With the leaves changing colors and a crisp chill in the air, it's that beautiful time of year again – autumn! And what better way to embrace the cozy vibes of fall than by whipping up a batch of baked Vegan Apple Cider Donuts?
These delightful baked treats have the warm, comforting flavors of apple cider, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove, and nutmeg.
Fall is the season of apple cider, apple spice, and everything cozy. There’s nothing like warm apple cider with a cinnamon stick on a chilly evening alongside a delicious treat like this baked donut recipe with a cinnamon sugar coating!
One of my favorite fall treats is vegan apple cider donuts made with apple cider fresh from the apple orchard. These baked donuts are easy to make and are a perfect indulgence for a cold autumn day.
These Vegan Baked Apple Cider Donuts capture the essence of autumn in a single bite, thanks to the concentrated apple cider and warm spices.
Plus, they make for a fantastic treat during the fall season while sipping on tea, hot apple cider, or a Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Latte.
These apple cider donuts are perfect for sharing with friends and family during fall gatherings and holidays.
So, let's dive into this easy and tasty autumn-inspired recipe that'll have you savoring the essence of fall in every bite!
Here are the simple ingredients you'll need to make these easy vegan apple cider cake donuts:
- Organic apple cider - reduced to concentrate the apple flavor to make the perfect apple cider donuts! Do not use apple cider vinegar, which is vinegar, or hard cider, which is alcoholic. To learn the differences between apple cider, apple juice, and cider, please check my FAQ below. I purchased organic Honeycrisp apple cider at the grocery store on the shelf. If you can't find it, try looking online.
- Vegan butter for a touch of richness and flavor.
- Flaxseed meal mixed with reduced apple cider vinegar to make a flax egg.
- Soy milk - I use organic. Soy milk gives the donuts a nice, soft crumb.
- Apple cider vinegar mixes with soy milk to make vegan buttermilk. The apple cider vinegar reacts with the baking soda and acts as a leavening agent.
- Spelt flour - Spelt is an ancient grain related to barley, rye, and wheat; this slightly nutty flour contains gluten. I recommend One Degree Organic Sprouted Spelt flour; it has extra nutrients released by the sprouting process (not sponsored; I like to tell you about the products I use and enjoy).
- Light brown sugar - I use organic vegan sugar - Wholesome Sweeteners brand.
- Spices - I added homemade apple pie spice with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, and clove. I couldn't find ground allspice in my pantry, so I used clove.
- Salt - a small amount is needed in baked goods to bring out the flavors.
- Cinnamon Sugar Blend: I mixed organic cane sugar and ground cinnamon to make cinnamon sugar. I love this Royal Cinnamon.
See the recipe card for quantities. Substitutions and variations are below.
How to make Vegan Apple Cider Donuts
It's easy to make this great recipe for vegan donuts, even if it is your first time!
You will reduce the apple cider to get a concentrated apple flavor in these baked donuts.
Preheat the oven and prepare a middle rack in the oven. Grease a 6-well donut pan with cooking spray or oil; I used grapeseed oil and removed excess oil with a paper towel.
Reduce the apple cider and make flax "egg"
Bring the apple cider to a boil in a small saucepan. Lower the heat to a rapid simmer for 15-20 minutes until you have ½ cup reduced apple cider remaining in the saucepan. Remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Combine a few tablespoons of the reduced apple cider in a small bowl with the flaxseed meal and set it aside for a few minutes.
Make vegan "buttermilk" and sift dry ingredients
Combine the soy milk with the apple cider vinegar and set it aside for a few minutes. Melt the vegan butter and let it cool slightly.
Sift the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients
Whisk the wet ingredients in a small bowl. Stir in the flaxseed mixture and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
Whisk the mixture until smooth, taking care not to overmix since this will affect the texture of the baked donuts.
Bake the vegan apple cider donuts
Spoon the batter evenly into the donut pan, or transfer the donut batter to a pastry bag and pipe evenly into each of the donut pan wells.
Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are golden brown, and the top of a donut springs back when gently pressed.
Make the cinnamon sugar while the donuts bake. In a small bowl, combine the organic cane sugar and cinnamon.
Cool the donuts for 2 minutes on a cooling rack, then transfer the donuts onto the cooling rack.
Top with Cinnamon Sugar
Melt the vegan butter in a small saucepan and gently brush it on the donuts before dipping them in cinnamon sugar while still warm. If skipping the butter, place each donut in the cinnamon sugar mixture while the donuts are warm. Repeat as needed; I usually do this two or three times.
Alternatively, place the cinnamon sugar in a large ziploc bag and place a donut, shaking the bag to coat the donut.
Hint: To save time, reduce the apple cider the night before. Store it in the fridge in a sealed container. Bring to room temperature before using.
Here are some substitutions you can try when making these homemade vegan apple cider donuts:
- Spelt flour - try white whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or a mix of all-purpose flour with spelt flour.
- Light brown sugar - use dark brown sugar, organic cane sugar, regular sugar (check to ensure it's vegan), or coconut sugar.
- Vegan butter - use melted coconut oil instead.
Here are some variations you can try:
- Gluten-free - Use a 1:1 gluten-free baking blend like Bob's Red Mill in the blue bag for a gluten-free option.
- Oil-free - use applesauce in the donut batter instead of vegan butter; add it to the wet ingredients. Skip the melted butter for the cinnamon sugar topping.
Here is the equipment you will need:
Donut pan - I love this 6-well donut pan. These donuts are best enjoyed the same day they are made.
If you double the recipe, let the pan cool for several minutes after releasing the donuts and refilling the pan with another batch of donut batter.
These homemade donuts will stay fresh at room temperature within two to three days in an airtight container in a single layer or parchment paper between the layers.
Freeze them without the cinnamon sugar topping. To freeze, wrap each donut in plastic wrap, place it inside a freezer ziplock bag or container, and freeze for up to two months. Defrost the donuts on the counter for an hour or two.
Don't overbake the donuts! Check them at 10 minutes in the oven. They will spring back when lightly pressed, and the edges will be golden brown.
Apple cider is fresh-squeezed, unfiltered apple juice. Hard cider is an alcoholic beverage in the United States; other countries may call it cider.
Apple cider is fresh-squeezed, unfiltered apple juice containing pulp and more vitamins and minerals than apple juice. It may or may not be pasteurized, heating the liquid to a specific temperature to kill bacteria. Regular apple juice is filtered, contains no pulp, and has been pasteurized or heated to 190°F during processing. Apple cider is often consumed hot, and apple juice is consumed cold.
Yes, you can make muffins if you don't have a donut pan. Grease the muffin pan or use muffin liners. Fill each muffin well ¾ full, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs. This recipe makes about 5 to 6 vegan apple cider donut muffins.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! If you make this recipe, please take a moment to ★★★★★ star rate it and leave a comment below. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and share your creation with me! Tag me @resplendentkitchen and hashtag #resplendentkitchenrecipes.
Looking for other vegan baking recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite drinks to serve with these vegan apple cider doughnuts:
Vegan Apple Cider Donuts
For the Vegan Apple Cider Donuts
- 1 cup apple cider reduce to ½ cup, divided
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- ⅓ cup organic soy milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup spelt flour, 169 g or whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat, or all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed, 39 g or dark brown sugar, coconut sugar or organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon pink salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg or fresh nutmeg, ground
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom optional
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger optional
- 1/16 teaspoon ground clove or allspice, optional
For the Vegan Apple Cider Donuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a middle rack in the oven. Grease a 6-well donut pan with cooking spray.
- Bring the apple cider to a boil in a small saucepan. Lower the heat to a rapid simmer for 15-20 minutes until you have ½ cup reduced apple cider remaining in the saucepan. Let cool for 10 minutes.1 cup apple cider
- Combine 3 tablespoons of the reduced apple cider in a small bowl with the flaxseed meal and let sit for 10 minutes.1 tablespoon vegan butter, 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- Combine the soy milk with the apple cider vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes. Melt the vegan butter and let cool for 5 minutes.⅓ cup organic soy milk, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sift the spelt flour,light brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, pink salt, nutmeg, and ginger, cardamom, and ground cloves, if using, in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.1 ¼ cup spelt flour, 169 g, ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed, 39 g, ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger, ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom, ¼ teaspoon pink salt, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Whisk the remaining reduced apple cider with melted vegan butter, soy milk mixture, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Stir in the flaxseed mixture and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Do not overmix.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the donut pan, or transfer the donut batter to a pastry bag and pipe evenly into each of the donut pan wells.
- Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are golden brown, and the top of a donut springs back when gently pressed. Make the cinnamon sugar while the donuts bake. Cool the donuts for 2 minutes on a cooling rack, then transfer the donuts onto the cooling rack and top with cinnamon sugar below while the donuts are still warm.
Make the Cinnamon Sugar
- In a small bowl or plate, combine the organic cane sugar and cinnamon. Melt the vegan butter in a small saucepan, if using.½ cup organic cane sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted
- If using butter, brush the melted vegan butter onto the top of each donut, and dip each donut into the cinnamon sugar mixture. After 5 - 10 minutes, dip each donut into the cinnamon sugar mixture again. Best enjoyed immediately.
Resplendent Kitchen offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site as a courtesy. Although resplendentkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information from online calculators, these figures are estimates.