Baked Apple Cider Donuts

VG

The perfect fall treat, these healthier baked apple cider donuts are made with whole wheat pastry flour, coconut sugar, Greek yogurt, and coconut oil.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of fall I immediately think of apple picking. It’s something Isaac and I enjoy doing every year around September. There are a couple of orchards relatively close to Richmond, but the one we usually go to is called Carter Mountain. It’s just outside of Charlottesville and they have the best apple cider donuts. They’re particularly delicious when you get them fresh and they’re still warm!

Stack of baked apple cider donuts.

I decided to try my hand at making homemade baked donuts. And of course, in true EBF fashion, I worked to make them a bit healthier using real food ingredients like whole wheat pastry flour, applesauce, coconut sugar, coconut oil and Greek yogurt. A major upgrade from the traditional recipe that uses melted butter and brown sugar.

Cookie sheet with baked apple cider donuts on it.

How to Make Donuts at Home

First things first, to make baked donuts you’re going to need a donut pan. Luckily, they’re really inexpensive! You can get a set of 2 non-stick, six cavity Wilton donut pans on Amazon for less than $15.

It can also be handy to have a large icing piping tip for adding the donut batter into the pan, but it’s not 100% necessary. You can always spoon the batter into the pan and then shake it to make sure the batter is even.

Once you have your materials, you’re ready to get started and to be honest, making baked donuts is really similar to making muffins.

Side by side photos of piping donut batter into a donut baking pan, and the baked donut in the pan.

Ingredients in Healthy Apple Cider Donuts

Apple Cider Donuts

  • unfiltered apple cider – no, I don’t mean ACV, I mean apple cider! I prefer getting mine from a local orchard but a lot of local grocery stores carry it as well.
  • unsweetened apple sauce – any kind works great and you can use cinnamon unsweetened apple sauce for more cinnamon flavor. I like to use my recipe for homemade applesauce.
  • whole-wheat pastry flour – more fiber, protein, and other nutrients than traditional white flour. I prefer using Bob’s Red Mill Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour.
  • baking powder and baking soda – your leavening agents.
  • cinnamon – the perfect spice to use with apple flavors.
  • sea salt – brings all of the delicious flavors together!
  • coconut sugar – the less-processed upgrade for granulated sugar or brown sugar.
  • Greek yogurt – the yogurt adds protein and moisture to these donuts! My favorite brand of dairy yogurt is Fage 5% Greek yogurt or Stonyfield whole milk Greek yogurt.
  • coconut oil – the perfect sub for butter.
  • egg – a binding ingredient, plus a little protein boost.

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • coconut oil – again, the perfect sub for butter. You can certainly butter if you prefer!
  • organic cane sugar – the sugar topping is what makes an apple cider donut so delicious!
  • cinnamon – adding cinnamon to the sugar topping makes these the ultimate fall treat.
Apple cider donuts on a tray. One had a bit taken out of it, and a mason jar of cider is beside the donuts.

Substitutions and Tips

  • yogurt – I’ve only tested this recipe with Greek yogurt, but you could try with your favorite non-dairy yogurt instead to make these dairy-free or vegan. Others have tried it and said it worked great! I love Culina coconut yogurt.
  • eggs – I haven’t tried this recipe with flaxseed eggs, but it could work well as a replacement binding ingredient to make these egg-free or vegan. Let me know if you try it! To make a flaxseed egg, mix 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 Tablespoons of water and let sit for a few minutes to create a gel-like consistency.
  • sugar – This recipe calls for coconut sugar for the donuts, and regular cane sugar for the sugar coating. You could certainly use coconut sugar for the sugar coating as well!
  • whole wheat pastry flour – You can always just use all-purpose flour if that’s what you have on hand! You can also sub in 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour to make these donuts gluten-free. I always recommend Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 GF baking blend.
  • donut pan – If you don’t have a donut pan, you can try making muffins instead! Someone else tried this and said they turned out perfectly. You’ll just need to double the cook time.
Hand dipping an apple cider donut into cinnamon sugar.

How to Make Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Prep – Preheat your oven to 350°F. Then, prepare your two (6-cavity) donut pans by spraying with cooking spray.

Combine ingredients – Mix your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt) together in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, whisk the wet ingredients (the apple cider, apple sauce, sugar, yogurt, oil, and egg) until combined. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir until everything is mixed together.

Pipe batter – Pipe or spoon the batter evenly into the 12 cavities.

