Apple Crumb Cake Donuts

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These Apple Crumb Cake Donuts are baked not fried, full of apples and covered in a buttery cinnamon crumb topping and an easy vanilla icing!

Overhead view of Apple Crumb Cake Donuts with vanilla icing on a wire rack

These donuts are like a crumb cake in donut form with pieces of apple in every bite! The cinnamon crumb topping is soft and buttery and the donuts are complete with the prettiest drizzle of vanilla icing. They’re sure to impress all of your friends and family but so easy to make because they’re baked not fried!

For more apple recipes try my Apple Hand Pies or Gooey Apple Cinnamon Rolls!

Ingredient Breakdown

All-purpose flour – this gives the donuts structure.

Baking powder/baking soda – unlike traditional donuts this recipe doesn’t use yeast so it relies on chemical leaveners to rise and get fluffy.

Cinnamon and nutmeg – you can’t have apple cake donuts without these delicious spices (if you don’t like cinnamon or nutmeg you can totally omit them and they’ll still be just as tasty!).

Buttermilk – adds flavor and makes the donuts so moist!

Granulated sugar – sweetens and softens donuts.

Butter – melted butter adds both flavor and moisture! I always recommend using unsalted butter but salted butter works if that’s all you have on hand, just be sure to omit the 1/2 teaspoon of salt later on.

Eggs – helps bind the ingredients.

Vanilla extract and salt – enhances flavor. Always use pure vanilla extract instead of imitation for best flavor.

Apples – Granny Smith is my go-to but you can whatever apples you prefer. Try mixing up different kinds for more variety in flavor and texture!

Stack of Apple Crumb Cake Donuts

How To Make Apple Crumb Cake Donuts

1. Make the Crumb Topping: in a medium bowl combine the all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Add melted butter and mix until well combined. Use clean hands to break into crumbs then set aside.

2. Make the Apple Crumb Cake Donut Batter: in a small bowl combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3. In a medium bowl whisk the buttermilk, granulated sugar, melted butter, eggs and vanilla until well combined.

4. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until almost combined then add the diced apples and fold until just combined. The batter will be very thick. Do not over mix!

Cake Donut batter

5. Use a piping bag or a zip-top bag to pipe each donut ring 2/3 full. Do not fill to the top, the donuts will rise as they bake. Sprinkle the tops of each donut with the crumb topping.

6. Bake Apple Crumb Cake Donuts at 350°F for 10 minutes. Allow to cool in donut pans for 10 minutes then unmold and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Apple Crumb Cake Donut batter in donut pans

7. Make the Vanilla Icing: in a small bowl whisk the confectioners’ sugar, water and vanilla extract until smooth then drizzle over cooled cake donuts. Store Apple Crumb Cake Donuts in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge.

Pro Tips For Apple Crumb Cake Donuts

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate; baking is a science after all!
  • Do not over mix the batter! There should still be streaks of flour in the batter when you add the apples otherwise the donuts will be tough.
  • Don’t over fill the pan! Only fill each donut ring 2/3 full.
  • If your donut holes closed up while baking you can use a small round cookie cutter to cut out the middle. The smallest ring from this set fits perfectly.
  • Try substituting the vanilla extract in the icing for maple extract for a delicious maple icing!

More Cake Donut Recipes

more Apple Recipes

Overhead view of Apple Crumb Cake Donuts with vanilla icing on a wire rack

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

Apple Crumb Cake Donuts

These Apple Crumb Cake Donuts are baked not fried, full of apples and covered in a buttery cinnamon crumb topping and an easy vanilla icing!
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 20 donuts
Author Maria Azzarelli

Equipment

  • Donut pan
  • Piping bag or zip-top bag

Ingredients

Crumb Topping

  • 180 g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Apple Cake Donut Batter

  • 300 g (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 240 g (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 apples peeled and diced small

Vanilla Icing

  • 120 g (1 cup) confectioners' sugar
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) water
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Crumb Topping

  • In a medium bowl combine the all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Add melted butter and mix until well combined. Use clean hands to break into crumbs then set aside.

Apple Crumb Cake Donut Batter

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease donut pans.
  • In a small bowl combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • In a medium bowl whisk the buttermilk, granulated sugar, melted butter, eggs and vanilla until well combined.
  • Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until almost combined then add the diced apples and fold until just combined. The batter will be very thick. Do not over mix!
  • Use a piping bag or a zip-top bag to pipe each donut ring 2/3 full. Do not fill to the top, the donuts will rise as they bake. Sprinkle the tops of each donut with the crumb topping.
  • Bake Apple Crumb Cake Donuts for 10 minutes. Allow to cool in donut pans for 10 minutes then unmold and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Vanilla Icing

  • In a small bowl whisk the confectioners' sugar, water and vanilla extract until smooth then drizzle over cooled cake donuts.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
  • Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter. You can use salted butter, just be sure to omit the 1/2 tsp of salt in the donut batter.
 
  • Store Apple Crumb Cake Donuts in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge.
 
  • Apples: Granny Smith is my go-to but you can whatever apples you prefer. Try mixing up different kinds for more variety in flavor and texture!

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