These baked apple cider donut holes are gluten free and 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.
Apple Cider Donuts (or Mini Muffins!)
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.
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.
Choosing An Apple Cider
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.
Gluten Free Flour Recommendations
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.
Fall Baking Recipes
If you liked these baked apple cider donut holes, you'll love some of these other fall recipes!
Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes (Gluten Free)
- 1½ cups apple cider this will be reduced to ½ cup to use in the recipe
- 2 cloves
- 1⅓ cups flour I used ½ Arrowhead Mills Oat & ½ Bob’s Red Mill Rice flour
- ⅓ cup organic cane sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup plain apple sauce * see note
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Topping - This covers 12 donut holes. If you’re skipping the glaze double this recipe.
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoon apple cider
- 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 ½ cup remaining. Remove the cloves and measure out to ½ cup. Set aside in the refrigerator to cool
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 24 count donut hole pan or a mini muffin pan.
- 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.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
- 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.
- 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. Dip the donut holes in the butter and then into the cinnamon sugar to coat evenly. Dip the donuts into the glaze or drizzle it on top.
- Regular all purpose flour can be used, or for gluten free use ⅔rd cup of oat flour and ⅔rd cup of brown rice flour. If using all purpose flour, keep in mind these will bake faster, so you may need to shorten the time. Start checking about 3 minutes before.
- For the apple sauce, check for additives or added sugar. I used Publix Greenwise brand.