The best paleo and gluten-free baked apple cider donuts! Packed with cozy fall spices, sweet apple cider reduction, and finished with cinnamon sugar, they’re the real deal. They’re also gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free!
You can end the search, because the BEST paleo apple cider donuts have arrived. Light, fluffy donuts with rich apple cider, cozy spices and a cinnamon sugar coating. They’re the real deal and taste just like a crisp fall day. Not to mention they’re paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free!
Oh, and the best part? These donuts are just as easy to make as they are to eat! With just a handful of ingredients, and one bowl your kitchen will smell like fresh baked cinnamon and apple donuts in 30 minutes or less!
Before we get into how to make homemade donuts, do you want to know the secret to making perfectly flavorful baked apple cider donuts at home?
Making an apple cider reduction.
Boiling the apple cider until it’s reduced by about half concentrates and intensifies the flavor. Without this step the cider flavor will be almost undetectable in the final baked product. So this is key and I don’t recommend skipping it!
Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s get to baking these apple cider donuts!
Ingredients you’ll need to make paleo apple cider donuts…
Almond flour– Swapping almond flour for gluten-free or regular white flour makes these donuts grain-free, and provides extra fat, fiber and protein.
Arrowroot flour– Adds starch for texture.
Coconut flour-Coconut flour helps to absorb excess moisture from the apple cider.
Unfiltered apple cider-Note that apple cider is different from apple juice and substituting regular apple juice is not recommended. Apple cider is a much more concentrated and unfiltered version of apple juice and has a more intense apple flavor. You can usually find apple cider at your local supermarket or farm stand in the fall months.
Eggs-You’ll need two eggs to bind the ingredients together.
Apple sauce– Adds more apple flavor and also acts as a binder. Plain applesauce or cinnamon apple sauce both work here.
Maple sugar– You can also use coconut sugar but I like the very subtle maple flavor.
Apple cider vinegar-Make sure you use apple cider vinegar and not more apple cider. This will help the texture of the donuts.
Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg– The perfect warming fall spices.
Baking soda and salt-The leavening agents
Cinnamon + sugar for coating- Use more maple sugar or coconut sugar to keep it paleo, or for a more classic look and texture I use organic cane sugar.
How to make paleo apple cider donuts
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Then, prepare the donut pans by greasing with coconut oil.
Begin by making the apple cider reduction. In a small saucepan, add 1 cup of apple cider over medium low heat. Bring to a low boil and cook for about 15 minutes until the cider has reduced to about half. Allow to cool slightly.
Add the wet ingredients and combine. Add the apple sauce, eggs, maple sugar, apple cider vinegar and stir to combine well.
Whisk together the dry ingredients. The flours, spices, baking soda and salt.
Combine the batter. Next, add the apple cider reduction to the wet ingredients along with the flour mixture and stir until all the ingredients are combined into a thick batter.
Fill the donut pan. Using a spoon, fill each donut cavity completely with batter. You should get 12 donuts depending on the size of your pan.
Bake the donuts! Bake at 375 F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the donuts to cool before removing from the pan. While they cool, prepare the cinnamon sugar coating.
Dip the donuts in the cinnamon sugar coating. Stir together cinnamon and extra sugar on a plate. Dip each donut in the sugar mixture, pressing the sugar so it sticks. If you find the sugar isn’t sticking to your donuts, you can first dip the donuts in melted ghee or coconut oil before coating with sugar.
Enjoy! These get even better the day after baking.
Tips and tricks:
Make muffins. If you don’t have a donut pan you could try making muffins instead! Sprinkling the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the muffins before baking would be delicious.
Use a silicone donut pan. A silicone baking pan makes it so simple to remove the donuts without breaking them. Cleaning is easier too! If you’re using a silicone pan, I recommend putting it on a cookie sheet before filling with the batter to make transfer from the oven much easier.
Buy single serving apple sauces.
I always buy single serving apple sauces for recipes so I’m not stuck with a jar of apple sauce in the fridge I need to use up!
These donuts get even tastier a day or two after baking when all the flavors have melded and the cinnamon sugar coating has soaked into the donut a little! When I can resist eating them all right out of the oven that is!
I hope you’ll enjoy these donuts as much as I do. It’s safe to say they’re my favorite fall treat!
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