Why they are called baked apple donuts, I have no idea. I used to think that it might be because the batter is prepared in much the same way as one prepares donut batter. But that can’t be because there is no such thing as donut batter. There is donut dough and it is made with yeast.
In some websites they are called baked apple donut holes. But they are neither donuts nor donut holes, baked or otherwise. There wouldn’t be holes if there were no donuts and since I made no donuts, they couldn’t be holes. They were more of a sweet short bread. Muffins even. But donuts or donut holes, I think not. Whatever they are, they are really, really good. Not too sweet, crusty outside, soft inside. And the topping adds an exotic aroma and wonderful texture that no frosting can.
My husband, Speedy, fell in love with them the moment he saw them in a community food site. He sent me a text message yesterday and suggested we — well, I — bake a batch of apple donuts. Why not? So bright and early this morning, just as soon as the supermarket opened (actually I was at the supermarket five minutes before it opened), I bought apples. Adapted from a recipe contributed at Tasty Kitchen, I used butter instead of vegetable shortening and I changed the amount of a few other ingredients too.
- 2 apples (I used Fuji apples)
- 1 and ½ c. of all-purpose flour
- ½ c. of sugar
- 1 and ¾ tsps. of baking powder
- ½ tsp. of salt
- 1 tsp. of ground nutmeg
- ⅓ c. of cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg
- ¼ c. of milk
- For the topping:
- ¼ c. of butter, melted
- ⅓ c. of sugar
- 1 tsp. of cinnamon powder
- Peel and roughly chop the apples.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and nutmeg. Add the butter to the flour mixture. Rub the butter against the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Beat the egg. Pour in the milk and stir lightly. Add the chopped apples to the egg-milk mixture.
- Pour the apple-egg-milk mixture to the flour-butter mixture. Stir (a fork is most useful) just until blended. DO NOT overmix. The batter will be a bit stiff.
- Form the batter into loose balls and place in the holes of a muffin pan. If you’re not using a non-stick pan, brush the holes lightly with softened butter.
- Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
- While the donuts/donuts holes/muffins are baking, prepare the topping. Measure the sugar and cinnamon powder into a bowl. Stir to combine.
- When the donuts/donuts holes/muffins are done, remove from the oven. Use a teaspoon to remove them from the pan. While still warm, dip the tops in melted butter them dredge in the sugar-cinnamon mixture.
- Serve your baked apple donuts warm while crusty — with coffee for a total experience. Enjoy!