Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes – Gluten Free

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gluten free donut holes on a black cooling rack

These baked (and gluten free) apple cider donut holes are sweet, spicy and wonderful for fall! Cinnamon and nutmeg highlight the delicious apple flavor for the perfect fall treat. Two different options are available for toppings – a crunchy cinnamon sugar and decadent apple cider glaze.

I love spicy treats. So waiting for fall to come around to enjoy them is not my style. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to spice up your breakfast any time of the year. I mean cinnamon apples are delicious, even in the middle of spring. These donut holes add just the spicy, cinnamon apple kick I was searching for and are such a joy to make.

How To Make Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes

Start by warming apple cider and cloves on the stove top which fills your house with a delightful aroma. I have troublesome fragrance sensitivities that tag along with my vestibular migraine, but warm apple cider is definitely not one of them. I find the fragrance calming and hope you will as well.

The batter is super easy to hand mix with a fork – no mixer mess required for this one. I don’t own a donut hole pan, and if you don’t either, not to worry, a mini muffin pan will work just fine. 

Donut holes crusted in cinnamon sugar in a colorful bowl on a table

You can make this recipe using either all purpose flour, or gluten free by combining oat flour with brown rice flour. I’ve made both ways and it’s wonderful! The gluten free version occasionally takes a bit longer to cook than the all purpose flour, so keep an eye your apple cider donut holes when baking.

Apple Cider Tips for Gluten Free Apple Cider Donut Holes

Did you know that in the United States apple cider is just raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process to remove coarse particles or pulp?  Outside the U. S., cider usually refers to a fermented, alcoholic beverage. It’s what Americans call hard cider. Hard cider is not what you’re looking for here.

Look for an alcohol free, dark, freshly pressed juice that contains visible sediment at the bottom of the jug. Spiced apple cider is fine too. Just give the ingredients a peek to be sure they’re safe for a migraine diet, if following. You can usually find it in the cold case located in the produce section of the grocery store, rather than in the juice aisle. 

Apples with red skins are high in tannins so if you are tannin sensitive you may want to refrain from this one or consider juicing your own green or yellow apples for this recipe.  That said, apples of every color are considered safe if you are following the Heal Your Headache or The Charleston migraine diets so most can use apples with confidence. 

Someone dipping a donut hole into a glaze with cooling donut holes on a rack in the background

Flour Recommendations

The flours used for these gluten free apple cider donut holes can be found here (Arrowhead Mills Oat Flour) and here (Bob’s Red Mill Organic Rice Flour).

Cinnamon apple cider donut holes in a bowl next to apples

For more recipes from The Dizzy Baker, check out these posts. And check out the Pinterest page for more migraine friendly holiday recipes!

This post has been updated as of September 28, 2019 and contains affiliate links.

5 from 2 votes
Gluten Free Apple Cider Donut Holes - Cinnamon Sugar and Glazed | Migraine Diet and Heal Your Headache
Apple Cider Donut Holes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Resting Time
5 mins
Total Time
45 mins

A fall delight with cinnamon and nutmeg flavors! These can be made gluten free or with regular all purpose flour, and glazed or cinnamon sugar coated. 

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple Cider Donut Holes, Gluten Free
Servings: 24 donut holes
Calories: 71 kcal
Author: Jennifer Bragdon
Donut Holes
  • 1 - 1/3 cups flour I used ½ Arrowhead Mills Oat & ½ Bob’s Red Mill Rice flour
  • 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plain apple sauce * see note
  • 1 - 1/2 cups apple cider this will be reduced to 1/2 cup to use in the recipe
Cinnamon Sugar Topping - This covers 12 donut holes. If you’re skipping the glaze double this recipe.
  • 1/4 cup melted, unsalted butter check for additives
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Glaze Topping
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp apple cider
  1. Start by simmering 1 ½ cups apple cider with 2 cloves in a small saucepan over med-low heat for about 20 minutes. You should have at least 1/2 cup remaining. Remove the cloves and measure out to 1/2 cup. Set aside in the refrigerator to cool

  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 24 count donut hole pan or a mini muffin pan. 

  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add egg, applesauce, vanilla and apple cider reduction and stir with a fork. Divide the batter between 24 mini muffin cups, about 2 tablespoons each.

  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

  5. Let the donuts cool for 5 minutes then gently remove them from the pan and place them onto a cooling rack with a cookie sheet underneath. This will catch all of the drippings from the toppings soon to come.  

  6. In separate bowls, stir together your glaze topping and your cinnamon & sugar topping. Melt butter 45 seconds in the microwave. You should now have three topping bowls. Butter, cinnamon sugar and glaze.  

Recipe Notes
  • Regular all purpose flour can be used, or for gluten free use 2/3rd cup of oat flour and 2/3rd cup of brown rice flour.
  • For the apple sauce, check for additives or added sugar. I used Publix Greenwise brand.
Nutrition Facts
Apple Cider Donut Holes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 71
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Hi, I’m Jennifer. I was diagnosed with Vestibular Migraine in 2016 and my neurotologist added a Ménière’s Disease mild diagnosis in 2018. I went from being housebound for months to working full time and living an active full life by following the Migraine Strong treatment pie. Preventative meds, the Heal Your Headache Diet and supplements do a lot of the heavy lifting in relieving my symptoms. Catch my recipes each month under "The Dizzy Baker".


  1. Eileen Zollinger

    5 stars
    Yum!! Can’t wait to try these!!


  2. Rachel

    I thought apple cider vinegar wasn’t allowed in the HYH diet? I thought it was only clear/white vinegar that was allowed.


    1. Alicia

      Hi Rachel, You are correct that it isn’t allowed! Jenn is using regular apple cider juice here, not the vinegar. She has some tips for how to find the juice in her post.


  3. K

    5 stars
    So excited I can have apple cider donuts!!! The fairs here have apple cider donuts, so being able to emulate that.. YES!! Thank you for your helpful info for each recipe. It’s so refreshing to have someone explain everything and things we didn’t know.


    1. Alicia

      You’re welcome. 🙂 We never have apple cider donuts at our fair so I’m quite jealous of yours. I’m going to guess these will be much more guilt free!


    2. Anzari

      Hello! Can i use flax or chia egg? Can i also use coconut sugar? Thank you.


  4. Amanda

    Hi there! My daughter has an egg allergy, do you think I could make this with an egg replacer? Maybe flax eggs? It looks amazing!


    1. Alicia

      I think so, but truthfully I’ve never done it before. I’ve heard good things about letting the flax or chia “egg” sit overnight for a better binding. You’ll have to let me know if you try it! I’d love to be able to make some of these for my egg-free friends.


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