Gluten-free Apple Cider Donuts {Keto, Paleo}

I went apple picking this weekend, yes fall is still alive in the midst of quarantine. And some activities, are actually still safe to do. Its outside, we wore masks the whole time, and sanitized our hands before and after! We only touched what we were going to grab and didn't stay for very long-- a little in and out action. There are still some things you can do and maintain everyone's safety. Don't worry, we're not getting political on here. But, wear a mask it really saves lives!

Okay now on to donuts. I know I just posted my pumpkin donut recipe but I couldn't wait to share this one with you all. Plus, donuts are life so why not two recipes?

When we went to the apple orchard I got some donuts and they were absolutely magical. But my friend couldn't share because they contained gluten. Some people shy away from gluten for a variety of different reasons:

  1. They experience less bloat

  2. Various digestive illnesses, SIBO, Celiacs, IBS/IBD, PSC etc.

  3. They experience an intolerance symptom when eating gluten

Whatever the reason may be, I hear you. So I did a little research on some apple cider donut recipes before embarking on my own. I couldn't actually believe what I found.

They don't even contain APPLES! Say that again? Did you read that... there's hardly apples in there. It's like the pumpkin spice latte debacle, no actual pumpkin. I hate that! What I read was: apple cider extract or some actually had some apple cider vinegar.

No no, that's not happening here.

So I cut up on of the apples we picked, set it up on the stovetop with TONS of cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, turned it into some apple sauce (with some chunky pieces for texture) and added that into the batter. Now, THAT is what I call an apple cider donut.

I will also point out, I usually do not endorse removing peels from the apples (um FIBER-- if you can handle it!) but I just didn't want little pieces of peel in my donut.

A couple questions people have already asked me: can you use store bought applesauce?

  1. Yes, you totally can! But, try to find one that is only apples and cinnamon not one that has added sugar-- you don't need it!

  2. It will be WAY thinner than the one I made. Mine was incredibly thick, almost to the point where it was an apple pie filling/puree than thin apple sauce. But I wrote in a little note in the recipe if you decide to go this route.




1/2 apple, variety of your choice (or ~1/2 c.)

1 tbs. cinnamon, ground

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 tbs. apple cider vinegar

1/4 c. water

{Donut batter}

1 c. almond flour/almond meal

1/2 tsp. xantham gum*

1 tsp. cinnamon, ground

1/2 tsp. nutmeg, ground

1/4 tsp. ginger, ground

2 tbs. swerve (brown sugar version)-- or regular packed brown sugar

1 + 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 eggs, room temp.

2 tbs. coconut oil, melted and then cooled

1/4 c. milk, can use any milk you want**

2 tbs. applesauce***

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

{Glaze, optional}

1/4 c. coconut manna

1 tsp. coconut oil

1/2 tsp. cinnamon, ground

1 tsp. swerve brown sugar (or regular brown sugar)

Yields 6 donuts

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

If making the applesauce:

Peel your apple and cut into small pieces. The smaller you cut them the shorter time you have to cook it. Add cinnamon(s), vinegar, and water to a small stovetop containing the apples. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes. Then I used a little masher to mash up about 90% of the apples, some I left chunky just for texture. Then let it cool before using the applesauce.

The donuts:

Just like my pumpkin donuts you want to leave the eggs out for ~30 minutes before using them. Combine all the dry ingredients, almond flour, spices, sweetener, baking powder and soda, as well as the salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, cooled coconut oil (cooled as in, it's still liquid but it's not pipping hot!), vanilla extract, and applesauce. Slowly combine the flour mixture with the wet ingredients. This time, the dough is a bit more soft. It should not be liquid like a pancake or hard like a chocolate chip cookie.

Fill your very well greased donut pan 3/4 of the way to the top. Bake for 14 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Then I leave them in the pan for ~ 5 minutes before using a knife to scrape around the sides to make sure they come out clean.

The glaze:

This is totally optional, the donuts are great as is! But if you want a fun and not-so-sweet topping, then definitely add this! You want to take your coconut manna and coconut oil and microwave for 30 seconds until it's smooth and liquid. Whisk in cinnamon and sugar.

Drizzle on top of the cooled donuts and... enjoy your REAL apple cider donuts!

Some recipe notes if you are using store bought applesauce:

*You want to increase this amount to 1 tsp. xantham

** Now decrease this amount down to 1 tbs. of milk, if your applesauce is very thin like store bought ones are you don't want that much liquid.

***If you are using store bought, reduce to 1 + 1/2 tbs. apple sauce-- again it's all about balancing liquids and dry ingredients.

{This post contains amazon affiliate links, I make a small commission if you purchase the items linked on this profile}