Baked Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donut-Muffins with Apple Cider Glaze

I first made these on a whim with some leftover apple cider that I had brought home from my nutrition education job at a local farmer’s market in November 2014. Apparently apple cider donuts are a big East coast thing. I had never heard of them before or eaten one. And since all the ones are the farmers’ markets are not gluten-free, the only hope I had was to try to make them myself. So while I cannot claim to know how traditional apple cider donuts taste, these turned out ahhhhmazing!

You’ll also see that I didn’t have a donut pan so I just used a muffin tin. Worked like a charm :)

Baked Gluten-Free Apple Cider Donut-Muffins with Apple Cider Glaze

Makes 14 muffins

Donut-Muffin Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of unfiltered apple cider (from your local farmers’ market I hope!)
  • 0.5 cup of sugar
  • 0.25 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 0.5 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob Red Mills GF AP)
  • 0.5 tsp. xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend contains it)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp. salt
  • 0.5 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 0.25 tsp. cloves (optional – I didn’t use these)

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 cup apple cider (you can get away with half a cup too)
  • 1.5 tsp. butter
  • 0.5 to 0.75 cup confectioners' sugar

Instructions:

  1. Heat the cider in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until the cider has reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir occasionally to ensure it isn't burning. You may need to pour into a measuring cup every now and then to see how far down it has reduced. Be prepared that this takes around 20-30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Make buttermilk by mixing the apple cider vinegar into the milk & let set for at least 5 minutes until it starts to get foamy. More time is fine.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray 1 regular muffin pan + 2 spaces on a second muffin pan with gluten-free cooking spray.
  4. I just stirred by hand, but you could use an electric mixer to help get out all the clumps. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
  5. Beat in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and reduced cider until combined. If the cider is still warm when you are adding it, just pour in a little at a time while you stir continuously to temper the mixture.
  6. Mix flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl. Add to the liquid mixture and beat until smooth.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the muffin pans, filling around half-way. These rise quite a bit so be careful not to overfill. Fill any empty muffin a quarter-full with water.
  8. Bake the muffins for approx. 12 minutes in the oven, or until they spring back when gently touched. Be careful of the excess water in the empty muffin spaces when you remove the muffins!
  9. While the muffins are baking, prepare the glaze by reducing the 1 cup (or 0.5 cup) of apple cider down to approx. 3 TBSP. Again this takes a while.
  10. Once the cider has reduced, remove from heat and stir in the butter to melt. Then add the confectioners’ sugar until you reach a glaze consistency.
  11. Once the donut-muffins have cooled, drizzle on the glaze and enjoy with your favorite cup of tea!