Breakfast Buttermilk Cakes Recipes Vanilla

Apple Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts with Brown Butter Glaze


Sometimes in my daydreams I have hair that I can run my fingers through, I wear strapless dresses, I’m really good at driving a stick shift car, I have Sissy Spacek eyelids, and Sigourney Weaver narrates my life. Maybe also there’s an early 90’s Jagged Little Pill soundtrack running though my daydreams… but in a totally zen kinda way.  I mean…

Daydreams are all well and good.  But really, what’s the point daydreaming about different eyelids when there is a stack of freshly made baked doughnuts staring you in the face.  Right?


I think I warned you about my new-found baked doughnut enthusiasm.  A few weeks ago I made these Brown Butter Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze, and they felt like just about the best thing EVER.  I’m chasing that first baked doughnut high, this time with apples and cinnamon.  Join me!


Oh my goodness… let’s just make these doughnuts!  Into the mixing bowl goes flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Easy cake beginnings!


Sugar and spices, too!

Brown butter and grated apples are the heart and soul of these doughnuts.   Brown butter adds a nutty richness.  Apples add the perfect sweet seasonal flavor.  Such a happy pair!


Freshly grated nutmeg is my very favorite fall spice.

If you do one thing for me this Fall… just one, pretty please… I want you to grate your own nutmeg, fresh to-order.  All you need is a microplane and whole nutmeg.  It’s a game changer.


The browned butter is whisked together with an egg and buttermilk.  The wet ingredients meet the dry ingredients.  Simple as that.

Stir in the apples and POW.. well almost.  We’re so close to doughnuts!


Good instincts!  We’ve got them.


I was a bit over-enthusiastic and filled the baking pan a bit too much.  My doughnut centers betray me.

It’s cool.  Nothing a little Brown Butter Glaze and sweet tooth can’t fix!


A sweet Brown Butter Schmear.  Few things are better.


Imagine a little spice cake.  Shape that little cake into a doughnut. Add sweet apples.  Go heavy on the ground cinnamon and fresh nutmeg.  Drench the whole thing in Brown Butter Glaze.  This is that!

 You need a baked doughnut pan.  Just saying.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts with Brown Butter Glaze

adapted from Doughnuts

makes about 8 doughnuts

Print this Recipe!

For the Doughnuts:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter (but we’ll only use 2 tablespoons of browned butter for the recipe)

1 large egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup peeled and grated fresh apple

For the Glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 to 4 tablespoons whole milk

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a doughnut pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, and brown sugar.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt all of the butter (including the butter needed for the glaze).  Butter will begin to crackle and pop as it melts.  That’s the water melting out of the butter.  Once the water has evaporated the butter will quiet down and begin to brown.  Keep an eye on it, it browns quickly.  The butter will begin to smell nutty.  Remove from heat and immediately transfer browned butter (brown bits and all) to a small bowl.

In a small bowl whisk together egg, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.  Measure out 2 tablespoons of browned butter and whisk into the wet ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients.  Add the grated apple. Stir together until no flour bits remain and all of the ingredients are well combined.  Try not to overmix the batter.  That might create rubbery doughnuts.

Use a small spoon to dollop batter into the prepared pan.  Smooth out and fill each doughnut in the pan three-quarters full with batter.

Place in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them and try not to over-bake them.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze.

To make the glaze, in a medium bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and salt.  Add 2 tablespoons of browned butter, vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons milk.  Whisk to combine.  Add more milk to make the glaze more spreadable.
Once the doughnuts are completely cool, use a butter knife to spread each doughnut with glaze.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes in the fridge to harden the glaze.  These doughnuts are best serve the day they’re made.