oday is World Kindness Day
. What a wonderful day. As a baker, I could not ask for a more perfect day to share my recipes or love of baking with all of you.
Sometimes life is hard. Like really hard, and you just want to be mean and bitter and do things in your own interest and forget about the rest of the world, but all that does is turn you into a grouch and make life that much harder. One of my favorite quotes comes from that wise old bearded philosopher, Plato.“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Now imagine giving a hot, freshly baked, sugar-coated donut to that weary warrior. Or a smile, or a bag of chips. Life can be tough for us all so why not help a brother out? Like this video. Doesn’t get much better than that on World Kindness Day.
These donuts would make anyone’s day. Especially with this finally cold weather. And by cold, I mean California cold. Like I had to wear a jacket with my sandals today. Light, fluffy, and aromatic, your keenest of food critics will likely not be able to tell that these donuts are gluten free. Check out the original recipe and many other great gluten-free recipes here.
Your first step in this recipe is reducing the cider. Start this first as it takes some time to reduce and cool down. I did not follow my instructions and spent 15 frantically checking back and forth as I multitasked my way through this recipe. Not recommended. It’s the holidays after all, so take time to slow down and smell the cider.
This is the first time I have used the Cup4Cup flour blend, and I AM IMPRESSED. Shield your eyes from the price if you bake frequently, but it was so easy to use- cup for cup substitution so these donuts can easily be made gluten-full and no grittiness or off flavor which you can get from some blends. The almond flour helps contribute to the tender, cakey texture of the donut.
The fun part comes in piping these puppies into the pan. I was not in my fully stocked kitchen so opted for a large ziplock bag instead of a pastry bag. Worked great. Make sure you don’t overfill these. One healthy loop of batter should be enough.
Use a fork to pop the donuts out of the pan and let cool. Brush with melted butter and toss in the cinnamon sugar mixture like the donuts are playing in a pile of fallen leaves. Eat while warm. Cherish the season. They are the BEST. A great alternative to pumpkin spice everything.
To round out my cider experience for the evening, I needed to include a little boozy apple cider with this mouth watering cheese board and GLUTEN-FREE Raincoast crackers, say whaaat? I think I’m getting the hang of this gluten free thing.
And oh ya, I’m a godmother! Isn’t he beautiful?! Born October 4th, 9 lbs. 4oz., 21.25″. Can’t get enough snuggles from this guy!
So I depart with one final quote that inspires me: “I just figured if I was going to make the world a better place I would do it with cookies.” – Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
Or today, donuts.
Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donuts
Simple, spiced, baked gluten-free donuts for your fall fix.
For the donuts:
- 2 cups (16 oz.) unfiltered apple cider*
- 1/2 (99 grams) cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 56 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (4 oz.) buttermilk, shaken (not stirred)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 3/4 cups (233 grams) all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (I use Cup4Cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend contains it, Cup4Cup does)
- 1/4 cup (24 grams) almond flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
For the topping:
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 56 grams) melted butter
- 1/2 cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Start by heating the cider in a small saucepan. Bring the cider to a simmer and reduce down to 1/2 cup (about 15 minutes). Set aside to cool.
- While the cider is cooling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and spray 2 mini donut pans (or 2 regular donut pans) with gluten-free cooking spray. You can use one pan, but be sure to regrease before each batch.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, almond flour, xanthan gum (if not in blend already), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. Set aside. In a larger bowl or bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Slowly beat in buttermilk, vanilla and reduced cider until combined. The mixture may look slightly curdled if all ingredients were not at room temperature, but don't trip chicken strip.
- Beat in flour mixture in 2 additions scraping the bowl as necessary.
- Scoop the mixture into a large ziplock or pastry bag and snip off about 1/2 inch in one corner.
- Pipe mixture into prepared pan/s, filling each well about 1/2 full. Do NOT get over zealous and overfill the donut wells or you will end up with donut blobs. No one wants a donut blob.
- Bake until the donuts are just golden and spring back when gently touched, about 8 minutes for minis, 10 minutes for full sized.
- Let cool. Melt butter and in a separate bowl mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Brush the donuts with the melted butter and toss in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.
- Donuts are best served immediately. DO NOT store in an airtight container or cover in a way that may cause condensation. It will cause the sugar coating to melt and you will end up with a sad, sad, sticky pile of do-nots. Enjoy!
*I used Trader Joe's unfiltered apple juice found in the refrigerated section. Any type of unfiltered apple juice or cider will work.