Difference between Bagel and Donut

Key difference: Bagels and Donuts appear the same because of the hole that goes right through them. However, they differ from each other in terms of their methods of preparation and their toppings respectively.

Bagels and donuts have evolved as staple breakfast items over the years. They are hugely popular in countries belonging to the western hemisphere of the world, such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Both of them are markedly similar in shape, i.e., both these foods are rounded and have holes going right through them. Naturally, it’s no surprise that people often mistake them to be the same, which isn’t the case at all.

Bagel is prepared from a very firm dough made of high-gluten flour or bread flour. This dough is first shaped into the holey form that a bagel is associated with. The newly shaped bagels are boiled in water for about two full minutes, until the starch contained within them is completely gelatinized. The rationale behind this boiling process is to lend the bagels a crisp and chewy texture, which differentiates it from a donut. The boiled bagels are then put into an oven for about 10 – 15 minutes at 500 degrees Fahrenheit, to make the already crisp bagels crunchy.

On the other hand, donuts are a highly cherished lot among all food lovers, and especially among those who have a sweet tooth. Donuts are made from a lighter dough as compared to bagels. The dough to be used for making donuts has to be first leavened with yeast or any chemicals that fit the bill. The following process of making donuts is quite similar to that of bagels, as the former entails shaping the dough into rings and frying them in oil. However, the difference here is that the donuts aren’t boiled before frying, although they can still be oven baked like bagels, as a healthier alternative to frying.

Apart from their preparation, bagels and donuts also vary because of their toppings. Bagels are coated with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic, etc., and are then loaded with a soft cream cheese layer on top. This cheese is of many varieties as well, such as sun-dried tomato and basil, spinach and artichoke, and blueberry. When toppings of this kind are combined together, many popular bagel flavors like cheddar cheese, cinnamon raisin, blueberry, onion, etc. are derived.

On the other hand, donuts often come filled with jelly or crème, or are glazed on top with such ingredients. Other than this, donuts are slathered in frosting of many varieties, and are topped with an array of colorful sprinkles as well. Donuts are also available in a range of flavors such as chocolate, blueberry, lemon, maple, etc.

Comparison between Bagel and Donut:







Made using

High-gluten flour or bread flour

Light dough leavened with yeast or any additives




Oil fried



Oven baked


Yes, as a healthier option


Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic, with another layer of variety cheese such as sun-dried tomato and basil, spinach and artichoke and blueberry.

Filled with, or glazed on top with jelly or crème. Additionally, donuts contain a frosting of many varieties, and are topped with an array of colorful sprinkles.

Popular flavors

Cheddar cheese, cinnamon raisin, blueberry, onion, etc.

Chocolate, blueberry, lemon, maple, etc.

Image Courtesy: canadabreadfoodservice.ca, foodswallpaper.com

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This was so helpful! Both are delicious! I don't know if I could ever choose one over the other. Hopefully I'll never have to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL

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