These baked vegan apple cider donuts are easy-to-make and such an amazing treat to make in the fall! They are loaded with delicious warming spices and also nicely coated with a cinnamon sugary layer, although you can skip the sugar coat for a lower-in-sugar recipe. Also made dairy-free and without eggs.
Now that the fall is here to stay, then it's time to make some vegan apple cider donuts!
And they cannot be easier to make at home... it's pretty much like making spiced muffins, but using a donut pan instead. So simple!
These vegan donuts are filled with amazing fall spice flavors, they are nicely tender and moist and also baked in the oven instead of deep fried. The combo of cinnamon and nutmeg feels like getting a cozy warm hug and we absolutely loved the crunchy cinnamon sugar crust that adds so much texture and flavor.
The apple cider brings a subtle sweetness naturally, some hints of apple flavor and also just enough acidity to help fluff the donuts nicely and make them lighter. You can also use any fresh-pressed apple juice if that's easier or if you are not making them during apple season, although the real thick and dark apple cider is going to bring you the best flavor!
Enjoy with a nice cup of warm tea such as a matcha latte or a lavender milk tea. Or even better, make yourself a warm cup of apple cider to pair them with for the ultimate cozy treat. Such a nice dessert recipe to make in the fall!
Hope you give them a try! ❤️
Highlights of this recipe
- Healthier recipe: baking them in the oven instead of deep frying them will give you donuts that are as delicious, but much healthier! To boost their nutrient content even more, feel free to swap some of the flour for whole wheat flour (but no more than half the total amount) and you can skip the sugary coating as well.
- Easy and quick to make: these are not harder to prepare than making muffins. All you need is a donut pan! I used this donut pan from the brand Bellemain, which worked out well. And the donuts didn't stick at all!
- Amazing classic fall treat: loaded with spices and make them during apple season using organic apple cider for best flavor.
- Completely vegan (meaning also dairy-free + egg-free).
Ingredients you'll need
- Flour: I used a regular all-purpose flour for this recipe. You might be able to use a combo of 50/50 whole wheat + all-purpose flours without changing the texture too much.
- Baking soda: leveling agent.
- Spices: I used a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg, but feel free to use other spices such as pumpkin spice mix or chai spice mix.
- Coconut sugar: its caramelized flavor works so well in this recipe. Although I haven't tried it yet, regular light brown sugar should work as well.
- Ground flax seed: acts as a binder when mixed within the batter and also adds extra nutrients such as omega-3 healthy fats and fiber.
- Coconut oil: use refined oil to avoid a stronger coconut flavor.
- Apple cider: adds so much flavor! I also tested this recipe using regular apple juice and it worked out well, although the flavor was more subtle.
How to make vegan apple cider donuts
Make the batter
First combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl (flour, salt, baking soda, spices and coconut sugar).
Then, in a medium bowl, combine the ground flax seeds with the water and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then, add the melted coconut oil and room temperature apple cider and whisk well.
Pour the wet over the dry and stir to combine.
Transfer the batter equally into your donut pan (makes for 6 large donuts). Then, bake for 13-15 minutes.
Once done, let the donuts slightly cool down in the pan for about 5 minutes, then gently unmold them. For me what works best is to gently knock the pan upside down on the counter until they fall off, but you can also use a knife to help unmolding them. Just be careful not to break them, especially when still warm and delicate!
Combine extra coconut or brown sugar with cinnamon in a medium shallow bowl.
Then, cover the donut with melted coconut oil or more apple cider (or spay avocado oil over, you just need a sticky factor) and then cover with the sugar mixture.
Watch how I make them
- Just like making muffins, be sure not to over mix the batter! This will help keep them fluffy and light and avoid harder and dense donuts.
- If not using a non-stick donut pan, then don't forget to spray some oil over the pan before transferring the batter so they unmold easily after baked.
- If using apple cider that was in the fridge, then you will have to first let it warm up at room temperature (or warm up for a few seconds using the microwave). If super cold when mixing with the melted coconut oil, then it will harden the oil!
- I find it so much easier to distribute the batter into the donut pan using a piping bag! If you don't have any, then use a large plastic bag with one of the tip cut off or feel free to use a spoon instead.
- For a stronger apple flavor, then you can first simmer some apple cider (maybe start with double the amount) on the stove uncovered until reduced, about 15 minutes. THEN, measure the 1 cup that you need. This will concentrate the flavor even more!
- You can also add a few small pieces of apple chunks within the batter for more texture.
- Watch them while baking! Mine are done every time at the 14 minute mark, but every ovens is different and yours might be done sometime between 13-15 minutes.
- If you want to avoid coating the donuts with extra sugar, then you can simply skip that step completely or drizzle some vegan icing over.
These donuts definitely feel more fresh and simply are better the same day they are made. Over time, the oil and sugar coating will be absorbed by the donuts and will change in texture. If you can, try to eat them within 24 hours, which I'm sure will not be a problem!
If you want to keep them for longer, then cover them well and keep them at room temperature (transfer in the fridge after 24 hours though). I would recommend to slightly warm them up for a few seconds in the microwave before enjoying them, especially if they were in the fridge. The coating will change after that, but they will stay pretty good still!
I haven't tried it yet, but I'm thinking that the coconut oil could be swapped for apple sauce. The donuts might be more dense though. Also, simply use more apple cider to coat the donut before tossing in the sugar.
This 1:1 gluten-free flour from King Arthur usually is a great replacement to regular flours when baking gluten-free.
Yes! They fluff nicely, so be sure not to fill the muffin tins to the top (I would aim to fill them to about ¾ full) and I'm expecting that you will need to bake them for a little longer, about 18-20 minutes. Check for doneness using a toothpick: it should come out clean!
More vegan fall recipes you might like
- Pumpkin spice brownies
- Pumpkin overnight oats
- Kale apple crunch salad
- Apple cinnamon bread
- Oatmeal pear and raisin bars
- Chai banana smoothie
- Maple pecan overnight oats
- Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
- Sweet potato and maple granola
- Vegan creamy squash soup
- Garden vegetable pasta sauce
- Vegan squash mac and cheese
I hope you like these vegan donuts as much as we do! If you try them, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how they were. Your feedback is so helpful!
Vegan Apple Cider Donuts (Baked)
- Donut pan
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp refined coconut oil - melted
- 1 cup room temperature apple cider - NOT APPLE CIDER VINEGAR! You are looking for the dark apple juice.
- 1 tbsp ground flax + 2 tablespoons of water
- ½ cup granulated sugar of your choice
- 1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice mix
- 4 tbsp melted coconut oil or avocado oil spray or more apple cider - to brush over the donuts for stickiness
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, spices, coconut sugar and salt).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the ground flax seed with the 2 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then stir in the melted coconut oil and room temperature apple cider.
- Pour the wet ingredient over the dry and stir to combine without over mixing.
- Transfer the batter into your donut pan (makes for 6 donuts). I like using a piping bag to do that as it is less messy, but you can also simply scoop the batter using a spoon.
- Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Once done, let them slightly cool down in the pan before unmolding them (I simply knock the pan upside down on the counter).
- In a medium size shallow bowl, combine the extra sugar with the cinnamon. Then, one by one, spray some coconut oil or avocado oil or even some more apple cider (you need a sticky factor) over each donuts and then roll/toss into the sugar mixture until mostly covered. Enjoy!
- These vegan donuts are best when just prepared as the sugar coating will change in texture over time. Try to enjoy them within 24 hours and keep them covered at room temperature (transfer to the fridge after 24 hours).
- If you want to avoid sprinkling sugar over, then you can also drizzle a vegan icing over.