Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts


It's apple season! Which means we've been picking a looot of apples. And drinking a looot of apple cider. 

Chad is a simple syrup guy. Always making different kinds - ginger, peach, blueberry, lavender - you name it. And recently he made an apple cider simple syrup.

He simply cooked down apple cider with orange peels. That's it! And that's brilliant...

Concentrated apple cider goodness. 


I used that idea in these baked donuts. I reduced fresh apple cider into a syrup and folded it in the batter. 

We recently went apple picking at Eckert's Orchard and I was sure to snag some of their to-die-for apple cider from the store before we headed home. That cider was the star in this recipe.


You can make this recipe into muffins as well. In fact, they make the cutest little mini "donut muffins" if you ask me. I store the mini donut muffins on the counter in a large mason jar. 

And if you don't want to make them gluten-free, just use whole wheat pastry flour! Recipes are meant to be adapted to fit our lifestyles. 


We had family in town Sunday and these donuts were the perfect gift to package up for their ride home.

Give these a try this fall! 

Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts

(makes about 12 donuts or muffins) 

  • 2 cups pure apple cider

  • 3 1/4 gluten-free all-purpose flour (or whole-wheat pastry flour can be used if not making these gluten-free)

  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (1 tsp will be reserved for rolling in after baking)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup of sugar (1/3 cup will be reserved for rolling in after baking)

  • 2 large eggs


  1. Make the apple cider simple syrup: In a small saucepan, bring the cider to a simmer over medium heat until reduced by half. This will take about 25-30 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.

  4. In a separate small bowl, mix the applesauce and coconut milk.

  5. In a mixer, beat the butter and 2/3 cup sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time and scrape down the edges occasionally. Add in the flour mixture, alternating with applesauce mixture, until combined. Fold in 1/4 cup of the apple cider simple syrup.

  6. In donut baking pans (or muffin tins), spray them with nonstick spray.

  7. Scoop the batter into the donut pan or muffin tins.

  8. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until puffed up and set. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking.

  9. Take the donuts or muffins out of the pan and brush the tops with the remaining apple cider simple syrup.

  10. Make the cinnamon sugar: Mix the extra 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1/3 cup sugar in a small bowl or dish. Roll the warm donuts or muffins into the cinnamon and sugar.

  11. You can also wait to roll in the cinnamon sugar until right before you are ready to eat them. Just heat up the donuts in the microwave and roll in the cinnamon and sugar.

  12. Store in an airtight container for 3 days, then transfer to the refrigerator for the rest of the week. You can also freeze for 1-2 months.


If you haven't bought a donut pan, I recommend getting one. They turn any average muffin recipe into immediate star status. 

AND... if you live in or near St. Louis and haven't checked out Eckert's yet, make a trip! The orchard truly celebrates each season.