Apple cider doughnuts

October 30, 2011 § 8 Comments

October so far has been a whirlwind: the month started out with an exhausting, amazing trip to Rhinebeck, New York, for the New York Sheep and Wool Festival and to hang out with my knitting friends and then a quick stop in Manhattan to see another awesome friend. The following weekend was hanging out with my best friend on her way from California to Chile for her new job, and then yesterday battling actual snow in October on one of the most congested highways in the country.

But before I stray too far from my purpose, I should talk about the incredible food I didn’t get to eat at Rhinebeck because I was ill. Now, you might be wondering why on earth I’d be talking about food I couldn’t eat, but New York Sheep and Wool, otherwise known as Rhinebeck, is famous for such delicacies as fried pickles, fried artichokes, lamb kebabs, maple syrup cotton candy, and — ah ha! — apple cider doughnuts. The anticipation of apple cider doughnut-consumption began way back in September when the trip was planned, and correspondingly my disappointment was as acute.

Despite my thinking that I’d have to try the doughnuts next year, I obviously eventually got my donuts, though in the most roundabout way possible. Fast-forwarding through the whole Manhattan portion of the trip (I shall cover that fairly soon, I promise), through a series of coincidences, I found a recipe for vegan apple cider doughnuts only days before my friend’s visit in an old Vegetarian Times magazine after having found the magazine in my old suitcase on the day I left for Rhinebeck.

In a moment of inspiration that tends to happen when you’re driving down a dark forested road blasting pop music, I suggested baking doughnuts as our après-film activity. So at ten at night my best friend and I found ourselves rummaging around the grocery store for vegan margarine, soy milk, and cloves, only to find that cloves are inordinately expensive and well, we like nutmeg so let’s just skip paying over eight dollars for a tiny amount of cloves and just use extra nutmeg. That was really the beginning of all the tweaks we made, but let’s fast-forward again to the best and final change, adding a tart apple-cider glaze as the finishing element.

These apple cider doughnuts are exactly what I’d been craving, though they may not taste anything like the Rhinebeck doughnuts (for one thing, they’re baked cake doughnuts and not fried). What they probably lack in authenticity and accompanying wool-purchasing daze, these vegan apple cider doughnuts make up for it thanks to how easy they are to make, and their heavenly autumnal aroma will make you feel like you’re in upstate New York. Suffice to say that baking and enjoying these apple cider doughnuts is going to be a new fall tradition for me, and I hope you love them too!

Apple cider doughnuts

Heavily adapted from Vegetarian Times

Makes one dozen doughnuts in a mini-bundt pan, or eighteen miniature doughnuts in a miniature-doughnut pan


For the doughnuts

  • One and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • One and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • One teaspoon nutmeg (or 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and a pinch of ground cloves, if you like cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • One cup apple cider (non-alcoholic)
  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • Four tablespoons applesauce
  • Four tablespoons vegan margarine

For the glaze

  • Two tablespoons apple cider (non-alcoholic)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • A pinch each of nutmeg and cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray the mini-bundt pan or doughnut pan with cooking spray (or dampen a paper towel/kitchen paper with a neutral cooking oil and lightly coat the pan that way).

2. In a small saucepan, boil one cup cider until it is reduced to about 1/3 cup, about ten minutes on high heat. Occasionally, gently swish around the cider very carefully in its saucepan while it reduces to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan.

3. Meanwhile, stir together in a large bowl the dry ingredients (flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves if using, salt, baking soda, and baking powder).

4. Once the cider is reduced to 1/3 cup, remove saucepan from heat. Stir in margarine until it melts, then mix in the applesauce and soy milk. Let cool about five minutes or so.

5. Pour cider mixture in with the flour mixture, and stir until there are no flour pockets in the batter.

6. Pour doughnut batter into the molds, so that each is half-full. Bake for fifteen to eighteen minutes in the mini-bundt pan, or for twelve to fifteen minutes in the mini-doughnut pan, until a tester comes out clean.

7. While the doughnuts are baking, make the apple cider glaze: mix together all the glaze ingredients, and set aside.

8. When the doughnuts are done, let cool a few minutes before removing doughnuts from baking pan. Transfer doughnuts to a wire rack to cool. Pour over glaze (or dip doughnuts into glaze if you prefer), and let cool. Share with a friend and enjoy!


Ulm, Lauren. “Apple Cider Doughnuts” from “DIY Doughnuts.” Vegetarian Times. September 2009: 75. Print.


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