Easy Baked Apple Donuts

Close up of stack of three apple donuts next to a cup of coffee and apples

A deliciously moist apple donut made with homemade apple compote, brushed with melted butter and rolled in a sugar and spice mixture.  The perfect fall treat!



For the Donuts:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon fine salt

½ cup granulated sugar 

¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

½ cup buttermilk

1 cup puréed Caramelized Apple Compote (about 1 ½ cups of compote processed in a food processor until smooth) or 1 cup store bought unsweetened apple sauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the Topping:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted + more butter for the pans

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

⅛ teaspoon ground cloves


Special equipment needed:

Nonstick donut pans for 1 dozen donuts


  1. Whisk sugar, brown sugar, egg, oil, buttermilk, apple compote and vanilla extract in a large bowl until completely smooth.  Add dry ingredients and combine with a rubber spatula until the batter just comes together.

  2. Transfer batter to a large Ziploc bag.  Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and pipe the batter into a nonstick donut pan, filling each donut space about three-quarters of the way up with batter.

  3. Transfer to the oven and bake until donuts spring back when touched, about 15 minutes.  Set aside to cool slightly.

  4. Meanwhile, make the topping.  Combine the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves in a shallow bowl.  When donuts are cool enough to handle, brush each donut with melted butter and toss in sugar and spice mixture until donuts are fully coated.  Serve warm.


These are definitely best the day they are made, a bit warm from the oven.  If you would like to save some for the next day, wait until you are just about to serve them to brush with melted butter and roll in the sugar and spice mixture.