Apple picking season is one I look forward to each year. I love everything about it – crisp weather, tiny apple trees absolutely brimming with fruit, and – of course – warm apple cider donuts. The combination of cinnamon spice, apples, and a satisfying crumb is irresistible. Inspired by the season and all things apple, I wanted to capture the flavor of these seasonal treats at home.
Being averse to deep-frying in general, I opted to pick up a mini-donut pan for making baked donuts. Baked donut pans are widely available at craft and cooking stores. You’ll also want a bottle of great apple cider (I prefer the unfiltered kind).
The whole wheat pastry flour used here has a delicate texture with all the goodness of whole wheat. A mix of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour can be substituted.
Finally, note that as we get further into the fall baking season, it’s a great time to check the pantry to ensure seasonal spices like cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg are fresh. Fresh spices are more fragrant and flavorful and can make a big difference in the finished product.
What You Need
Adapted from The FauxMartha recipe, makes 24 mini donuts.
- Mini donut pan
- Pastry bag
For the Mini Donuts
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup unfiltered apple cider
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
For the Cinnamon Sugar Glaze
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 teaspoons unfiltered apple cider
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar (or sugar of choice)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray mini-donut pan with cooking spray. Fit a large rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack and set aside.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in apple cider and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk to combine flour, baking powder, spices, and sea salt.
- Pour cooled butter mixture into a small bowl (reserve saucepan for the glaze). Whisk in the egg and sugar. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring just until combined. Spoon batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large circular tip. Pipe batter into prepared donut pan, filling each donut cup just halfway.
- Bake for 5 – 6 minutes, or until donuts are a light golden brown and springy to the touch.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze. Melt butter in reserved saucepan, and then stir in apple cider. In a small dish, stir to combine sugar and cinnamon.
- Working quickly, dip donuts on both sides into butter mixture, and then turn to coat with cinnamon sugar. Set sugared donuts on prepared wire rack to cool briefly.
Donuts are best enjoyed right away!