Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts - Danielle Walker

The smell of hot, fresh apple cider donuts instantly transports me to an orchard or pumpkin patch, out in the crisp air on a blue sky day. It’s so evocative of the fall and winter coziness I can’t get enough of right now and these Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts are the perfect seasonal (or year round!) treat. 

Back in 2008, Ryan and I were gifted a few nights in a rental home in New England for our first wedding anniversary and it was the one and only time we spent time together in that area.

Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts on a wire rack resting on a counter

Ryan was a trooper and drove me around all of Vermont and Connecticut on a covered bridge tour. We found inns that reminded me of the one in White Christmas, posed for photos with all of the colorful trees and quaint steepled churches, ate all of the cider donuts and Cabot cheese, and became true “leaf peepers.” It really felt like we were imported into one of those fall landscape puzzles I grew up putting together with my siblings.

The cider donuts were a must on our list because I had heard people talking about them for years but had never tried one. They were amazing.

Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts resting on a counter, one of them is missing a small portion

I created a replica a few years later after going gluten-free and grain-free in preparation for my very first cookbook, Against all Grain, but it didn’t make the cut. The texture just wasn’t right, and the sweeteners like honey or fruit juices that were allowed on SCD, the diet I was following at the time, made the donuts too wet and gooey.

Fast forward to almost a decade later and a ton of additional knowledge of grain-free baking, I’ve now revisited the recipe! With the inclusion of some new sweeteners and flours that I didn’t know of back then or couldn’t tolerate, these are finally a winner. And this recipe was the number 1 requested recipe when I polled everyone on Instagram a few weeks ago, so I hope you enjoy it! Oh, and #2 which was croissants, will be on my list to ruminate on. That one feels near impossible with grain-free flours, but never say never!

Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts on a wire rack resting on a counter

I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious baked Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts recipe to indulge your donut nostalgia while being gluten and refined sugar-free. Plus, these are ready fast – in less than 30 minutes – with your mixer doing the heavy lifting and with recipe ingredients that you probably mostly already have on hand.

Don’t have a donut pan? No problem; this recipe for Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts makes beautiful muffins too. And if you’re looking to be a hero, double up the recipe – one batch now as warm donuts and the other as muffins to freeze for breakfast later this month. If they last that long…

Images of several Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts on a counter

Photo credit: Ashley Lima

If you are wanting to make more delicious treats over the holidays, here are some of my favorites:

No Bake Sunflower Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars

Gluten-Free Samoas Cookies

Gluten-Free Tagalong Cookies

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Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts

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5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Danielle
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17 minutes
  • Total Time: 47 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x




  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 (6-cavity) doughnut pans (or a 12-cup muffin tin) with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, add almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot powder, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, coconut sugar and ¼ cup/50 grams maple sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated after each addition, scraping the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated. With the mixer running, add the apple juice in a slow, steady stream and mix to combine.
  5. Spoon or pipe the batter into prepared doughnut pans, filling them 7/8 of the way, almost to the top. (You can also do this using a disposable piping bag or a resealable plastic bag with a ½-inch opening cut from one corner.)
  6. Bake until evenly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the thickest portion comes out clean, 15 to 17 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. (If you are making muffins, divide batter evenly between the prepared cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through.)
  7. While the donuts bake, blend the remaining ½ cup/100 grams maple sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a mini food processor or clean coffee grinder. Cool the donuts for 5 minutes on a wire rack then unmold them from the pans and dredge them in the cinnamon sugar while they are still warm. Serve immediately, or let cool to room temperature.


If sugar mixture isn’t sticking to the donuts, brush them lightly with a bit of apple juice before dipping.


Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts


  1. Debbie says:

    Hi, what flour can be used instead of almond? Will a 1 to 1 gf flour work?

    • Danielle says:

      Hi! I haven’t experimented using a gf flour so I’m unsure of how it would affect the recipe. You can sub with cashew flour, 1:1.

  2. Holly says:

    Hi Danielle, I can’t thank you enough for finally including gram measurements in your recipes!!! Grain free baking is so finicky anyways that I like to be really exact and weighing your ingredients in my opinion is the only way to do that! I cannot wait to try these little babies. YOU ROCK!

  3. Hi Danielle! Can these donuts be fried or do they have to be baked?

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Candace! I haven’t tested this recipe by frying them so I’m unsure how they will turn out. Let us know if you try that modification – another reader might have the same questions and they’ll find your feedback so helpful! Happy Cooking!

  4. Alicia kleppin says:

    I am sensitive to coconut flour. Are there any substitutions that you recommend do I can experiment?

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Alicia! You can try experimenting with almond flour or casava flour if you can tolerate it. Let us know how they turn out with your modifications!

  5. Rose says:

    Could I substitute freshly grated nutmeg with ground nutmeg? If so, what would the measurements be?

    • Danielle says:

      Hi! You’ll have to use less since your sub will have a stronger flavor but without experimenting myself, I’m not sure what the exact measurement would be. I would recommend starting with small amounts and adding to taste. Enjoy and happy cooking!

  6. Laurie says:

    Can this be made with a hand mixer?

  7. Erin Woodward says:

    Hi Danielle, my daughter is allergic to eggs. Do you have a recommendation on a substitute for this recipe? I know it would be so fun to make with her (and her gluten allergy always prevents us from getting them out and about)! Thank you for your help!

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Erin! You can attempt to use a flax egg here as a replacement. However, I do want to note that I usually don’t recommend subbing more than 2 eggs per recipe as it might affect the final result. You might have to do a bit of experimenting in order to make this egg-free! Let us know how they turn out with your modifications; another reader might have the same question! Happy Cooking!

  8. Lucia D says:

    These donuts are unbelievably delicious! What’s your recommendation to store them? Room temperature?

  9. Jill says:

    I just made these today and they taste great, however they totally sunk! Not sure what the issue could be? Any thoughts? It was pretty disappointing after all the prep and looking forward to eating them.

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Jill – the most common reason for baked goods sinking is underbaking. They may have needed a little more time in the oven. I hope you give this recipe another try! Thanks so much for your feedback!

  10. Kelly Rademacher says:

    These apple cider donuts were sooooo easy and soooo delicious !!! I would recommend this recipe to anyone. And will definitely be making them again. Especially in the fall with apple cider. Yum !!!

  11. Rachel says:

    My husband is jumping for joy at the idea of these GF apple cider donuts. He hasn’t had them in years! Any fool-proof substitution for dairy so I can eat them as well?

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Rachel! I’m so glad you’re both excited to try this recipe! You can sub the butter with ghee or coconut oil. Enjoy!!

  12. Angela Miller says:

    What can I sub the maple sugar with?

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