Baked apple cider donuts are a moist, healthy and flavorful breakfast or dessert. These gluten free donuts are made with oat flour, apple cider, and cinnamon and come together quickly for an easy treat any time of day!
Hands down, my favorite part of fall is visiting the apple orchard. Its the whole experience of going to the orchard...picking apples, the cool fall air, being outside, and eating treats we only get once a year like caramel apples and apple cider donuts. Yeah, the donuts. Why do apple cider donuts taste so good? I think its the sugar perfectly coating the outside and the rich cinnamon laced throughout.
Once I became vegan and gluten free though, these trips started to become less fun. Donuts are made with wheat, dairy and eggs - all things I no longer ate. These treats that were nostalgia-filled were now off the table for me. Boohoo. I put up with that for approximately one visit to the orchard, and then I ran home and developed this vegan and gluten free apple cider donut recipe. Why it's taken me this long to share the recipe with you I don't know. Sorry about that.
Ingredients in Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts
- Oat flour is the main ingredient in these apple cider donuts. Oat flour gives the donuts that perfect fluffy, cakey texture I crave.
- The supporting stars are: baking powder and baking soda for lift, cinnamon and salt.
- Apple cider - obviously
- Maple syrup - for sweetener
- Milk - use any non-dairy milk
- Applesauce or oil - Using applesauce makes these donuts a bit denser, but I include it as an oil free option. I generally avoid oils, but think using oil in this recipe elevates the texture. And hey, its a treat, so I indulge a bit here and there!
Sugar Coating (optional):
Ok, again, I don't usually use granulated sugar in my recipes, but I'm trying to re-create some nostalgia here. The sugar coating is completely optional and the donuts are still fabulous without it. You can use granulated sugar or erythritol to coat the donuts.
How to Make Apple Cider Donuts
These donuts come together in a snap. Even if you make your own oat flour from scratch. Oat flour is usually more expensive than buying whole oats and grinding them yourself. Grinding oats into oat flour takes approximately 3 minutes. If you choose to make your own oat flour, this is the first step in the recipe. Here's how to do it:
- Add the oats to the blender
- Turn blender to high
- Turn off the blender when the oats are ground to a fine powder.
Once you've made the oat flour, add it to a bowl with the other dry ingredients and give it a whisk. Next add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk again. At this point you will have a fairly thin batter. Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes to thicken slightly and then spoon it into a donut pan. This can be a messy process, so make sure to wipe any drippings off the top of the pan before baking. This recipe will make 10 donuts.
Bake and Cool
Bake the donuts at 350 for 10-12 minutes. The donuts are done when you press down on the donut and it springs back. If it leaves an indent, allow it to bake a minute or two more.
Put the donut pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool, then turn them upside down and bang the pan to pop the donuts out. If they don't come out on their own , run a knife around the edge of each donut and try again. Allow the donuts to cool completely on the wire rack.
Coat with Sugar
This step is optional. When donuts are cooled completely: add a small amount of apple cider to a dish and spread granulated sugar on a small plate. Brush the top of a donut with apple cider and then gently place brushed side down in the sugar. Remove and place back on the cooling rack. Repeat with remaining donuts. Enjoy!
Apple Cider Donuts (Vegan & Gluten Free)
- Donut Pan
- 3 ½ cups rolled oats or 2.75 cups oat flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅔ cup apple cider plus more for brushing
- ½ cup almond milk
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or applesauce*
- ¼ cup granulated sugar optional, for coating
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a donut pan if not using a non-stick pan. Set aside.
- Make oat flour: add oats to a blender, turn on high and process until a fine powder forms. This will take 3-5 minutes depending on your blender. Alternatively you can use oat flour.
- Add the oat flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt to a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add the apple cider, milk, maple syrup and oil or applesauce to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine until no floury bits remain. The batter will be really thin at this point. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes to allow the batter to thicken slightly.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared donut pan, taking care not to fill over the hole post in the center. Wipe away any batter that may have dripped on the surface of the pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the donut springs back when pressed lightly with your finger. If an indent remains bake another 1-2 minutes.
- Move the donuts to a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then turn them upside down and bang the pan to pop the donuts out. If they don’t come out on their own , run a knife around the edge of each donut and try again. Allow the donuts to cool completely on the wire rack.
- Optional step: When donuts are cooled completely, add a small amount of apple cider to a dish and spread granulated sugar on a small plate. Brush the top of a donut with apple cider and then gently place, brushed side down, in the sugar. Remove and place back on the cooling rack. Repeat with remaining donuts. Enjoy!
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