Gluten-Free Vegan Apple Cider Donuts
Well it’s unofficially officially fall! Yes, I know that fall technically started in late September. But here in Chicago, we’ve been having some temperatures in the mid-80’s, which doesn’t feel like fall to me. It may be no surprise, but fall has always been my favorite season. I don’t have a very good tolerance for warm weather. Anything over 75 degrees and it’s just too hot for me. Is it because I burn like no other thanks to my fair Irish skin? Probably.
Everything about fall just makes me feel cozy. Warm sweaters, hearty bowls of soups and stews, apple orchards, pumpkin picking, hot coffee, warm cider. I could go on. These gluten-free vegan apple cider donuts fit right in with my favorite fall things.
It isn’t fall until you’ve had an apple cider donut. My friends and I were supposed to go to a corn maze in Wisconsin this past weekend, but a day of heavy rain changed our plans. Instead, I had the girls over for some brunch. I haven’t had many people over to our new condo that we bought back in February so this was a great opportunity to have my friends over to see the place.
Mind you, they’ve been requesting a housewarming party for months but I always tell them it’s just not ready yet. I’ve really gotten into decorating our new home and wanted everything to be just perfect before having a party. I’ve realized this is never going to happen with the rate I’m decorating at. I’d say we’re about 70% of the way there! So I’m calling that good enough.
Anyways, back to brunch. I took this opportunity to test out some new recipes on my friends and get their thoughts. The winner of the day were definitely these gluten-free vegan apple cider donuts.
I made them in a mini version for brunch because I figured then we could all eat a variety of foods, though I think I like the regular sized version that I’m sharing today better.
And let me tell you, these apple cider donuts taste JUST like fall. They’re full of apple flavor from both the apple cider and applesauce in the recipe and are brought out even more by the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
I used applesauce in this recipe for two reasons: to get more apple goodness in this donut and to act as a replacement for eggs. Applesauce makes a great substitute for eggs and even oil in recipes. I typically use about 1/4 cup of applesauce per egg in a recipe. While I haven’t had much success with this substitution in cookies, it works great for muffins, donuts and even pancakes!
One bite of these gluten-free vegan apple cider donuts and you’ll be running to your nearest apple orchard for a jug of fresh apple cider. If you ask me, fall just wouldn’t be fall with apple cider donuts! What’s your favorite fall recipe? Tell me in the comments!
Gluten-Free Vegan Apple Cider Donuts
For the donuts:
- 1 1/2 cup apple cider (reduced to 3/4 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (I like Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 baking flour)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 cup vegan butter (melted)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Add the apple cider to a small saucepan. Reduce the apple cider over medium heat for about 15 minutes until it reaches 3/4 cup. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a donut pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and whisk together.
- In a separate bowl, combine the reduced apple cider, melted vegan butter, unsweetened applesauce, apple cider vinegar and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Spoon the batter into the donut pan wells or pipe it with a pastry bag.
- Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the donut comes out clean.
- To make the topping, whisk together 1/4 cup of granulated sugar with 1 tsp of cinnamon.
- While the donuts are still somewhat warm, press them in the cinnamon sugar mixture or spoon it over the top of the donuts to cover them in the mixture. Set aside to cool.
These donuts make me feel all cozy too!
These look like a great fall treat!
Thank you! They certainly are!
I love that they are gluten-free!
Thanks Carolyn! All of my recipes since October 2013 are gluten-free! Enjoy!
I have a quick question about these! I tried to make them and they didn’t turn out 🙁 once I combined all my ingredients, it was super soupy. I thought there was no way they would make donuts. Is it supposed to be really thin once it’s all combined?? I kept adding flour until it was somewhat thick and they turned out gross..sigh.
Hi Lauren! So sorry to hear it didn’t work out. It definitely should not be soupy. It should be a thick batter. A few questions – did you reduce the apple cider to 3/4 cup from the 1 1/2 cups? And what brand of flour are you using?
Not sure what happened with mine. I followed the directions exactly….with the exception of using King Arther Gluten Free All-Purpose flour. The Doughnuts rose and then fell and folded in on themselves.
Hi Jennifer – so sorry to hear this happened to your donuts! There could be a few reasons for it (I doubt the substitute of using the King Arthur GF flour was it though). But possibly your leavening agent could have been old or maybe your oven may not have been hot enough. It’s so hard to know for sure. I will try testing these with the King Arthur GF Flour though to see if that could be it, too.
We made this recipe with king aurturs and a sunbeam donut machine,,came out fantastic,,were gathering enough stuff to make enough for the whole soccer team of the grand baby,,thanks, ,great recipe,,
No eggs? What holds it together?
Hi Kathy! The apple sauce actually acts as a replacement for the egg, along with the apple cider vinegar. The applesauce gives the donuts moisture and helps bind the batter, whereas the apple cider vinegar when mixed with baking soda helps to leaven the donuts. The gluten-free flour blend I use also has xanthan gum in it. Hope this helps!
Sorry, I forgot they are vegan, so what kind of protein or gum do you pit in to hold it together for conventional oven?
Very disappointed in how mine turned out. I saw the review about it being soupy and I couldn’t agree more. 🙁
I’m so sorry this didn’t work out for you! The reason it could have been too soupy is if the apple cider isn’t reduced enough. It should be a thick mixture when you’re done reducing it. Since that’s the only liquid in the recipe that’s the only thing I can think of! Let me know if you want to troubleshoot!
Made with America’s Test Kitchen gluten free blend flour. So tender and light and really good flavor. They freeze and reheat well, too.
Thanks so much, Nicole!