Saturday, April 9, 2011

Baked Mini Apple Cider Donuts

Ok so I finally got with the times and bought myself a donut pan

Not that it takes up much space, but with our smaller kitchen before I felt like I didn't need to keep adding 'one more thing.'  Especially a thing that's so specialized.

The angel on my shoulder would say "Silly Maggie... how often are you really going to make donuts? You don't need a pan for that."

But last week the same mind-controlling grocery store that was selling french toast lattes had a whole huge display of fun baking items - including mini donut pans.

I lingered by the display, and the angel piped up "I don't think tha-"...

Luckily the devil on my other shoulder interrupted and said, "Put a cork in it, Angel.  Mags, you've got a huge kitchen now - you need to buy that pan." 

And I did. 

But before we go any further, let's get a few things straight.

Fried donuts are delicious. They are decadent.  They are satisfyingly crunchy on the outside and soft and cakey on the inside.

They are FRIED IN OIL, for goodness sakes.  They better be all that and a side of fries.

These, however, are baked.

They are light and airy. 

And they are delicious in their own right - but if you are looking for fried, crunchy goodness, then look elsewhere!  You will not find it in this recipe!

Just because some batter is baked in the shape of a donut does not mean it will taste like one from your local donut shop, ok???

Phew!  I just want to make sure you understand what you're making before I get complaints that these don't taste like donuts.

Now back to our scheduled programming.

As you'll see in my recipe note below, the first two batches I made were just finished with powdered sugar & cinnamon.  They were light and sweet.  (Mr. Vittles commented that they didn't really taste like donuts, but gobbled them up nonetheless - if that gives you any indication of how good or bad they are.)

The last batch I put in the toaster oven to brown the tops, dipped them in melted butter, and then dipped in a mixture of granulated sugar & cinnamon.

Mr. V and I both preferred the second batch because they were more like fried (but still with far less calories - I melted 1 T. butter for the pan of 12, and didn't even use the whole amount).

And after that batch it just so happens our landlords also came over to take a look at the shower/leaky ceiling with their contractor, and commented on how 'amazing' it smelled in the house.

I explained that I had made donuts and (with the same warnings I gave you above) offered them some.

Not only did they have one each, they specifically asked a few minutes later if they could have more.

I'd call that a success :)

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

  • 1 1/4 C. cake flour
  • 1/2 C. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • pinch cloves
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1 C. apple cider
  • 1/2 C. buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • extra cinnamon & powdered or granulated sugar, for finishing
Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease mini-donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Place apple cider in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, then simmer about 5-7 minutes until liquid is reduced by half.  Remove pan from heat & set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Add buttermilk, egg, reduced cider, and butter.  Stir until just combined.  Fill a plastic baggie with batter, then cut a small hole in the corner of the bag.  Pipe batter into each donut cup approximately one-half full.

Bake 4–6 minutes or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan for 4–5 minutes before removing.

Finish donuts with powdered/granulated sugar & cinnamon.*  Makes about 3 dozen.

*Note: I finished my donuts two ways - for the first 2 batches, I combined 1 C. powdered sugar with 1 t. cinnamon in a ziplock bag.  I then placed the donuts inside and shook the bag.  The resulting donuts were very light and spongy, and sweet.  For the last batch, I placed the donuts on a small rack, sprayed them with canola oil, then put them on a small pan & toasted them in the toaster oven until browned on top.  I then dipped the tops in melted butter, then dipped them in a mixture of granulated sugar and cinnamon.  The second batch was definitely crunchier and a bit more like fried donuts.

Recipe Adapted from Wilton


  1. I think I need a doughnut pan! Since I definitely can't have the fried variety very often or I'd need a new wardrobe, I'd love to try the baked kind.

  2. The grocery store I shop at also has a display full of donut pans and I've ignored them thus far. After hearing how good yours are and seeing them, I may have to give in to the entity on my other shoulder as well.

  3. First of all, french toast lattes? What is that deliciousness all about? Second, I just woke up a short time ago and I am so hungry looking at these perfect sounding donuts that I dont even want to go to my kitchen because there is nothing in there that can come close to this as breakfast.

  4. Your donuts are amazing! I can't believe that these are baked... I need to have these asap. Thank you for the eye candy, too...the photos are gorgeous!

  5. Sounds like a good investment. I may have to invest in one myself. I love donuts, but I rarely indulge in them because they are fried. Your description of baked donuts sounds yummy.

  6. Oooo, I love that these donuts are baked!! I'd feel less guilty eating two of them! :D

  7. I am still looking for this pan here. These look like something everyone in my family would enjoy.

  8. These look delicious! I did the same thing last week. I saw a heart-shaped donut pan and was like "you do not need this!" but of course I got it anyway. I made myself use it right away, too.

  9. I have been eying up donut pans myself, but I have the 'dont need one more thing' syndrome myself. These look delicious though! I love the tip about putting them in the toasted oven to brown the tops a bit. Mmmm.

  10. Oh that brings back memories... When I was a kid we used to go apple picking ever fall, and the orchard we went to sold apple cider donuts that were out of this world! I have craved them many times over the years, and now I can make my own!!! Thanks!

  11. Just found your blog via Pinterest.

    And pinned this recipe to my Donut Board. I JUST got a donut pan last week. Need to try these.

    Your whole blog and all your recipes look GREAT!!

  12. Thanks for the YUMMY descriptions!!! You have a great blog and I just looked around for a minute! You've convinced me to buy a Donut Pan!!!! This is always the treat my children would choose if asked and I HATE to alway indulge in the fried kind! Once I buy the pan, I will def. try your recipe! Thank you! I have a blog as well with some of my healthy recipes.... I am known to be able to add veggies to ANYTHING! Maybe Donuts!?! =)
    my blog is
    Thanks for all the hard work you're putting into your blog... I know how it can be! =)

  13. Could i use this recipe to make fried donuts? or would i need a different recipe?

  14. You would probably need a different recipe, this is a batter not a dough.

  15. don't have a donut pan, would it work at a mini muffin? If so any idea about time?


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