This month I already got to cross two things off my fall bucket list: going to an apple orchard and trying apple cider donuts. Roaming around the orchard with all the gorgeous colorful apples felt so quintessentially fall. My friends and I went on a cloudy day where it actually ended up raining, so we hurried indoors in search of warm apple cider donuts and hot coffee. I was so pleasantly surprised by the apple cider donut. The apple flavor was subtler than I expected and the cinnamon really shined. Paired with hot coffee, the apple cider donut quickly became a new fall favorite.
Donuts are such a fun, nostalgic treat to eat, which is why I wanted to put a healthy twist on them. Baked donuts definitely have a distinctly different flavor than the traditional fried version, but I actually love how light and fluffy they can turn out. This recipe creates a donut that resembles a muffin or cake just in a donut form. Dunked in cinnamon sugar for a glistening touch, you won’t even miss the difference. I recipe tested for days and finally found The Faux Martha’s recipe. I adapted it slightly, but am so happy she nailed the light and fluffy elements of the baked donut. She gave the great tip to add your donut batter into a plastic bag to evenly distribute into the donut pan…it helped so much!
To recreate the apple cider and coffee experience at the orchard, I brewed a cup of Donut Shop coffee in my Keurig and dunked my donut right into the mug. Once I made the switch to mostly using a Keurig versus my French Press every morning, I tried other types of coffee but always came back to the Donut Shop brew. There’s just something about the adorable packing that makes me happy every time I reach for my K-cup in the morning. I think of the nostalgia of being at a neighborhood donut shop in line for a donut (chocolate with sprinkles!!) and coffee. The medium flavor of Donut Shop is bold and compliments the apple cinnamon flavors of this baked donut perfectly.
While I start my days with a cup of coffee, I love winding down at night with a warm cup of tea. Right now I am really into drinking a pumpkin rooibos or harvest spice tea to celebrate the fall flavors. I am so glad I got the Keurig that stores plenty of water to also easily brew a quick cup of hot water (in several different sizes) with the touch of a button. The pearl colored Keurig is sleek, simple and doesn’t take up too much precious counter space. Plenty of room left to bake these apple cider donuts to pair with coffee!
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- Special tools
- Donut baking pan
- 1 large plastic bag
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Melt butter for donuts on the stove slowly or in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir in apple cider and set aside to cool.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Into the butter and cider mixture, whisk in sugar, maple syrup and egg.
- Add wet mixture into dry ingredients until just combined. Mix until just incorporated. It is okay if there are lumps in the batter. Spray donut pan. Add batter to a piping bag and pipe evenly into the pan.
- Bake for 7 minutes. Wait 1 minute before removing donuts from pan and placing on cooling rack. While donuts cool, melt butter for topping. In a flat-bottomed bowl or plate, mix together cinnamon and sugar.
- Lightly dip one side of the donut in butter and place buttered-side-down into cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place back on cooling rack, but they are best eaten warm as soon as possible!
If you don’t have a donut pan, you can snag one easily online or your favorite place to shop. Once you have one, I think you’ll be surprised by how often you use it! I love how this recipe makes 6 donuts, it was the perfect amount to enjoy with my roommate and share with a few co-workers. If you’re going to save them for later, don’t put the donuts in a plastic bag! Gently cover on a plate with plastic wrap so they can breathe a little bit. If you’re an extra good friend, you’ll share a Keurig Donut Shop K-cup for your friend to pair with their baked apple cider donut.
Thank you to Keurig for sponsoring this post!
Love food. Love self. Love life.