Classic apple donuts, made gluten free, baked instead of fried, but with the same buttery flavor, crunchy outer coating, and soft apple center!

Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!

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Abundant apples!

Ohhh it’s gonna be a *good* apple season! Just look at those loaded trees! I had been hearing rumblings of a really abundant apple season in Michigan, and so far, they weren’t kidding! We could have stopped at just one tree and had our fair share – of course the girls enjoyed running through the orchard, so we visited multiple trees. This particular orchard has a bakery, and every year it is just so tempting every time we walk by on our way to pay for our apple haul! Last year, the girls picked pumpkin donuts to re-create, so I told them this year was the year for an apple donut!

Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!

Fresh from the trees to applesauce…and then apple donuts!

We ended up with 40 pounds of apples today. We’ll certainly work through the majority of them just eating fresh, but I made a batch of Instant Pot applesauce right away (it only takes 4 minutes in the IP!). I’ll use it for lunchboxes, and freeze some…and I scooped some out to make these donuts too! Last year, I had played around with my pumpkin donut recipe, swapping out the pumpkin for applesauce, and we loved them. I made some tweaks for a fantastic texture and incredible taste, and oh boy, were the girls all over these this afternoon!

Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!

What do the apple donuts taste like, and what’s the texture?

These apple donuts are super soft and sweet, with that little crunch on the outside from the cinnamon sugar. Very reminiscent of any apple or apple cider donuts you’ve had at any bakery, only these donuts are not fried! That little dunk in the butter at the end is what gives it that fried feel without the deep frying. And despite these donuts being gluten, dairy, nut, and egg free, the texture is soft and moist!

Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!

The Method :: The apple donut batter

To make your donuts, simply whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl, and then stir in the wet ingredients. You’ll scoop the batter into a zip top bag or piping bag, and the pipe the batter into your donut pan. I like these silicone donut pans we purchased last year. Everything just pops right out!

Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!
Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!

The Method :: Baking the apple donuts

Bake the donuts for 25 minutes, and let them cool in the pan for a few minutes. Once you can touch them comfortably, you can put them on a wire rack to cool completely before coating in the cinnamon sugar.

Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!

The Method :: The Cinnamon Sugar Coating

THIS is the part that really makes these donuts feel like they are fried from a bakery. Melt some butter and whisk up some sugar with cinnamon. You’ll dunk the cooled donuts in the butter on both sides, and then roll in the cinnamon sugar. If you can’t have the butter, you can spray the outside with avocado oil spray, or brush a little avocado oil on the donuts.

Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!
Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!

Storage and freezing tips for your Apple Donuts

Store your apple donuts at room temp for 2 days. If your donuts need to be stored longer than that, you can freeze them to keep the moist texture. To freeze your donuts, bake them, but do NOT coat them in the cinnamon sugar. The coating will get soggy once it is frozen and thawed. So just freeze the apple donuts as is. Then, once you want to use them, thaw them on the counter, and do the cinnamon sugar coating. They will keep their amazing texture even thawed if you do it this way.

Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!

A note about the sugar

I tried turbinado sugar and coconut sugar for the cinnamon sugar coating. I do think the regular cane sugar looks the prettiest, but both of those options work if you need to use those. If you have really little ones at home, I’d either leave them plain, or you could do a quick drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon too. They really don’t know any different at this age! Do what works for your house, and keep in mind these were meant to be a special treat – not an everyday breakfast item.

Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!

Do I have to use a donut pan?

This batter is thick, but it isn’t as thick as it would need to be to pipe the batter onto a sheet tray into a donut shape. The batter would be a decent mini muffin or smaller regular sized muffin. If you really want the feeling of eating a donut, the donut pan is going to be the best bet for that. I got these silicone donut pans last fall, and have used them a number of times throughout the year for fun special *healthier* option treats for various occasions! It was an easy $10 investment!

Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!

Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!

Renee Kohley – Raising Generation Nourished
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients
  

For the Apple Donuts:

For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating ::

Instructions
 

For the Apple Donuts:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. This recipe makes about 9 donuts in my silcone donut pan. I do not spray the pan before baking – if you are using a different kind of donut pan, you may need to spray the pan with avocado oil spray to prevent sticking. My popped right out of the silicone donut pan.
  • Whisk the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add the applesauce, coconut milk, avocado oil, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar, and mix to combine.
  • Snip the tip of a piping bag or Zip Top bag to make a thick circle for the batter to come out of. Scoop the batter into the piping bag, and pipe the batter into the donut pan. I filled my silicone molds up to the top.
  • Bake the donuts at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are golden.
  • Let the donuts cool for a few minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before coating in the cinnamon sugar.

For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

  • Whisk the sugar and cinnamon in a wide dish or bowl. You won't use all of this cinnamon sugar, but this amount makes rolling the donuts in the mixture easier.
  • Put the melted butter in a wide bowl
  • Quickly dunk an apple donut in the butter on both sides, then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture bowl. You can use your fingers or a spoon to pour the cinnamon sugar on the donuts. Set the donut back on the wire rack to dry.
  • Continue coating all the donuts. I have found that a second coating of cinnamon sugar looks the best – you don't need to do a second butter coating. Just take the already coated donut and sprinkle a bit more of the cinnamon sugar on the top.

Notes

  • I tried turbinado sugar and coconut sugar for the cinnamon sugar coating. I do think the regular cane sugar looks the prettiest, but both of those options work if you need to use those. If you have really little ones at home, I’d either leave them plan, or you could do a quick drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon too. They really don’t know any different at this age!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Gluten Free Apple Donuts :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free!

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4 Comments

  1. Made these today with whole wheat flour since we are not gluten free. i did reduce the baking time to about 16 minutes but that could be our oven. Absolutely delicious and perfect for our Halloweentown movie night. Thank you!