Baked Gluten-Free Apple Cider Doughnuts

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Baked Gluten Free Apple Cider Doughnuts with a mug of cider

In my life BGF (Before Gluten-Free), some of my favorite things to eat in the whole, wide world, were hot cider doughnuts sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. They are most often served at apple orchards and county fairs, fresh from the fryer, and passed through take-out windows in greasy paper sacks. I prefer the small doughnuts best, eaten in one or two delicious bites, leaving only a trace of sugar on the fingers. That’s why it was imperative that I figure out how to make gluten-free apple cider doughnuts!

Recipe, images, recipe card updated on 9/19/21

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Baked Gluten Free Apple Cider Doughnuts with a bite
Baked Gluten Free Apple Cider Doughnuts Overhead

You Need These Baked Gluten-Free Apple Cider Doughnuts in Your Life

Cider doughnuts are, arguably, the most autumnal treat of all. Especially when coupled with a visit to an apple orchard, a hayride, and a hot cup of something. Nowadays, I prefer my doughnuts baked instead of fried, and non-stick doughnut pans are key. And, my gluten-free status has all but eliminated my ability to buy them fresh from the apple farm. So I make them at home, natch, and I think they taste just as good!

Gluten Free Apple Cider Doughnuts

My favorite apple cider to use in this recipes isn’t really called cider at all. Rather, it’s the dark brown, unfiltered apple juice found in the refrigerated section of Trader Joe’s. But any unfiltered cider will do. When reduced, like all liquids, it becomes much thicker, richer an deeper in flavor. Cider syrup can be used to top ice cream (or to make it), poured over pancakes or waffles, stirred into cocktails or used as an ingredient in baked goods. The longer it simmers, the thicker it gets. Eventually, it turns into sticky caramelized candy (that will pull out your teeth for sure). For this recipe one cup of cider is simmered until it reduces to 1/2 a cup.  Watch it carefully! I suggest making twice as much cider reduction than the recipe calls for, because you never know when you’ll need the leftovers.

Baked Gluten Free Apple Cider Doughnuts with cider

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Baked Gluten Free Apple Cider Doughnuts

Baked Gluten-Free Apple Cider Doughnuts

Alison Needham
These delectable doughnuts, make the perfect autumn breakfast with a mug of hot cider or coffee. Or try serving them for dessert, topped with vanilla ice cream and cider syrup.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 9 doughnuts
Calories 246 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping

Instructions
 

  • Heat the cider in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until the cider has reduced to ½ cup. Set aside to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9 wells of 2 regular doughnut pans with gluten-free cooking spray. (Tip: if you need to bake the doughnuts in more than one batch, make sure to re-spray the pan with gluten-free cooking spray)
  • Add the flour blend, almond flour, xanthan gum if using, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Add the sugar, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and reduced cider and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into a large zip-top bag and snip about ½ inch off one corner. Carefully pipe mixture into your prepared doughnut pan, filling each well about 3/4 full.
  • Bake the doughnuts until they spring back when gently touched, about 8 minutes for the minis, 10 minutes for the larger ones.
  • Dip or brush the doughnuts with the melted butter just as soon as they are cool enough to handle and gently toss with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  • Serve immediately!

Nutrition

Serving: 1doughnutCalories: 246kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 5gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 313mgPotassium: 68mgFiber: 3gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 239IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 92mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Gluten Free Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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46 Comments

  1. Well, good morning! I am huge on using apple cider reductions in baking and cooking to enhance flavors. So happy to see you feel the same. Cannot wait to bake these, Ali. Thanks for sharing, girl. Pinning! xo

  2. Apple Lover says:

    These look fantastic! Is there a way to make these if we don’t have a donut pan? I saw the pumpkin donut holes recipe you posted – how would you suggest adapting this one to make cider donut holes? Thanks!

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I’m pretty sure that if you baked them in a mini muffin tin they would be just fine. 🙂

    2. I totally baked them in mini muffin pans and they were amazing as bite size donut holes!

  3. Just made these- made the first batch as directed and…amazing! Light, fluffy, not too sweet, so good right out of the oven!

    Made the second batch as apple fritters with the following modifications: added another 1/2C GF flour blend and 2 medium tart apples, finely chopped. Also replaced the sugar with packed brown sugar. Then I fried them in canola oil at 365 degrees until lightly brown. They are so good! Thank you- I love all of your recipes and your blog!

    1. I should add that since the fritters are fried you don’t add the butter for the topping- just toss them in cinnamon and sugar while they are still hot after blotting them on a double layer of paper towels over a cooling rack….I have now frozen both the donuts and the fritters- you can throw them right in the over at 325 for 10-15 minutes and they are fabulous.

  4. Amy Pixton says:

    These look great! Do you think I can freeze these to enjoy throughout the season?

    1. Yes! Bake, cool, wrap tightly with plastic and freeze them before you brush them with butter and toss them with the sugar mixture. When you are ready to eat them, thaw them out and warm them up, then brush them with butter and toss them with sugar. 🙂

  5. I am learning to bake for my 9 year old grandson that has Type 1 Diabetes as well as Celiac. Your recipes look terrific but it would be wonderful if the Nutritional Facts could be included to help adjust the insulin.

  6. We are new to eating gluten free. I made these last weekend and all 5 of us LOVED them. I think next time, I might reduce the apple cider the night before so that there isn’t as much prep time on the morning of.

      1. thank u for the recipe ,

  7. Tom Washington says:

    Splendid outcome. Must be the buttermilk. Perfect! Thank you for posting.

  8. Debbie Wood says:

    Do you have an idea what I could use instead of Buttermilk?? I have to try my best to keep the sodium lower for my husband as well as sugar, as well as GF for me. Kind of tuff to do and still have things taste good.

    1. Hi Debbie,
      You can make your own buttermilk for this recipe by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to 1/2 cup of milk. Hope that helps! 🙂

  9. Can i use more all purpuse gluten free flour in place of the almond flour. Don’t have any on hand right now. I di have sorghum flour thou

  10. Hi, just wondering if I use still or sparkling cider in this recipe?
    Thanks in advance

  11. These look so good! I think donuts are on my top five foods I miss most! I can’t wait to try this recipe! I love your site, and recipes! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  12. This is an excellent recipe and the results rivaled the gluten cider donuts at our local apple orchard! I used 2 cups Better Batter flour(140g/c) and followed the rest of the recipe to the letter. They were moist, light in texture and recipe makes a generous batch. I’m also happy to report that they freeze and re-heat beautifully when properly wrapped. No more over-priced, brick-like confections from the market. Thank you for a gluten free recipe that is worthy of being shared!

      1. Hi Allison,
        As a gf newbie(diagnosed back in Mar. ’13), I’ve slowly tackled revamping my baking repertoire and skill set to adapt to a gf lifestyle but I’ve hit a roadblock as of late. After exhaustive and repeated failed attempts to make a simple yellow cake (for birthdays or as a base for other confections) using recipes from other gf bloggers, I now turn respectfully to you and your advanced gf baking skills. I don’t want to spend $50 + at the gf bakery every time we need an everyday cake or use the gritty gf mixes that abound, but I’m tired of the profoundly flawed recipes (with their dubiously high user ratings) at the sites of some seriously over-hyped gf bloggers. Is there any chance that this project might be on your “to tackle” list in the future?

        1. Yes it is, actually. My kids’ birthdays are all in December and January so hopefully I’ll have a good one for you coming soon. <3

          1. A thousand thanks…looking forward to it! I’m trying your pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe today. My twins (and I) can hardly wait to taste them. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  13. Tried them for second time and they came super awesome.1st time i didn’t have same luck
    Wondering for vainilla flavor,something in specific do i need to do? I want to
    Try a flavor like the original glazed krispy kreme.
    Tks a lot!

  14. Today i found a donut pan, your recipe, and something I only dreamed existed: gluten-free oats, locally available here in country Australia. Oh! Happy day!

  15. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We go apple picking every year and previously one of my favorite parts was eating the apple cider doughnuts sold at the orchard. I haven’t had an apple cider doughnut since I had to go gluten free and thought I would never have another…

    We made your recipe today (I subbed tapioca flour for almond flour because it was much cheaper) and used apple juice instead of apple cider. They were perfect! They were light and fluffy like a “normal” doughnut, not heavy and dense like most gluten free doughnuts I’ve had. Fantastic recipe, thank you for sharing.

  16. Made these tonight and they were amazing!! SO good!! Do not taste gluten free at all!

  17. I made these this afternoon and oh my stars, this recipe is delicious. I’m really, really thrilled with how they turned out! Thank you.

  18. Theses were so good! I subbed ground flax seed for the almond flour & added about 1/3 cup very small, diced pieces of apple. They came out delicious!

  19. I made these donuts today and followed the recipe to the letter. The results were just mehhh….. The plus: donuts are moist a bit like muffins and I liked that the spices came through (although I did add a little extra). The cons: the dough was thick and not at all pipable like yours. I can’t taste the Apple cider at all and they sadly don’t taste like donuts at all, not even “cakey” donuts 🙁

    I really wanted these to work. I’ll keep looking for a better recipe.

  20. Help! I don’t have a doughnut pan! Can I still make them without it? Any tips?

    1. Try making your own donut pan with aluminum foil. You could use a mini Bundt pan as a model, only make the cups more shallow.

  21. Carolyn F says:

    I love these. But because I live above 4,500 elevation in my 2nd batch I added more flour so they would actually be donuts. They are so tasty. I found the tin at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

  22. Judy Bigney says:

    I have food allergy to almonds, is there a different flour you recommend to replace the almond flour in your recipe?

    1. Hi Judy – you can use any other nut flour or just swap for additional gluten free flour blend.

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