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Whole Wheat Applesauce Donuts

These Whole Wheat Applesauce Donuts are the best homemade donuts you’ll ever eat! Soft and pillowy and sprinkled with crunchy cinnamon sugar, you will love these perfect bites of baked apple donuts.

3 cinnamon apple donuts stacked up with apples and a bottle of milk

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If you’ve never had a fresh apple cider donut from an apple orchard, you’re missing out. Thankfully, you can make your own baked applesauce donuts at home!

Wait, so these donuts aren’t fried?

Nope, they’re baked apple cider donuts. The texture is more like a cake donut, or an amazing muffin. Since they aren’t fried, they’re easier to make, a lot less messy, and a slightly healthier form of donuts.

This dough is not suitable for frying as the consistency is not firm enough to roll and cut. I used a donut pan to get that classic donut shape. You can also make a version in the air fryer with this Cinnamon Pretzel Bites recipe.

Ingredients for Cinnamon Apple Donuts

This is one of those recipes that seems like it has a lot of components, but each one is very likely already in your kitchen.

  • The dry stuff: whole wheat white pastry flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • The sweet stuff: brown sugar, regular sugar (or coconut sugar), maple syrup, applesauce or apple butter, apple cider
  • The other stuff: egg, butter, greek yogurt, pure vanilla extract, coconut oil

To make these baked apple donuts even more special, I used homemade vanilla extract and homemade brown sugar. For a fun flavor for the topping, use Vanilla Sugar instead of plain sugar.

The base recipe calls for applesauce (related: Canning Applesauce), but if you want to take it level WHOA, use apple butter (related: Canning Apple Butter).

Use plain Greek yogurt or mix it up a bit and use vanilla greek yogurt. Related: Cold Start Instant Pot Yogurt and Easy Instant Pot Yogurt

If you want your cinnamon donuts to have some apple texture, follow the directions from my Healthy Cinnamon Apples post. Incorporate the steamed apple pieces into the batter in step 4 in the recipe card below.

A note for my overseas friends – apple cider is NOT the same as apple cider vinegar or alcohol apple-based cider (called “hard cider” in the US). Apple cider is a thick version of apple juice that is made from fresh apples and it tastes like heaven.

If you’re not in love with the idea of having to boil the apple cider down, they do make apple cider concentrate that you can purchase.

3 photos showing how to make baked donuts

unbaked donuts in a pan and cinnamon donuts on a baking rack

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • If you like a super neat baking experience, pipe your cinnamon apple donut batter into the donut pan. They all look the same once they’re baked though. 🙂
  • Want to freeze these donuts for later? Great idea! Freeze them baked but BEFORE you brush butter on them and dip them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Thaw, then follow step 8 in the printable recipe card below.
  • No donut pan? No problem. Use a regular muffin tin to make cinnamon apple donut muffins or a mini muffin tin to make apple cider donut “holes”.
  • You can sub in all-purpose flour for the whole wheat.

cinnamon apple donuts on a wooden board with apples and milk

More Delicious Breakfast Treats

3 cinnamon apple donuts stacked up with apples and a bottle of milk
Print Recipe
4.93 from 13 votes

Whole Wheat Applesauce Donuts

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time13 mins
Total Time38 mins
Soft and sprinkled with crunchy cinnamon sugar, you'll love these baked apple donuts.





  • In a small pan over medium-high heat, bring the apple cider to a boil.
  • Reduce to medium heat and cook until the cider is reduced to 1/3 cup (about 15 minutes). Allow cider to cool to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray the donut pan with cooking spray.
  • In a bowl, mix together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together brown sugar, applesauce, maple syrup, apple cider, yogurt, egg, and coconut oil.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until just combined. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Divide the batter into the donut pan, filling the cavities only halfway. Bake for 13 minutes.
  • While the donuts are in the oven, mix 1/3 cup sugar and the 2 tsp cinnamon in a ziploc bag. Shake a few times to combine.
  • When the donuts come out of the oven, brush both sides with melted butter. Put 2 donuts at a time in the ziploc, seal, and shake.


Store donuts in an air-tight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
You can sub in all-purpose flour for the whole wheat.
Nutrition Facts
Whole Wheat Applesauce Donuts
Amount Per Serving (1 donut)
Calories 402 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 43mg14%
Sodium 477mg21%
Potassium 293mg8%
Carbohydrates 63g21%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 37g41%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 295IU6%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 121mg12%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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28 comments on “Whole Wheat Applesauce Donuts”

  1. Wondering if I freeze these how should I and how long will the donuts last in the freezer?

    • I have not frozen them myself so my advice is based on my best guess. I would allow them to fully cool but NOT do the butter/sugar/cinnamon step and then wrap in parchment and then in freezer bags for 1-2 months. Dip them in butter/sugar/cinnamon after they’ve defrosted.

  2. These were (for me) insanely sweet…could I cut the maple syrup or sugar? How do I make up for missing wet or dry ingredients?4 stars

    • If the apple cider you used had a lot of sugar added that could definitely impact the overall flavor. If you want to it make again, look for a natural/no-sugar-added cider.

      You can also leave the sugar coating off the donut, and cut the brown sugar down to as little as 1/4 cup.

  3. yummy!5 stars

  4. you had me at donut 🙂5 stars

  5. Can I use apple cider instead of juice?

  6. Oh I wish I had a donut pan so I can make these right now

  7. what is ” vital wheat gluten” and how important is it? I have everything except that, including two sizes of donut baking pans.

  8. Where do you find the time to prepare all these home made items? I mean homemade brown sugar, applesauce, apple juice, yogurt and vanilla??? Whats your secret?

    • Well a lot of those things are pretty hands off, so once you get it started, you’re done. The vanilla and brown sugar are like that – you only spend about 5 minutes “doing” it and then it’s done and you can move on to something else!

  9. Where do you find the time to prepare all these home made items? I mean homemade brown sugar, applesauce, apple juice, yogurt and vanilla??? Whats your secret?

  10. Super yummy sounding recipe and I added the doughnut pan to my wish list awhile ago and they seem to have been really popular but I still don’t have one!!! Maybe Santa will bring one this year 🙂 I made easy doughnuts and used cinnamon powdered sugar. I highly recommend trying that because I love the powdered sugar goodness!!!