These light and fluffy baked donuts are full of apple spice flavor without any of the heavy grease you find in a traditional fried donut with a brown sugar topping.
When you live in the nation’s 3rd largest apple producing state, it can be next to impossible avoiding apple cider donuts all season. Full disclosure: we had our first fresh-pressed glass of cider and obligatory donut at a nearby orchard back in late-August during an unseasonably cool day.
When I found myself at another orchard the very next weekend tempted by yet another batch of freshly fried apple cider donuts, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of indulgences this pregnancy but truth be told: I’ve never been a huge fan of fried donuts. I didn’t grow up eating fried foods and as a result, they pretty much always give me a stomach ache about 30 minutes post-consumption. Good times.
Worry not! These baked apple cider donuts are fluffy and moist with the perfect amount of cinnamon and spices. The brown sugar topping adds a subtle crunchy texture and a bit of added sweetness so that you don’t realize you’re eating something healthy.
No forks required.
Baked Apple Cider Donuts
- 1 ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar (packed)
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup flax seed meal
- ¼ cup toasted wheat germ (honey crunch or regular)
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup apple cider
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup plain yogurt (low fat)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted & cooled)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
Brown Sugar Topping
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey crunch toasted wheat germ
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and spray donut pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: whole wheat pastry flour through ground ginger.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: apple cider through vanilla. Slowly incorporate wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined, careful not to over-mix.
- Fill donut pan 1/4 cup at a time using a measuring cup or ice cream scoop.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let donuts cool on rack for 10 minutes.
- While donuts are cooling, mix together brown sugar topping. After donuts have cooled for 10 minutes, remove from pan and dip in the brown sugar topping. It’s important to do this while donuts are still slightly warm.
- Serve donuts warm or at room temperature.
I’m going to go find my doughnut pan right NOW …
You need to girl! These are so good and fluffy!!
I think I need to get my hands on a donut pan.
Will keep eyes open at the thrift shop where I work.
Man, I want to live where you live! It seems like you live in a good produce state.
And these are awesome looking! I love baked donuts. :)
Believe it or not, Michigan is second only to California for the amount of produce (and all agriculture) exported!! Crazy right??
oh. my. word. I think I could eat the whole tray myself! ;)
Apple cider doughnuts are a fall tradition for me too! The orchard we visited this year didn’t have them (scandal!) so I ove the idea of baking them at home instead. Pinned! This is happening.
Dude. This needs to happen!! And if you want to spread a little of your brown sugar frosting on top I won’t look. ;)
Love these- baked doughnuts are the best, especially with all of those delish fall flavors in them. Send me some?
I wish I could overnight you a dozen now!!
They look so yummy. Could you please post the gf version? I really want to try these. Thanks.
Hi Hannah – To make these gluten free simply swap out the flour with your favorite gluten free all purpose flour. I love the one Bob’s Red Mill makes!
I love how healthy these are, and super pretty! I am obsessed with cider doughnuts. Or doughnuts of all kinds. If I ever buy a donut pan… these will be first on my list to make!
You would love these Carrie!! Fried donuts make me sick sadly so I tend to stick with the baked but you’re totally right, they’re muffins with a hole. :)
Gorgeous donuts and I love that you baked them!!
Thanks Gaby!! Apple cider/donut season gets a little cray-cray up here so I had to come up with a healthier option. ;) HAVE A GREAT TIME IN CHILI!!!!
Apple cider donuts are, without a doubt, the best part of fall! These look irresistible, Liz!
I saw these babies on Instagram and had to pop over. They look wonderful!
Thank you for popping over Valerie! So glad you did!!
If I don’t have a donut pan, can I use a muffin pan and make donut holes? If so, how long do you think I should bake it?
I’ve never made these in anything other than a donut pan so I can’t confidently give you bake times. That being said, these would absolutely work in a muffin pan, I would just keep a close eye on them and remove when a toothpick comes out clean! I’m guessing they would take longer than the donuts. Hope that helps!!
How fun are these?! I’m also loving that sweet brown sugar topping. Pinned!
The brown sugar topping is the best! Thanks for pinning!
Cider donuts are my biggest weakness in the fall! They’re so delicious and so hard to resist. Your baked version is perfect! I can have a second one totally guilt free :)
I can’t resist them either !!!! That’s why I had to put my foot down – lol.
yum! I just bought some apple cider the other day and am ready to not only drink it but get to cooking with it–I think these donuts need to make my list!
Oh yes!!! Definitely save some cider for these babies!! Enjoy!
I have got to make me some doughnuts ASAP!! These are perfectly fall flavored!
Yes you do girl!! I can only imagine how amazing yours would turn out!!
I love love donuts in the fall–our farmers market has then this time of year and they are to die for. I love a healthier version–I feel less guilty that way! :) Pinning this for later!
I had to come up with a healthier alternative to all of the fried options all over these days!!
These are beautiful! Love that brown sugar topping too (never would have thought to add some wheat germ in there, so clever).
I admit, I sort of cave when it comes to the fried ones (my local farmers market sells mini ones every weekend), but I’m so glad to have a baked recipe version on hand now! I need an excuse to break out my donut pan more often ;)
Our farmers market sells mini fried donuts too!!!!! Why do they tease us?!
Adorable!! I love the apple cider but even more, I love the topping. These are amazing!
Thanks to YOU for the pan!!!! xoxoxo
Mmmmm!!! These donuts look amazing, Liz!!! I can almost smell the aroma of them now! And I want one (or two) for breakfast! ;)
They make the entire house smell so good Robyn!