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.
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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!
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!
Here’s what you need to make these dairy-free + vegan apple cider donuts:
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.
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.
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:
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!
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!
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:
-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.
-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.
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!
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.
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:
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!
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.
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).
Baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts.