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Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

These delicious Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts are super easy to make, only requires one bowl, is all vegan, and comes with a gluten-free option.

Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

These Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts are the ultimate Fall baking sweet treat that everyone loves! They are super fluffy, soft, moist, and are a delicious addition that comes loaded with apple pie flavor married together with warm Fall spices and baked to perfection. Gluten-Free option.

Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links via Amazon for products that I wholeheartedly love.

I can't tell you how much I love apple cider and I'm always happy to whenever it's this time of the year because I get a chance to indulge in all of the apple cider goodness without apology. These Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts are by far a mighty force in my house whenever they are whipped together and they seriously never last longer than 24 hours. Haha.

Personally, I always love to create a bold flavor profile of any flavor that I chose to use and these apple donuts are bursting with both apple pie and apple cider flavors from the spices and actual apple cider used. Whether you chose to make your own Homemade Apple Cider or your purchase your favorite quality brand, these donuts are sure to be your newest family fave!

Plus, I love the fact that they are so easy to make, completed in a quick turnaround time, is all dairy-free, vegan and with a gluten-free option, as well as the fact that they are perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. Truly a win in my opinion.

Of course, if you're truly a donut lover, then I recommend trying my Vegan Glazed Donut Holes with Sprinkles, which are a healthy dairy-free version of your childhood favorite treat. Colorful rainbow sprinkles and a sweet vanilla glaze make two-bite snacks loved by kids and adults!

How to Make Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

These Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts come with two main components: the donuts themselves and the sugar coating. Let's break down what you need to know to master both. 

To start, you create your dairy-free "buttermilk" by mixing the milk and apple cider vinegar together and letting it sit for a few minutes until it "activates". Then you whisk together all dry ingredients, add in the wet ingredients, and stir until combined. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until the centers come out clean and then remove from the oven and let them cool completely. 

Now, whisk together the sugar coating ingredients and add the melted butter into a separate bowl. Dip each donut into the butter and then the sugar until fully coated. Set on a cooling rack and repeat until all donuts are coated. Wallah!

Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

Ingredients for Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

Here’s what you need to make these dairy-free + vegan apple cider donuts:

  • Flour. I use organic all-purpose from Bob’s Red Mill.
  • Baking powder and baking soda. Make sure both of these are fresh, not expired. Otherwise, your donuts may not have the crisp, airy texture you're looking for. 
  • Apple cider. This adds a burst of authentic apple cider flavor. You can make this on your own or purchase your fave quality brand.
  • Cane sugar. You can ensure that this is vegan-friendly by it being certified organic.
  • Vanilla extract. This complements the flavors. 
  • Canola oil. This adds moisture to the donuts. I always use organic for a healthier option, however, you can sub with coconut oil or melted vegan butter.
  • Vegan butter. You can also use coconut oil or vegetable oil if preferred.
  • Apple pie spice. This adds a warming spice profile to these donuts. You'll need cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and allspice.
  • Cinnamon. This adds additional Fall spice flavor along with the apple spice to the donuts. Also used for the coating mixture.
  • Almond milk. Choose unsweetened. Feel free to use a different plant-based milk if you like. I recommend making easy homemade almond milk (my recipe doesn’t require soaking!)
  • Apple cider vinegar. This adds tang and helps activate the baking powder for the extra rise. 

Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

What Are Apple Cider Donuts + What Do They Taste Like?

Basically, apple cider donuts are cake-like donuts that are flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice as well as actual apple cider---hence their name. Surprising to most, apple cider donuts don't always come in the form of a sugar-cinnamon coating, but they can also be dipped in chocolate or covered with powdered sugar. 

How To Make Your Own Apple Cider

If you'd prefer to make your own batch of apple cider, no worries---I've got you covered! You can make your own apple cider easily in a slow cooker, which is the easiest way to do so without requiring your full undivided attention. Of course, you can slowly simmer everything over the stovetop if you don't own a slow cooker. 

Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

How to Reduce Apple Cider for Donuts

If you'd prefer to have a more concentrated apple cider taste within your donuts, you can easily reduce your cider by following these steps:

  • Pour your apple cider in a saucepan, about 2 cups which we'll then reduce to ¾ cup. 
  • Turn on the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Once you hit the 10 minute mark, be sure to check on your apple cider every few minutes (4 minutes or so), stirring occasionally until your cider has reduced to the desired ¾ cup. 
  • Remove it from heat and allow it cool completely before continuing the recipe.

That easy! Plus, you do these steps and your reduced apple cider to so many apple flavored recipes like this Vegan Apple Cinnamon Bread or Dairy-Free Caramel Apple Cider

Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

EQUIPMENT FOR BAKING DONUTS

The only unique piece of equipment you need to make homemade donuts is a donut pan. If you’re a donut fan, I highly recommend adding one to your kitchen toolbox. You’ll never have to go out for donuts again, and you can always customize the ingredients, flavors, and decorations of your breakfast pastries!

The easiest way to fill a donut pan without a major mess is to pipe the batter into the rings. You don’t need a special pastry bag, however. A simple gallon-sized Ziploc bag will do the trick. Simply fill the bag with your batter (work in batches to avoid over-filling the bag), then snip off one corner. Aim for a ¾-inch hole to pipe the batter cleanly into the donut rings in the pan. 

The last piece of equipment you’ll need is a wire cooling rack. Ensure your donuts are fully cooled before glazing them. Waiting for these treats to cool is the hardest part of the whole recipe!

SHOP MY FAVORITE BAKEWARE ITEMS AND ACCESSORIES!

Here, I’ve curated a list of bakeware essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baking treats, especially with these Vegan Apple Cider Donuts. Everything from my fave baking sheets, parchment paper, mixing bowls, and more. SEE THEM HERE!

Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

How to Know If Your Baking Powder + Baking Soda are Fresh

Baking is such a science, but more importantly because certain ingredients like your leaveners (aka baking powder + baking soda) are completely fresh so that your vegan donuts (and other baked goods) fully rise and bake through nicely and are the right texture.

Incase you weren't aware, there's an easy to double check both the baking powder and baking soda. Here's what you need:

BAKING SODA HACK:

-Add 1 teaspoon baking soda with ¼ cup vinegar or lemon juice in a bowl and if it's fresh, the mixture should "bubble/fizz". If no bubble/fizz is present, then your baking soda needs to be replaced.

BAKING POWDER: 

-Add 1 teaspoon baking powder with ¼ cup Hot tap water in a bowl and if it's fresh, the mixture should "bubble/fizz". If no bubble/fizz is present, then your baking powder needs to be replaced.

Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

Can I Use Another Plant-Based Milk for these Apple Cider Donuts?

Yes, you can use any dairy-free milk you like to make these vegan apple cider donuts. Here are some easy recipes to make your own milk that’s cheaper and so easy!

Cake Flour vs. All-Purpose Flour.

When it comes to the main ingredient of this entire recipe—-the flour, I enjoy using Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour, which is ideal for all kinds of baking, including this one.

However, I do occasionally use Super-Fine Cake Flour which adds a nice airiness, "cake-y" feel, and fluffiness to your donuts as well.

How To Make Your Own Apple Pie Spice

Again, if you prefer to purchase a store-bought blend, I love using McCormick Spice's version of this for quality. However, making your own blend is super easy and only requires a handful of spices similar to chai and pumpkin spice. Plus, you can store any leftover spice mix in an air-tight container or jar, which stays fresh like many other spices for up to 6 months at room temperature. You'll need the following:

  • 4 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

Do Homemade Donuts Need to be Fried?

Nope! While many of the donuts you buy at places like Dunkin Donuts or your local donut shop are deep-fried to get their golden crust and flaky layers, these vegan apple cider donuts are cooked fully in the oven.

This makes them a much lighter option with little oil. In fact, this entire recipe only has three tablespoons of organic canola oil (which can be subbed with coconut oil or melted vegan butter) to ensure your donuts stay moist and tender. There are no grease stains left behind by these homemade treats! 

Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

Serving & Storing Suggestions for Apple Cider Donuts

Who doesn’t like to start their day with a homemade donut, right? These vegan apple cider donuts are a perfect weekend breakfast treat or as a great dessert right after dinner. Serve them with this easy Iced Chai Tea Latte or Ultimate Fall Spice Latte in the cooler months, or with refreshing Starbucks Copycat Iced Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso in warmer months, or this Vegan Gingerbread Latte in the winter!

The donuts are best enjoyed the day they’re made. Leftovers can be stored in a tightly sealed container and best if placed in the refrigerator for up to 3 days for ultimate freshness. Warm your donuts by leaving them at room temperature for the best results.

FREEZE (LONGER STORAGE): For longer storage, freeze the donuts (uncoated) in an airtight container for up to three months. To serve, defrost the donuts on the counter for several hours. Add the sugar coating just before serving. 

Can I Make Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts?

Absolutely! If you’d like to make this recipe gluten-free, simply swap the flour with your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. I like Bob’s Red Mill. If the batter is too runny, add more flour, ¼ cup at a time, until you have a thick and fluffy batter. If using other gluten-free flours, always ensure that you ad xanthan gum to the mix (about 1 tsp).

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you make this Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts recipe, tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea!

Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

5 from 7 votes
These delicious Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts are super easy to make, only requires one bowl, is all vegan, and comes with a gluten-free option.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients

DONUTS:

  • 1 ½ cups organic all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup apple cider, homemade or store-bought
  • ½ cup Almond milk (You can use your fave plant-based milk)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsps organic canola oil (See Notes for substitutes!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

SUGAR COATING:

  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple pie spice (See Post for Ingredients)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4-5 Tbsps vegan butter, melted

Instructions

TO CREATE THE "BUTTERMILK":

  • In a bowl or measuring cup, add the milk + apple cider vinegar, whisking together well and letting it sit aside for 5-6 minutes until "activated" and the milk thickens a bit. This creates the "buttermilk".

TO MAKE THE DONUTS:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and spray your donut baking pans that has 6-wells.
  • In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt. Finally, stir in the 'buttermilk', apple cider, vanilla, and oil, until combined and batter is thick and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Spoon the batter into a piping bag and pipe batter it into prepared donut pan wells, filling them about ¾ of the way.
  • Bake for 10-13 minutes or until toothpick inserted into donuts comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before releasing the donuts from their pan and unto a cooling rack to cool completely.

TO MAKE THE SUGAR COATING:

  • Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice in a bowl until combined. In a separate bowl, add the melted butter.
  • Once fully cooled, dip (or lightly brush) each side of the donut into the melted butter and then dip each side into the sugar coating mixture, ensuring that you fully coat the edges as well. Then set the coated donut onto a cooling rack to 'set'. Repeat until all donuts are coated.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Leftovers can be stored in a tightly sealed container and best if placed in the refrigerator for up to 3 days for ultimate freshness.
  • FREEZE (LONGER STORAGE): For longer storage, freeze the donuts (uncoated) in an airtight container for up to three months. To serve, defrost the donuts on the counter for several hours. Add the sugar coating just before serving. 
  • GLUTEN-FREE VERSION: To make these donuts GF, I recommend using a GF Flour Blend (Bob’s Red Mills has a great version!). NOTE: If the batter is too ‘thin + runny’, simply add additional GF flour, ¼ cup at a time.
  • SWEETENER: If you choose to opt out of cane sugar, you can always substitute with coconut sugar, Agave, or pure maple syrup instead. For liquid sweeteners, just adjust the amount of apple cider you use by reducing the amount to ½ cup to start, slowly adding up to ¾ cup.
  • FLOUR: If you want your donuts to be more of a ‘cakey’ texture, substitute 1 cup of All-purpose flour with Super-Fine Cake Flour. 
  • OIL: Instead of canola oil,  you can use melted coconut oil or melted vegan butter, if preferred.

DID YOU MAKE THIS recipe?

Tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea

Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts.

Shanika

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  1. These are my absolute favorite! I think there is no other donut type that really makes me as happy as this one. Delicious!