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Fluffy Vegan Apple Cider Donuts w/ Powdered Cinnamon Sugar

Fluffy Vegan Apple Cider Donuts w/ Powdered Cinnamon Sugar | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

One morning the other day, as I sat down at my desk at work, I was just HIT by the most intense craving for apple cider donuts. It may have been because the air was deliciously cool and crisp as I walked to my building, hinting at the first signs of autumn. Be that as it may, sweet cravings are usually unexpected for me, because I’m not the biggest fan of sweets. I know, I know, I’m crazy. But get this – for my birthday growing up, I’d always ask my parents to get me one of those huge tubs of cheese balls – you know, the synthetic orange kind – which I would then hoard away and eat on the sly. In fact, I remember vividly this one time my mom caught me hiding behind the couch, shoveling cheese balls into my face, fingers sticky with orange powder.

Every year for my birthday party, my mom would always bake a cake, but I never had any. I just blew out the candles and let my friends eat it. And it’s weird, because my parents both like sweets, especially my mom. This was further proof, they insisted, that I was sent by aliens. (Ha. Ha.)

Fluffy Vegan Apple Cider Donuts w/ Powdered Cinnamon Sugar | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeFluffy Vegan Apple Cider Donuts w/ Powdered Cinnamon Sugar | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeFluffy Vegan Apple Cider Donuts w/ Powdered Cinnamon Sugar | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

A part of me likes to think that my love of all things salty comes from my grandmother (who died of breast cancer when I was nine). My mom always said she salted and oversalted her food -which may not have been the healthiest thing to do, but was a distinct quirk that stood out to my mother.

My grandmother was such a special lady. Think of the kindest, most loving, and most thoughtful person ever, and then multiply them times fifty. That was my grandma. I could write for hours about the infinitely thoughtful things she did for me, my sister, and my cousins. Something that really stands out in my memories are the times I’d stay over at my grandparents’ house for the weekend. My grandpa would always fall asleep on the couch with the TV blaring, without fail, and would sleep there the whole night, snoring loudly. As a child I was always an early bird, but no matter how early in the morning I would awaken, my grandma would always be up before me. I’d go out of my little bedroom and find my grandma in the kitchen in her pastel-striped night robe. For breakfast, I was allowed to have a bottle of Sprite, Lucky Charms (just the marshmallows, of course), and a few clementines. It felt wickedly wonderful having such a sugary breakfast, knowing that my mom would keel over if she knew what I was eating!! Nothing like having breakfast at grandma’s.

Fluffy Vegan Apple Cider Donuts w/ Powdered Cinnamon Sugar | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeFluffy Vegan Apple Cider Donuts w/ Powdered Cinnamon Sugar | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

That morning the other day when I really wanted an apple cider donut, I thought of my grandma again. Every fall, she and my grandpa would take me to the apple orchard + pumpkin patch. Grandma would always get me some apple cider donuts, which I would snack on with reckless abandon. Everything always tasted better when it came from grandma.

I miss her so much. When I was with my grandma, it felt like magic was alive in the world, and that happiness was not only attainable but a natural state of being. Her being gone is even harder on my own mother, who I know thinks about her every day. My mom and grandma used to call each other on the phone every day, just to say hi. But it makes me happy to think that my mom and I talk every day now, too, and that we’re never too far away from each other. And although my grandma has joined the angels, I know her spirit stays alive in our hearts and through the memories we treasure – and that we will be reunited in infinite joy, one day, through Him.

Fluffy Vegan Apple Cider Donuts w/ Powdered Cinnamon Sugar | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipeFluffy Vegan Apple Cider Donuts w/ Powdered Cinnamon Sugar | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

This recipe is for you, Grandma. I know if you were here you’d be so proud of me. I love you, always.

Fluffy Vegan Apple Cider Donuts w/ Powdered Cinnamon Sugar | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe
5 from 3 votes
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Fluffy Vegan Apple Cider Donuts w/ Powdered Cinnamon Sugar

Enjoy the best of autumn with these fluffy, vegan apple cider donuts, topped with powdered cinnamon sugar.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Spelt Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Tsp Allspice

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup Applesauce
  • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider
  • 1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs Coconut Oil melted

Cinnamon Sugar

  • 1/2 Cup Raw Cane or Turbinado Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together dry ingredients until evenly combined.
  3. In another bowl, combine all wet ingredients except coconut oil. Mix.
  4. Once wet ingredients are fully mixed, stir into bowl of dry ingredients and combine. Note - the donut batter may fizz up a little, that's just the baking soda reacting with the apple cider vinegar!
  5. After stirring for a bit, add in the melted coconut oil and stir in completely.
  6. Spray your donut pan with coconut oil or another nonstick spray.
  7. Pour batter evenly between 6 donut molds.
  8. Bake donuts in the oven for 15 minutes. Once done, let cool for a few minutes.
  9. While donuts are cooling, combine turbinado sugar and cinnamon in a high-speed blender, spice grinder, or coffee grinder. Blend until sugar is a fairly powdered consistency.
  10. Once donuts are cooled, toss in cinnamon sugar.
  11. Enjoy!

