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Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

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These gluten free cinnamon sugar donuts are light, fluffy, and downright delicious. Baked instead of fried and dipped in a sweet, cinnamony & buttery glaze, these gluten-free donuts are the perfect healthy(ish) treat for fall -or any time of the year!

platter of baked donuts.
Scrumptious baked cinnamon sugar donuts

if you’re looking for a fantastic gluten-free donut to share with your loved ones this fall, you’ll want to try this recipe -and if you love baked cake-style donuts, don’t miss my Banana Donuts and my Cinnamon Sugar Donuts while you’re here!

Homemade cinnamon-sugar-dipped donuts? Yes, please! These baked donuts are thick, cakey, and delightfully flavored with brown sugar and cinnamon. They’re quick, easy, and the type of gluten-free sweet treat your friends and family are guaranteed to LOVE!

Keep in mind that baked cake donuts are different than their deep-fried counterpart. Baked donuts have a loser crumb and a cake-like consistency, but they’re delicious regardless. Not to mention, baked donuts are fun and easier to make than you may think.

For this cake donut recipe, the batter bakes to perfection in a donut pan before being dipped in a buttery cinnamon sugar glaze, elevating these donuts to the next level of deliciousness. When I made these cinnamon sugar donuts for my family, they were all gobbled up immediately.

baked cinnamon sugar donuts.
Delicious donuts coated in cinnamon and sugar.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and easy. The batter comes together in one bowl, and the donuts are done in under 30 minutes.
  • Gluten-free! These donuts are perfect if you don’t eat gluten. However, they taste like classic cake donuts, so the gluten-eaters won’t notice the difference.
  • Baked instead of fried. The donuts are baked perfectly in a donut pan rather than fried in heavy oils, so they’re healthier, and clean-up is easy peasy.
  • Perfect for fall. This is a fun recipe the whole family will enjoy. The buttery cinnamon sugar glaze is super simple and SO good, and the warm and cozy flavors scream fall!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Gluten Free Flour – Use a gluten-free flour you’ve had success with in other recipes. This recipe was tested using Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour. I find it mimics all-purpose flour perfectly.
  • Brown Sugar – Sweetens the batter. You can also use coconut sugar.
  • Baking Powder – Gives the batter its lift as it bakes, creating a soft and stout donut.
  • Salt – Salt helps strengthen the batter while refining sweet flavors.
  • Cinnamon – Adds warmth and vibrant flavor.
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk – Thins the ingredients into a smooth, pipe-able batter. You can use dairy-free milk here (soy, cashew, coconut, etc.) or whole milk.
  • Unsweetened Applesauce – Gives the donuts crisp autumn apple flavor and moisture. For extra cinnamon flavor, you can use cinnamon applesauce if you like.
  • Melted Butter – Helps keep the donuts moist and fluffy and improves the flavor. If dairy-free, you can use melted vegan butter here.
  • Vanilla Extract – Adds rich, warm, and decadent vanilla-y flavors.
  • Cinnamon Sugar Butter Glaze – For the topping, they are first dipped in melted butter and then dipped in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. As the butter and sugar harden, it creates a sweet, crackled coating similar to the texture of a fried donut. Feel free to use granular white sugar, brown sugar, or coconut sugar here.

How To Make This Recipe

six image process making gluten free cinnamon sugar donuts.
Gluten free cinnamon sugar donuts process

Step 1: Make the batter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt & cinnamon, and mix well. Then, add the almond milk, applesauce, butter, and vanilla, and stir until combined -but be careful not to overmix!

Step 2: Pour batter

Transfer the donut batter to a piping bag, and pipe it into your donut baking pan, filling each mold almost to the top.

Step 3: Bake.

Transfer to the oven and bake until the donuts are set and golden (about 10 minutes). Let the donuts stand in the pan for 5 minutes before removing and transferring them to a wire rack.

Step 4: Dip.

Meanwhile, mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small shallow bowl and melt the butter in another. Working with one donut at a time, dip it in the melted butter, coat the top and sides, and then roll it in the cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately while the donuts are still warm.

donut broken in half.
Delicious cinnamon sugar cake donuts.

