Gluten Free Baked Apple Donuts

Gluten Free Baked Apple Donuts
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This recipe is part of my cookbook adaption series, where I adapt one recipe from a cookbook each month to be gluten free. This month’s recipe is for Gluten Free Baked Apple Donuts, adapted from the Beyond Parsley.


Happy Fall everyone! Have you started getting your pumpkin spice fix yet? Normally around this time, our weather is quite cool and the leaves start falling. Well, the leaves are falling… and it’s still so hot it feels like summer! Now, before I go off and tell you about a new Fall recipe, let me introduce you to a new monthly serious I will be featuring on the blog.

For those of you who haven’t been gluten free your whole life, or were recently diagnosed with Celiac like me, did you have family recipes and cookbooks that you used to use all the time? Do you miss that birthday cake recipe you made every year for your kids? Maybe you have even tried making them gluten free, and maybe they didn’t turn out the way you remembered. Although there are many cup for cup gluten free flours out there, it’s not always as easy as swapping the flour in a 1:1 ratio. So, once a month I will be featuring a recipe that I have adapted from an old cookbook.

Most of the recipes I’ll be featuring will be baking recipes, since they can be a little trickier to adapt to be gluten free. So here’s how it will work: I’ll feature a recipe, let you know where it came from, and I will explain what type of adaptions I made. Hopefully, this will help some of you understand what types of adaptions you can make and use as a starting point for trying it with your own recipes. What won’t I do? I won’t give you the original recipe. Not because I don’t want to tell you, but because I still believe in publishing companies. If you happen to have the exact book or find the recipe, you’ll be able to take a closer look. If not, I will always link to the exact book for reference.

Are you ready? Let’s get started with the first recipe! For the month of October (we are just a day or two away), and in honor of the start of Fall, I chose these lovely baked apple donuts from one of my favorite books, Beyond Parsley. This is such a fantastic baking book, and is actually where my favorite gluten free carrot cake recipe comes from! So gather that extra apple or two you still have from the orchard and let’s discuss this recipe.

Gluten Free Baked Apple Donuts

Donuts and muffins seem to be a little tricky for me when trying to adapt them to be gluten free, because the texture doesn’t always come out right. Don’t worry though, I finally got it down for these donuts!



I use Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1:1 baking flour in all of my recipes. Gluten free flour tends to be heavier than regular flour, and can lead to a denser and drier product if you use too much of it. Sometimes, I’ll actually cut back very slightly on the flour depending on what I’m making. For this recipe, I used the same amount of flour as the original one called for and just made sure to spoon and level it while measuring (don’t scoop it out with your measuring cup!). This ensures that I don’t use too much.


Since gluten free flours are a bit on the heavier side, they also tend to absorb more moisture compared to regular flour. So, some ways we can add extra moisture back in is by substituting some brown sugar for granulated, adding buttermilk or yogurt win place of some fat or liquid, or even adding in fruit puree in place of oil. For these donuts, I replaced some of the granulated sugar with brown sugar. I also swapped some of the milk for yogurt, and added a little bit extra as well (by adding some acidity, I also adjusted the leavening and added some baking soda).

Gluten Free Baked Apple Donuts


Since I already swapped in some yogurt for the milk, I decided not to add any more in place of of fat. The original recipe calls for cutting butter into the flour as the only source of fat, but I found this doesn’t always work for me. Instead, I opted for a combination of softened butter and coconut oil added to the liquid ingredients and creamed together with the sugar. this made for an extremely light and fluffy donut!


Now back to the donuts. These mini donuts are actually baked, not fried, in a mini muffin pan. They are incredibly light, airy, moist, and have a hint of apple flavor. I haven’t tried increasing the amount of grated apple, and I also haven’t tried doubling the recipe, so if you try either let me know how they turn out! However, I do not recommend making any other adjustments or substitutions as I have no idea how they would turn out.

Gluten Free Baked Apple Donuts

Keep these donuts covered and in the fridge for the best freshness, as gluten free baked goods can go bad fast. I did have mine covered with foil on the counter for a few days and they are still delicious!


Gluten Free Baked Apple Donuts

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Author: Zest and Lemons

Yield: 24 mini donuts

Gluten Free Baked Apple Donuts

Light and airy apple donuts that are baked, not fried! These donuts are made in a mini muffin pan, coated in melted butter and tossed in cinnamon sugar. The perfect Fall treat!


  • 1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free baking flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup grated apples, mildly tart
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


    For the Donuts:
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together butter, coconut oil, the 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Add the eggs in one at a time, just whisking to incorporate.
  3. Gently whisk in the milk, then the yogurt until everything is combined. Set aside.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon (and nutmeg if using).
  5. Working in 2-3 stages, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring well after each addition. Fold in the apples.
  6. Spray a standard 24 cup mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon the batter evenly into each muffin cup, about 3/4 the way full.
  7. Bake for 25-27 minutes until the tops are lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing.
    For the Topping:
  1. Mix together sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Gently spoon a little melted butter all over each of the muffins, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. You can also roll them in the butter, then in the sugar mixture, but I find this uses way too much butter to cover all 24 donuts. Store any uneaten donuts covered and in the fridge for best freshness.


- I only use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free baking flour, which already contains xanthan gum, so I cannot guarantee that your donuts will turn out the same if using a different flour mixture.

- I haven’t tried adding more grated apple, so if you do let me know how it turns out. I do not recommend making any additional substitutions, but if you do and find something that works well I’d love to hear!

Mini baked apple donuts! Gluten free and easy to make - Zest and Lemons

Recipe Adapted from the book Beyond Parsley.

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