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Baked Spiced Apple Cider Donut Holes Made with Brown Sugar

Baked Spiced Apple Cider Donut Holes

Apple Cider Donut Holes

Baked donut holes never excited me.  “A donut isn’t a donut unless it is fried,” I thought.  Well, I’m officially a baked donut convert!  These spiced apple cider donut holes made with brown sugar have the same consistency as fried donut holes and are jam-packed with fall’s flavors.  I popped a huge pile of apple cider donut holes into my freezer and I have been taking them out and microwaving them whenever I want a taste of fall.

I created these donut holes as part of the Fair Trade Recipe Rally in honor of Fair Trade Month – they are loaded with Fair Trade spices!  If you read to the end of this post, you can enter to win amazing prize pack of Fair Trade goodies.

I use the Fair Trade spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove) in two ways in this recipe.  First, I mix the spices into the batter.  Then, instead of simply dusting the hot donuts in sugar, I dust them in a blend of spices and brown sugar.  My aunt said that these spiced apple cider donut holes might be the best dessert she’s ever had.  Then again, she said the same thing about my pluot tart, so she can only be somewhat trusted.

How Fair Trade Helps Farmers

Fortaleza del Valle: Manabi, Ecuador

Fortaleza del Valle is a cooperative of small farmers located in Calceta, Ecuador.  It works to grow family incomes by improving the production yield and quality of its members’ cacao. The co-op has developed post-harvest infrastructure, such as central fermentation centers, to ensure the best in quality. Fair Trade premiums have been used to invest in pre-harvest financing, pruning and replanting of trees to rehabilitate the farms, education and training, and infrastructure for local organizations.  Mariana del Jesus Mendoza (pictured here) is a cacao grower who has been with Fortaleza del Valle since 2006 and currently on the Co-Op’s board of directors.

Fortaleza del Valle: Manabi, Ecuador

“Thanks to Fair Trade,” said Mariana, “we are able to sell our cacao at fair and stable prices. Before we were organized (into Fortaleza del Valle), many of us did not know how to take true advantage of our plants’ capacities and would ruin them with pesticides and fungicides.”

Apple Cider Donut Holes

Fair Trade works similarly in the realm of herbs and spices.  Thousands of small scale farmers grow spice and herb crops, yet industry consolidation has allowed two multi-national corporations to dominate the market. With Fair Trade standards for herb and spice production, small farmers receive a price that allows them to compete in the market as well as a premium to invest in social and economic projects for their communities.  Taking that extra minute to look for the Fair Trade label when you shop can make a world of difference.

The Giveaway


One lucky winner will receive a package from Fair Trade with all of the goodies shown above!  It includes products from:

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  apple cider donut holes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Baked Spiced Apple Cider Donut Holes Recipe

Wilton Non-Stick Donut Hole Baking Pan, 20-Cavity

I made these donut holes using Wilton’s donut hole pan.  It’s super easy to use and I love it!  However, if you don’t have a donut hole pan, you can make these in a mini muffin pan.  The only difference will be that the donut holes will end up being less round.

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Apple Cider Donut Holes
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Baked Spiced Apple Cider Donut Holes

These spiced apple cider donut holes made with brown sugar have the same consistency as fried donut holes and are jam-packed with fall's flavors.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple cider donut holes, baked donut holes, donut hole recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 30 donut holes
Calories 112kcal


Apple Cider Spice Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Donut Ingredients

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of spice mix from above
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Donut Topping Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • remaining spice mix from above
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted


Apple Cider Spice Mix Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients except brown sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Donut Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 F.
  • In a small saucepan on high heat, bring apple cider to a boil and reduce to a half cup. It's OK to cheat and pour the apple cider out into a heat resistant liquid measuring cup periodically to see if the cider is down to a half cup.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and one teaspoon of the spice mixture from above.
  • In another medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla extract, and the reduced cider.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, mixing until just combined.
  • Grease wells of donut hole pans with non-stick baking spray. Fill wells 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until the donut holes bounce back when lightly touched.
  • Remove donut holes from pan.

Donut Topping Instructions

  • Mix brown sugar into the remaining apple cider spice blend from above.
  • Dip each donut hole into melted butter and roll in spice blend to coat.
  • Serve warm.


If you don't have a donut hole pan, you can make these in a mini-muffin pan. They just won't be as round.
If not eating right away, loosely cover and eat within 24 hours or freeze for months and microwave in 10 second bursts until warm.


Nutrition Facts
Baked Spiced Apple Cider Donut Holes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 112 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 58mg 2%
Potassium 58mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Sugars 11g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 2.5%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 2.5%
Iron 3.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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