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This Baked Apple Cider Donuts recipe makes doughnuts that are moist, full of apple flavor, and sweetly scented with warm spices. You can top them with an apple cider glaze or cinnamon sugar coating. And this recipe takes just 30 minutes from start-to-finish!

baked apple cider doughnuts with cup of coffee and fresh apples

It’s the weirdest thing ever. I don’t eat doughnuts/donuts all year long until autumn rolls around!

January through August, they don’t cross my mind even once. They’re a non-issue as far as temptation goes. Then September hits and all I can think about is how badly I want an apple fritter, bear claw, Boston cream, or my all-time favorite, a French cruller.

I know there’s no rhyme or reason to it; it’s just one of my quirks.

So instead of fighting the urge, I usually just go with it and have some fun in the process

close up of stack of apple cider donuts with bite out of one

Homemade vs Bakery Donuts

I’m going to make the case for homemade vs. bakery-bought donuts with this recipe!

First, these apple cider doughnuts whip up fast! And if you go with the cinnamon sugar coating option instead of glaze, you don’t even need to wait for them to cool.

Also, as far as doughnuts go, this homemade version is a bit healthier. These are baked, so that right there is a plus! And if you leave off the apple cider glaze or cinnamon sugar coating, they’re relatively low in sugar.

Additionally, of course making your own doughnuts is cheaper than buying them from a bakery.

And maybe the best thing of all, these apple donuts will make your home smell like fall as they bake.

Are you sold yet? ;)

top view of apple doughnuts with fresh apple slices on stoneware plate

The Best Baked Apple Doughnuts Recipe

Ingredients

apple doughnuts ingredients with titles

The good thing about this apple cider donuts recipe is that you might already have everything on hand to make it!

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas. For the full recipe (including ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

  • Light brown sugar – this is the sweetener in our baked doughnuts
  • Egg – helps yield a fluffy, light texture
  • Vegetable oil – or canola oil, avocado oil, or melted coconut oil
  • Fresh 100% apple cider – you can’t have apple cider donuts without apple cider! For the best flavor, use fresh apple cider (this is a seasonal item that’s usually available in the produce area of the grocery store during the fall months); when it’s not in season, you can substitute with apple juice
  • Apple – use a crisp, sweet/tart apple that you enjoy eating out of hand; you can peel it or not, it’s up to you
  • Vanilla – for flavor and aroma
  • All-purpose flour – the base of our donuts
  • Baking powder – the leavening agent
  • Salt – a natural flavor enhancer
  • Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger – or apple pie spice

Pro Tip: Apple Pie Spice Mix Substitute

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For this recipe, you can either use 1 1/2 teaspoons of apple pie spice mix, or the combination of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger listed in the recipe below.

Step-by-Step Instructions

shredding apple on box grater

Wash the apple. You can choose to peel it or not. Then grate it on the large side of a box grater.

how to make baked apple donuts
  1. Whisk together the brown sugar, egg, oil, apple cider, grated apple, and vanilla in a large bowl.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger all at once and use a wooden spoon to stir just until combined, being careful not to over-mix.
  3. Spoon the batter into greased donut pans (you should get about 10 doughnuts).
  4. Bake at 350F until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs, about 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through baking.
dipping apple donuts in vanilla glaze

Once the doughnuts are cool, mix together the glaze ingredients. Dip the top of each doughnut in the glaze and let it set before serving.

Or you can roll them in cinnamon sugar if you prefer! (See the recipe below for instructions.)

Storage

Once the glaze is set, store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

close up front view of stack of easy baked apple cider donuts

Apple Cider Donuts Recipe FAQs

What are Apple Cider Donuts?

Apple cider donuts (or apple cider doughnuts) are a form of “cake donut” that contain apple cider and warm spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Cake donuts are leavened with baking powder instead of yeast, and are either fried or baked.

If you like sweet apples paired with warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, you will love these donuts!

plate of healthy apple cider donuts with fresh apple on plate

How Long do Apple Cider Donuts Last?

