Soft, fluffy, moist Baked Apple Cider Donuts with all the flavors of fall. So easy to make – ready in just about 20 minutes!! Plus, they’re dairy free, egg free, and oil free!! Trust me, you are going to love these!
One of our favorite fall treats are apple cider donuts from a local apple orchard. They are always freshly made and still warm. The donuts are light and soft and, of course, coated in the signature cinnamon sugar mixture.
I decided to create my own recipe so we can enjoy these sweet baked goods anytime we want. They’re just as soft, tender, and perfectly spiced as the versions we love from the orchard, but these are baked, not fried, making them a tad healthier.
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
I’m not trying to fool anyone – these donuts are not health food – they are sparkling with sugar after all. But, they are a healthier option than what you’ll find at your local apple orchard.
They are dairy free, egg free, soy free, and oil free! The batter is refined sugar free. And, the donuts are baked, not fried. Best of all, they have that light, melt-in-your-mouth texture that you expect from these fall sweet treats.
Spelt flour ~ I love spelt flour for how light and fully and it is. You can sub all-purpose flour or a gluten free all-purpose flour blend if you wish.
Coconut sugar ~ I love coconut sugar for its slightly caramel-like flavor. It’s less processed than traditional sugars, which is good. Feel free to sub organic light brown sugar in the same amount. White sugar will be too sweet here.
Apple cider ~ While apple juice will technically work as a substitute, it isn’t nearly as complex in flavor.
Use leftover apple cider to make this dreamy Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato!
Coconut milk ~ Light or full fat will work here. Light coconut milk has no coconut flavor, but since only ¼ cup is needed, you won’t taste coconut with the full fat stuff either. Soy milk would be a good alternative.
How to make the recipe
Baked donuts are so easy to make! In less than 30 minutes, you can be indulging in some serious fall deliciousness!
Place all of the dry ingredients, including sugar, in a large bowl (1) and whisk together well (2).
In a separate small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the wet ingredients (3). Pour the wet into the dry (4) and mix to combine (5).
Pour the batter into a pastry bag (or plastic zip top bag). Snip off a small piece of the corner of the bag and squeeze the batter into the donut pan cavities almost of the top, but not quite (6). Alternately, you can spoon the batter into the donut pan as well.
Bake for about 12 minutes until firm.
Let cool in the donut pan on a cooling rack for 1 to 2 minutes until you can handle them without burning yourself. Turn them out onto the cooling rack to continue cooling.
Meanwhile, mix together sugar and cinnamon on a rimmed plate or shallow bowl. While the donuts are still warm, dip each one into the sugar mixture and press gently (7).
I did this on one side only, but you can certainly dip both sides if you prefer.
Storage and freezing
Counter: These Baked Apple Cider Donuts are best eaten warm on the day you make them. However, they will keep well for 1 to 2 days in an air-tight container on the counter.
Fridge: You can store them longer in the fridge in an air-tight container, for about 4 to 5 days.
Freezer: You can even freeze these donuts! Store them for up to 3 months in a freezer safe bag or container.
Reheat: Gently warm in the microwave next to a cup of water for 15 to 20 seconds. The cup of water will create steam that will keep the donut moist.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Be sure to use apple cider, not apple juice! Apple cider is much more complex in flavor. Apple juice is very bland in comparison.
~ Canned coconut milk tends to separate in the can. Shake the can vigorously before opening to mix it up well. If it still looks a little separated upon opening the can, pour it into a blender and give it a whiz for a few seconds to fully combine before measuring out what you need for this recipe.
~ While not a necessity, a pastry bag and tip will help you fill the cavities in the donut pan quickly, evenly, and mess-free.
~ Give the donuts a dunk in the cinnamon sugar mixture while they are still warm. This will allow the sugar to stick without using melted butter like in traditional recipes.
Apple Cider Donuts are sweet cake donuts with the flavors of apple cider, cinnamon and nutmeg. They taste like autumn in dessert form!
These baked cider donuts are best warm from the oven, but they can be eaten cold or room temperature, as well, if you prefer.
Baked donuts are healthier than oil-fried donuts. And these vegan apple cider donuts made with no eggs, no oil, no butter, and no milk are healthier still. But they are still a sugary treat and should be enjoyed in moderation.
You can easily transform a muffin pan into a donut pan with some tin foil. Or skip the tin-foil and just bake them as muffins instead.
More vegan apple recipes
More vegan donut recipes
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Baked Apple Cider Donuts
- ¾ cup spelt Flour
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup apple cider
- ¼ cup canned coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- A few tablespoons organic cane sugar mixed with ¼-1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly spray a 6-cavity donut pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together the apple cider, coconut milk, applesauce, and apple cider vinegar.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. The batter might seem a bit wet, but don’t worry – this is going to keep the donuts soft and moist.
- Pipe the mixture into the prepared donut pan using a pastry bag (or just use a spoon). Fill each cavity just to the top, but don't overfill.
- Bake the donuts for 11 to 13 minutes until the donuts are firm. The batter will have pulled away from the sides of the pan and when gently pressed will "bounce" back.
- While the donuts are baking, mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping and set aside.
- When the donuts are done, let them cool in the pan on a wire rack for just about a minute or two – until you can handle them without burning yourself. They should slide easily out of the pan. Immediately dip each one into the cinnamon sugar mixture while they are still quite warm and return to the wire rack to continue cooling.
- These delicious donuts are best served warm. Try not to eat them all in one sitting. I dare you. 🙂
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.
Rebecca Abu-Sanu says
Is there a Gluten-Free flour that you think could be substituted here? Like cassava perhaps? The recipe sounds delicious.
Jenn Sebestyen says
Hi, Rebecca. I have never worked with cassava flour, so I can’t say for that particular switch. I would suggest using a gluten free flour blend meant to replace wheat flour 1:1. Bob’s Red Mill and Krusteaz both make a blend that almost always works well. I find these blends work well, but usually leave baked goods a bit “chewier.” So, just know that they won’t be quite as soft and light, but still delicious. You could also try oat flour, which subs well at 1:1, too. But, again, I haven’t personally tried it, os I can’t say with 100% certainty. Let me know if you try it!
Ugh I know just follow directions but I can’t eat white flour so I’m wondering if whole wheat flour will work?
Jenn Sebestyen says
This recipe actually uses spelt flour, which is an unrefined ancient whole grain. Though, yes, you can sub whole wheat flour 1:1 if needed. The results likely won’t be quite as soft and fluffy, but it will work.
These are so moist and delicious!! Thank you for a no-oil recipe!
Jenn Sebestyen says
I’m so glad you love them, Lauren! Thank you for your comment!