Healthy Recipe: Baked Apple Cider Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar

You don’t often find healthy and donuts in the same sentence. But if you try baking instead of deep frying, you can cut the grease and still enjoy that cute shape. These autumn treats are sweetened with apple cider, scented with cinnamon, and dusted with sugar. If you don’t have donut pans, you can use a standard muffin pan with 12 cups.


1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) apple cider
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup (4 oz/125 g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups (7½ oz/235 g) whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) low-fat buttermilk

For the cinnamon sugar:
¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set out 2 nonstick donut pans (12 rings total). Lightly spray the pans with vegetable oil cooking spray.  

Pour the apple cider into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook down until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the butter to melt. Set aside and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and egg. Stir in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir a few times. Add the buttermilk and apple cider mixture and stir just until smooth.  

Divide the batter between the rings in the prepared pan. Bake until the donuts are puffed and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before turning out of the pans.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Roll the warm donuts in the cinnamon sugar to coat, gently shaking off any excess.

Serve the apple cider donuts warm, or cool completely, transfer to an airtight container, and store for up to 2 days.

Makes 12 donuts

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories 130
Protein 2 g
Total fat 3 g
Saturated fat 1.5 g
Carbs 25 g
Fiber 1 g
Total sugars 16 g
Added sugars 13
Sodium 130 mg

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