November 4, 2013
I’ve been wanting to develop a recipe for baked donuts for a long time and, as it turns out, nothing will kick recipe development into high gear the way that going apple picking for the second time in a season will. Let’s just say that piles upon piles of apples provide motivation.
I’ve done a whole lot with apples. I’ve made a Salted Caramel Apple Pie and classic Apple Crisp. I’ve baked Apple Galettes with the kids and apple dumplings for the kids. I’ve hurriedly made a One Bowl Apple Cake and taken time to experiment with an Apple and Candied Bacon Upside Down Cake. We’ve enjoyed Apple Pie Pancakes for breakfast and Apple Puff Pancakes for dessert.
Let’s just say that piles and piles of apples also give good reason to dig deep. And when I dug deep, I pulled up donuts. Baked Apple Donuts. Done two ways, no less.
These are not fussy donuts. You whip them up with basic pantry ingredients in two bowls using a whisk. Baking doesn’t get more simple than that. The catch is that you need a donut pan. I know, I know—but it’s less than ten bucks and, honestly, as specialty pans go, kind of totally worth it. One pass of this recipe and you’ll agree that if donuts are this easy to make, donut pans are worth having on hand.
If you decide against the donut pan, don’t bother baking these on a flat sheet (it won’t work). Instead, turn the batter into muffins. You’ll have to extend the baking time. I’m guessing here, but you’re probably looking at a 20-25 minute bake time. Start checking the muffins at 20 minutes and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
But back to donuts—because that’s what you should be making. I’ve enjoyed them plain and think that they make a great toddler and little kid treat that way. In fact, I brought a batch into my little one’s preschool class and they were over the moon. If you want a more decadent donut, coat these in either cinnamon sugar…
…or an easy apple cider glaze.
I can’t choose which I like better, so you’re stuck trying both and deciding for yourself.
I know. I’m so mean to you.
Baked Apple Donuts
(can be shared with kids 10+ mos)*
Makes 1 dozen donuts**
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon pre-ground nutmeg)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup peeled, grated apple
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a non-stick donut pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves; set aside.
2. In a small, separate bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until smooth. Slowly whisk in oil until well combined.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Add apple, along with any juice that’s accumulated, to the batter and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Spoon batter into prepped donut pan, filling each well 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 2 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process until all the batter is gone. Serve plain or coat cooled donuts with either cinnamon sugar or apple cider glaze, recipes below.
*Note: While there is nothing in these that is unsafe for younger eaters, I recommend sharing them with eaters 10+ months, who are already managing soft finger foods, due to the relatively high sugar content. If sharing with young children, consider skipping the cinnamon sugar and glaze.
**Note: Depending on your pan and how much you fill it, this recipe may yield as many as 15 donuts.
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
Makes enough for 1 dozen donuts
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Apple sauce, for coating
1. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a wide shallow bowl.
2. Using a pastry brush, coat cooled donuts with a thin layer of apple sauce. Dip both sides of the donut in cinnamon sugar until completely covered. Allow to “dry” on wire rack before serving.
Apple Cider Glaze
adapted from Lara Ferroni Doughnuts
Makes enough for 1 dozen donuts
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Dash of cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons apple cider
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Place sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl and whisk to remove big lumps.
2. Add cider and vanilla, and whisk until a smooth, pourable glaze forms.
3. Dip both sides of the cooled donuts in the glaze, completely coating it. Place on a wire rack to “dry” before serving.