You can put applesauce to delicious use in these Easy Baked Apple Donuts. They’re a fun treat to share with the kids AND a healthy breakfast to serve all year long…with or without the cinnamon-sugar topping. Think Apple Cider Donuts that you can make quickly right at home!

stack of baked apple donuts

Apple Donuts

There’s something about baking in a donut pan that really can turn basic ingredients into something super special. I love making these Apple Donuts since they are easy, are made with mostly ingredients I tend to have in the house, and totally thrill the kids.

And while these aren’t super sweet donut-shop-style donuts, they have delicious apple cinnamon flavor and are fun to serve for breakfast or snack. You can top with a little cinnamon-sugar so they taste and look more like Apple Cider Donuts too.

TIP: The easiest way to make homemade donuts is to use a donut pan. This eliminates the need for messy frying and it ensures that classic shape the kids expect.

Ingredients You Need

The baked donut recipe 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. You’ll need:

ingredients in apple donut
  • Whole-wheat flour: I like this hearty flour here as it helps the baked donuts hold their shape.
  • Applesauce: You can use store-bought or homemade applesauce.
  • Melted butter: I use unsalted butter in my baking so I can control the added salt.
  • Milk: Whole milk or any nondairy milk will work similarly.
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Maple syrup: You can sub in honey if you prefer, though avoid it for babies under age 1.
  • Baking powder
  • Cinnamon

TIP: You can make these dairy-free by using a neutral oil like canola and nondairy plain unsweetened milk.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the easy method involved in making this baked donut recipe. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full recipe.

how to make baked apple donuts step by step
  1. Preheat the oven and grease a standard donut pan with nonstick spray. Gently stir all ingredients together.
  2. Divide batter among the donut pan.
  3. Fill each donut hole to the brim.
  4. Bake 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.

TIP: Be sure to spray the pan well with nonstick spray, including around and on top of the hole, to ensure that they come out of the pan easily.

baked apple donuts cooling on wire rack

Frequently Asked Questions

Do these taste like apple cider donuts?

They do if you add the optional cinnamon-sugar on top! (Though they aren’t quite as sweet as the ones you’d buy.)

How can I make these if I don’t have a donut pan?

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.

Do these store well?

They are really yummy warm out of the oven, though you can store them at room temperature for up to 3 days.

cinnamon sugar with apple donuts on wire rack

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

To add a simple cinnamon-sugar topping—which is of course optional—simply brush each donut with a small amount of melted butter, then invert and rub in a cinnamon-sugar mixture. This is an easy step that plays up the Apple Cider Donut flavors.

baked apple donuts on white plate

How to Store

You can store them in an airtight container, once cooled, and reheat for about 10 seconds before serving for up to 3 days after.

Best Tips for Success

  • These baked donuts are really yummy served warm out of the oven.
  • We love them with a brush of melted butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar.
  • Use smooth applesauce for a consistency close to cake donuts. (Chunky applesauce will have chunks of apples which the kids may or may not mind!)
  • Gluten-free: Use a 1:1 style gluten-free flour blend.
  • Dairy-free: Use a neutral oil like canola and nondairy plain unsweetened milk.
  • Make a little sweeter by adding 1 tablespoon sugar to the batter.

Related Recipes


I’d love to hear your feedback if you try this recipe, so please comment below to share if you try these for your kids!

stack-of-baked-apple-donuts

Baked Apple Donuts

Made with minimal added sweeteners and fresh apple flavor, these baked donuts are a nutritious breakfast or snack to share.
5 from 19 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 114kcal
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping (optional

  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  • 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. (You'll use a heaping ¼ cup batter in each.)
  • 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 to cool.
  • Optional Cinnamon-Sugar Topping: Add the cinnamon and sugar to a bowl and stir to combine. Brush the top of each donut with a little butter. Invert the donut and rub gently into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Gluten-free: Use a 1:1 style GF flour blend.
  • Dairy-free: Use a neutral oil like canola and nondairy plain unsweetened milk.
  • Use smooth applesauce for a consistency close to cake donuts. (Chunky applesauce will have chunks of apples which the kids may or may not mind!)
  • To make the batter a little sweeter, add 1 tablespoon sugar.

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 96mg, Potassium: 141mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 88IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published September 2017.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Like all of your recipes, my boys inhaled these! My picky eater survives on your muffin, and now donut, recipes! So so good!

  2. 5 stars
    Hi,

    Is it fine if we make these donuts in tefL snack collection donuts maker instead of oven? Or is it strictly for oven ?

