Time is running out, and we haven’t been apple picking yet this fall. I absolutely love apples and follow the old rule of eating an apple a day. My go-to afternoon snack is an apple with a big scoop of peanut butter.
But the real reason I like to head to an apple orchard, besides escaping the city, is for the warm, freshly fried apple donuts, and I don’t even think of myself as a donut person. You can’t resist fueling up on these donuts while you’re apple picking.
Their scent is magical, and it’s impossible to just eat one. I don’t mind when my clothes still smell like those cider donuts even by the time we’ve finally made it home.
Hoping to recreate that aroma, I made a batch of baked apple cinnamon donuts. And it worked! I took a slow and deep inhale, and I thought I was in the autumn of my dreams.
I made a basic vanilla donut batter except I folded in applesauce. The more apple the better, right? After they finished baking, I tossed the donuts in cinnamon sugar while they were still nice and warm.
As they were cooling, I started working on decorations. I sliced an apple as thinly as possible and arranged the rings on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. I baked the apples until they were dry and crisp.
Then I whisked together the maple-syrup-spiked glaze. One by one, I dunked each donut into the glaze and placed an apple chip on top. Waiting for the glaze to set was agonizing since I felt like I was being teased by their smell.
Baked donuts turn out more cake-like than fried donuts, but they’re still pretty incredible. These baked apple cinnamon donuts were just the right amount of sweet with plenty of apple flavor.Print
Baked Apple Cinnamon Donuts
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 12 donuts
For apple chips
1 apple, cored
Non-stick cooking spray
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Pinch of salt
2-3 teaspoons milk
For the apple chips, preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line one sheet pan with parchment. Slice the apple 1/8-inch or thinner using a mandolin. Place the apple slices in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan. Bake the apples for 1-1/2 hours until they are dried and brown. Set aside to cool.
For the donuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 6-cup donut pan with non-stick cooking spray. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the oil, eggs, granulated sugar, applesauce, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt and baking powder until smooth. Fold in the flour.
Transfer the batter to a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off, and pipe the batter into the pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean. Wait 3 minutes before carefully removing the donuts from the pan. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and granulated sugar and coat the donuts. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Bake the remaining batter in the donut pan.
For the glaze, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, salt and 2 teaspoons milk. The glaze should have a pourable consistency. If not, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. Dip the tops of the donuts into the icing letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Top with apple chips. Let set for 1 hour before serving.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour