Even though it's not quite fall, I've been loving baking with fall flavors already—especially apples! We recently put some leftover applesauce to good use in these Easy Baked Applesauce Donuts and I'm so happy to share them today.
First things first. These aren't donut shop donuts. By which I mean that they are much less sweet and have more of a cake donut meets muffin texture. I'm all for special occasion donuts, but I also like to have ones with a bit more nutrition to make at home on more regular days. The shape is really fun for little ones to eat and they are made with wholesome ingredients that will provide balanced energy. And they are yummy!
The batter mixes up in one bowl in just a few minutes and they take about 15 minutes to bake, so you can have these ready to serve in under 30 minutes. I've even made them on a weekday morning...though admittedly it was one when my preschooler was up a little after 5 am.
I've made these two ways so you can adjust for your family's needs:
Rolled Oats: Grinding rolled oats in the food processor or blender (the Vitamix does a great job with this!) is an easy way to make an inexpensive yet gluten free flour. And the whole grains add B vitamins, fiber, and complex carbohydrates that provide long lasting energy.
Whole-Wheat Flour: You can use whole-wheat flour, which creates a slightly more uniform, smooth cake-like texture.
These baked donuts are really yummy served warm out of the oven, particularly with a drizzle of nut butter or a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar. They boast a bit of Vitamin C from the applesauce, some good fats from the flax seeds and just a smidge of added sweetener. The apple flavor really comes through!
Baked Applesauce Donuts
If you don't have a donut pan, you can bake these in a mini muffin tin, filling to the edge, and baking at the same temperature and timing.
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour or rolled oats, ground finely in the food processor or blender
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and grease a standard donut pan with nonstick spray.
- Add the egg, milk, butter, applesauce, vanilla, and maple syrup to a medium bowl. Stir well to combine. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and spoon into prepared donut pan, filling each full.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly. Let cool in pan for about 2 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Serve warm with a mixture of cinnamon and granulated sugar or drizzle peanut or Sunbutter over top.
- These are best eaten on the day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat briefly before serving after the first day if desired.