Easy Baked Apple Donuts (Healthy, Easy, Lower Sugar)


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Updated: / First Posted: 24 Comments

You can put applesauce to delicious use in these Easy Baked Apple Donuts. They’re a fun treat to share with the kids AND a healthy breakfast to serve all year long…with or without the cinnamon-sugar topping.

stack of baked apple donuts

There’s something about baking in a donut pan that really can turn basic ingredients into something super special. I love making these Apple Donuts since they are easy, are made with mostly ingredients I tend to have in the house, and totally thrill the kids.

And while these aren’t super sweet donut-shop-style donuts, they have delicious apple cinnamon flavor and are fun to serve for breakfast or snack. You can top with a little cinnamon-sugar so they taste and look more like Apple Cider Donuts too.

TIP: The easiest way to make homemade donuts is to use a donut pan. This eliminates the need for messy frying and it ensures that classic shape the kids expect.

ingredients in apple donut

Ingredients You Need

The baked donut recipe batter mixes up in one bowl in just a few minutes and they take about 15 minutes to bake, so you can have these ready to serve in under 30 minutes. You’ll need:

TIP: You can make these dairy-free by using a neutral oil like canola and nondairy plain unsweetened milk.

how to make baked apple donuts step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the easy method involved in making this baked donut recipe. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full recipe.

  1. Preheat the oven and grease a standard donut pan with nonstick spray. Gently stir all ingredients together.
  2. Divide batter among the donut pan.
  3. Fill each donut hole to the brim.
  4. Bake until lightly golden brown around the edges and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly. Let cool in pan for about 2 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Serve warm.

TIP: Be sure to spray the pan well with nonstick spray, including around and on top of the hole, to ensure that they come out of the pan easily.

baked apple donuts cooling on wire rack

Frequently Asked Questions

Do these taste like apple cider donuts?

They do if you add the optional cinnamon-sugar on top! (Though they aren’t quite as sweet as the ones you’d buy.)

How can I make these if I don’t have a donut pan?

If you don’t have a donut pan, you can bake these in a mini muffin tin, filling to the edge, and baking at the same temperature and timing.

Do these store well?

They are really yummy warm out of the oven, though you can store them at room temperature for up to 3 days.

cinnamon sugar with apple donuts on wire rack

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

To add a simple cinnamon-sugar topping—which is of course optional—simply brush each donut with a small amount of melted butter, then invert and rub in a cinnamon-sugar mixture. This is an easy step that plays up the Apple Cider Donut flavors.

baked apple donuts on white plate

Best Tips for Success

  • These baked donuts are really yummy served warm out of the oven.
  • You can store them in an airtight container, once cooled, and reheat for about 10 seconds before serving for up to 3 days after.
  • We love them with a brush of melted butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar.
  • Use smooth applesauce for a consistency close to cake donuts. (Chunky applesauce will have chunks of apples which the kids may or may not mind!)
  • Gluten-free: Use a 1:1 style gluten-free flour blend.
  • Dairy-free: Use a neutral oil like canola and nondairy plain unsweetened milk.
  • Make a little sweeter by adding 1 tablespoon sugar to the batter.
  • You may also like Applesauce Cookies, Apple Oatmeal Cookies, Sauteed Apples, and my Maple Apple Cake.

I’d love to hear your feedback if you try this recipe, so please comment below to share if you try these for your kids!

This post was first published September 2017.

stack-of-baked-apple-donuts

Baked Apple Donuts

Made with minimal added sweeteners and fresh apple flavor, these baked donuts are a nutritious breakfast or snack to share.

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 14 mins

Total Time 24 mins

Course Breakfast

Cuisine American

Servings 6

Calories 114 kcal

Ingredients 

 

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted and slightly cooled)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping (optional

  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and grease a standard donut pan with nonstick spray.
  • Add the egg, milk, butter, applesauce, vanilla, and maple syrup to a medium bowl. Stir well to combine. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and spoon into prepared donut pan, filling each full. (You’ll use a heaping ¼ cup batter in each.)

  • Bake for 14-16 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.

  • Let cool in pan for about 2 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

  • Optional Cinnamon-Sugar Topping: Add the cinnamon and sugar to a bowl and stir to combine. Brush the top of each donut with a little butter. Invert the donut and rub gently into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.

  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  • These are best eaten on the day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat briefly before serving after the first day if desired.
  • If you don’t have a donut pan, you can bake these in a mini muffin tin, filling to the edge, and baking at the same temperature and timing. 
  • Gluten-free: Use a 1:1 style GF flour blend.
  • Dairy-free: Use a neutral oil like canola and nondairy plain unsweetened milk.
  • Use smooth applesauce for a consistency close to cake donuts. (Chunky applesauce will have chunks of apples which the kids may or may not mind!)
  • To make the batter a little sweeter, add 1 tablespoon sugar.

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 4gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 96mgPotassium: 141mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 88IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 86mgIron: 1mg

Keyword apple donuts, baked donuts, donut pan

 



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