Combining the warm, comforting flavors of apple and warm spices with the satisfaction of a donut, these Baked Apple Butter Donuts are the perfect treat with fall vibes. Moist, lightly spiced and then dipped in a maple glaze, this recipe will be a new favorite!
Irresistible with fresh apple taste and cozy cinnamon spice, these baked apple butter donuts only get better when topped with a maple glaze! If you love autumn treats with fresh apples, you will love baking with apple butter!
It’s a spiced version of applesauce that adds both moisture and taste to baked goods and it is particularly delicious in the fall during apple season. I use apple butter in these apple butter cinnamon rolls and it gives them the best seasonal taste.
Baked apple donuts are easy to make and the best part is there is no frying involved! The results are a light, cakey homemade donut that is tender, moist and perfect for breakfast. Try these cinnamon cake donuts and mocha cake donuts, too!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Simple ingredients: With a cake batter base, these donuts come together with a few simple ingredients. It’s the best way to use fresh apples from the apple orchard outing!
- Easy to make: If you can make a muffin or cupcake, you can make these homemade donuts, there are no complicated steps and all you need is a bowl and a donut pan.
- No messy frying: When you make baked apple butter donuts there is need for a frying pan, no worrying about having the right oil temperature and no cleaning up hot oil splatter!
- Fall flavor: Warm spices and apple butter with a sweet maple glaze give these donuts the best fall flavor. These doughnuts are cozy, delicious and perfect for long weekends.
BAKED APPLE DONUT RECIPE INGREDIENTS
- Flour: All-purpose flour provides structure to the baked cake-like texture of the donuts.
- Baking staples: Baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt.
- Sugar and cinnamon: Adds sweet taste and warm flavor.
- Egg: One large egg provides binding.
- Greek yogurt: The creaminess of Greek yogurt provides moisture.
- Milk: Room temperature whole milk adds a soft texture to baked donuts.
- Vanilla: Adds a layer of rich taste.
- Apple butter: Gives the best apple spiced flavor to the donuts, I used homemade apple butter but store purchased works, too!
- Butter: A small amount of butter that is melted then cooled adds a tender texture to the donuts.
- Maple frosting: Powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and maple syrup.
HOW TO MAKE BAKED APPLE BUTTER DONUTS
To start, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, milk, vanilla, apple butter and cooled butter until smooth.
Combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Spoon batter or fill pastry bag and pipe into the prepared doughnut pan.
Bake, let cool completely before dipping in frosting.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS
- Warm donuts: If you want to enjoy your donuts warm, brush with melted butter after removing from the pan and then dip in a cinnamon-sugar coating or sugar mixed apple pie spice.
- Warm spices: You could add some additional warm spices like ground nutmeg or ground ginger for even more fall flavor!
- Whole wheat flour: Try whole wheat white flour or a combination of white flour and whole wheat flour. Using only wheat flour will result in dense donuts.
- Type of sugar: If you would like to use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar that works.
- Apple pieces: You can add one small chopped apple into the donut batter. I recommend sweet apples with a crisp bite like a honeycrisp apple.
- Baked apple cider doughnuts: If you would like to add even more apple flavor, you can replace the milk with reduced apple cider.
- No donut pan: No problem! Try mini bundt cake pans, use a standard size muffin pan or make doughnut ‘holes’ by using a mini muffin pan. Baking time may increase or decrease depending on pan type.
- Cool completely before adding glaze: Otherwise the glaze will be drippy!
- Use a piping bag to fill the donut pan: A donut pan can be tricky to fill. Save yourself some frustration and use a pastry bag to fill the pan easily.
- Fill the donut cavities to the top: A generously filled donut pan gives the baked donuts the best rounded shape.
- Don’t forget to grease your pan: While most donut pans are nonstick, don’t take the chances that your donuts may stick. It is hard to pry a knife under a stuck donut to get it out!
- Don’t overbake: Check your donuts a few minutes before they are done to avoid a dry baked donut. A few moist crumbs attached when doing the toothpick test are okay!
Apple butter is a sweetened and spice concentrated applesauce. While it is easy to make you can also purchase it as well, Musselman’s Apple Butter is a popular choice. Apple butter is usually located right next to the applesauce near the peanut butter at most grocery stores.
Most likely you can! Although you will want to add some extra spices as apple butter is spiced. If you use apple sauce I would try adding additional warm spices. Try adding ½ teaspoon of apple pie spice or ¼ teaspoon more of cinnamon with ⅛ teaspoon each of nutmeg and allspice.
While these baked apple donuts are best fresh, they can be stored up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. For longer storage, store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Don’t stack the doughnuts otherwise the glaze will stick! Bring to room temperature before serving.
Yes! You will need to freeze these apple butter donuts before adding the maple glaze. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and flash freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer safe bag and store for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature for a few hours.
MORE APPLE RECIPES TO TRY
- Cinnamon Apple Strudel
- Apple Streusel Cake
- Apple Cake
- Apple Pie Cookies
- Apple Bread with Crumb Topping
If you like donuts with an afternoon coffee or tea or even for breakfast these Apple Butter donuts will definitely go down real easy. Enjoy!
Maple Frosted Baked Apple Butter Donuts
- 1 cup flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons greek yogurt (room temperature)
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon milk (room temperature)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons apple butter
- 1 tablespoon butter melted & cooled (let cool)
- ½ cup powdered/icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon milk more or less depending on how thick you like it
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Grease and flour a 6 size donut pan.
- Melt the butter and let cool.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon.
- In a medium bowl whisk together, the egg, yogurt, milk, vanilla, apple butter and cooled butter until smooth.
- Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients, until combined. Spoon into the prepared donut pan or use a pastry bag to fill the donut pan. Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Let cool completely before dipping in frosting.
- In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla and maple syrup if it is too thick add 1/2 tablespoon of milk, mix until smooth.
Updated from November 2, 2016