These tofu donut holes are light and crispy on the outside and moist and cakey on the inside with a hint sweetness. They’re made with just 4 ingredients and perfect for a quick and easy snack or dessert.

tofu donuts on a wire rack with powdered sugar

Tofu donuts! or donut holes, timbits, whatever you wanna call it. My mom used to make them for us using Japanese hotcake (pancake) mix but found you can easily make them with more accessible ingredients outside of Japan.

These fried little balls were one of my favourite after school snacks and preferred them over timbits from Tim Hortons. They have a light crispy exterior and soft-moist interior with a subtle sweetness. They’re tasty as is, but can be taken up a notch by adding your favourite coatings like cinnamon sugar, glaze or powdered sugar.


The best (dangerous) thing about these tofu donuts is that they require just 4 ingredients to make! In fact, just two if you make the one using hotcake mix.

  • silken tofu
  • cake flour
  • baking powder
  • sugar

You can add a bit more depth and flavour by adding a pinch of salt, a bit of vanilla and nutmeg.

For the 2-ingredient version, all you need is silken tofu and Japanese hotcake mix (we usually use Moringa brand).


These tofu donuts are again, dangerously easy to make:

  1. Mix ingredients together
  2. Rest in fridge for 10 minutes
  3. Fry


Giving the visitor ideas on how they can change this recipe to better suit their dinner guests, or their cultural cuisine, is a great way to increase the chances they make the recipe

  • Kinako – Substitute about 14 grams of cake flour for kinako flour
  • Matcha – Swap 8 g of flour for 5 grams of matcha powder or add some the glaze
  • Black sesame – Add 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp of ground black sesame flour
  • Banana – Swap some of the silken tofu for mashed ripe bananas


These tofu donuts are best eaten fresh, but unlike yeasted donuts they stay quite moist the next day! Place in a container that isn’t air tight, but covered.

Top tip

Don’t forget to chill the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes. This will make the dough easier to handle when portioning. As well, oil your hands to prevent it from sticking too much.


Can I make these gluten free?

Yes! The texture is slightly different and will depend on your type of gluten free flour.

More delicious donut recipes to love:

If you recreate this Tofu Donuts recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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tofu donut hole bitten on a white plate

Tofu Donuts

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These tofu donut holes are light and crispy on the outside and moist and cakey on the inside with a hint sweetness. They’re made with just 4 ingredients and perfect for a quick and easy snack or dessert.


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) silken tofu, mashed
  • 1/2 cup + 2 1/2 tbsp (88 g) cake flour*
  • 1/2 tbsp (6 g) baking powder
  • 2 tbsp (26 g) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (3 ml) vanilla, optional
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg, optional
  • small pinch of salt, optional

Hotcake Mix Version (1:1 ratio)

  • 120 g silken soft tofu
  • 120 g Japanese hotcake mix (Moringa)


  1. Add the tofu to a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously to mash. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour until it comes together. Cover and refrigerate for about 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, fill a medium heavy bottom pan about 3 inches with oil over medium heat. Use a frying thermometer to ensure temperature is about 175 C / 350 F. Additionally, prepare a bowl with glaze and/or cinnamon sugar. 
  3. Remove dough from the fridge and portion out the dough. This recipe will yield 5 48-50 g  donuts or 8 30 g for 8 donuts.
  4. Once the oil is ready, carefully drop the dough into the oil. Fry the donut holes 2-3 at a time (depending on the size of your pot) for 2 – 2 1/2 minutes for larger donut holes and 1 1/2 minutes for smaller donut holes (or until they’re golden brown and stop bubbling), turning half way to ensure they’re evenly browned. 
  5. Carefully remove the donut holes with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack or paper towel lined plate. Ensure that the oil is still at about 175 C when frying the next batch.
  6. While still warm, roll in cinnamon sugar.  Repeat until all donut holes are finished frying. 


  • Sometimes I like to use a combination of 74 g of cake and 14 g of bread flour for a slightly chewier donut. You may also substitute for all purpose flour. 
  • If you prefer a chewier version (more mochi-like), substitute 30 g of the cake flour for glutinous rice flour or shiratamako.

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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    1. I haven’t personally tried to air fry them but I think they can be if you spray oil on them! I would try at 375 F for 5-8 minutes 🙂

    1. I haven’t tried but it should work! They might be a bit drier, so I’d suggest spraying them with oil first. Let me know how it goes!

  1. Hi!
    I made them the other day and they were amazing. It’s so simple to make and yet so tasty. And with tofu!!! It was my first time using silken tofu and now I need 12 packets more.
    I will definitely make these again, maybe with some fillings, such as pb and jelly to spice things up (actually tried that already, recommended combo).

    Thanks a lot for the recipe Lisa!