Baked Apple Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

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These moist, tender, better-for-you, baked donuts are loaded with triple apple flavor. Chucks of dried apple are simmered in apple juice until they’re plumb and juicy. Applesauce is also added to the batter to create another layer of appley deliciousness. 

I broke out my fun new donut pans to create a healthy and delicious donut for the new year. This recipe is inspired by the Applesauce Snack Cake recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook, and the Apple Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins I posted last year.


They were so moist I didn’t need to dip them in butter before coating them with cinnamon and sugar. (Be sure and dip them while they’re hot.) My guess is they would be even better/more moist the next day, but. I can’t tell you how they tasted cold, because we ate all 12 of them while they were still hot.

This donut has a muffin like texture and could easily be baked in a muffin tin. I loved the big chunks of tender apple in this donut.

Yield: 12 donuts

Baked Apple Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 cup apple juice or apple cider
  • 3/4 cup (2 ounces) dried apples, cut in to bite size pieces
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon


  1. In a small saucepan, simmer the apple juice and dried apples over medium heat until all of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 325º. Lightly grease two 6 count donut pans with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until well combined. Whisk in vegetable oil, applesauce and vanilla extract. Stir in cooled apple mixture. Add dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly into 12 donut cups, filling each about 3/4 full. (Use a pastry bag or plastic bag with corner cut out to make filling the cups easier.)
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. While donuts are baking, in a small bowl combine remaining sugar and cinnamon for topping.
  8. When donuts are done, cool for a few minutes in the pan, remove from pan and dip donut top in cinnamon sugar mixture. Cool on a wire rack.

More baked donut recipes I’d love to try:

Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts with Maple-Cinnamon Glaze, Taste and Tell
Mini Baked Lemon Donuts, My Baking Addiction
Baked Mini Cake Donuts, Bakers Royale
Baked Red Velvet Donuts, Taste and Tell
Baked Chocolate Doughnuts, Cooking on the Side

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originally published January 6, 2012 — last updated May 27, 2019
Categories: Donuts