Homemade baked apple cinnamon donuts made gluten free! These donuts are light and fluffy while baked in the oven for a healthier treat.
Free from: wheat, gluten, fish, shellfish, soy, sesame, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, corn, celery, and more
These apple cinnamon donuts are a perfect addition to any fall and winter holiday menu, or enjoy them anytime you feel like a cozy comforting dessert! They would pair nicely with my apple cider dressing or minestrone soup for the ultimate in comfort food.
I love these donuts so much. They taste just like you got them fresh from an apple orchard. Lighter and fluffier than my smore’s donuts or chocolate donuts, these donuts are perfect with a mug of apple cider or hot chocolate.
You only need a few simple ingredients to make these apple donuts!
First, you need a good apple juice or apple cider. Either will work for this recipe. Apple cider will produce a stronger flavor than apple juice. However, there is no difference in making them if you use one or the other.
A note about cinnamon. I LOVE using Saigon cinnamon in all of my baking and cooking. The flavor is more intense in every way imaginable! Just keep in mind if you are not using Saigon cinnamon, you may need to add a little more cinnamon to the batter to get a good flavor to make up for the less intense flavor.
Next, you want to make sure you have a good gluten free flour. I recommend King Arthur Measure for Measure as I think it is the best all around gluten free flour out there. Use my own homemade gluten free flour for a nightshade free flour blend!
While this recipe should work with other gluten free flour blends, I have not tried them so other ingredients like liquids or baking powder may need to be adjusted to get similar results.
First, combine the butter and sugar in your stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer. Mix these up until they are light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed.
Next, add the eggs one at a time to the batter. You want to make sure they are room temperature eggs and slowly incorporate them so the batter doesn’t curdle. If it does curdle, don’t worry. Just keep going and when you add the flour things will sort themselves out.
After the eggs are incorporated, add the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Now add the apple cider or apple juice (whichever you are using!) to the batter. If the juice is too cold, again the batter may curdle here. Don’t worry and just keep going.
Next add the flour mixture. Here is where things will work out if they have gotten curdled. Give this a good mix on medium-high speed for 30 seconds and you’re done!
Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl!
Transfer batter to a piping bag and cut a hole in the end. Fill your donut pans ¾ of the way with batter. If you don’t have a piping bag, either a plastic bag or 2 spoons will also work.
Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the donuts are puffed up and golden brown in color.
Coating the Donuts
When they are done, remove them from the oven and while they are still hot, coat them in cinnamon sugar! This needs to be done right away while they are still hot.
If you don’t want to handle hot donuts, another technique is to let them cool for a few minutes. Then dip the donuts in melted butter before coating them in cinnamon sugar.
While the butter results in a little more fat, that’s okay because they are baked donuts! Plus, it gives them an almost identical flavor to fried donuts. That’s the best of both worlds!
To make these dairy free, replace the butter with the plant-based butter of your choice. My favorite is the soy free baking butter sticks from Earth Balance. I like the flavor of it, plus it is dairy, nut, and soy free!
To make these donuts, you will need a good donut baking pan. These donuts can’t be rolled out and cut since the batter is more cakelike. Make sure your pan has a raised center that reaches as tall as the sides of the pan. This way your donuts won’t close over as they bake up.
The donut pan that I use is no longer available, but a great dupe is this one from Wilton.
I think a darker pan will help bake up gluten free donuts better than a lighter colored one so don’t worry about the darkness of the pan.
How to Store
Store these donuts on the countertop if you did not coat them in butter and in the fridge if you did coat them in butter. Either way, they will keep for about 5 days.
Other recipes you’ll love
Apple cupcakes, apple dressing, apple pie, vanilla scones
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- mixing bowls
- mixing spoons
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- Donut pan
- cooking spray
Apple Cinnamon Donut
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ½ cup butter room temperature
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup apple juice or apple cider (non-alcoholic)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ¾ cups gluten free flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Cinnamon Sugar Mix
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
- ½ cup butter melted (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F placing the rack in the middle of the oven. Prepare a donut pan by spraying with a neutral flavored oil. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or a stand mixer, mix together the butter and both brown sugar and white sugar. Mix until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes on medium-high speed.
- Add eggs one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition. Add the vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, sift together gluten free flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- Add apple juice to the batter, letting it mix well.
- Now add the flour mixture. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to full incorporate the ingredients.
- Transfer batter to a piping bag. Fill the donut pan about ¾ of the way full. Place any leftover batter in the fridge to use in the next round of baking.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes until donuts are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and immediately coat each donut in cinnamon sugar mixture.
- If the sugar isn’t sticking to the donut, lightly brush each donut with melted butter before rolling in the cinnamon sugar.
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