Are Dunkin’ Donuts Donuts Vegan and Cruelty Free? The Unfortunate Truth

Trying to figure out if Dunkin’ Donuts donuts are vegan can be a bit difficult.

Donut brands often mask their ingredients behind vague terms such as “natural flavors,” and even when they do list everything that goes into their donuts, it can be hard to figure out which ingredients are vegan and which ones aren’t.

To make sure that you’re only eating food that aligns with your vegan diet and ethics, I’ve investigated the ingredients and production processes of Dunkin’ Donuts Donuts.

Here’s what I found out.

Are Dunkin’ Donuts Donuts Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Donuts are not vegan.

Dunkin’ is one of the leading donut chains in the United States. While its donuts may be delicious, they are not vegan.

Dunkin’ Donuts uses milk, milk derivatives, and eggs in its donuts. It also uses refined sugar that may have been processed with bone char.

Dairy milk and eggs are, of course, animal products and are both big no-nos for vegans.

Sugar is naturally vegan because it comes from plants, but the use of bone char in its processing makes most sugar in the US non-vegan. Bone char is a type of charcoal that is made from animal bones. It is often used to process sugar and make it white. Unless the sugar is labeled “organic,” “raw,” or “unrefined,” it is likely that it was processed with bone char.

So, if you’re looking for a vegan donut option, unfortunately, Dunkin’ Donuts is not the place for you.

Is Dunkin’ Donuts Donuts Cruelty Free?

No. Dunkin’ Donuts Donuts are also not cruelty free.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ final products are not tested on animals at any point in their production, but they do contain artificial flavors. These ingredients are routinely tested on animals to assess their safety for human consumption.

Animal testing is an inhumane and outdated practice that should no longer be used. It only causes suffering and death to the innocent animals involved. There are many alternatives to animal testing that are available and should be used instead. Brands such as Dunkin’ should switch to these methods as soon as possible.

What Are Dunkin’ Donuts Donuts Made Of?

Here are the ingredients of Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Shaped Vanilla Creme Donuts:

Donut:

  • Enriched wheat flour (flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
  • Water
  • Palm oil
  • Yeast donut concentrate (soy flour, salt, leavening [sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda])
  • Wheat starch
  • Whey
  • Nonfat dry milk
  • Gum blend (cellulose gum, guar gum, acacia gum, carrageenan, xanthan gum)
  • Sodium caseinate
  • Sodium stearoyl lactylate
  • Soybean oil
  • Soy lecithin
  • Whole egg
  • Natural flavor
  • Extractives of turmeric (color)
  • Enzymes
  • Extractives of annatto seed (color)
  • Yeast
  • Dextrose
  • Soybean oil
  • Mono- and diglycerides

Vanilla flavored buttercream filling:

  • Sugar
  • Vegetable shortening (palm oil, canola oil, mono- and diglycerides)
  • Water
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Cornstarch
  • Artificial flavor
  • Guar gum
  • Salt
  • Mono- and diglycerides
  • Potassium sorbate (preservative)
  • Citric acid
  • Polysorbate 60

Powdered sugar:

  • Dextrose
  • Cornstarch
  • Palm oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Artificial flavor

Let’s break down each ingredient of Dunkin’ Donuts:

Enriched wheat flour

Enriched wheat flour is a type of flour that has been fortified with nutrients. It typically contains more niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid than regular wheat flour.

Dunkin’s enriched wheat flour also contains malted barley flour. Malted barley flour is a type of flour made from malted barley. It is often used in baking as it gives a nice flavor and aroma to the final product. It is vegan friendly.

Water

Water is a vegan ingredient used as a solvent.

Palm oil

Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the mesocarp (reddish pulp) of the fruit of the oil palms.

Yeast donut concentrate

Yeast donut concentrate is a type of yeast that is often used in baking. It is made from soy flour, salt, and leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda).

Soy flour is a type of flour made from soybeans. It is a common ingredient in vegan baking because it is high in protein and fiber. Salt is a vegan-friendly ingredient used to add flavor or as a preservative.

Sodium acid pyrophosphate and Baking soda are agents used to promote leavening or rise in doughs and batters. They are vegan-friendly ingredients

Wheat starch

Wheat starch is a type of starch that is made from wheat. It is often used as a thickening agent in baking. Wheat starch is vegan.

Whey

Whey is a type of protein that is often used in vegan baking. It is a by-product of the cheese-making process and is high in protein and calcium. Whey is not vegan.

Nonfat dry milk

Nonfat dry milk is a type of milk that has had the fat removed. It is often used in baking as it gives a nice flavor and aroma to the final product. Nonfat dry milk is not vegan.

Gum blend

Gum blend is a type of gum that is often used as a thickening agent or emulsifier in baking. It is made from cellulose gum, guar gum, acacia gum, carrageenan, and xanthan gum. These are all vegan-friendly ingredients.

Sodium caseinate

Sodium caseinate is a type of protein that is often used in baking. It is a by-product of the cheese-making process and is high in protein and calcium. Sodium caseinate is not vegan.

Soy lecithin

Soy lecithin is a type of emulsifier that is made from soybeans. It is often used in baking to help prevent ingredients from separating. Soy lecithin is vegan.

Whole egg

Eggs are often used in baking as they emulsify and stabilize the final product. Eggs are not vegan.

Natural flavor

Natural flavor is an ingredient that is made from natural flavors. Natural flavors can be vegan depending on their source. It is unclear whether Dunkin’s natural flavor is vegan.

