Baked apple cinnamon doughnuts
Makes 6 larger doughnuts, or 12 smaller ones
1 1/3 cups milk (use soymilk if you prefer a dairy-free alternative)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup golden caster sugar or Splenda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (chunky or smooth)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons maple syrup (approximately)
1/2 cup golden caster sugar (approximately)
Pinch of cinnamon, to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 160°C (for larger doughnuts) or 170°C (for smaller doughnuts).
Mix together the milk/soymilk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar/Splenda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Add the applesauce and vanilla extract to the milk and vinegar mixture. Stir well.
Add the wet ingredients to the sifted dry mixture and stir to combine.
NOTE: Do not overmix at this stage.
Spoon the mixture into either a muffin pan (for larger doughnuts) or cupcake pan (for smaller ones). Fill each hole about 3/4 full.
TIP: You may want to grease the moulds a little using sunflower oil or margarine. This will help you to remove the doughnuts more easily after baking.
NOTE: If you have a specific doughnut pan, you could pop the mixture into a piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner cut off, and pipe it into the moulds for a neat, more authentic shape. Remember to be careful not to overfill the moulds as the batter will rise and expand as it bakes.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (for smaller doughnuts), 15 to 17 minutes (for larger ones).
TIP: You can insert a toothpick to test them. If it comes out clean, they’re cooked through; if the mixture stays stuck to the toothpick, let them bake a little longer.
Leave the doughnuts to cool in the pan for about five minutes and then carefully pull them out.
TIP: If necessary, use a sharp knife to loosen them away from the sides of the moulds so they don’t break as you remove them.
Leave them to cool completely on a cooling rack.
TIP: If you don't have a doughnut pan, try using something like an apple corer to hollow out a hole into the middle of your doughnuts for a more authentic look. However, leaving them as they are is fine too.
For the topping, pour the maple syrup and sugar into separate bowls. You can add a pinch of cinnamon to the sugar for a more intense flavour if you'd like.
Paint the top of each doughnut with maple syrup, using a pastry brush (or dip them directly into the bowl, taking care to let any excess syrup drip off).
Then dip each syrup-topped doughnut into the sugar, shaking off any excess.
NOTE: The topping is optional. The doughnuts will taste delicious just as they are, but if you have a sweet tooth or just want to add a little extra embellishment for a special occasion, the sugar topping is a nice addition.