Enjoy the cozy warmth of fall with freshly baked gluten free apple cider donuts. Moist and tender cake-like treats infused with the richness of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, along with the sweet tanginess of apple cider. Sadly, not many Apple Orchards offers a Gluten Free version of this Fall must make. This is when this Small Batch Recipe comes in very handy. Six delicious gluten free apple cider donuts made in no time. So good you may even have to double the recipe.
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Gluten Free Flour: I have tried this recipe for Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts with a variety of gluten-free flour blends. I prefer using blends higher in fine ground brown rice flour like my own gluten-free flour blend. King Arthur Measure for Measure, and Bob's Red Mill 1-1 are great choices as well.
Almond Flour: I love adding Almond Flour to my gluten free apple cider doughnuts since its mild, nutty flavor that can enhance the taste of baked goods. It adds a subtle almond taste that pairs well with the apple pie spice and the apple cider. It also contributes to a moist and tender texture. To keep this recipe nut free, please substitute the almond flour with the same amount of gluten-free flour.
Apple Cider: Apple Cider used in this Small Batch Apple Cider Donut Recipe refers to the non-alcoholic beverage made from fresh-pressed apples. It's essentially fresh apple juice that hasn't undergone filtration to remove pulp and sediment, giving it a cloudy appearance. It's known for its sweet and tart apple flavor. Apple Cider is available at Grocery Stores during the fall months. If you have the opportunity though, I recommend picking some up at a nearby Apple Orchard. In a pinch organic, unsweetened apple juice can be used. DO NOT use Apple Cider Vinegar.
Sour Cream: Sour Cream not only provides flavor in these donuts but also fat. Substitute with Greek Yogurt if you like. A dairy-free version may be used.
Apple Cider Reduction
Reducing apple cider before using it in baking can enhance the flavor and consistency of your baked goods.
Reducing apple cider involves simmering it over low heat until a significant portion of its water content evaporates. This process concentrates the natural sweetness and apple flavor of the cider, making it more intense and flavorful. When you use this reduced cider in your baking, it can impart a richer and more pronounced apple taste to your dishes.
To reduce apple cider, simply simmer it in a saucepan over low to medium high heat until it has thickened and reduced by about half. Keep an eye on it to prevent burning, or over-reducing. Once it's reduced, you can let it cool before using it in the Apple Cider Donut Recipe. To quick up the cooling process, I like to transfer the amount needed for this small batch recipe (60 grams) in a small bowl and stick it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.
An Apple Cider reduction can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for 2 weeks.
How to make Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts
This small batch of Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts takes no time to make. All you really need is a few mixing bowls, a whisk, a flexible spatula and a pastry brush. You will also need a baking sheet, parchment paper (easy clean up) and a wire rack. No need to use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer. You will also need one donut pan. I use the donut pans from Wilton.
Step 1: Start by reducing 250 grams of Apple Cider to 100 grams. You will need 65 grams for the Apple Cider Donuts and the remaining 35 grams for the cider glaze.
Step 2: In a seperate bowl combine the gluten-free multi-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, apple pie spice and kosher salt. Make sure to sift or stir it the mixture together.
Step 3: In a large bowl combine the brown sugar, neutral oil, 65 grams apple cider reduction, vanilla extract, sour cream and large egg. Whisk until smooth and fully combined.
Step 4: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk together. You may need to switch to a flexible spatula to make sure everything is combined, and no flour clumps remain.
Step 5: Transfer the gluten-free apple cider donut batter to a pastry bag or a large ziplock bag.
Step 6: Spray the donut pan with nonstick spray and fill each well with the donut batter. You can totally fill them all the way to the top - just make sure not to cover the center of each donut.
Step 7: Gently tap the donut pans against the counter. This will help release the air bubbles caught in the piped donuts.
Step 8: Allow the cider donuts to rest on your counter while the oven preheats to 350F. Just a 10-15 minute rest will help with the hydration of the flour.
Step 9: Place the donut pans in the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes or until a cake tester/toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Step 10: While the apple cider donuts are baking, make the apple spice sugar mixture (You can also use cinnamon to create a cinnamon sugar mixture instead). For the cider glaze, combine the remaining apple cider reduction with melted unsalted butter.
Step 11: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a cooling rack on top. This makes not only clean up easier but also allows the bottoms of the donuts to cool without getting soggy.
Step 12: One baked apple cider donut at a time, brush one side with the apple cider butter mixture and then dip in the spiced sugar mixture. Brush the other side with the melted butter mixture and dip in the sugar. The donuts don't have to be hot to do this since the melter butter will help the sugar to stick to the baked donuts.
Step 13: Transfer the fully coated baked apple cider donuts to the cooling rack. Cool completely or enjoy them while they are still warm.
Storage & Freezing
Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts are the best when freshly baked and still warm. They are the perfect fall treat. Serve them with a mug of homemade hot cocoa or some apple cider for a delicious fall treat. Since this is a small batch recipe and only makes 6 donuts, there won't be a lot of leftovers to worry about.
Should you happen to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Reheat them in the microwave at 50% for 30 seconds.
To freeze the baked apple cider donuts, allow them to cool completely without brushing them with the melted butter or adding the sugar coating. Arrange them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then, transfer the frozen donuts to an airtight container or freezer bag, where once can store them for up to three months. When ready to enjoy, thaw them at room temperature or use the microwave until fully defrosted. If you wish to coat them in sugar, lightly brush the donuts with butter and dip them into the cinnamon mixture.
FAQ - Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts
While both apple cider and apple juice are made from apples, their differences lie in processing, flavor, appearance, shelf life, and usage. Cider is typically less processed and has a fresher, more complex flavor, while juice is clear, sweeter, and has a longer shelf life.
Unsweetened apple juice is the most direct substitute for apple cider. It has a similar apple flavor, although it may be slightly sweeter. It works well in recipes for apple cider donuts. Try to use unsweetened apple juice if possible. You can even add some spices like a cinnamon stick to it when you reduce it to make more flavorful.
While deep-frying is the traditional method for making apple cider donuts, some recipes and bakeries offer baked versions for a slightly different texture. Baked apple cider donuts are a healthier alternative and can still capture the delicious apple and spice flavors associated with this seasonal treat, but they may have a different texture compared to their fried counterparts.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and easy to use. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to gluten-free baking or baking in general. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
More Gluten Free Recipes to try
Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts
- 250 grams Fresh Apple Cider
- 160 grams gluten free multi purpose flour
- 35 grams almond flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 60 grams neutral oil
- 65 grams light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 65 grams full fat sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 35 grams Apple Cider Reduction
- 30 grams unsalted butter
- 65 grams granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice or cinnamon
Apple Cider Reduction
- To a medium sauce pot add 250 grams of Apple Cider and simmer until reduced until you are left with 100 grams. Depending on the size of your saucepan or pot this can take around 10-15 minutes. Once reduced, set it aside and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
How to make Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts
- In a separate bowl sift together, the gluten-free multi-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, apple pie spice and kosher salt. Set Aside.
- In a large bowl combine the brown sugar, neutral oil, 65 grams apple cider reduction, vanilla extract, sour cream and a large egg. Whisk until smooth and fully combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk together. You may need to switch to a flexible spatula to make sure everything is combined, and no flour clumps remain.
- Transfer the gluten-free apple cider donut batter to a pastry bag or a large ziplock bag.
- Spray the donut pan with nonstick spray and fill each well with the donut batter. You can totally fill them all the way to the top - just make sure not to cover the center of each donut.
- Allow the cider donuts to rest on your counter while the oven preheats to 350F.
- Place the donut pans in the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes or until a cake tester/toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- While the apple cider donuts are baking, make the apple spice sugar mixture. Combine the granulated sugar and the apple pie spice and stir together. For the cider glaze, combine the remaining apple cider reduction with melted unsalted butter.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a cooling rack on top. This makes not only clean up easier but also allows the bottoms of the donuts to cool without getting soggy.
- One baked apple cider donut at a time, with a pastry bursh brush one side with the apple cider butter mixture and then dip in the spiced sugar mixture. Brush the other side with the melted butter mixture and dip in the sugar.
- Transfer the fully coated baked apple cider donuts to the cooling rack. Cool completely or enjoy them while they are still warm.
Double the Recipe: The recipe can be doubled and baked in two donut pans.
Nutfree: To make this recipe Nut free, substitute the almond flour with equal amounts of gluten free flour.
Apple Pie Spice: Recipe for Apple Pie Spice can be found here: Homemade Apple Pie Spice
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300
Calories are a guestimate and randomly generated.