this vegan mini chocolate donut recipe!
No. Krispy Kreme spokesman Caleb Fernandez has revealed that Krispy Kreme does not fry their donuts in lard or any animal fat. The only animal by-products in the donuts are milk and egg yolks.
Maybe. Upon close inspection of the ingredient list in all Krispy Kreme donuts, all products are nut-free. However, the company released the disclaimer that while they may be nut-free, their suppliers are not. There will always be a risk of cross-contamination as their suppliers produce other products with nuts.
According to their website, Krispy Kreme uses vegetable shortening (palm, soybean, and/or cottonseed and canola oil) to deep fry their donuts to fluffy perfection to ensure zero grams of trans fat per sweet serving.
Krispy Kreme does not fare any differently than other donut shops when it comes to vegan options, so we don’t really recommend visiting the place if you’re hungry and looking to grab a bite. A coffee shop, in our opinion, is a better option, or other specialty vegan donut shops.
There’s a tiny ray of hope, though -- since Krispy Kreme has started offering vegan donuts abroad, we’re confident that they will do the same for the US vegan market. Exactly when remains a mystery.
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