‘Tis the season. Apple season. Our local markets will be teeming with bushels of various varieties of apples. Since moving to the midwest, it’s become tradition for our family to head out to the apple orchards where we pick too much fruit, drink too much cider, and jump in too much hay. Sometimes there are little petting zoos, big tractor rides, and silly corn mazes. It’s a welcome break from the rush of everyday life. A cherished opportunity to enjoy the pure simplicity of outdoor family fun.
I’ve always loved the warmly spiced doughnuts of apple season. Though I don’t often make fried foods, I’m not against eating them 🙂 In fact, I once made some fried doughnut holes that tasted fabulous but looked like little aliens. The boys thought it was cool. They didn’t resemble pretty round doughnuts, yet we devoured every last one. Don’t judge a book by its cover, or something like that.
This time, I opted for the healthier baked approach to my apple doughnut holes. They indeed turned out nice and hole-y. Perfectly cute little balls of lightly sweetened apple dough, baked to tender perfection. The ample cinnamon sugar coating is what makes these apple spice doughnut holes so yummy.
I used mini muffin pans for baking up these apple doughnut holes. A thin coating of melted butter, followed by cinnamon sugar gives these apple doughnut holes a nice crisp bite on the outside. You can bake the doughnuts ahead of time, but be sure to coat with cinnamon sugar right before serving, so it is nice and crisp, rather than soggy.
These baked apple doughnut holes can even be made with whole wheat flour mixed in, which makes us feel pretty good about them. Baked, not fried. Whole wheat. Real bits of apples. Cinnamon-sugar goodness. You can’t go wrong with all that. Make these while apple season abounds.
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Baked Apple Spice Donut Holes
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 TB regular butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 small apples, or 1 large; peeled, grated, and squeezed dry
- 4 TB regular butter, melted for dipping baked donuts
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 TB cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400F and set rack on middle or lower middle position. Grease mini muffin pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- In another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, 2 TB melted butter, vanilla extract, and grated apple (squeeze out as much juice as you can, before using the grated apples.)
- Fold wet ingredients with dry ingredients, continuing to fold until combined.
- Level about 1 TB scoops of batter into greased mini muffin pan.
- Bake 7-8 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool in pan a few minutes or until they are able to be easily removed.
- Whisk together 1/2 cup sugar with 1 TB cinnamon in a bowl.
- When ready to serve, dip donut holes in melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately.
- You can also use 1 cup all purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour.
- Do not dip in butter/roll in cinnamon sugar until just before serving. Otherwise, the coating tends to get soggy.
- Batter is not very sweet, since cinnamon sugar coating is quite sweet. If you want a sweeter batter, just add more sugar into dry ingredients.