Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts (Dairy Free, Low Fodmap)
*This recipe was recently revised September 2022 to include an *even better* paleo, grain free version
These apple cider donuts are true to the old New England favorite. They are perfectly dense, soft and buttery with a hint of that apple cider and a cinnamon sugar coating. As always, these are gluten free and dairy free, and option to make paleo. It’s time to put on your sweaters, pour your favorite warm drink, turn on the oven and get donut making!
INGREDIENTS IN GLUTEN FREE APPLE CIDER DONUTS
REAL Fresh Apple Cider
Coconut Sugar or Maple Sugar
Cinnamon and Nutmeg
SUBSTITUTIONS AND SWAPS
1. Make sure to use REAL apple cider here, not apple cider vinegar! Apple juice will not work, either. Apple cider is unfiltered and filled with fiber so the texture and taste is a lot stronger. There is only 1/2 cup of cider in the whole batch so this remains a low FODMAP friendly recipe.
2. I used King Arthurs 1:1 Gluten free flour, so that one is tried and true. I haven’t tested others but I believe any 1:1 GF blend should work here.
3. I use Miyoko's unsalted butter, but of course you can use real butter here. I highly recommend UNSALTED butter.
4. I use 2 real eggs and haven’t tried a vegan sub here so I can't promise it'll work. The eggs give these a nice soft cakey texture. They may just be more dense or flat if you sub with flax eggs or chia eggs.
5. Granulated maple sugar is divine in these donuts. I used a mix of coconut and maple but coconut will be less glycemic and safer for a Candida/low sugar diet. (Coconut sugar does not taste like coconut!) Maple sugar is lower in FODMAPs.
6. I use cinnamon and nutmeg, the traditional apple spices, you can also use an apple pie spice blend in replacement.
WHAT KITCHEN TOOLS ARE NEEDED:
A hand mixer or stand mixer. Unfortunately you will need to beat this recipe. Cue Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’
A donut pan. If you do not have a donut pan you can make these into muffins! I’d just add 5-8 minutes more on your bake time.
HOW TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE APPLE CIDER DONUTS
Making apple cider donuts is really easy! The only part that takes some time is creaming the butter and sugar together, but this step is important to a nice, airy donut. Here is how we make them:
With the oven preheated and your donut pan ready and greased, you want to mix the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl.
In another bowl, mix together the softened butter and sugar with a hand mixer or stand mixer for 3-5 minutes on high until light and fluffy and peaks form. Then we want to add in the vanilla and eggs and mix again.
Dry ingredients are added to the wet until combined. Finally, the apple cider is added in.
The batter is now spooned or piped into prepared donut pan, and baked until tops are golden brown.
Cinnamon and sugar are mixed together in a shallow dish, and warm donuts are rolled until they're fully coated.
What is apple cider?
Apple cider is unfiltered apple juice. The fiber and nutrients are left in the juice, giving it a richer flavor and a thicker texture. This is not apple cider vinegar and not apple juice! These will not work in the recipe. Apple cider can be found fresh in the grocery store in the refrigerated section near the produce. It's seasonal, you can find it September through November typically.
What is apple cider reduction?
If you want these donuts to be even more amazing, REDUCE YOUR APPLE CIDER FIRST. You can do this by simmering it on the stove for 15-20 minutes. This will boil off the water in the cider and leave the natural syrups in the apple behind. It’ll make your donuts SO flavorful if you take the time. If you do this, make sure you boil down 1+ cup since it will reduce in volume, giving you about 1/2 cup of reduction needed for the recipe.
Can I use apple juice instead?
I don't recommend this. The texture and taste of your donuts will be different. Apple juice has a lot more water content.
Are gluten free apple cider donuts low FODMAP?
Yes. According to the Monash University app, these are low FODMAP at a single serve. Only 1/2 cup of apple cider is used in all 12 donuts. Maple sugar is low FODMAP as well!
Can I make gluten free apple cider donuts vegan?
This recipe calls for eggs and I haven’t tried a vegan sub here so I can't promise it'll work. The eggs are necessary for binding. They may just be more dense or flat if you sub with 2 flax eggs or chia eggs. But if you try, leave me a comment below!
How to make apple cider donuts paleo?
This is a NEW revised recipe made with paleo approved flours and they came out even better than the gluten free version in my opinion. You simply replace the gluten free flour with cassava and almond flours, and keep the rest of the recipe the same. The replacements are listed below on on the recipe card.