I have a firm belief that the coziest part of fall flavors all comes down to the spices. Those pumpkin packed desserts would not be nearly as delicious if not for the pumpkin pie spice that always accompanies. Similarly, as much as apples are delicious on their own, it’s all the additional warming spices that brings on that true feeling of comfort in dessert form. Which brings me to these super cozy, perfectly fall, and exceptionally delicious Baked Ginger Apple Cider Donuts. A fluffy donut made with seasonally appropriate apple cider, spiked with apple pie inspired spices, and an extra hit of ginger creating the coziest of fall breakfast foods.What Do They Taste Like?
These Baked Ginger Apple Cider Donuts have a soft and cake-like texture, but still feel light and airy, and so, not overly heavy. Unlike a traditionally fried donut, the baked variety yields a donut that is fluffy, but without the trip to the fryer they do not feel overindulgent. The liquid base of apple cider gives these donuts a mild apple flavor, but is amplified with all the additional spices so synonymous with apple pie – a hefty dose of cinnamon, along with nutmeg and cardamom. And to give these a little twist I really turn up the ginger flavor. Ginger and apple is really an unsung flavor combination in the fall. Cinnamon and apple will always be a classic, but the ginger really gives it an incredible depth of flavor and a bit of a freshness. And these donuts are an example of that, because that unassuming flavor trifecta really makes these donuts something special. The donuts are rolled in a simple cinnamon sugar coating to give them that traditional apple cider donut feel. And because, I’m pretty sure the consensus on donuts is that the coatings are the best part.
The best part about baked donuts is that, unlike the traditional fried variety, they are SO easy to make. Really, all that’s done is make the batter, distribute it into a lightly greased donut mold, and baked! If you don’t have a muffin pan, make donut muffins in a muffin tin. Once they are baked and cooled slightly, it’s brushed with a kiss of coconut oil and dipped in a simple cinnamon sugar mixture. And that’s it! Here are the basic steps:
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Mix the wet ingredients together in a smaller bowl.
- Add the wet to the dry mixture and stir until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain.
- Distribute the batter into a lightly greased donut pan. I sometimes like to use a spare piping bag that I’ve cut a larger hole into the bottom to help cleanly add the batter into the molds. Although this isn’t necessary at all, feel free to spoon or pour the batter into the mold with a spouted bowl or measuring cup.
- Bake the donuts in the preheated oven for just about 15 minutes. While the donuts bake, mix the simple cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Let the donuts cool slightly before removing them from the molds.
- Brush or dunk the donuts with a little melted ghee or coconut oil to help adhere the cinnamon sugar coating to the donuts. I prefer using a silicon brush for this, it’s a bit neater and ensures a more even coverage of oil. Alternatively quickly dunk each side of the donut into the melted oil.
- Coat the donuts in the cinnamon sugar mixture by dunking each side of the donut into the mixture.
- Done! These are best served warmed and enjoyed the same day. These will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for a day or so, but I highly recommend reheating them slightly in a microwave or toaster oven before enjoying.
What Ingredients Are Used?
These donuts are made better-for-you by only using real, simple ingredients. No refined flours or oils are used. They are paleo-friendly, meaning they are gluten, grain, and dairy free. And they are nut free as well! Here’s a quick run down of the ingredients:
Apple Cider – Probably the most important ingredient in these Ginger Apple Cider Donuts is the apple cider! It’s a seasonal ingredient that always appears in markets as soon as fall hits and it’s a wonderful donut flavor! Nearly any health food store near you will stock apple cider during the fall. Try to find an organic variety, if possible, and contains only one ingredient: apples.
Avocado Oil – I especially love the use of avocado oil in these donuts. It gives them a wonderful moistness without overpowering any of the flavors. Feel free to sub avocado oil with olive oil or melted and cooled coconut oil. My go-to brand is always Chosen Foods Avocado Oil, which we grab at Costco for the best pricing.
