In addition to recently celebrating six years of blogging, the first week of October marked another big milestone: Aaron and my six year wedding anniversary! 2011 was a very good year for us and it really set the stage for so much of how our lives look today. There was once a time where I was all “Pshhhh, I don’t need to get married…” (channeling Oprah, of course) but I’m so glad we took the leap. Six years later, it still feels new and exciting, and that’s saying something because we dated for, oh, eleven years prior to that. Crazy!
One of the things Aaron and I have been working towards is establishing more yearly traditions to both give us something to look forward to and to help us mark the time because it goes by so quickly. Apple picking has become our anniversary tradition, and we’ve been going to a quaint orchard in Groton, MA for the last few years. It’s row upon row of different apple trees—no petting zoo or gift shop—just the way we like it. We always go on a weekday to avoid the crowds, and for the last couple of visits it’s just been us, the owner, and a friendly worker or two picking apples. Last year was tough for them because of the drought, but this year seems better because there’s more demand for cider apples by the local breweries. As soon as I learned this, my mind immediately went to making vegan apple cider donuts (because donuts > hard cider in my book). We bought nearly fifteen pounds of apples, a gallon of cider, and I promptly got to work making donuts.
These donuts are adapted from my favorite pumpkin spice donuts from way back when Pickles & Honey was just a babe. They’re only 10 ingredients, baked not fried, and they take just 20 minutes to make. They’re perfectly cider-y and sweet all on their own, but we like them best topped with a little coconut oil and dipped in crunchy cinnamon sugar topping. I also dip mine in hot apple cider (think: coffee + donut vibes), while Aaron dips his in actual coffee. Either way, they’re so delicious that we’ve decided to add a batch to our yearly anniversary tradition.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cup apple cider
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup plain non-dairy yogurt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup melted coconut oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
- ½ cup organic granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a donut pan with coconut oil.
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt. Add the apple cider, coconut sugar, yogurt, and vanilla. Stir a few times to just barely incorporate, then pour in the melted coconut oil and stir until combined, being careful not to over-mix. (Adding the coconut oil last will help prevent it from becoming solid and clumping.)
- Spoon or pipe the batter into the prepared donut pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the donuts comes out clean. Allow the donuts to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the donuts cool, prepare the topping: In a wide, shallow bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Brush the top of a donut with a small amount of coconut oil and dip each into the cinnamon sugar. Repeat for the remaining donuts and serve.
I use a Wilton donut pan that I bought from Crate & Barrel, but it looks like it's available on Amazon for a little cheaper. This recipe makes 12 small donuts with that pan; however, donut pans can vary a lot in size, so donut yield may vary. You might need to adjust your baking time accordingly.
The donuts can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days, or in the fridge for up to a week.
Recipe lightly adapted from my Pumpkin Spice Donuts.