There’s a chill in the air and it’s finally time for some fall flavours. Stuffed with apples and spices and rolled in cinnamon sugar, these donuts are the epitome of autumn tastes. I’ve taken my two favourite Tim Hortons donuts – cinnamon sugar and apple fritter – and morphed them into a moist, tender donut with a sweet crunchy coating.
The past few days, I’m seeing apple donuts every time I turn around. I made these apple cider donuts from Sally’s Baking Addiction constantly last fall, but I wanted to try making something filled with actual apples. Then Our Best Bites posted these apple fritters and my mouth was watering. I’m terrified of hot oil (and my stomach can’t do deep fried anymore) so those were out. I finally came up with this simple recipe. Even as I type this, the Pioneer Woman is frying apple fritters in a re-run on Food Network.
Apples are my favourite fall flavour. I’m not actually a big fan of pumpkin (I like exactly one pumpkin recipe and you’ll see it soon) so it’s all apples, all the time.
For ages I just baked with whatever apples were hanging out it my fridge, but I’m slowly learning which apples are best for which uses. I think there are 4 different varieties in my fridge at the moment! If you’re going to keep just one kind of apple for baking and eating, Cortlands are my favourite all-purpose apple. Here I used a mix of Granny Smith and Gala.
Your cast of characters: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, an egg, brown sugar, milk, yogurt, butter, vanilla and apples. Non-dairy milk, yogurt and margarine are all fine.
Start by whisking the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves – you’ve basically got fall in a bowl there.
Whisk the egg and sugar together in a medium bowl until smooth, squishing or pinching out any lumps.
Plop in the yogurt and milk. Soy, rice, almond or cow milk are all fine. I usually use soy or coconut yogurt, even if I’m not making the donuts dairy free, simply because I don’t keep regular plain or vanilla yogurt on hand. The dairy-eater in the house only likes yogurt with fruit in it.
Whisk until there are no yogurt lumps (it’ll take a minute or two.) Add the melted butter and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until only a few flour streaks remain.
Toss in the diced apples and fold gently until they’re evenly distributed.
Here’s the point where you have some choices. For actual donut-shaped donuts, you need a donut pan. I got mine for a few bucks at the grocery store, and I think I’ve already gotten my money’s worth out of it. Give it a spritz of cooking spray.
After a lot of batter disasters, I’ve discovered the easiest way to fill the donut pan.
Take a large Zip-Lock bag and nestle one corner into a large drinking glass (Bonus points if it’s a Hufflepuff cup from the Wizarding World.) Fold the edges out over the rim of the glass and scoop the batter into the bag.
Seal the bag, snip off a corner and pipe the batter into the pan.
Don’t fill the indentations more than about 2/3 of the way full, or they’ll puff up and close over the hole.
You’ll likely have a bit of batter leftover. Unless you have 2 donut pans, set it aside for a second batch or make some donut holes (see below.) I recommend setting the bag in a glass or bowl and making sure the hole is facing up if you don’t feel like scraping batter off your counters.
Bake the donuts for 8 – 10 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. They won’t brown very much.
Let cool in the pan for a couple of minutes, then pop the donuts out on to a wire rack. If you need to, re-fill the pan and bake the rest of the donuts.
Donuts are tasty, but I love little bites and I really like making donut holes (or as we call them around here, Timbits.) I got an electric cake pop maker a few years ago as a wedding shower gift and it makes fantastic donut holes.
Just pre-heat the cake pop maker, spray with cooking spray and fill bottom cavities with batter. You can put the batter in a bag and pipe as described above, but I find it easier to scoop with a small cookie scoop.
The donut holes only take a few minutes to cook. They’ll get nice and brown, just check that the middle is cooked with a toothpick.
There are lots of other options available for your donut baking needs. I’ve seen electric donut makers, like my cake pop maker but with donut shaped cavities. You can also get cake pop pans that you bake in the oven. In the absence of any of these, just use a mini muffin tin. No one said that donuts need to be perfectly round!
Once the donuts or holes are cool, it’s time to dunk ‘em!
Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl and melt the butter in another small bowl.
Dip each donut into the butter, turning it over to coat completely.
Pop it into the cinnamon sugar and roll it around.
Set the coated donuts on a wire rack over a baking sheet to catch any butter or sugar drips.
The donuts are best eaten immediately, but they’ll last in an air-tight container for up to a day. After that they’ll start to get soggy.
What are your favourite fall flavours?
Baked Apple Cinnamon Donuts
Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup milk (dairy, rice or soy)
- ¼ cup plain or vanilla yogurt (dairy, soy or coconut)
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup finely diced, peeled apple
- ½ cup butter or margarine, melted
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 – 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350° and spray a donut pan with non-stick spray.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a large bowl.
Whisk the egg and sugar together in a medium bowl. Add milk and yogurt and whisk until smooth. Mix in melted butter and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the diced apple.
Pour the batter into a large ziplock bag, cut off one of the bottom corners and pipe batter into each cavity of the donut pan. Fill each 2/3 to ¾ of the way. Set the bag with any remaining batter aside.
Bake the donuts for 8 – 10 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool briefly in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Fill the pan with any remaining batter and bake as above.
To top the donuts, combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Dip the donuts into the melted butter, turning to coat both sides, then roll in the cinnamon sugar.
Serve immediately, or keep in an air-tight container for up to a day.
Donuts may also be prepared in an electric cake pop or donut maker. Prepare the batter as above, while preheating the cake pop maker. Use a small cookie scoop to fill each cavity with batter (or pipe from the ziplock bag.) Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the surface is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Top as above, rolling in melted butter than cinnamon sugar.