Fluffy, apple-cider-infused vegan, gluten-free donuts! Naturally sweetened, about 30 minutes from start to finish, and perfect for fall!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and grease two 6-slot (or one 12-slot) donut pans*.
To a small mixing bowl, add aquafaba and use a mixer (or whisk) to vigorously blend until soft peaks form - about 1-2 minutes if using electric mixer. Set aside. (If yours doesn’t quite whip up into soft peaks, it’s OK. Just get them as fluffy as possible! A sprinkle of cream of tartar helps them firm up.)
To a large mixing bowl, add the oil, cane (or coconut) sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sea salt, ginger, and nutmeg and whisk vigorously to combine. Then add applesauce and apple cider and whisk once more to combine.
Add almond flour, gluten-free flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and whisk gently to combine. Lastly, add in the whipped aquafaba and gently fold in, trying to be as gentle as possible (see photo).
If the batter appears too thin at this point, add 1 Tbsp each almond flour or gluten-free flour at a time until it thickens up. It should appear like a thick cake batter - semi-thick and more scoopable than pourable.
Divide batter evenly between donut tins, filling all the way full but leaving room for the center hole to be exposed (this can be done using a piping bag, Ziploc bag with the corner cut off, or just a spoon). There should be 11-12 donuts (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Optional: Sprinkle the donut batter with coconut sugar and cinnamon before baking.
Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, the edges appear brown, and the tops appear dry and fluffy. Time will vary depending on oven and if you subbed ingredients.
Optional: In the meantime, melt vegan butter (or coconut oil) in a small dish and prepare cinnamon-sugar coating by adding cane or coconut sugar and cinnamon to a small dish and stirring to combine. Set aside.
Remove donuts from oven and let cool for a few minutes in the pan. Then grab the tins with a towel and tap over a cooling rack to loosen the donuts until they fall out. Let cool (smooth side up - the side that was in the tin) for at least 5 minutes on the rack. The longer they cool, the more they'll firm up!
Best when fresh. Store completely cooled leftovers loosely covered at room temperature up to 3-4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month.
*We tried using flax seed in place of aquafaba and it didn't turn out nearly as fluffy. If not vegan, you could also sub egg whites for the aquafaba.
*We recommend using Wellbee's brand almond flour as it works best. If you are nut-free, you can try subbing another seed meal, such as a blend of flax, sesame, and sunflower. We don't recommend oat flour - it turned out a little gummy. If using coconut flour, halve the amount, as it is quite absorbent. We haven't tested anything other than almond flour though and can't guarantee the results.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with avocado oil, coconut sugar, and maple syrup and without optional ingredients.