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Recipe Rescue: Apple Donuts

Apple donuts - the quintessential fall-time treat. But donuts, no matter what their flavor (even if they have fruit!), are typically high in fat, sugar, and calories. Fried and smothered in sugar or glaze sure makes them delicious, but you can get your donut fix without all the extras. No need to take a trip to the apple orchard or bakery - try this baked apple donut recipe that comes together as quickly as they'll fly off the plate! (Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable PDF version of the recipe!)

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Typical Apple Donut
    • All-purpose flour
    • Baking powder
    • Cinnamon, nutmeg, other spices
    • Salt
    • Granulated sugar
    • Eggs
    • Oil
    • Grated apple
    • Glazed or tossed in cinnamon-sugar
          Changes Made:
            • All-purpose flour: Used half all-purpose flour and half white whole wheat flour to increase fiber
            • Baking powder
            • Cinnamon, nutmeg, other spices: Used pumpkin pie spice for convenience
            • Salt
            • Granulated sugar: Decreased amount of sugar and used brown sugar for richer flavor and more moisture
            • Eggs
            • Oil: Decreased amount (made up for decrease in liquid with other changes)
            • Grated apple: Increased amount of apple for more apple flavor and moisture
            • Glazed or tossed in cinnamon-sugar: Brushed tops of donuts with small amount of melted butter and dipped in cinnamon-sugar

                    Nutrition Facts Face-Off!

                    Typical apple donut (fried and tossed in cinnamon-sugar) vs. baked apple donut

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                    Cinnamon-Sugar Dipped Apple Donuts (Printable PDF Version)

                    Makes about 1 dozen


                      • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
                      • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
                      • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
                      • 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice
                      • ½ teaspoon salt
                      • ½ cup packed brown sugar
                      • 2 eggs
                      • 1/4 cup canola oil
                      • 1 ½ cups peeled and grated apple (about 2 medium apples)
                      • 1 tablespoon melted butter
                      • Cinnamon-sugar (2 tablespoons granulated sugar mixed with 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon)


                      1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare donut pan with nonstick spray.
                      2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, pie spice, and salt.
                      3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together brown sugar and eggs until creamy. Add oil and apples and mix until incorporated.
                      4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large bowl, stirring gently until all ingredients are just combined.
                      5. Fill each cavity in the donut pan about ¾ full with batter. Depending on the size of your pan, you will need to repeat steps 5-8 until all batter is used.
                      6. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until donuts are slightly browned.
                      7. Carefully remove from pan and place onto cooling rack.
                      8. When donuts have cooled slightly, brush the top of each donut with melted butter. Press the top of each donut into a shallow container containing cinnamon-sugar. Serve immediately.
                      Recipe Tips
                      • Avoid overmixing batter to prevent donuts from becoming tough.
                      • To make pumpkin donuts, replace grated apple with 15 ounces canned pumpkin and increase sugar to 3/4 cup.

                        Nutrition Facts (1 donut): Calories 180, Total Fat 7g (Saturated 1g), Cholesterol 35mg, Sodium 170mg, Total Carbohydrate 27g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 3g, Vitamin A 2% DV, Vitamin C 2% DV, Calcium 6% DV, Iron 6% DV

                        Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.