Bake – Bake in a preheated oven for 6-8 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. While baking, mix together ingredients for your cinnamon sugar topping.

Cool and coat – When finished baking, let donuts cool for about 2 minutes in the pan before inverting the donuts onto a wire rack too continue cooling. Brush each donut with coconut oil on both sides and dip into a cinnamon sugar topping to coat.

Stack of apple cider donuts.

Storing and Reheating Donuts

They’re best served fresh, but you can store leftovers in an air-tight container for 2-3 days. I like to reheat them in the toaster oven so they get nice and crispy!

A bunch of apple cider donuts with one having a bite taken out of it.

More Apple Recipes You’ll Love

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

5 from 46 votes
The perfect fall treat, these baked apple cider donuts are made a healthier with whole wheat pastry flour, coconut sugar, Greek yogurt and coconut oil.
Stack of baked apple cider donuts on a tray.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

  • ½ cup apple cider, not vinegar
  • cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ¾ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 egg

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir until combined. 
  • In another medium bowl, whisk together apple cider, apple sauce, sugar, yogurt, oil and egg until combined. 
  • Add wet mixture to flour mixture, and stir until just combined.
  • Spray two (6-cavity) donut pans with cooking spray. Spoon or pipe batter evenly into the 12 cavities. 
  • Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until donuts spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan for 2 minutes. Invert donuts onto a wire rack. 
  • While donuts are baking, mix together sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. 
  • Brush each donut with coconut oil on both sides and dip into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat. Repeat until all donuts are coated.
  • Best enjoyed immediately but can be stored in an air-tight container for 2-3 days and reheated in the microwave or toaster oven.

Video

Notes

Yogurt – I’ve only tested this recipe with Greek yogurt, but you could try with your favorite non-dairy yogurt instead to make these dairy-free and/or vegan. Others have tried it and said it worked great!
Eggs – I haven’t tried this recipe with a flaxseed egg, but it could work well as a replacement binding ingredient to make these egg-free and/or vegan.
Sugar – This recipe calls for coconut sugar for the donuts, and regular cane sugar for the sugar coating. You could certainly use coconut sugar for the sugar coating as well!
Whole wheat pastry flour – You can always just use all-purpose flour if that’s what you have on hand! You can also sub in 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour to make these donuts gluten-free.
Donut Pan – If you don’t have a donut pan, you can try making muffins instead! Someone else tried this and said they turned out perfectly if you double the cook time.
Recipe inspired and adapted from Cooking Light.

Nutrition

Serving: 1donut Calories: 186kcal Carbohydrates: 33g Protein: 3g Fat: 5g Sodium: 177mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 19g
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked apple cider donuts

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    86 comments
    1. Angie
      September 25, 2021 AT 1:22 pm

      5 stars
      Delicious! I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten free 1 to 1 flour. Will definitely make again.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 27, 2021 AT 11:03 am

        Yay!! So happy to hear these donuts were a hit, Angie! Thanks so much for the review and star rating. I really appreciate it!

    2. mae pancho
      September 19, 2021 AT 1:37 pm

      Can i freeze the donuts?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 20, 2021 AT 7:18 pm

        I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure they’d freeze just fine! Let me know if you try it.

    3. Cassidy
      February 28, 2021 AT 7:38 pm

      5 stars
      My mom introduced me to these donuts over the winter holidays, and I was obsessed! I made them for some friends a few weeks ago, and they absolutely loved them as well. I actually forgot the apple cider, so I just used water and they still turned out great. One of the easiest (and yet still delicious) donut recipes ever!

      One of my friends was actually curious as to whether it would be possible to make a very similar gluten-free chocolate donut?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 28, 2021 AT 11:13 pm

        So glad you love these donuts, Cassidy! I’m sure it would be possible, I just haven’t tested a gluten-free version of these donuts. Maybe use gluten-free all-purpose flour mixed with cocoa powder? Let me know how they turn out if you guys test them!!

    4. Lisa
      February 13, 2021 AT 9:19 am

      5 stars
      So good!!! My kids and husband enjoyed these right out of the oven!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 13, 2021 AT 10:14 pm

        So glad these were a hit!! Thanks for the review, Lisa. I appreciate it!

    5. Janet
      February 10, 2021 AT 7:31 pm

      5 stars
      These are amazing healthy donuts!!
      Very easy to make too!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 11, 2021 AT 11:54 pm

        Woo!! So glad you loved these donuts, Janet. I appreciate you coming back to leave a review. 🙂

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