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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Can-Do Baked Whole-Grain Apple Doughnuts/Muffins with Apple Glaze

You know by now that for recipes, I unabashedly peruse not only cookbooks, but magazines and newspapers as well.  I always remind you to keep an open mind, as some of my best recipes have been inspired by these publications. I've adapted this recipe from the Fall/2011 Publix magazine "Family Style"'s been on my to-make list all this time.  It drew my attention because it looked like a healthy recipe to try in the unused doughnut-pan set, which was a gift from my daughter to her dad.

Referring to them as "do-nots", I've always avoided eating doughnuts like the plague! I can only tell you that I wish I'd tried this recipe sooner and that I'm now excited to keep trying doughnut recipes in the non-stick pans! These easy and healthy baked whole-grain apple doughnuts are surprisingly moist, light and tender.  Absorbing the marvelous apple glaze, these not-so-typical doughnuts are simply super good! 

                                          "Yes Virginia" There Are...
                                             Can-Do Doughnuts!                  

Makes 6 doughnuts


The Doughnuts
  • 3/4 c. whole-wheat pastry flour (or...what I used:  1/2 c. all-purpose flour & 1/4 c. whole-wheat flour)
  • 1/4 c. ground flaxseed meal (milled flaxseed)
  • 1/4 c. granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp. apple pie spice (or...what I used: 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. ground allspice & a dash of ground ginger)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 TB salted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1/3 c. buttermilk (see my Morning Muffins w/Bran & Raspberries for the buttermilk blend I use as a substitute for buttermilk, because it has a better shelf life...follow directions on the can for how much you need.)
  • 1/4 c. plain or vanilla yogurt--99% fat free, 2%, or full fat--(I used vanilla, 99% fat-free yogurt)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature), slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped (about 3/4 c.)
  • butter-flavored non-stick cooking spray

The Glaze
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 TB apple juice


The Doughnuts
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together well the flour, flaxseed meal, sugar, apple pie spice, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  With a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until the size of small peas.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, yogurt, egg and vanilla until well combined.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients just until combined (don't overmix).  Gently fold in the chopped apple.
  3. Coat a six-cup, standard, non-stick doughnut pan with the cooking spray.  Using a teaspoon, equally distribute the batter into the pan*.  Lightly drop the pan on the counter to spread the batter evenly.  Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. After the first 45 minutes of refrigeration, Preheat The Oven to 350º.
  5. After the doughnuts have been refrigerated for a full hour, remove from the refrigerator.  Bake for 13 to 15 minutes; or until lightly golden brown, the doughnuts spring back when gently pressed with your finger and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (Mine were done in 13 minutes.)
  6. Cool the doughnuts in the pan on a wire rack for at least 1 hour or overnight.  The doughnuts will be very tender, so handle carefully:  If necessary, run a very thin-bladed knife around the edges of the doughnuts and cup them with a plastic spoon to loosen.  Invert onto another wire rack with wax paper underneath. 
*The original recipe directed to use a pastry bag with a 1/2" round tip to fill the pan.  I knew better, but followed these directions.  The flaxseed stuck to the bag; and it was altogether a messy, more time-consuming experience.  Grant you, my bag is a traditional cloth pastry bag; maybe if I'd used a disposable bag, I would have been happier with the directed technique. In conclusion, I would discourage using a pastry bag for this recipe unless you're making a large quantity...and then, use a disposable bag.

The Muffins

All directions remain the same as for the doughnuts; except, using the cooking spray, coat a standard muffin pan with six/ea. 2 1/2" cups.  With a large, scooped cooking spoon, divide the batter evenly between the cups.  (I've adapted these directions from the original recipe. Although I've not yet used this recipe for muffins, I'm sure they would be great!)

The Glaze

Whisk together the powdered sugar and cinnamon; and then, whisk in the apple juice.  Using a plastic spoon, carefully add the glaze to the doughnuts or muffins...then, spread the glaze with the back of the spoon.

Because these doughnuts have apple in them, I suggest you refrigerate any left over after a couple of days.

Enjoy these doughnuts guilt free; because not only are they healthy and delicious, they're very satisfying... therefore, you will not be tempted to eat too many at once!

I have not, to date, provided any nutritional facts for any of my recipes; but I thought you would appreciate these facts, as they were included in the original recipe:

Per Serving:  221 cal., 7 g total fat (3 g sat. fat) 47 mg chol., 368 mg sodium, 39 g carb., 3 g dietary fiber, 5 g protein.

Printable Recipe


  1. Almost sounds so healthy it's sinful, going in my cooking bucket list to try very soon!

  2. these sound like the perfect fall treat! love it!

  3. I avoid eating and making donuts, too...just not too figure friendly! But these look both healthy and delicious...the perfect treat to usher in autumn!!!

  4. My mother always made doughnuts and they were such a treat growing up- such a wonderful food memory!
    I haven't tried the baked doughnut version but I do find it intriguing- a great method of making a favorite treat healthier;-)

  5. I've never been a huge doughnut fan unless they are HOT from the deep fryer or really moist and cakey OR filled with cream ..but the ones filled with cream have to be super fresh or no dice. However..I think I could delete all of the above in the case of your doughnuts. I love the apples and cruncy whole grainy thing that's going on. They look fantastic!

  6. Oh wow! I've been looking for a healthy donut recipe for some time now. These look and sound so good! I love apples (as you know) and I'm always trying to add more whole grains to our diet. Thank you for sharing Bonnie!

  7. I confess I have never made doughnuts - we just didn't eat too many in Ireland when I was growing up. But these ones look fabulous - love the fact they are made with whole wheat pastry flour.

  8. I have never tasted a homemade or for that matter baked donut. I am surely missing out. Now I really want a donut. Thanks for sharing:)