Extractives of turmeric

Turmeric is a type of spice that is often used as a colorant in baking. Extractives of turmeric are vegan friendly.

Enzymes

Enzymes are proteins that are used to help promote leavening or rise in doughs and batters. They are vegan friendly.

Extractives of annatto seed

Extractives of annatto seed is a type of colorant that is made from annatto seeds. It is vegan friendly.

Yeast

Yeast is a type of ingredient that is used to help promote leavening or rise in doughs and batters. It is vegan friendly.

Dextrose

Dextrose is a type of sugar that is often used as a sweetener in baking. The use of bone char to process this sweetener is also common. It’s probably vegan, but if you’re strict, then this product is not for you.

Mono- and diglycerides

Mono- and diglycerides are a type of emulsifier that is often used in baking to help prevent ingredients from separating.

Mono- and diglycerides can be vegan, but animal-sourced mono- and diglycerides are more commonly used because they are cheaper than plant sources, making them non-vegan.

Sugar

Sugar is a type of ingredient that is used to sweeten baked goods. Refined sugar is technically vegan but most sugar is processed with bone char, making it non-vegan. Unless the sugar is labeled “raw,” “organic,” or “unrefined,” it is likely not vegan.

Vegetable shortening

Vegetable shortening is a type of ingredient that is made from vegetable oils. It is often made from palm oil, canola oil, and mono- and diglycerides. It is used in baking to help create a flaky texture. Vegetable shortening is vegan unless it contains animal by-products, such as mono- and diglycerides.

High fructose corn syrup

High fructose corn syrup is a type of sugar that is often used as a sweetener in baking. It is made from corn and is high in fructose. High fructose corn syrup is vegan.

Cornstarch

Cornstarch is a type of starch that is made from corn. It is often used as a thickening agent or binder in baking. Cornstarch is vegan.

Artificial flavor

Artificial flavor is a type of flavoring that is made synthetically. It is vegan.

Potassium sorbate

Potassium sorbate is a type of preservative that is used to prevent mold and bacteria growth. It is vegan friendly.

Citric acid

Citric acid is a type of ingredient that is often used as a flavor enhancer or preservative. It is vegan friendly.

Polysorbate 60

Polysorbate 60 is a type of ingredient that is often used as an emulsifier or surfactant. It may or may not be vegan depending on its source. It is unclear what kind of polysorbate 60 Dunkin’ uses.

Why Aren’t Dunkin’ Donuts Donuts Vegan?

Donuts at Dunkin’ Donuts are not vegan because they contain animal-based ingredients, such as milk, whey, potassium caseinate, whole eggs, mono- and diglycerides, and refined sugar. With all these animal-based ingredients, it’s no wonder why Dunkin’ Donuts doesn’t have any vegan donut options!

So, if you’re looking for some vegan donuts to munch on, again, Dunkin’ Donuts is not the place for you.

Is Dunkin’ Donuts Dunk O Lantern Donut Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Donuts’ Dunk O Lantern Donut contains milk, eggs, and sugar.

This seasonal donut is not safe for vegan consumption.

Is Dunkin’ Donuts Bavarian Kreme Donut Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Donuts’ Bavarian Kreme Donut contains milk, whey, eggs, and sugar.

This donut is not safe for vegan consumption.

Is Dunkin’ Donuts Butternut Donut Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Donuts’ Butternut Donut contains milk, eggs, and sugar.

This donut is not safe for vegan consumption.

Are Dunkin’ Donuts Breakfast Sandwiches Vegan?

No. Dunkin’ Donuts’ breakfast sandwiches are not vegan. There is no vegan breakfast sandwich available at Dunkin’ because they all contain milk products, eggs, sugar, or meat.

Breakfast sandwiches at Dunkin’ are not safe for vegan consumption.

Are There Vegan Options at Dunkin’ Donuts?

If ever you’re in a DD and wondering if they have any vegan-friendly options, the answer is, fortunately, yes. Dunkin’ Donuts does have a menu for vegan options. Some of the items listed on its vegan menu actually contain refined sugar probably processed with bone char. Here are the items I can tell you with confidence are vegan:

  • Plain Coffee (Hot/Iced Coffee)
  • Cold Brew Coffee
  • Hot Tea (all)
  • Iced Tea (Unsweetened Iced Green Tea & Iced Tea)
  • Oat Milk Coffee
  • Coconut Milk Coffee
  • Iced Macchiato (with dairy-free milk)
  • Avocado Toast
  • Sesame Bagels
  • Hash Brown
  • Almond Milk
  • Chai Latte (with dairy-free milk)

These menu items are all vegan friendly and can be a great option when you’re on the go and need a quick bite!

Vegan Alternatives to Dunkin’ Donuts

Luckily, there are other delicious vegan donut options out there. Here are some of our favorite bakery-bought donuts:

These bakery-bought donuts are all vegan and are made to order without any dairy or eggs. They are in limited locations though, so if you’re not near any of these bakeries, you might have to conduct your own local search for a vegan donut shop or bakery.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try your hand at making vegan donuts at home, you can try some of these donut mixes:

These donut mixes are all good alternatives when you’re feeling like baking at home. They can be a fun activity to do with friends or family, and you get to enjoy delicious donuts at the end!

Final Words

So, there you have it! Dunkin’ Donuts donuts are not vegan. However, there are many other delicious vegan donut options out there for you to try! So, next time you’re in the mood for a donut, be sure to check out one of these vegan-friendly options! Have fun!