Vegan Apple CIder Donuts (paleo)

September 12, 2018

These Vegan Apple Cider Donuts are made with paleo ingredients and they are oven-baked and topped with a dreamy crumb topping!

Every single Fall growing up, my family would go apple picking. It still is a tradition for us, except now I am quite particular on which orchard we go to because I like to make sure no pesticides are used. Organic farms are hard to find since the certification is so pricey, so I personally just want the no pesticides and non-GMO certification if possible.

We stock up on every single big ass juicy apple and I come home with baskets of them. As a self-proclaimed apple connoisseur, I take the apple picking tradition quite seriously.

But you know what the other part of the tradition is? Getting some traditional apple cider DONUTS. We always get the powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar and plain. Like to mix things up then my Dad and Jord divide them amongst themselves so we all take home some of each.

Yes real apple cider donuts are amazing and nothing really compares to them. But I did make us some EPIC Vegan Apple Cider Donuts..

What ingredients are in these baked apple cider donuts:

  • Unsweetened organic applesauce – I use the one from Trader Joe’s usually!
  • Medjool dates, softened – pitted and softened dates. I usually use the organic Trader Joe’s ones
  • Creamy nut or seed butter – any creamy nut butter works well
  • Almond flour – I haven’t tested another flour for this
  • Coconut flour – I don’t have a sub for coconut flour
  • Coconut sugar – we use this in the crumb topping to sweeten it a bit
  • Liquid coconut oil or baking oil – any liquid oil works! So melted coconut oil, olive oil, etc.

And even Jord, the king donut eater, loves these. He texted me this morning and said, “this donuts are really so good”. That’s how you know they’re good friends.

These donuts are also gluten-free, vegan and made with no eggs. They’re sweetened with dates and I use unsweetened applesauce instead of cider with a few delicious spices. You can also add some chopped up apples inside if you want.

Tips for success making baked apple cider donuts:

  • If you don’t have a donut pan, you can make these into muffins. I personally haven’t tried so please watch the bake time. I’d guess anywhere from 12-15 minutes, but keep me posted!
  • When you take these out of the oven, let them cool for a few then gently remove within 15 minutes or so. I use a knife to circle around the edges to make it easier to remove
  • If you don’t want to make a crumb topping, you don’t have to! These are great without the crumb topping too

If you do make these donuts, don’t forget to share with me on Instagram! I cannot wait to see what you think. And not to worry, more fall recipes coming your way ASAP!

And don’t forget to check out all the fall pumpkin desserts and more over on this blog post.


Baked Paleo Apple Cider Donuts (vegan)

These Vegan Apple Cider Donuts are made with paleo ingredients and they are oven-baked and topped with a dreamy crumb topping!

  • Author: Rachel
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 donuts 1x




  • 1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
  • 10 pitted medjool dates, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup creamy nut or seed butter
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour

Crumb topping:


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a donut pan with coconut oil
  2. In a food processor, blend together the applesauce, dates, vanilla extract and nut butter together until dates are almost completely broken up and well blended
  3. Add in the baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond flour and coconut flour and blend again until the batter is thick and well combined (scrape the edges of the food processor too!)
  4. Add donut batter to the donut pan and evenly spread with a spoon
  5. Mix together the crumb topping then sprinkle on top
  6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes then cover with foil and bake for another 8-10 minutes
  7. Allow the donuts to cool for about 10 minutes then gently remove


*Store leftovers on counter for 5 days or in the freezer for a couple of months!

**You can also make these into muffins. I haven’t tested this personally but I’d recommend baking for 12 minutes then checking on them until ready!

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16 Responses

  1. Currently have my second batch in the oven! They are SO GOOD. They literally taste like coffee cake, it’s amazing. I don’t have a food processor so I put everything in my Ninja blender and it worked just fine. Just make sure you follow the baking directions completely – I had some trouble getting them out of the pan intact, but when I actually read the instructions and let them coo first, they popped right out. Perfect breakfast or snack with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Thanks, Rachel!

  2. Hi Rachel! I made this tonight! They are delicious BUT they fell apart when getting them out of the donut pan (I have the silicone ones). Any advice???

    1. i am going to go with the donut pan on this one. i have made these a dozen times in my pan (linked above) and the type of pan makes SO much of a difference. as does greasing it well 🙂

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  4. Hoping to make this using maple syrup (certified gf dates are so hard to find – and are expensive when you do!). Should I change anything else in the recipe? How much would you recommend? Thank you!

    1. Hi Charlotte – date and maple syrup aren’t a 1:1 sub. Dates are much thicker and make a paste when you blend this up so I can’t really say how these would turn out without them! If you do try them with syrup, keep us posted! xx

  5. I have made probably a dozen of your recipes, and this might be the best so far! I use the pampered chef donut pan sprayed with Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray, they came out of the pan perfectly, they taste absolutely delicious!!!

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