Recipe Tips

  • Donut pans are typically nonstick, but to reduce the risk of the donuts sticking, you can spray the pan with cooking spray and coat the crevices lightly in flour.
  • Spooning batter into a donut pan without making a mess is nearly impossible. Piping the batter with a pastry bag saves you from the stress. No piping bag? Cut off one of the corners from a zip-top bag for piping. Be sure to fill the donut molds nearly full.
  • Keep an eye on the oven so the donuts don’t overbake and lose their tender crumb.
  • Baked cinnamon sugar donuts are finished when browned, golden on the surface, and a toothpick poked into the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs.
  • Glazes and frostings are typically added to donuts once cooled, but you can dip these donuts while they are still warm. The heat helps the melted butter and cinnamon sugar adhere to the surface.
  • My most important piece of advice is to enjoy your gluten-free cinnamon sugar donuts while they’re still warm!

Variations

Spices – In addition to cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, clove, and star anise is a delightful way to brighten up the batter with vibrant fall flavors. Likewise, you can spice the batter with apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice, or gingerbread spice.
If you don’t have a donut pan – Make muffins! Pour the batter into a lined muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: These donuts are best served hot out of the oven, but extras can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. I don’t recommend storing them in the fridge, as baked donuts tend to dry out quickly.

Freezing: Again, they’re best served fresh. To freeze, let the donuts cool completely, then set them on a baking tray and place the tray in the freezer. Once solid, transfer the frozen donuts to a freezer-safe bag for 2-3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

FAQ

Can I make these donuts not gluten-free?

I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour, as it mimics regular flour perfectly. That said, you shouldn’t have any issues making cinnamon sugar donuts with all-purpose flour or cake flour instead of gluten-free flour.

How do you reheat cake donuts?

They’re best enjoyed freshly baked while they’re still warm. Reheating a cake donut without drying it out can be tricky. I suggest loosely wrapping a single donut in a damp paper towel and popping it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.

Yield: 6 Servings

Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

baked cinnamon sugar donuts.

These gluten free cinnamon sugar donuts are light, fluffy, and downright delicious. Baked instead of fried and dipped in a sweet, cinnamony & buttery glaze, these gluten-free donuts are the perfect healthy(ish) treat for fall -or any time of the year!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

For Batter

  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Topping

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

For Batter

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. 
  2. Transfer the donut batter to a piping bag, and pipe it into your donut baking pan, filling each mold almost to the top.
  3. Transfer to the oven and bake until the donuts are set and golden, about 10 minutes. Let the donuts stand in the pan for 5 minutes before removing and transferring them to a wire rack.

For Topping

  1. Meanwhile, mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small shallow bowl and melt the butter in another. Working with one donut at a time, dip it in the melted butter, coat the top and sides, and then roll it in the cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately while the donuts are still warm.

Notes

  • Donut pans are typically nonstick, but to reduce the risk of the donuts sticking, you can spray the pan with cooking spray and coat the crevices lightly in flour.
  • Spooning batter into a donut pan without making a mess is nearly impossible. Piping the batter with a pastry bag saves you from the stress. No piping bag? Cut off one of the corners from a zip-top bag for piping. Be sure to fill the donut molds nearly full.
  • Keep an eye on the oven so the donuts don't overbake and lose their tender crumb.
  • Baked cinnamon sugar donuts are finished when browned, golden on the surface, and a toothpick poked into the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs.
  • Glazes and frostings are typically added to donuts once cooled, but you can dip these donuts while they are still warm. The heat helps the melted butter and cinnamon sugar adhere to the surface.
  • My most important piece of advice is to enjoy your gluten-free cinnamon sugar donuts while they're still warm!
  • Storing: These donuts are best served hot out of the oven, but extras can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. I don't recommend storing them in the fridge, as baked donuts tend to dry out quickly.
  • Freezing: Again, they're best served fresh. To freeze, let the donuts cool completely, then set them on a baking tray and place the tray in the freezer. Once solid, transfer the frozen donuts to a freezer-safe bag for 2-3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 206mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Did you make this recipe?

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Nart at Cooking with Nart

Friday 2nd of October 2020

These donuts look so amazing! Sugar and cinnamon are such a great combo...and I can't believe they are gluten free. Also, they remind me of Cinnabon!

Sharon

Thursday 1st of October 2020

These are fabulous! I used coconut sugar for the granulated sweetener and it turned out great. Yum!

Ramona

Thursday 1st of October 2020

REally nice recipe. I have made these today with my daughter and we almost have none left. Delicious and I loved the fact that they are GF too. Thanks for the recipe - will be making these again.

Anita

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

These donuts are delicious and great with a cup of black coffee. :)

Anjali

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

I love that this recipe is healthier than a traditional donut recipe, but tastes just as good!! My kids had fun making this with me today!

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