These apple cider doughnuts are tender, soft, and full of fall flavor! Best of all, the batter is made in a blender – just pour into the doughnut pan and bake! Oh, and they’re vegan, gluten-free, and (almost) oil-free. Easy, healthy, AND tasty? It’s true!
If you’ve been around these parts for a while, you’ll know I like a good blender muffin. We started with the base recipe, then went to chocolate, then carrot cake, then pumpkin, then fancied it up with pistachio and cardamom, and finally did an apple cinnamon version for an awesome kid named Hero. There’s also a raspberry one that you get when you subscribe to my e-mail list. But I digress.
At some point along the way I had the crazy idea to pour the blender muffin batter into a doughnut pan instead of a muffin liner. Now, just so we’re all on the same page, I get a lot of crazy ideas. Not all of them work. Just ask my husband.
Ever the optimist, I focus on the fact that some of my crazy ideas actually DO work, and that’s how apple cider blender doughnuts came to be.
What’s in the doughnut?
I’m sure you’ve deduced that apple cider blender doughnuts contain apple cider. Just to be clear, we’re talking about the liquid pressed from apples, not hard cider, or apple cider vinegar. My pumpkin blender muffins call for apple cider also, and I’ll never forget the day when I got a nasty comment from the lady who made them with TWO CUPS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. Yikes. If you can’t find apple cider, apple juice will work just fine. Then you’ll need rolled oats (old-fashioned, not quick), pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), sugar or maple syrup, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Yes, these are basically oatmeal doughnuts, which means you can eat them for breakfast with no regret. You’re welcome.
Next, add all of those ingredients to a blender and…blend. You know those recipes that say “1-bowl” as a way to indicate simplicity? Well, these are No-bowl. Take that! Now I am sure you are asking…
How full should you fill the doughnut pan?
Answer: Fill the doughnut pan all the way full with batter. But don’t cover up the little divider in the middle unless you don’t like your doughnuts to have holes. In which case, you should probably just make these as muffins. Which, by the way, you can totally do.
How do you keep doughnuts from sticking to the pan?
Ok, so I really really wanted to try to avoid oil when making these doughnuts. I used a nonstick doughnut pan (which is awesome, by the way), and made a batch without any baking spray. They STUCK. There was no getting those babies out without them completely falling apart. Then, I tried a quick spritz of baking spray – they came out effortlessly. I also looked at other “oil-free” doughnut recipes, and guess what? Every single one calls for using nonstick spray on the pans. So…..if you cannot have oil of any kind, these probably won’t work for you. But, they are amazing as mini muffins, and you could think of them as misshapen doughnut holes. 🙂
How long does it take to bake doughnuts?
Bake the doughnuts at 375F for 15-18 minutes, and then let them cool in the pan for about ten minutes before moving on to the coating.
These doughnuts are delicious straight up, but they are taken to the next level with a generous dusting of cinnamon and sugar. To get the coating to stick, brush them lightly with apple cider and then immediately dip them in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Then when you eat them you’ll get a satisfying little crackle of sweetness before the soft apple-y inside greets your tongue. Good times.
I feel the need to point out that I did not put the doughnut with the bite taken out back on top of the stack of uneaten doughnuts. Am I the only one who appreciates this? Please tell me in the comments. I need to know I’m not alone. Thank you in advance.
Now I’m off to test all of my blender muffin recipes to see if they will doughnut or not. What a horrible job I have.
Apple Cider Blender Doughnuts
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cups pepitas
- 2 cups apple cider or apple juice
- 1/2 cup sugar or maple syrup*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Add all ingredients except for the topping into a blender.
- Blend all ingredients until no large pieces of oats or pepitas remain.
- Prepare doughnut pans by coating with nonstick spray.
- Pour batter immediately into the doughnut pans, being careful to not to overfill the center divider.
- Bake for 18 minutes and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
- Mix topping ingredients in a small bowl.
- Brush apple cider on the top of each doughnut and immediately dip it into the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
- Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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Oh my goodness, Beth! These look absolutely divine! You mentioned we could use sugar or maple syrup – the same quantity of maple syrup? I wasn’t sure if that would make it too “liquidy”. And is coconut sugar okay? Can’t wait to make these! Now, off to order a doughnut pan…
Thanks so much, Lisa! <3 I totally forgot to add that part about the maple syrup in the recipe, I’ll do that now! It is the same quantity of maple syrup, but cutting back on the apple cider by 1/4 cup. Coconut sugar is just fine! I just ordered a two-pack of doughnut pans myself, I only have one and it’s not enough. 🙂
Great, thanks so much!! I may try it both ways. You know, just for the sake of recipe testing. ;;) Have a great day!
Recipe testing is my favorite thing to do! 🙂 You have a great day as well. Would love to hear how they turn out for you!
I trusted you when it came to carrot hot dogs., so I’m excited to try these. Many of my favorites in there: oats, maple syrup, apple cider…and that doughnut pan needs to come out of hiding .
