Baked Apple Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar or Cider Glaze

November 4, 2013

OneHungryMama Baked Apple Donuts

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…
OneHungryMama Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apple Donut

…or an easy apple cider glaze.
OneHungryMama Baked Apple Donut with 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
2 eggs
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.

13 Responses

  1. Carole says:

    These sound wonderful, and easy. I’ll definitely have to try this!

  2. STEFANIE says:

    Just stopping by to say I tried these today and they were delicious! I just subbed the flour for whole wheat pastry flour, subbed out 1/2c applesauce for some of the oil and cut back on the sugar. I made these in a mini donut pan and my 1yr old boys gobbled them up! Good thing since it made 3 dozen easily and we were munching on them all day. Thanks again for the recipe!

  3. One Hungry Mama says:

    i’m so glad that you enjoy these, stefanie. nice changes, too—perfect for feeding a 1yo!

  4. Connie Leard says:

    Made these donuts yesterday and they are really good. I bought the donut pan and I am sure I will use it again and again. They are so good and moist. I really didn’t think you could bake a donut and have it taste good, but this sure did the trick. I will definitely try other baked donuts. I did the Apple Cider Glaze and found that we only needed glaze on one side. Thanks for the recipe and look forward to trying more.

  5. Brigitta says:

    Thank you soooo much! I bought a donut pan this week and just made a second batch. I am getting comments like, “these are so good you could sell them.” I topped them with the cinnamon sugar and they are perfection! The only thing I did different was up the amount of grated apple.

  6. Mary says:

    This sounds so good! I want to make them for Halloween and was wondering if they’d turn out ok with 4 egg whites for a low-cholesterol option?

  7. One Hungry Mama says:

    Hi Mary: Sorry that I missed this on Friday – was in busy mama mode getting ready for Halloween! Did you try it with egg whites? You know, you can always use chia gel (something you can make super quick by combining chia seeds and water: to replace eggs all together. The gel binds the same way with no egg at all. In the link I share directions for making chia gel and using it as an egg replacer.

  8. Mary says:

    Thank you for getting back to me!! I was just now visiting this recipe again and saw your response. I will check out the link you provided!

  9. lois says:

    Oh my gosh, these are beyond, they are fantastic. They are moist and flavorfull. I got so many compliments on these. They were so nice and soft the next day also. I will be making these again and again, thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  10. Cat says:

    Not sure why, but these didn’t rise very much. I filled the cavities about 2/3 full, and they’re not as thick and rounded as many other recipes bake up to be. Next time, I will fill at least 3/4 full, possibly even a little extra. My pan makes donuts 3″ in diameter, but even at 2/3 full, it came up short. I believe the recipe will make 8 or 9 donuts if I fill each one 3/4 full, not a full dozen. The taste was good, and they were moist. I coated them with cinnamon sugar. Next time I’ll try the cider glaze. Brushing them with applesauce to get the cinnamon sugar to adhere was genius. Most similar recipes use butter, so brushing with a little unsweetened applesauce saves a lot of calories.

  11. Tye says:

    OMG They’re delicious. I’ve been trying to use some apples I had. Plus my co-worker brought me a doughnut pan for Secret Santa. I love them plain as my apples were really sweet. My 1 year old loves them too!

    Definitely going to be making these again for my coworker.

  12. One Hungry Mama says:

    So glad that you liked these Tye! Great news. And now I want to make another batch with my apples! 🙂

  13. emma says:

    Here is some cool apple “donut” ideas. Great for losing weight!

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