These Baked Apple Cider Donuts are fluffy and tender, with a crunchy cinnamon sugar topping. The perfect balance of sweet and spiced! Vegan, Gluten-Free & Oil-Free.
These Baked Apple Cider Donuts are a taste of fall in every bite! A soft and tender cider-infused donut finished with an extra crunchy cinnamon sugar topping makes a flavor and texture combo that just can’t be beat.
These aren’t just any donuts, either. We’re talking melt-in-your-mouth donuts that are also Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Oil-Free! Warning: you might eat all 12 in a very short amount of time ????
INGREDIENTS FOR BAKED APPLE CIDER DONUTS
The donut base is made from simple, whole food ingredients that are also pantry and budget-friendly:
For The Donuts:
- Spiced Apple Cider gets reduced on the stovetop to make a syrup, which adds a ton of apple flavor to the donuts while also making them naturally sweetened!
- Oat Flour: I used quick-cooking oats and blended them to make flour, but you can also purchase pre-made oat flour from the store.
- Nut Butter: Use your favorite nut butter here, as the flavor will be present in the donut. My favorite is almond butter, but peanut butter or cashew butter would also be delicious in this recipe.
- Warm Cider Spices: Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Nutmeg, and a touch of Sea Salt create the most amazing spiced cider blend, perfect for all things fall!
- Coconut Sugar helps make these donuts tender and perfectly sweet.
- Non-Dairy Milk & Apple Cider Vinegar: Mixing plant-based milk with a bit of apple cider vinegar creates a vegan “buttermilk” that’s perfect for baking! I used soy milk for this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite non-dairy milk.
- Ground Flaxseed serves as our binding agent, keeping all of our ingredients together for a fluffy and tender donut.
For The Crunchy Cinnamon Sugar Topping (Optional but highly recommended):
- Cinnamon & Sugar: The perfect combo of sweet and spiced! You can opt to enjoy the donuts without the cinnamon sugar topping, but I personally think it takes things to the next level. I used raw cane sugar (that I quickly blitzed in my blender) for the donut topping because it has a nice crunchy texture, almost reminiscent of coffee cake. You can also use coconut sugar, but it has finer and softer crystals which tend to absorb into the donut if not enjoyed immediately.
- Non-Dairy Milk: Use your favorite plant-based milk here! You can either make your own or use store-bought.
HOW TO MAKE BAKED APPLE CIDER DONUTS
Who said homemade donuts had to be difficult?! These Baked Apple Cider Donuts are super easy to make and come together in just over an hour. They’re also a bit “fancy,” making them the perfect dessert to impress for the holidays.
- Add the spiced cider to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 30 mins. This will dramatically reduce the volume of the cider. Set aside and let cool.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and form a well in the center.
- Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl until well-combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, using a spatula to mix until a thick batter forms.
- Divide the batter between the donut molds and bake. Remove donuts and let sit in the tray for a few minutes before you use a knife to wiggle each donut out of its mold and let cool on a cooling rack.
- Quickly blitz the raw cane sugar and cinnamon in a blender and transfer to a bowl with a flat bottom. Dunk the top of each donut into the non-dairy milk and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Enjoy on their own or with a glass of hot apple cider if you’re feeling fancy!
Donuts are kind of my thing; whenever I go to a get-together with my friends, I bring a fresh batch of baked donuts. And not to toot my own horn or anything, but there are never any leftovers at the end of the party ???? So I think it’s safe to say that if you whip up a batch for your next gathering, they won’t disappoint!
These are best served fresh on the day they’re made, but you can also keep them at room temperature for up to 5 days in a container with a loose-fitting lid.
These Baked Apple Cider Donuts are fluffy and tender, with a crunchy cinnamon sugar topping. The perfect balance of sweet and spiced! Gluten-Free & Oil-Free.
For the Apple Cider Donuts:
- 2 cups (470 ml) spiced apple cider (or regular apple cider)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used soy)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups (150 g) quick cooking oats, blended to make oat flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup (130 g) unsalted nut butter*
- 1/4 cup (38 g) coconut sugar
For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping (Optional):
- 1/2 cup (110 g) raw cane sugar* (or regular cane sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2–3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- Reduce the Cider: add the spiced cider to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium high heat; reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cider will dramatically reduce in volume – you should have just over 1/2 cup afterwards. After the cider has reduced, set aside to let cool. This step can be done up to 3 days prior to making the donuts.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and spray or grease your donut molds. I recommend using silicone donut molds, and keeping them on a baking tray for easy transport in and out of the oven. Mix the ground flaxseed with 5 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Combine the non-dairy milk and vinegar together in a separate container to make “buttermilk”; let both sit for at least 5 minutes.
- Dry Ingredients: Whisk the oat flour, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Form a well in the center of the bowl, then set aside.
- Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, mix the reduced spiced cider, flax eggs, vegan “buttermilk”, almond butter, and coconut sugar together until uniform. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to mix until a thick batter forms.
- Bake: use a spoon to divide the batter between the donut molds, then place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 23-25 minutes. Remove the donuts from the oven and let sit in the tray for 3 minutes, then use a butter knife to wiggle each donut out of its mold and transfer to a cooling rack, to cool completely.
- Top with Sugar: Quickly blitz the raw cane sugar and cinnamon together in a blender, until the sugar has broken down some, then transfer to a bowl with a flat bottom (if you are using finely granulated sugar, just mix in a bowl). Quickly “dunk” the top of each donut into the non-dairy milk, then transfer it to the bowl with the cinnamon sugar and swirl it around some. Repeat with the remaining donuts.
- Storage: these donuts are best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers can be stored at room temperature, in a container with a loose fitting lid, for up to 5 days.
- The nut butter you use in this recipe will be present in the final flavor, so choose one that you love! I used almond butter for this recipe, but I think peanut butter or cashew butter would also work great. If you have a nut allergy, I would recommend trying these with sunflower butter
- Substitutions: I have not tested this recipe with any other flour substitutions. Coconut sugar can be replaced with brown sugar or cane sugar.
- Cane sugar vs. Coconut Sugar: I recommend using cane sugar for the cinnamon sugar topping, as it has a nice crunchy bite. Coconut sugar is made from softer and finer crystals; it will be momentarily crunchy on the donut, but quickly dissolve and melt into the donut.