I admit it. One of the main reasons I love apple picking in the autumn is the
opportunity to necessity of indulging in an apple cider doughnut.
These are honestly the only type of doughnuts I crave during the year, as they are far superior to any doughnut you can buy in a store. Freshly made and intoxicatingly aromatic, these rings of warm fried dough practically melt in your mouth.
Obviously not one to attempt (or be interested in, for that matter) deep-frying any food, I set out to make a baked version of this seasonal favorite.
These incredibly light, tender, and airy doughnuts are like little pillows of spiced apple cake. Although the texture is the absolute antitheses of dense, there is plenty of flavor packed into each mini doughnut.
Though they won’t win any points in the satiety department, these doughnuts are definitely a healthier option than the deep-fried variety. At around 45 calories per mini doughnut, you can guiltlessly add a couple to a healthy breakfast spread as either an “appetizer” or “dessert”.
As noted below, the doughnuts are best when eaten hot from the oven; but given how many we have left over, I’ve already started brainstorming what to do with the rest. How about crumbling a couple on top of tangy Greek yogurt or stirred into creamy stovetop oatmeal? Or perhaps transformed into doughnut bread pudding? Oooohhh, that just might be the winner ;).
Baked Mini Apple Cider Doughnuts
adapted from Eating Well
makes about 24 mini doughnuts
- canola oil cooking spray
- 1-2 Tbsp evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar for preparing pans
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp apple pie spice
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce or apple butter (I used sauce)
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp apple cider
- 3 Tbsp nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly coat molds of a mini doughnut pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle doughnuts molds with evaporated cane juice, shake out excess.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and apple pie spice; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg, brown sugar, applesauce, maple syrup, apple cider, yogurt and oil.
- Add dry ingredients to wet, and stir just until moistened. Divide batter among the prepared molds, filling each 1/2 – 3/4 full.
- Bake until the tops spring back when touched lightly, about 5-7 minutes. Carefully remove doughnuts from pan and let cool for a few minutes on a wire rack.
- Best if eaten immediately. Store leftover doughnuts in refrigerator. Gently re-heat in toaster oven.
*If you’re partial to a sugar topping, lightly coat the still-warm doughnuts with canola oil cooking spray and sprinkle with evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar; shake off excess.