Cassava Flour & Tapioca Flour – This combination of unrefined flours is the most similar to white flour I’ve found all while being gluten and grain free! It makes for a fluffy and light texture in these donuts. I use and love Otto’s Cassava Flour, which I have found to be cheapest on Amazon. And I use Bob’s Red Mill for the tapioca flour.
Coconut Sugar & Cane Sugar– To make these (mostly) refined sugar free, I use coconut sugar in the donut batter. Which lends a wonderfully caramelly flavor that goes wonderfully with the ginger, apple cider, and apple pie inspired spices. For the cinnamon sugar coating however, I went with a more traditional choice of cane sugar. I use organic cane sugar rather than the more refined white sugar. I find that the cane sugar acts as a firmer coating and gives these more of that classic Apple Cider Donut taste. Feel free to use all coconut sugar to make these completely refined sugar free.
Spices – As fall flavors are all about the spices, I highly recommend using good quality spices for these. My brand of choice for most spices is Frontier Co-op. I find their spices are of good quality and conscientiously sourced. This is the perfect time of year to go through your spice drawer and ditch any that are no longer good! I always ignore the use by date and go with the sniff test. If the spice has little to no odor, it’s past it’s prime and time to replace.
These Baked Ginger Apple Cider Donuts are the perfect seasonal treat for fall. Fluffy donuts with a kiss of apple, all the warming spices, and coated in a deliciously satisfying cinnamon sugar mixture. These are a delicious healthier breakfast on-the-go or the perfect accompaniment to your favorite warm beverage are are sure to give you all the cozy autumnal vibes.
paleo friendly (gluten/grain/dairy free), naturally sweetened, nut free
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Baked Ginger Apple Cider Donuts
These donuts are just right for fall. All the warming spices, a cozy, soft, fluffy texture, and sprinkled with a simple cinnamon sugar dusting. Everything you would expect from a traditional apple cider donut but with an extra ginger twist and made better-for-you! Don't have a donut pan? No problem! Just make these in a muffin tin!
paleo-friendly (gluten/grain/dairy free), nut free
- 1 cup cassava flour (150 grams)
- 2 tbsp tapioca flour (15 grams)
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar (74 grams)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (7 grams)
- 2 tsp cinnamon (4 grams)
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger (2 grams)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg (1 gram)
- 1/4 tsp cardamom (1 gram)
- 1/4 tsp salt (1 gram)
- 1/2 cup apple cider (134 grams) not apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp avocado oil (36 grams) or coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla (4 grams)
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee melted
- 1/4 cup cane sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare donut tin by spraying or greasing wells with a little additional oil.
In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients together until everything is well incorporated.
In a smaller bowl whisk together the wet ingredients until light and frothy.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir gently until just fully combined. Taking care not to overmix. The mixture should be smooth with no lumps.
Distribute the batter evenly into the 6 donut pan wells.
Bake the donuts for 15-16 minutes or until donuts are puffed and just turning slightly golden.
While donuts are baking, prepare the coating ingredients: In a small bowl melt the coconut oil or ghee. In another small and wide bowl mix together the cane or coconut sugar and cinnamon until well mixed.
Let the donuts cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack with a pan or parchment paper underneath. Run a knife or spoon around the edges of the donuts if they are difficult to remove from the pan.
While donuts are still warm, but cool enough to handle, coat each donut in a little oil (or ghee). This can be done by either quickly dunking each side of the donut directly into the melted oil or by brushing the exterior of each donut with a pastry brush. I much preferred the brushing method as it ensured more even coverage and was slightly less messy.
Dunk each side of the donut into the sugar mixture and place back on the rack. Repeat the oil & sugar coating with all remaining donuts.
Best served warm!
Cane Sugar vs. Coconut Sugar: I preferred coated these with cane sugar to give them a more authentic Apple Cider Donut feel, however feel free to use all coconut sugar to make these refined sugar free.
Storage Tips: These are amazing eaten warm shortly after they have been coated. Donuts will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for a day or so. Afterwards store them in the freezer! When ready to eat, just warm in a hot oven/toaster oven for a few minutes or microwave for a few seconds. These can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for longer storage.
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