Like most cake donuts, these apple doughnuts are best if you eat them the first day they’re made. However, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Pro Tip: After the first day, I like to heat these donuts for about 15 seconds in the microwave before eating.

overhead view of baked apple cider donuts dipped in glaze on parchment paper

Do Baked Donuts Taste the Same as Fried?

Baked and fried donuts taste different, but they’re both delicious in their own way.

Fried donuts are crispier outside and have a darker color. Additionally, fried donuts sometimes have an oily taste or texture.

On the other hand, baked doughnuts have a softer texture outside with no oily taste. I find that baked donuts taste similar to muffins.

stack of glazed apple cider donuts with bite taken out of one in front

What Should I Serve with Apple Donuts?

Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are all good options!

However, for maximum fall effect I think these donuts are best served with crisp apple cider, either ice-cold in a glass or spiced and steaming-hot in a mug.

More Sweet Apple Treats to Bake This Fall

baked apple donuts with cinnamon and cider

Let’s Connect

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Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media.

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Baked Apple Doughnuts Recipe with Apple Cider Glaze or Cinnamon Sugar

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Yields: 10 servings
This Baked Apple Cider Donuts recipe makes doughnuts that are moist, full of apple flavor, and sweetly scented with warm spices. You can top them with an apple cider glaze or cinnamon sugar coating. And this recipe takes just 30 minutes from start-to-finish!

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Equipment

Ingredients
 

Apple Doughnuts:

Apple Cider Glaze Option:

Cinnamon Sugar Option:

Other:

  • Butter to grease the donut pans

Instructions
 

For the Doughnuts:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously grease 2 doughnut pans with butter. (Or cook the doughnuts in 2 batches if you only have 1 pan.)
  • Whisk together the brown sugar, egg, oil, apple cider, grated apple, and vanilla in a large bowl.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger all at once and use a wooden spoon to stir just until combined, being careful not to over-mix.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared doughnut pans (you should get about 10 doughnuts). Bake until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs, about 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through baking.
  • Let the doughnuts cool for 15 minutes in the tray, then run a paring knife along the outside of each doughnut. Invert the tray onto a wire rack and the doughnuts should come right out. Let the doughnuts finish cooling on a wire rack.

For the Apple Cider Glaze Option:

  • Once the doughnuts are cool, mix together the glaze ingredients. Dip the top of each doughnut in the glaze and let it set before serving.

For the Cinnamon Sugar Option:

  • While the doughnuts are still warm, brush them with the melted butter. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon, and roll the buttered donuts in this mixture to coat the outside.

Notes

  • Recipe Yield and Serving Size: This recipe makes 10 donuts; each serving is 1 donut.
  • Nutritional Information: The nutrition information for each donut was calculated without the optional apple cider glaze or cinnamon sugar coating.
  • Apple Pie Spice Mix: You can use 1 1/2 teaspoons of apple pie spice instead of the cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
  • Whole Wheat Flour Substitution: Instead of using 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, you can use 1 cup whole wheat flour.
  • Storage: Like all donuts, these are best eaten the same day they’re made. However, once the glaze is set you can store them in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. After the first day I like to heat these donuts for about 15 seconds in the microwave before eating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1donut | Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple Cider Donuts, Apple Cider Doughnuts, Apple Donuts, Apple Donuts Recipe, Apple Doughnuts, Apple Doughnuts Recipe, Baked Apple Donuts

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

baked apple cider donuts recipe pin

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on October 8, 2014. I updated it with more information on October 13, 2023.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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6 Comments

  1. Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen says:

    I’m with you – definitely doughnuts are for fall! Pinned!

  2. I’m not a doughnut (or donut…I think dunkin donuts screwed up the spelling of doughnut forever ;))fan, but these sound just perfect. I want to bake a batch up to eat while I give out candy!!

  3. Beautiful and tempting!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  4. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    Perfect fall baked good. These sound lovely!

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