I suspect there aren’t that many people who start thinking about what to do for their toddler’s birthday party and then end up ordering a fish-shaped cutter and a donut tin, but that’s exactly what I did a couple weeks ago. I had been thinking about making donuts for a while, as my son had tried one for the first time when we were in Malaysia (I know, seems odd to have something that feels very American while so far away but that’s how it happened) and had really liked it. I was trying to ration him slightly, but found I could hardly eat it, it was so sweet. I suspect it was partly the glaze that he liked, as he has definitely got more into that kind of thing recently, but either way, it had stuck in my mind to try to make a healthier version that we might all like. These maple apple donuts definitely hit the mark – they are moist, have a delicious maple flavor and being made with oatbran, yogurt, coconut oil and applesauce and maple syrup rather than refined sugar, plus baked rather than fried, they are relatively healthy for donuts too.
I made mini donuts, as I figured they would work best for small hands, but the mixture would work just as well in a regular size as well. I made my own applesauce to add in to the mixture, but you could use store-bought as well – it will probably be a little more liquidy than what I made, so you may want to hold back a little milk until the end to see if it seems too runny, though I doubt it will make too much difference.
The mixture is really easy to make, just mix up the wet ingredients then add the dry and mix. I came across a really handy tip for transferring the mixture into the tins – put the mixture into a ziplock bag, cut off a corner and squeeze it as you would a piping bag into the tin. It really helps avoid getting the mixture all over the place and is a lot quicker than spooning it in as well. It might look a little lumpy as you pour, but just level off the mixture before you bake it.
I debated on whether to glaze these or not, since I was going for a bit healthier, but decided I still would since it was for a birthday party, after all. I am glad I did as the maple frosting definitely made for a delicious flavor to top the apple donuts. The amount of frosting is relatively small so I didn’t feel that bad, and it did make me think that it would probably work to reduce the sweetness of the actual donut as a result, but that’s one to experiment on a bit more in due course (I had over-reduced on my last baking project so was wary not to do the same this time when it was for his party). The donuts will still taste good a few days after you make them, although as with all baked goods they are best fresh. However the frosting will kind of melt into the donut after the first day, so you’ll get the taste but they won’t look as good.
Overall these are delicious, easy and as I said relatively healthy and definitely something I’ll be making again. I’m going to be sharing them with all at Fiesta Friday this week, co-hosted by Loretta@Safari of the Mind and Jess@Cooking Is My Sport. I suspect a few people might be back for another bite…
- 1 egg
- ½ cup applesauce (see note at end, below, on making own)
- ¼ cup/4tbsp/60ml maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup/60ml plain yogurt
- ¼ cup/60ml milk
- 1tbsp coconut oil, melted and allowed to cool
- ½ cup/70g all-purpose/plain flour
- ½ cup/55g oatbran
- 1tsp baking powder
- ¼tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp cinnamon
- ¼tsp nutmeg
- ¼tsp salt
- Glaze -
- 1tbsp/10g butter
- 1½tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ cup confectioners/icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350F/175C and lightly oil/spray a donut or mini-donut tin.
- Place the egg, applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla, yogurt, milk and coconut oil in a bowl and whisk together.
- Add the flour, oatbran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix until combined but try to avoid over-mixing.
- Transfer the mixture to a ziplock bag, seal then cut off one corner and use this to fill your donut tin. You want to fill them to near the top but with a little space left. Flatten out the mixture if it looks lumpy then bake for around 15mins for mini donuts (probably around 20 for regular sized) until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before glazing.
- For the glaze, melt the butter in a small pan, mix in the maple syrup and confectioners sugar until smooth then dip one side of each donut in the glaze, turn over and allow to dry. This recipe gives enough for a light dip rather than lots of glaze, so increase quantities if you want more.
- Note - for homemade applesauce I used 1½ medium apples, cored and peeled and cut into chunks, 4tbsp water and a squeeze of lemon heated over a medium-low heat and stirred occasionally until the apples were tender. Then pureed and allowed to cool. Will keep a few days refrigerated.