    Thanks
    Reema

  3. 5 stars
    These are the easiest donuts. My toddler goes through phases where she will only eat baked goods that are donut shaped, so these are a hit!

    I often replace the applesauce with mashed overripe bananas. Toddler usually puts a few chocolate or peanut butter chips in them (she just sprinkles them right over the batter on the pan and I poke them in gently before baking).

  4. Would substituting regular flour for the whole wheat flour make a big difference? Maybe I should keep it on hand but I just don’t…
    Thanks so much for your help and all the recipes!! They’re always so great 🙂

    1. I think I’d add 2 extra tbsp of the ap flour to make sure they aren’t too moist in the middle. Let me know how it goes and you’re so welcome!

  5. I’m not sure what I did wrong or whether I should have baked it for longer but the the consistency of the doughnut seemed abit like dense and not fluffy. I used mini muffin trays and baked it for about 18mins. It was browning around the edges and stick came out clean. Does the recipe need bicarb?

  6. 5 stars
    I made these today and they were absolutely delicious! My oldest daughter doesn’t like cinnamon, so they weren’t her favourite, but my youngest daughter devoured a whole one of these in minutes! I am going to try the chocolate mint ones next!

  7. 5 stars
    These are so good! I puréed some fresh apple we just picked and made them as muffins and the whole fam loved them! I added cinn & sugar for the adults and left plain for 1 yr old and she loved them! Thank you for the yummy and easy recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    Such an easy recipe to make and so delicious! I have made them twice now using a muffin tin, I just let them cook a minute or 2 longer.

  9. What else can be used to substitute the maple syrup besides honey? Brown sugar alone? We don’t use maple syrup or honey very often so I’m always left with bottles of it sitting around when I bake!

  10. Hey how important is whole milk? I only have 2% but I really want to try these, I just got myself a donut pan at Target specifically because you posted this lolololol! I’m hoping for a bright future of homemade baked donuts!

  11. Can I use the applesauce and add some small chopped fresh apple too? Or will that mess with the moisture too much?

  12. Please help me figure out what I’m doing wrong- I tried making these twice and I can’t really get them out of my donut pans. I sprayed them before I made the donuts. I used a little spatula to get the edges loose (not around the center though), and when they finally came out, they were in crumb-pieces and not an in-tact donut. They seem great and I wish mine looked great too. We will eat them in the morning so I don’t know about taste yet. Thank you!!

    1. I’m really not sure other than being sure to spray them more and be sure to coat the center of each round? I use classic Pam, which is usually very reliable for helping things to not stick.

      1. Ooh, I might not have sprayed the middle enough. I used Pam too. Thank you! One more question too- I used almond flour, do you think that affected it? They were kind of sad looking and the consistency was strange. I know almond flour is a 1:1 ratio though so I thought that would be fine. The taste was AWESOME by the way 🙂 🙂

      2. Ah, it’s the almond flour. It is actually not a good substitute for regular flour as it absorbs liquid in a completely different way. I’m glad they taste good though!

      3. That’s definitely good to know, thanks! It’s a bummer though- if I wanted to use a more wholesome alternative to regular or whole wheat flour, do you know if coconut flour would absorb it better than almond? I appreciate your insights. And yes they were fantastic, definitely making again!

      4. Coconut would likely turn out way too dry if you didn’t make any other adjustment. Neither almond or coconut flours are good for swapping in 1:1 for regular flours since they work really differently. I haven’t experimented with this recipe with them so I’m not sure exactly how it might work. Let me know if you figure something out though!

    2. I absolutely will, thanks again! I follow you on Instagram and love your content and so many of your recipes 🙂

    3. SHOOT, I wish I had read the comments before baking! I did almond flour and omg what a raw mess. Going to try again with regular unhealthy flour. 🙂

      1. Yeah, almond flour is not a good straight substitute for wheat flour in most baking recipes. (And with the rest of the mix of ingredients, these are plenty nutritious. No need to worry about the flour!)

  13. I was wondering what else to add to this recipe. Can I increase the maple syrup? The feedback I got is that they are bland.

    1. I haven’t tried this so I can’t say for sure, but I would omit the egg, add 1/4 cup additional milk and add 1 teaspoon baking soda (in addition to the powder). That is usually a great alternative. Let me know if you try it!

  14. Hi! Love your recipes! Was just wondering if you meant to add the “or” after the amount of whole wheat flour in the list of ingredients??

    1. Oh sorry, I meant to reference that you can do oat flour with flaxseed as an option. Will fix that, thanks!

    1. Yes. Let them cool fully and freeze in airtight freezer bags with as much air removed as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temp or in the fridge or very briefly in the microwave.