Fluffy Vegan Apple Cider Donuts w/ Powdered Cinnamon Sugar | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

60 Comments

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    September 20, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I loved your memories! Seriously, childhood memories and childhood foods are the best! (Those cheeze balls…o I remember them..so good!)
    I just made powdered doughnuts a few weeks ago and the nostalgia of those mini packaged ones came back for me! Haha!
    Anyway, I love the apple cider take! These are so lovely! <3 Your grandma would be very proud!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 21, 2015 at 7:51 am

      Thank you so much Rebecca <3 :)

  • Reply
    Sophie | The Green Life
    September 20, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    This is so sweet Sarah! I loved reading about your childhood memories and your grandma. I’m sure she was a very special lady, and she would be very proud of you.
    These donuts look incredible! I’ve never had apple cider donuts but now I’m really intrigued!! P.S. I laughed out loud when I clicked on the photo of those cheese balls! haha

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 21, 2015 at 7:52 am

      Haha!! Those cheese balls were so bad but so good. And I forgot that you’re in Canada – are apple cider donuts a thing over there? Here in New England, apple cider donuts are very popular during the fall!! :D

      • Reply
        Sophie | The Green Life
        September 21, 2015 at 3:48 pm

        I don’t know about the rest of Canada but in French Canada it’s definitely not a thing. I’d never heard of them before reading your post. :) It’s so fascinating to see how culinary traditions can be so different from one place to another! I’ll have to give these donuts a try for sure!!

        • Reply
          Sarah
          September 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm

          And it really makes you realize how insular your own knowledge can be! For example, I just assumed everyone in Canada would know about apple cider donuts! Which was pretty ignorant of me!! Thanks for opening my eyes a bit ;)

      • Reply
        Sophie | The Green Life
        September 21, 2015 at 4:00 pm

        Haha my pleasure! And thank you for opening my eyes to the world of apple cider donuts! ;)

  • Reply
    Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist
    September 20, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    These doughnuts look divine! Such a sweet story about your childhood memories of your Grandmother. I have a family full of salt fiends too. People usually cringe when they watch my father salt his food. I need to get a doughnut pan ASAP!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 21, 2015 at 7:52 am

      You should definitely get one!! It took a while before I took the plunge but having a donut pan is a ton of fun!! :D

  • Reply
    Clem @ The Vegan Cookie Fairy
    September 21, 2015 at 7:17 am

    This post was an absolute joy to read. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe, it looks divine!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 21, 2015 at 7:53 am

      Thank you so much Clem!! :D

  • Reply
    Little Vegan Bear
    September 21, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Yum, these look great! I’ve never been able to justify getting a donut pan, but one day….

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 21, 2015 at 7:53 am

      I bet this recipe would work out as a muffin / cupcake though!! :D

  • Reply
    Susannah (Lemon and Coconut)
    September 21, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your memories, I miss both my grandmothers so much. I love the way the donuts look like lichen, they’re fantastic! I’m mad on lichen I’m always taking photos of it! :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 21, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      Thanks Susannah!! :D

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    September 21, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Grandmas are the best, aren’t they? I love this post about your grandma, especially since it involves so many lovely memories and sweet treats :) I’ve had a hankering for donuts lately too, so I need to give your recipe a spin today for a Monday treat!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 21, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      Grandmothers are the absolute best :)

  • Reply
    dixya | food, pleasure, and health
    September 21, 2015 at 10:44 am

    grandmoms are the best and this is such a sweet story/memory. Im pinning this and waiting for the weekend because i havent baked donuts in forever!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 21, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks Dixya!! I’m glad you liked it :)

  • Reply
    madeline | madeline marie
    September 21, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I love donuts and love that these are healthy! Yum!!!. I wish I had some right now.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 21, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks Madeline! :D

  • Reply
    Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet
    September 21, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Beautiful doughnuts! That cinnamon sugar … YUM!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 21, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      Cinnamon sugar = tha best!! ;)

  • Reply
    Shelly @ Vegetarian 'Ventures
    September 21, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Such a nice tribute to your grandma! I wasn’t a big sweets person growing up but now I can’t get enough of them. I used to just request a bag of potato chips for my bday cake when I was little. hehe

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 21, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Hahaha no way!! A kindred spirit!! ;) I must say though, I still would pick potato chips instead of a birthday cake!! :D ;)

  • Reply
    Sina @ Vegan Heaven
    September 22, 2015 at 11:50 am

    These look amazing, Sarah!! They’re just perfect for fall! :-)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 22, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      Thanks Sina!! :D

  • Reply
    Erica
    September 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Truly beautiful post!! Grandmothers are so special, this post really touched my heart. And the color on these donuts is incredible, so perfect for the change in seasons :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 22, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks Erica :) It was very nice for me to write about my grandma <3

  • Reply
    genevieve @ gratitude & greens
    September 22, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Aw Sarah, my grandma died from lung cancer (even though she was a non-smoker) when I was around 8 and it was rough. My mom and grandma were really close, too. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago and since then I have missed my mom so, so much. I’m sure your grandma is smiling down from heaven knowing you are thinking of her and that you are able to enjoy these apple cider donuts in her place.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 22, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      I love always finding ways to keep her memory alive. These donuts are a great way for me to remember the time I spent with her <3

  • Reply
    Julia | Orchard Street Kitchen
    September 23, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    What a sweet tribute to your grandma – she was clearly a very special lady! Isn’t it wonderful when we associate certain foods with such happy memories with our loved ones?

    These donuts look absolutely amazing. I’m not usually a donut kind of gal (I’m like your grandma – a complete salt addict), but these don’t seem cloyingly sweet like so many other donuts. I bet the tartness from the apple cider really brightens up the overall flavor, too. So perfect for the autumn!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 23, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Salt Addicts Unite!! ;) I love being able to remember my Grandma through certain foods – they can be so evocative of dear memories. :)

  • Reply
    Emilie @ The Clever Carrot
    September 23, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    I can so relate to the wonderful memories of your grandma!!!! I was thirteen when my Meme passed away and she was my BIGGEST positive influence, especially when it came to cooking. She was the best cook beyond words and is the reason I do what I do to this day. Love these “Grandma” doughnuts! And I can picture you (even though I barely know what you look like :) sitting at the table relishing in Lucky Charms!!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 23, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      Hahaha maybe I just seem like a marshmallows-only Lucky Charms kind of gal ;) It’s so nice that you were able to cook with your Meme! She sounds lovely, and I’m sure she’d be so proud of you. Especially with the Clever Carrot Cookbook!! :D

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well
    September 23, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Your words about your grandma made me choke up. I feel the same about my current grandmas, there is nothing like a treat when it comes from them. So sweet, so special. Those memories are so vivid, and thank heaven we have them from when we were children. Some of the best times. My grandpa had a sweet tooth that has trickled down to us all, and I would always wake up to the smell of cinnamon rolls at grandma’s because of it. I love your memories of these donuts at the orchard, it sounds magical and wonderful – everything our memories should be! On day you will be reunited, and I hope there is a plate of these donuts involved <3

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 24, 2015 at 8:08 am

      Waking up to cinnamon rolls at grandma’s sounds so lovely! You’re so lucky to have two grandmas still, next time you see them give them a big hug for me :D

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Unconventional Baker
    September 24, 2015 at 12:02 am

    Not a sweets person?! Whaaaat? Well, actually I’m not that surprised, I guess. My husband is not a sweets person either. I just can’t fathom how that’s even possible haha. I’m such a sweet tooth. I’d pretty much trade everything for fruit and chocolate. But these donuts look impeccable, so maybe there’s hope you’ll come around to the other side… ;)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 24, 2015 at 8:04 am

      I know, I know, I’m crazy! You know what’s weird? The one thing I really crave from time to time is s’mores flavored luna bars!! That’s about the extent of my sweet tooth ;)

  • Reply
    Ruby
    September 24, 2015 at 1:13 am

    What beautiful memories you have of your grandma, this was a really beautiful post to read. I am so pleased I have discovered your blog. And these donuts looks so tasty x

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 24, 2015 at 8:02 am

      Thanks Ruby!! :D

  • Reply
    Sara @ Cake Over Steak
    September 24, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    What a sweet memory about your grandmother! These apple cider donuts sound awesome, and I love that they’re vegan too.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 24, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      Thanks Sara!! <3 :D

  • Reply
    dana
    September 24, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    WANT. Also, AMAZING PHOTOS, girl! xoxoxoxoxoxox

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 24, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks Dana!! <3 :D

  • Reply
    Margo
    September 25, 2015 at 6:29 am

    These look amazing! But I need to make them GF. What flour would you suggest using instead of splet?

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Megan @ The Cherry Zest
    September 29, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Wow! I found this on Pinterest, and I have to say that everything about this looks amazing! I love that you use applesauce to make the apple cider donuts. It must really bring out the apple flavor in a big way. Totally adding this to my fall baking lineup. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 30, 2015 at 7:54 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Megan! :D

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 16, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try!
    I don’t have spelt flour on hand…do you think oat flour would work?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 16, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      If you want to use oat flour, I would try a 50-50 blend of oat and whole wheat flour instead of just oat. Or a gluten-free all-purpose blend would work too! :D

  • Reply
    Phil
    October 18, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Perfect Saturday morning recipe. Thanks for this post and recipe. I made these for my wife and kids with a little alteration of substituting more cider and applesauce for the oil (since we are Whole-Food Plant-Based, which means oil free). These are fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing this. You rock my friend!!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 18, 2015 at 10:59 am

      I’m so glad they came out well!! Thanks for your note, Phil :)

  • Reply
    Anastasia
    September 10, 2016 at 8:37 am

    What a delicious autumn apple treat! I can’t wait to try these! I love baked doughnuts – and I don’t think these will last long in our kitchen either ?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 10, 2016 at 9:54 am

      I hope you like them, Anastasia!! :D

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