Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts...

With another treat day upon us, I had to figure out what we were going to send in this week...and since apple season is in full swing (though it seems it is already ending out here) it was only natural we looked in that direction for ideas. Whenever we go to the orchards, they always have plenty of cider doughnuts (or donuts, if you so choose) on hand, making it impossible to resist picking up a few to munch on for energy (yeah, right) after a long morning of grabbing apples from the trees.

We ran with the doughnut idea, but instead of submerging them in a vat of oil, we decided to go a bit lighter and make use of some old baking pans we had laying around, making these Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts.

Highlighting the essence of fall, inside the batter you'll find not one, but two apple infusions - the first comes from spicy apple butter, while the second comes in the form of unfiltered apple cider (and if you can find unpasteurized, all the better - you'll most likely only find this at an orchard though). Before you ask, you might be able to get away with apple juice, but cider is more rich and developed, so if you opt for juice, it may lead to a weaker apple-flavored doughnut.

You'll also find plenty of cinnamon in the doughnuts, along with pure maple syrup - to keep them moist, a scoop of thick, Greek-style yogurt also joins the mix. We used a large and small doughnut pan for this, coating them with nonstick spray and sugar before filling them. This makes more batter than will fit in both, so as soon as they had baked and were taken out of the pans, we washed the large pan in cool water, then repeated the same process, with enough batter leftover to make three more large. If you don't fill all of the wells with batter, add a little bit of water into the empty ones so they don't scorch.

These doughnuts may not have the same texture as the indulgent deep-fried variety, but don't discount them for that reason - they are still moist, fluffy and full of flavor. Coating the wells of the pan with sugar does help with releasing them from the pan, but it also gives them a fun, sweet crusty top that I would miss if it wasn't there. If you don't have any doughnut pans and would still like to give the recipe a shot, try using miniature bundt pans.

Besides getting bonus points for not being nearly as messy if you chose to fry them, you can ditch any guilt from eating one of these beautiful rounds by baking them - you could even incorporate a bit of whole-wheat pastry flour if you like! You could dip the tops of the doughnuts with a simple confectioners' sugar, vanilla and milk (or even maple syrup to continue the theme) concoction if you like, which was our initial plan, but after giving them a nibble (okay, more like eating three each), Jeff and I both thought a glaze would make them a bit too sweet for us.


  1. Yum these look divine and gorgeous flavour! Perfect for autumn

  2. If you can't get cider, you could probably try "Simply Apple" juice (in the refrigerated section of the grocery store). It's pretty close to apple cider.

  3. Love the Mickey Mouse effect!

  4. Joe, these look great! My daughter will love the apple flavor, and I will be happy that they are not fried, so when she sneaks her 2nd, or 3rd... I won't be upset! =) Love this one!

  5. this screams FALL. Yummm!

  6. These look wonderful.

  7. Love the mickey mouse face :D

  8. What a great doughnut you made for treat day Joe. Have a great week-end!

  9. do you suppose this could be baked in a cake pan, maybe a small bundt or springform?

  10. Katie - Thanks!

    Amber - Good suggestion!

    Quinn - hee hee!

    Anon - I felt the same as I kept eating them myself...

    Crustabakes - Agreed!

    Anon - Thank you!

    Avanika - Yeah!

    Helene - You do the same!

    AngAK - I guess I don't see why not? You can use miniature bundts if you have them.