Apple Cider Donuts

I Love Them a Bushel & a Peck

Autumn (n.): crisp air and the distinctly dry rustle of scarlet and golden leaves, cinnamon spiced coffee, pumpkins popping up on doorsteps, flannel and vests, long shadows and harvest moons, hay rides, apple picking and cider donuts…

And so much more. It’s simply glorious in so many ways, but for the sake of this piece, let’s focus on those delightful seasonal treats that have been sparse if not absent from my personal falls since becoming Celiac.

Cider donuts. AKA, the reason I go “apple picking.” I put that in quotes because if we compare the number of times I’ve gone apple picking and actually picked apples to the number of times I’ve gone to an orchard just for donuts and cider, let’s just say I’ve yet to come home with a bushel and a peck.

I scoured the internet for a gluten-free cider donut recipe and I think I’ve found the golden ticket. This recipe is slightly adapted from Alison’s version at A Girl Defloured (how fantastic is that blog name?!), and I owe her every ounce of gratitude for enabling me to fill my belly with these traditional autumn treats once more. Light, fluffy, and one-is-not-enough, they are by far the best.donut.ever, no bones about it.

Enjoy the quick video first — you’ll see just how easy it is to make these delicious treats!


¼ c. melted butter
¾ c. sugar
1 ½ t. cinnamon

2 c. unfiltered apple cider
¼ c. butter, softened
½ c. sugar
2 eggs
½ c. buttermilk (shake!)
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1 ¾ c. gluten-free flour blend*
¼ c. almond flour
½ t. xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend contains it)
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. ground nutmeg

*I use a gluten-free flour blend from America’s Test Kitchen: The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook, a fabulous book for those seeking alternatives to the gluten-filled goodies filling many of our shelves. King Arthur makes a great all-purpose blend, and Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour has done the trick for me on numerous occasions.

How to Make the Iconic Autumn Treat

  1. Heat the apple cider over high until simmering. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until reduced to a half cup. Set aside to cool.

    (Note: For richer flavor reduce a greater amount of cider to half a cup — for example, I reduced 4 cups thinking I’d keep the extra half cup…but decided to keep it simmering, the amber hues becoming darker, the liquid thickening just a bit more, and the flavor becoming even deeper.)

  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  3. Grease and flour 2 mini donut pans. (A mini muffin tin works well, too!) You’ll need to do this twice, though, as the recipe makes 20-24 mini donuts.

  4. Cream the butter and sugar with a hand mixer until well-blended.

  5. Add the eggs, buttermilk, reduced apple cider, and vanilla and beat thoroughly.

  6. Fold in the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

  7. Using a pastry bag with a wide round tip or a ziploc bag with a corner snipped off, pipe the batter into the greased and floured pans filling each well halfway.

  8. Bake the mini donuts for 8 minutes, or until they spring back to the touch. Cool on a wire rack about 10 minutes.

  9. In the meantime, make the topping by whisking together the sugar and cinnamon.

  10. Once the donuts are cool (it’s quick!), lightly brush melted butter on the donuts and sprinkle the topping all over. You will use less or more mixture depending on how sugary you like your donuts. (I think you know which camp I was in!)

Enjoy! They’re best when eaten immediately, but unlike their fried cousins from the orchard, they are still delightful for up to 5 days when wrapped in plastic. They can also be frozen, but do not brush with butter or add the sugar mixture until you’re ready to eat them. (Truth be told, I highly doubt you won’t eat or share every last one before the freezer is even an option!)

Want to know what tools and ingredients I use in the kitchen? Find me on the app at turquoiseandsunshine.

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