Finally, its fall! I haven't had a 'proper' fall in over four years and I am so happy to be here in New England to really 'do the damn thing' - that's right, leaves, pumpkin spice, orchards, boots, all of it. Even though it's still nearly 100*F today here in Connecticut, I am not going to let a minute of this season pass me by and you shouldn't either! This recipe is a healthy, fast, fall-fix that can be made year round - the recipe works well as muffins but if you haven't gotten yourself a pair of donut pans yet, well, what are you waiting for?!


This recipe is made in just a few minutes with nearly all whole food ingredients. Gluten free baking can be a bit of a mess but I think I've cracked the code with the combination of brown rice flour and quinoa flour here - it creates a soft, light and crisp cake-like consistency which compliments the warming flavors of cinnamon, clove, ginger and nutmeg. This little recipe is the answer to "can a donut be healthy?". YES - High protein, low glycemic, sugar stabilizing, nutrient dense. It is also the answer to "can a healthy donut taste good?!" - absolutely! 


I first became obsessed with apple cider donuts (you know, the ol' fried-in-oil kind) when living in NYC's Union Square as a college freshman and seeing them served up fresh to lines of hungry city dwellers from my bedroom window. 

It's funny, at the time I had no idea how iconic and special the Union Square farmer's market was. I feel that way about a lot of my NYC Art School experiences but I suppose that is a story for another day. Anyway, I would stop every week to get a glass of warm cider and a few donuts, I ate them without guilt (because I was totally unaware that they were a "bad" food) but I do remember never feeling great afterwards. Once the make-your-own cake donut craze took off a few years ago I dreamed of recreating the warming, rich flavors of that apple cider donut I enjoyed so many years ago. Finally, I've gotten around to it! 


If you want to go a step or two further (especially if you are making these in the fall), you can make your own delicious roasted apple sauce by cubing up some apples and roasting them in a cast iron pan with a little water til they caramelize - then mash them down and allow to cool before adding to the wet ingredients. 

I am truly proud of this recipe and I hope you try it out - share with friends and watch their smiles as they enjoy!


Makes: 12 donuts • Prep Time: 10 min • Bake Time: 12 min


  • 2 cups brown rice flour

  • 1 cup quinoa flour (I use my high-speed blender to pulverize whole quinoa into a flour)

  • 2 tbsp. ground flax

  • 3 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1 tsp. five spice powder (or pumpkin pie spice)

  • 1 tsp. ground ginger

  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar


  • 1/3 pure maple syrup

  • 2/3 cup apple cider OR apple juice

  • 1/2 cup no sugar added apple sauce

  • 1/4 coconut oil, melted

  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar


  • 1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar OR coconut sugar

  • 2 tbsp. ground cinnamon/five spice powder

Preheat your oven to 350*F and coat your donut pans with some coconut oil spray. 

In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients. 

In another small bowl combine all of the wet ingredients and whisk them together as well. 

Add the wet to the dry and use a large spoon to mix until a smooth, fairy thick batter is achieved.

Use a spoon to scoop portions of the batter into each donut hole, spreading it around with your finger or the back of the spoon to ensure even distribution. The batter should fill 3/4 of the donut hole well, as they will rise as they bake. 

Add the pans to the oven and bake for 12 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and allow the donut to cool for a few minutes before flipping them out onto a cooling rack while still warm. Be delicate here as the donuts can be a bit crumbly when hot.

To ensure the cinnamon sugar coating sticks, coat the top and bottom of the donuts with coconut oil spray and then dip each one in the topping. 

Serve warm or room temp with warm, spiced apple cider or a cup of coffee with almond milk.




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