With the acquisition of a mini doughnut pan and some farm-fresh apple cider, I knew I wanted to create a healthier version of one of my favorite fall treats--cider doughnuts! After some field research ;) and online searching, I came up with a recipe that can be enjoyed a bit more often than its fried counterpart! I think the taste is pretty spot-on, but the texture was more like a muffin. My testers (thanks Elina and Kerstin) seemed to enjoy them, though!
Baked Cider Doughnuts
Recipe by Shannon, adapted from Diana's Desserts and the Food Network
Yield: ~16 mini doughnuts
I filled mine a bit too much, and the top looked almost like muffins! I'd fill them a little more than half-way, as these little doughnuts will rise. You may get more out of them this way. A regular-size doughnut pan can also be used.
For the apple puree:
1 apple, peeled and diced (I used Cortland)
3/4c apple cider
1c whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat)
3/4t baking powder
3/4t baking soda
1/8t fresh grated nutmeg (I eye-balled this amount)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3c turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)
1/4c apple puree (from above)
1 1/2oz maple syrup (I used grade B)
1 1/2oz apple cider
1 1/2oz greek yogurt
1 1/2T veggie oil (I use Smart Balance Omega blend)
For the topping:
1c apple cider
1/4c powdered sugar
cinnamon-sugar mixture (I used a premade mix from gosh knows when!)
Prepare the apple puree by simmering the diced apple and 3/4c cider over med-low heat until broken down. Puree with immersion blender (or regular one). You should have 1/4c puree. If you have more than this, return to heat and simmer until reduced. Let cool. This can be made ahead, if you'd like.
Preheat oven to 375deg. Spray doughnut pan lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. To prepare the glaze: add 1c cider to small saucepan and simmer over med-low heat until reduced to ~1/4c. Whisk in 1c powdered sugar until smooth and glossy. Use more cider or powdered sugar to adjust consistency if needed.
Combine the dry ingredients and whisk/stir well together in a small bowl. Whisk together wet ingredients in a medium bowl . Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just combined. In prepared doughnut pan, fill cavities halfway full. Bake ~10min, until they spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and turn onto cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Add cinnamon-sugar to plate. When cooled slightly, dip top (and/or bottom) of doughnuts in glaze and then into cinn-sugar mix. Serve warm.
These are best served the day you make them, but I stored some in the fridge overnight and they made for a perfect post-run treat! Just warm for a few seconds and dig in :)