These easy apple donuts are healthier than regular donuts. The donut dough is just 3 ingredients and doesn’t need any yeast, white flour, eggs, added sugar or butter. The donut dough takes less than five minutes to prepare. These apple donuts come out light and fluffy.
I love making homemade donuts and these apple-flavored are super easy and delicious. I like that they are already naturally sweetened from the apples so you can leave out the added sugar or glaze if you are looking to cut back on sugar or prefer your donuts less sweet.
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Baking Powder
Applesauce: You can use store bought applesauce or homemade applesauce. You can use sweetened or unsweetened. Applesauce is used to give the donuts their apple flavor and adds natural sweetness to the dough so you don’t have to add sugar to the dough. If you want to keep these donuts healthier with no added sugar then make sure to use unsweetened applesauce. If you need a substitute for applesauce, I have made similar donuts with bananas.
Whole Wheat Flour: Instead of white flour, these donuts are made with whole wheat flour, making them a little healthier. You can use either whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour.
Baking Powder: Instead of yeast, the donut dough uses baking powder to get its rise.
Healthier Apple Donuts
These donuts are a little healthier than traditional donuts. Traditional donut dough contains white flour and sugar and the donuts are usually fried in vegetable oil. This donut dough is made with whole wheat flour and has no added sugar. The donuts are naturally sweetened with applesauce. While the donuts are still fried, they are fried in olive oil, which contains a lot of nutrients.
I don’t recommend baking these donuts because the texture won’t be the same. They will be more like bread if you bake them rather than fluffy and light donuts. I do have a baked donut recipe.
How to Make Apple Donuts
The flour and baking powder are first whisked together. The applesauce is then mixed in until a wet dough forms. The dough is then scooped out and added to hot oil until the donut dough puffs up, turns golden brown and is cooked through.
Once the donuts are cooled, they are ready to eat. You can enjoy them as they are or roll them in cinnamon sugar. You can also coat them in glaze.
More Easy Donut Recipes
3 Ingredient Apple Donuts
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (68 g) whole wheat flour
- 3/4 tsp (3.5 g) baking powder
- 1/3 cup (78 g) unsweetened applesauce can also use sweetened
- olive oil for frying
- Add 2 inches of olive oil to a medium saucepan. Bring to medium heat (about 335-350°F). Be careful to not let the oil get too hot beyond that because olive oil has a lower smoke point.
- While your oil is heating, make the donut dough. In a medium mixing bowl, add flour and baking powder. Whisk until evenly mixed. Stir in the applesauce. Mix with a spatula until a dough forms and applesauce is fully incorporated into the flour mixture.
- Once the oil is ready, scoop dough using a 2 tsp cookie scoop. Use a spatula to level and smooth the surface of the scoop. Gently release the dough ball directly into the hot oil. Repeat this with the remaining dough. The donuts will float to the surface so only add in as many donuts as can fit comfortably at the surface of your saucepan. I fried my donuts in two batches since my saucepan can only fit about 5. If a donut sinks and gets stuck to the bottom of the pan, make sure to loosen it from the bottom immediately using your frying spatula strainer. Cook donuts until both sides are golden brown, flipping them halfway through. Remove donuts from oil and place onto a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
- When donuts are no longer too hot to touch, you can coat with cinnamon sugar. You can also leave them plain.
- These donuts work best fried. If you try to bake them, they will be dense and more like bread rather than donuts.
- Because the dough is sticky, I recommend using a cookie scoop to scoop the dough and release it directly into the hot oil. To help keep the balls round, make sure to level and smooth the surface of the dough before you release it into the hot oil.
- If you don't have a 2 tsp cookie scoop, you can use a bigger or smaller one but keep in mind your donuts will be bigger or smaller and may need more or less cooking time.
- The donuts are already lightly sweetened and if you prefer your donuts without a lot of sugar, you can eat them plain. But to make them sweeter, you can add a cinnamon sugar coating.
- Optional cinnamon sugar coating: Add 2 tbsp granular white sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon into a large Ziploc bag. Mix the two ingredients until they are evenly combined. Add in donuts, seal the bag and shake the bag until the donut holes are evenly coated.
- The nutrition estimate does not include oil absorbed during frying. It is only for the donut dough before it is cooked as it is difficult to determine the exact amount of oil that is absorbed by the donuts. The nutrition estimate also does not include optional cinnamon sugar topping.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.