Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes
Delicious donut holes that are loaded with the flavors of apple cider and rolled around in cinnamon sugar. Use this recipe to make donut holes or donuts, either way, they’re super-moist and soft little pillows. They’re baked, not fried, which makes them totally waistline friendly!
All my shouting is totally 100% necessary. When there’s apple cider in my donut holes, I’m guaranteed to shout (and let it all out)! And we’re shouting with joy because no hot oil baths were necessary in the making of these apple cider donut holes! That deserves a double donut thumbs fo’ sho. Or you could simply say they were baked. But that’s totally not as fun to say. Or as dramatic.
These pillowy, cute little munchkins are almost good for you (mainly because they’re not fried) but they also can be made with coconut oil instead of butter, have apple sauce + apple cider for a pow-pow apple flavor annnnddd the best part = rolled around in cinnamon sugar goodness. ❤
In a perfect sort of world, no one would have work, we’d all get together on a perfectly crisp fall mornings (because perfectly crisp fall mornings are absolutely the best). We’d sit around being lazy all day and share a plate full of these cute, little donut holes with big mugs of piping hot french pressed coffee and talk about how easy life is. Sharing a good laugh or two along the way, and definitely not counting the number of donut holes the other was able to tuck away. Good friends don’t count each others consumed donut holes. It’s friendship 101, isn’t it?
How perfect would that be?
These donut holes are ridiculously easy to make and the batter is mixed together by hand in a matter of minutes! That’s right, no mixer required. Once you’ve mixed the donut batter together just pour it into a mini muffin pan. I used the cutest mini-er than mini muffin pan. It’s available here if you’re interested. This super mini pan makes the perfect sized donut holes. It’s totally not required, a regular mini muffin pan works just fine, so don’t sweat it! But if you’re someone who loves donut holes like I do, it’s totally worth it!
You can even make baked donuts (see here for pan) out of these if you prefer them over the donut holes. Simply bake them for 9-12 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The donut holes are just so poppable so I went with those instead of the donuts.
These donut holes are most definitely the perfect way to start a lazy saturday morning. They’re fall perfect and pair wonderfully with a steaming cup o’joe and belong with a good book. Pajamas are absolutely mandatory and consuming a whole plate is totally acceptable.
Also, the donut holes would be divine dunked in my apple cider caramel sauce. You’re welcome 😉
I’ll just leave you with these little cuties.
For the baked apple cider donut hole:
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons apple sauce, naturally sweetened - no sugar added
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cinnamon sugar coating:
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
For the baked apple cider donut holes:
- Start by simmering the apple cider with the 2 cloves in a small saucepan over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the apple cider reduces down to 1/2 cup. Remove the cloves from the concentrate and pour the apple cider into a container and refrigerate while you prepare the donut batter.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a mini muffin pan, a super mini muffin pan or a donut pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the egg, melted butter, and brown sugar, whisk until smooth. Then, add in the apple sauce, vanilla, buttermilk, and the apple cider concentrate.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Its okay if a few small lumps remain.
- Pour the batter by the teaspoon into the prepared muffin pans about 3/4s of the way full. Make sure to not overfill. Bake the donut holes for 9-11 minutes. Super mini donut holes take between 8-11 minutes. If making donuts, they will take about 9-12 minutes.
For the cinnamon sugar coating:
- In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon together. Dip the tops of each donut hole into the melted butter then coat with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat with all the donut holes (donuts). Depending on how long you dip the donuts into the butter, you may need more butter and/or more cinnamon sugar.
- Donuts taste best the same day but can be stored up to 2 days if tightly wrapped and kept at room temperature.
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