Here's a way you can have your donut and eat it too: these perfect Baked Apple Pie Donuts with a bright, tart-sweet glaze of apples and maple syrup mixed in with the comforting warmth of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
I am not a donut person, although I can't say the same for the rest of my family. The last time I ate a memorable vegan donut was probably at Voodoo Donuts in Portland and that was a few years ago. Sometimes, I have satisfied the cravings of my little kid and the big one by making donuts the old-fashioned way: by dunking them into a bubbling pot of oil, all the time mumbling and grumbling because I felt like a horrible person trying to kill my family with my cooking.
Until I picked up this nifty little baking pan at the store and my perception of donuts changed forever.
I don't usually buy fancy baking gear, and most of the stuff I have -- pretty and plain -- comes from thrift stores. But how could I resist the donut baking pan? I can now make fairly healthy donuts (does that sound like an oxymoron or what?) for Jay and Desi and feel like a saint. There's even a pan available for making teeny little donuts -- it's so cute, you will just want to take it home and cuddle it.
These baked apple pie donuts are truly amazing: moist, sweet, and so tasty that it could be hard to rein yourself in with just one. In which case, try making them in the teeny pan instead of the regular one. Easy portion control!
I can't think of a better way to welcome Fall.
Baked Apple Pie Donuts (they're whole wheat!)
- 1 ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour or 1 cup whole wheat flour + ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 ½ cups applesauce
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 tbsp molasses (optional but I really like the richness of flavor it adds)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup avocado or other flavorless vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- For the maple-apple-pie glaze:
- ¼ cup to ½ maple syrup
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 1 apple peeled, cored, then grated coarsely
- 2 tbsp nondairy milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.
- In a larger bowl,beat together the oil, applesauce, sugar, vanilla extract, and molasses if using. You can do this with a handheld whisk or with electric beaters or in a stand mixer. Make sure everything is thoroughly integrated.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches and stir just until everything has blended together. Don't overwork the batter.
- Spray a donut pan lightly with oil. If you have more than one, lucky you, because this batter makes 18 donuts. I had to hang around the kitchen to get my one pan in and out of the oven three times.
- Fill the wells of the donut pan nearly to the top, but make sure you don't cover the center, or your donut won't have a hole. 🙂
- Bake the donuts 18-20 minutes for each batch, or until a toothpick near the center comes out with a few dry crumbs sticking to it.
- Turn the donuts on to a rack and let them cool thoroughly before glazing.
- Make the glaze:
- In a saucepan, place the apple, maple syrup, spices and bring to a boil. Lower the heat until the liquid simmers, and let it cook about 10 minutes until the apples are really soft.
- Add the nondairy milk, stir in, and turn off the heat. Let the glaze cool until it's lukewarm.
- Glaze the donuts while they're still warm, either by pouring on the glaze or brushing it on.
Bake with apples: