Baked Apple Doughnuts – updated
It is that time of year again in Minnesota, when the weather goes from 90°F one day, to 48°F the next. It is bittersweet to lose summer, but we enthusiastically head into baking season. This time of year also brings the apples, glorious apples. This week alone I have made pie, fritters, waffles and these baked doughnuts with all the apple varieties I found at the farmers market (or your favorite orchard). Baked Doughnuts? Many of you have requested a doughnut recipe that is not fried. I admit I was hesitant, since I am a doughnut fanatic and was afraid the baked version would be a poor substitute. I am, once again, thrilled to announce YOU WERE RIGHT! The baked apple doughnuts are tender, sweet and studded with pieces of tart apples. The trick is to coat the dough in lots of cinnamon sugar, then bake them so they are still soft on the inside and have a wonderful sugar crust on the outside. The Maple Glaze gives them an even more decadent feel, even though they are the healthy version of our favorite treat. You may never miss the fried version again, but if you are like me, you’ll make both.
Baked Apple Doughnuts:
makes about 18 doughnuts.
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 teaspoons yeast
2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 small apples, skins on or off depending on your preference, cut into small dice (updated 10/9 – I reduced the amount of apples because many people found the dough way too wet. I must have been using firmer apples)
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the dough: mix together the water, yeast, salt, eggs, sugar, apples, flour, and butter, using a spoon or Danish Dough Whisk in a 6-Quart Round Food-Storage Container with Lid.
Let the dough sit, covered, for two hours. Refrigerate the dough to chill it for at least 3 hours.
After the dough is well chilled the dough can be used, or you can store it for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
To make the baked doughnuts: Pull out 3-ounce (plum-sized) pieces of dough and form it into a ball. Then poke your thumbs through the middle of the ball and create a hole. Stretch the hole so that it is about 3-inches wide. In a bowl combine the cinnamon and sugar. Dredge each of the doughnuts in the cinnamon-sugar.
Place them on a Baking Sheet lined with a Silpat Baking Mat or parchment. Let the doughnuts rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the doughnuts for about 18 minutes or until golden brown.
Set the doughnuts on a Cooling Rack. Mix together the confectioners’ sugar, cream, maple syrup and vanilla in a small bowl. Once the doughnuts are cooled, drizzle the glaze over them and let them set up.
You will want to place the baking sheet under the doughnuts as you are glazing them, to catch the drips.
Serve them right away.
They are perfect with coffee. If you have any left over they make great bread pudding, although it is doubtful there will be any to spare.
Related doughnut posts:
70 thoughts on “Baked Apple Doughnuts – updated”
I was wondering if you could suggest a way to veganize this?
I have not tried it, but other readers have used egg-replacer for the eggs. I know that vegan butter substitutes work well and you can use rice, almond or soy milk in place of any recipes that use milk.
You may want to start with a small batch to make sure you love the results.
Not owning a scale (one of these days!), I would appreciate having an alternate means to estimate the size of a 3-ounce piece of dough.
Perhaps the diameter in inches (and millimeters?) or by comparison to a common object like a ping-pong ball, golf ball, half- or silver dollar?
Thanks for reminding me, we always try to give a visual for the size. I’ve added it to the post!
Can i use 1/3 cup regural sugar instead of brown sugar?
Yes, that should work just fine!
Wondering if you’ve tried this with any of the Gluten Free flour blends? I just got a box of the king Arthur GF flour blend and was thinking of experimenting with these.
I LOVE your stuff (even took a class with Jeff) and really miss it since we’ve gone GF. I would LOVE to see more GF in your next book.
I haven’t tried it with the KAF mix, but I know it will work with our G-F brioche dough, so I bet it will work. Obviously, it will take a different technique to create the shape, but it is just as easy.
Just wanted to say those look amazing! thanks for sharing!
I would love to make these to take to work, but they won’t be warm any longer. Will they still be appealing?
They will still be great, even if they are not warm. They do need to be eaten within a couple of hours.
I use only fresh juice from orange and confectioners sugar to make a glaze.Taste good and smell good :). Thank you for great recipe!
I tried these this morning. The dough was made yesterday and sat in fridge overnight. It was incredibly wet and impossible to work with. As far as I can tell, I followed the recipe exactly. Could some apples just be juicier than others? I’m so disappointed. I finally just baked them as “doughnut holes,” but they didn’t rise well, and the flavor isn’t even that great. I only used half the dough, so I’m not sure if there is anything that could be done to salvage the rest. I already added a lot more flour. Any suggestions?
When I saw your note I went through the recipe and realized that I had made a mistake in the amount of eggs. I am so sorry about that. This could be why your dough came out too wet. And/or, it could be that you are using larger, juicier apples. You can definitely add more flour to make the dough firmer for the rest of the batch. Have you made our breads before? If so, you will know the consistency that the dough should be. If not, you may want to watch one of our videos so you know what you are going for.
If you tell me what was lacking in the flavor for you, I might be able to suggest ways to make the rest of the dough more to your liking?
Thanks and I am sorry for my error! Zoë
Why the short expiration on the donuts? I realize donuts fresh from the oven are best but why do these need to be eaten within a couple hours?
Because the dough is baked so thin they will tend to become stale faster. This was also just my opinion. You may try them and decide you actually prefer them older. If you try it, let me know.
Ah, that might explain it! Yes, I have successfully used your recipes before. This was way messier than I’ve ever seen, absolutely no way to form it. The flavor was better in the ones that rose the most. I think they were just too dense and yeasty (almost winey-tasting, I guess, due to the apple flavor). So maybe the taste just had to do with the lack of rise.
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I will have to try them again!
Let me know if adding more flour helps!
I had the same issue as LeAnn and ended up making holes. They were tasty but really flat and not doughnut-like at all. Will try adding more flour. I think this is a great place to start but in future I plan to try applesauce instead as I like a smoother texture. I also want to try with pumpkin.
Sorry that I didn’t catch this earlier! I love the idea of making these with the pumpkin brioche!
same problem – the dough was way too wet to handle! I followed the recipe and the dough sat in the fridge overnight. The dough was so wet (maybe from the apple juice?) and no where near the consistency of your regular bread doughs. How many cups exactly is 4 small apples? The only ones I had were small snacking Fuji apples. After adding 2 more cups of AP flourv and kneeding the dough by hand, I once again let it rise before baking one tray-ful but I didn’t get great doughnuts because they were too dense and dry! I actually fried them in a skilet (with oil) and they turned out better. I’m going to try making this again maybe with just 1 or 2 Granny Smith (and I’d love to add some whole wheat, too).
p.s. the dough did not rise much even though I used my latest discovery (Red Star Platinum Yeast!) which have consistently produced the best doughs even for sweet/buttery doughs so I’m not sure what it is that didn’t work…
Thank you for your clear notes and feedback. I have reduced the number of apples, since so many people are having this same issue. I would say my apples were very small and probably only measured just 1 1/2 cups. The type of apples may be more of an issue.
The dough was definitely too wet and didn’t rise as much as I expected. However, a quick renaming before serving and voila! Succss!!
May I introduce this morning’s caramel apple muffin tops with maple glaze!
That is brilliant! Thanks for sharing the photo!
Thanks! I wanted to update the link to show the crumb. From the outside, they looked pretty flat, but you can see that they have a nice airy crumb.
My question is whether more flour would have enabled them to hold together better to be shaped properly or whether I’d have had to add extra yeast or rising time to compensate for it?
Yes, flour will do the trick. You will need to let them sit for a little while to give the flour time to absorb the water and develop the gluten structure.
Hi! Book: “Healthy Bread…” Recipe: “Gluten-Free Brioche” Page: 252 Question: My four year old son is allergic to corn! What could I substitute for the “3 3/4 cups cornstarch” in your GF brioche?
You can use tapioca flour. Be sure to pack the flour into the measuring cup, or the dough may be too soft.
I’m not a big fan of tapioca. I’ve used potato starch in the past with good results. Just my 2 cents. 😀
Do you a recipe for the bread pudding you’d mentioned using any (possible) leftover donuts for?
There are bread pudding recipes in both ABin5 (Bread Pudding p. 234 or Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding page. 237). And here is one made with peaches https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2011/06/13/peaches-and-creamy-bread-pudding
Mine sort of spread horizontally 🙁 Did not rise vertically. I did substitute whole wheat flour for half the all purpose flour. Have you tried using atta, the Indian whole wheat flour in any of your baking?
Did you make up the dough using the current recipe or before I made the updates? You can add more flour to the dough and that should tighten them up. I have not tried using atta flour, so that may also have made a difference in the structure of the dough. You can’t really substitue that much whole wheat flour in a recipe without changing the gluten structure.
I love your bread. I’ve been making ‘the master recipe: Boule’, from the book artisan bread in five minutes a day.
I’ve been using this recipe for the past few years now. I don’t eat wheat, so i’ve been swapping the wheat flour with spelt flour (often a mix of wholegrain and white flour). The bread is always amazing, but i sense it could be better. I often add 2-3Tbsp of water extra,as i’ve been told in many cook books that spelt flour needs a little more water than wheat.i just add enough water so that the dough is ‘loose enough to conform to shape of the container’.but this measurement is relative,of course. Do you have any tips for replacing wheat flour with spelt flour?
Also,another question i have is: If i make the dough, and leave it rise for 2-5 hours of so, can i form the loaf, dust and slash it, and put it straight into a pre-heated oven? I find the instructions rather unclear, as it says “allow the loaf to rest for about 40 minutes”. Is this only necessary when the dough has been refrigerated? to bring it to room temperature? I often bake a number of loaves the day i make the dough, and refrigerate the rest. I’ve been unsure of this point since the start.
Lastly, my dough often flattens out quite considerably, so i find best results are yielded when i use a bread tin. I assume its from my use of spelt flour, and possible inaccurate water content. But thought i’d run it by you, in case you’ve any words of wisdom.
I really appreciate the gift you’ve given us with this fantastic recipe and technique.
Thank you for the note, we are so glad you are enjoying the bread. All of the issues you are running into are due to the switch to spelt flour, which has less gluten, so it doesn’t have as much structure. The master recipe from ABin5 was written for all-purpose white flour. Are you using spelt for the reduced gluten? We talk about using spelt in our second book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Also, sounds like your dough is too wet.
Thanks for the feedback. I’ll surely have a look in your healthy bread book, it’s about time i bought it.
One thing i’m still unclear on is the question:
“If i make the dough, and leave it rise for 2-5 hours of so, can i form the loaf, dust and slash it, and put it straight into a pre-heated oven? I find the instructions rather unclear, as it says “allow the loaf to rest for about 40 minutes”. Is this only necessary when the dough has been refrigerated? to bring it to room temperature? I often bake a number of loaves the day i make the dough, and refrigerate the rest. I’ve been unsure of this point since the start.”
Thanks again. appreciate any help. I’ll try a little less water next time. We’re off wheat in our family. My sister has eczema, and the wheat really aggravates it.
Sorry to have missed that part of your question earlier. Yes, if you handle the dough, after the initial rise, you have to let it rest again. If the dough is fresh, not refrigerated, the resting time can be cut by about half.
I made the baked apple doughnuts yesterday and we all loved them (epecially my daughter). Thanks for posting this recipe! I was wondering: do you suppose I could bake the Indian Spiced Whole Grain Doughnuts in Healthy Bread in 5 in the same way as the apple doughnuts? I would just dredge them in the spiced sugar mixture before baking.
I am so happy to hear they were a hit! Yes, you sure could bake the other doughnuts. If you try it, let me know how it goes.
I did make more baked donuts — this time using pumpkin brioche dough. Before baking, I dredged them in a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom (I didn’t use the glaze for these or the apple ones). They were great. Is there nothing that brioche dough can’t do? 🙂
Sounds wonderful Ingrid!
With cooler temps, my house is in the 60’s to conserve on heat. When the dough rests for 2 hours before refrigeration and then again for 30 minutes before baking, how warm does the room need to be? Do you recommend placing it in the oven with a skillet of boiling water to help with the rising? Thank you! Also, do you have an apple cider doughnut recipe?
You can certainly try the hot water in the oven trick or just leave it to rest longer on the counter. Depends how quickly you need to get to baking.
No apple cider doughnut recipe, yet! It is a great idea!
for the baked apple doughnuts….Holly asked if you have any apple cider doughnut recipe. Why not just substitute lukewarm cider for the 3/4c lukewarm water? I haven’t yet made the doughnuts but the complaint seems to be wet dough. Is it your revised recipe that calls for 2 small apples and 3 eggs? Would like to know before I actually make the doughnuts.
Thanks muchly! H. Tibbals
By the way, do you have a blog? I only stumbled upon this site looking for no kneed breads.
Yes, you sure could substitute some apple cider for the water. It will not store for as long, because the cider will speed up the fermentation, but it will be quite tasty.
Yes, everything on the post is now updated.
This is a blog, so I’m not sure I understand your last question? Are you looking for more of our bread recipes?
I’m sharing your books and site with yet another friend and I always come to the site to make sure I have the address right and peek at what you’re up to. I’ve been craving apple fritters lately so please post your recipe for those! Not necessarily the little things but the big ones that you get at donut shops with lots of apples in them. Please?
On this site we only work with our yeasted doughs, and fritters are not typically made with yeast. BUT, You could make this apple dough and fry them in hot oil just like the doughnuts! https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2012/08/15/mini-doughnuts-for-the-state-fair
Thank you for sharing our method and website with your friends! If you are looking for a good post to start them with, I’d recommend this one: https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/02/09/back-to-basics-tips-and-techniques-to-create-a-great-loaf-in-5-minutes-a-day and if there are ever any questions about technique we try to cover them in the FAQ: https://artisanbreadinfive.com/faqs
Thanks for the links. I told this gal that not only are the recipes and techniques great, but the authors even answer questions on the website – now I get to prove it 🙂
You don’t have to publish this one, it’s more a suggestion for your web site. I do send a lot of people here and I’m wondering if it might be good to have a “getting started” link where you could have your best introductory video, links to troubleshooting and links by category as you do on your ‘about the author’ page. Anything you think would be helpful to beginners could go there along with descriptions of what’s in each book. Thanks for considering it. I just moved so I’m off to the store to buy ingredients for these apple donuts before it closes. Have a great month!
I had the opposite Problem – I think mine’s too dry. do you agree? I didn’t add the apples until after the flour but these pictures were taken after 2 1/2 extra Oz of liquid. I used apple cider.
Oh, and I used Gold Medal unbleached AP flour to reward them for sponsoring you! I say that because it looks like I used bread flour. It’s super stretchy.
I think results of this recipe comes down to the type of apples people are using. Some give off more liquid than others. Your dough, with the extra liquid, looks perfect!
Well it didn’t rise as much as yours and tasted like bread. Very delicious apple bread. I couldn’t put down the half I was eating. But the texture was very bread-like. Off to the faq on no rise 🙂
It could be that your dough was still too dry, but it may also be over-baking. I found that they were too bready when I baked them too long and they dried out.
Help..I made these yesterday and used ‘active’ yeast..was I supposed to use fast acting? The dough does not look like it rised very much..should I toss it? Please advise asap..thank you!
Linda: Doesn’t matter which you use, both work. Just give it more time at room temp and it should rise. In any case, don’t toss it. Just refrigerate and use as we specify.
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my message Jeff…continued success and thank you for simplifying recipes for us all..
I am curious if this recipe would work in a loaf pan? After I made the dough last time, I thought it would be a delicious, sliced dessert bread served with ice cream. Temp and cooking time suggestions? Thank you.
I don’t think so. Mine only rose an inch or two high. It was a very tender crumb, but I think you’re better off making large square flat slices than trying for broad tall slices. Did you see my photos?
Kelly: Yep, but bake longer. Like one of our brioches recipes from the books. You may not see a lot of rise during the resting time, but there’ll be good oven spring. Don’t make a huge tall loaf.
These were really good, I will make them again. The only thing I changed was I just drizzled a little icing on instead of putting it on the whole doughnut. My six year old said “these rock the house!” Lol!
That is awesome! 🙂 So glad your six year old enjoyed them!
These look AMAZING! I think I might even top mine with a few crumbles of bacon 🙂 Question: Can I use cake flour, instead?
the water would need adjustment (less); not sure how much. Also, the structure will be different, more cakey and might not rise as much. Worth a try?
Hi there… my dough is rising right now, and I was wondering, after the two hours of rising at room temperature, how much bigger did the dough get in size? And what was it’s texture? Thanks!
The dough will just about double in size and will be quite soft, until it is refrigerated.
Does that answer your question?
Can these be baked in a donut pan and if so, at what temperature and for how long?
Shouldn’t chance the temperature or time, but we haven’t tested in one of these.