Serious Eats: Recipes

Gluten-Free Tuesday: Vegan Apple Doughnuts

[Photographs: Elizabeth Barbone]

Apple doughnuts in March? Let me explain!

Originally I planned to share a buttermilk doughnut recipe for Gluten-Free Tuesday. We've made pancakes and waffles in this column; turning to doughnuts next seemed only right.

However, since I've received requests for gluten-free and allergen-free desserts, I set aside my buttermilk and egg-filled recipe to create an allergen-free doughnut instead.

But without the buttermilk and eggs, the doughnut's tenderness went too. In fact, during testing, my husband ate a doughnut and said, "Are these bagels or doughnuts? For a bagel this is good. For a doughnut, terrible." Harsh, right? Well he was right! I needed a way to get some tenderness back into the doughnuts.

Since the buttermilk is acidic, I tried sneaking some acid into the recipe. First I tried lemon juice and got, you guessed it, lemony doughnuts. While the flavor wasn't bad, it wasn't the old fashioned-style doughnuts I wanted.

Enter apple juice. I live in New York state's apple country. In the fall, apple cider doughnuts are everywhere. Thinking about those gave me an idea. Would the apple juice be acidic enough to bring tenderness to the dough? The answer was yes!

Like lemon juice, the apple juice also brought flavor with it. But, unlike the lemon juice, the apple flavor worked with the spices and brown sugar that were already in the dough. Success! (I liked the flavor and results from using "natural" apple juice or apple cider best.)

I've included some tips on making doughnuts below. This recipe makes cake doughnuts, so you'll be able to mix the dough and fry it up quickly.

Tips for Making Gluten-Free/Allergen-Free Doughnuts

About the author: Elizabeth Barbone of joins us every Tuesday with a new gluten-free recipe. Elizabeth is an alumna of the Culinary Institute of America and Mount Mary College. With her solid professional baking background, Elizabeth is known for creating gluten-free recipes that taste just like their wheat counterparts. She is the author of Easy Gluten-Free Baking.

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