I’m honored that I earned your trust with the carrot dogs. 🙂 Unearth the doughnut pan! Would love to hear what you think if you make these. <3
I love them! Mine were still warm when I dipped them into the topping, didn’t need to brush them to make it stick. Definitely adding these to the repertoire. I will add more spices to them next time–that’s how we roll around here. I love one pan/pot/bowl recipes.
I made them again, added a teaspoon of apple pie spice, and glazed with a very simple maple glaze. Five star.
It occurs to me that they are muffins baked in a donut pan, which magically turns them into donuts. (More crust, more Maillard reaction.) Ready to do this to more muffin recipes. And mac and cheese. Savory loaf donuts “frosted” with ketchup. Thanks, Beth! I love your recipes.
These look amazing! After a few years living out of the country I am so happy to be back to the land of apple cider! That apple cider vinegar story made me chuckle and I definitely appreciate that you did not “contaminate” the stack of donuts. 🙂 Thank you so much, Beth! Your recipes are always delicious and your stories always make me smile. 🙂
Welcome back to the land of apple cider! 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind comment, Sarah, it made my day. <3
I’m so ready for fall…these will be perfect!
~Have a lovely day!
I’m ready for fall too! Hope you’ll let me know if you make these. <3 Have a lovely day as well!
Kim Koeshall says
Just wondering if I could use a different kind of seed or nut instead of pepita’s as they aren’t readily available in our little town. Like maybe walnuts, pecans, or almond butter?
Randy Hays says
Sunflower seeds are close
Hi Beth! These donuts look delicious. I may have to finally invest in some donut pans. (I turn 47 next Friday and to think I’ve never owned one. I’m overdue!) I think my two kids and I would devour these autumnal gems. My English hubby, unfortunately, is not a fan of cinnamon. But perhaps I can just leave some au natural, sans the cinnamon and sugar topping, so he could enjoy them too. I definitely side on your team and appreciate that you did not “contaminate” the stack of unsampled donuts with the bite-taken-out donut. I’m a bit of a germaphobe (okay, my family might quibble with the “a bit” part). With cold and flu season on the way it seems even more important to keep the donut stack sanitary. 😉 Before I go I just want to let you know I appreciate your sense of humor and always enjoy reading your posts. Thanks for sharing your recipes and yourself. 🙂
Thank you so much Victoria! Your comment made my heart happy and put a big smile on my face. My son Josh asks me to leave the “sandy stuff” off, so he and your husband are in good company when it comes to leaving off the topping. They’ll still be great! And thank you for letting me know that I’m not alone in keeping the doughnuts uncontaminated. 🙂
Well, hello there, fall-flavored donut! Thanks for sharing this recipe! I have neither a donut pan nor a space to put a donut pan. But muffins? Yes, please.
I hear that! Sometimes I have enough leftover batter for a few muffins and it’s so nice to be able to do either option. Hope you’ll let me know if you give them a try as muffins! 🙂
Hi Beth, I don’t have pepitas, so what other seed/nut would you recommend? Thank you.
Great recipe Beth! My husband loves apple cider donuts from the orchard. I made these into mini muffs and they are perfect! Excellent fried donut replacement. Thanks for sharing your time and creativity with us.
John D says
I chickened out and added a half cup of whole wheat flour to two and a half cups oats. I was afraid they would not rise right but won’t do it again. I need to trust more…haha. Didn’t have pumpkin seed so I used leftover chopped walnuts I brought home from the set last week. Chopped a Fuji apple up that I had just picked from my mother’s tree. Blended ingredients then added sauteed chopped Apple before I put in pans. Used regular size muffin pans. They looked beautiful. Dipped in apple juice and cinnamon sugar while still warm. I can’t believe my 86 year old parents had 2 each. They didn’t even let them cool down. I can’t believe my mega picky father loved them. He would freak out if he ever knew how nutritious they are…haha.
Thanks for turning them on to me. Will definitely make them again.
Los Osos, Californee
Pamela Berry says
I’ve made these a few times and really like them. It’s great that something so healthy can be so good! [A note, though — these are only gluten free if you use certified gluten-free oats and non-alcohol based vanilla extract. My son-in-law is extremely sensitive to gluten, and he explained to me that unless the ingredients list what the alcohol is made from he has to assume it is grain alcohol, which he would react to.] I use the maple syrup and add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the batter. I put about 3/8″ of batter into the bottoms of regular muffin pans and they come out like fat, soft cookies or mini-muffins. It makes enough to fill 24 muffin pan spaces at that depth and have enough left to bake myself a big cookie in the bottom of an aluminum pie pan (24 is all the muffin pans I have).
Rhonda Berg says
Could this recipe be adapted for muffin top pans? If so, how?
Love your recipes!
I’m late in trying these and posting this – but we LOVED this recipe! So delicious! So easy! I baked them as muffins; using silicone muffin liners. Cooled them 10-15 minutes and they popped right out. No oil was necessary. Another hit! Thanks Beth!