Gluten Free Apple Crumb Donuts

It is apple season, and these Gluten Free Apple Crumb Donuts have all of the flavors of fall in each bite.  Topped with irresistible crumbs, these may be your new favorite fall treat.

Before the Pumpkin-Spice-Train leaves the station, I need to board and ride along the Apple Train!  I simply adore fall apples in season.  There is nothing quite like a fresh picked, juicy, sweet apple that has been just plucked from the tree.  To eat it fresh or bake with it is a hard decision to make.

Apple Donuts

Apple picking has just always been part of each of our family’s autumns.  The boys have a great knack at picking the perfect apples.  And boy, oh, boy do they pick a lot!  After an afternoon in the orchard, we always make our way back to the orchard’s market.  I love the market area so much.  I’m totally taken in by homemade, handcrafted fare.  You can always count on jams and jellies, apple butters, cider, and of course, fresh apple cider donuts. And, like many of you, we’ve needed to walk on past them those donuts.  {Sigh}

Mom to the Rescue

Situations like this always motivate me to get to work in the kitchen.  For every glutinous item we can’t enjoy, I make it my mission to create a similar  (and better) option that we can enjoy.  These donuts come to you as a result of our numerous walks past those apple cider donuts.

Apple Flavor

While these donuts are called apple donuts, you’ll notice that there are no fresh apples featured in this recipe.  Imparting apple flavor into an item can be accomplished in many ways:  freeze dried apples, reduced apple juice or cider, apple pie spice, applesauce, or in this case, apple butter.  I really love apple butter.  It contains such amazing concentrated apple flavor in every spoonful.   That intense flavor works so well in baked goods.

Making Baked Donuts

I’m a huge fan of baked donuts.  While frying donuts produces an undeniably amazing donut, don’t be too quick to put down the baked version.  Baking donuts creates equally delicious donuts without the extra saturated fat.  Donut pans like these are readily available and quite affordable.  They clean up easy as well.  I really love them.

Donut Pan

How to Make Gluten Free Apple Crumb Donuts

These donuts come together so easily.   Begin by creaming the butter and sugar together.  Mix in the eggs and apple butter.  Next, the dry ingredients are married with the wet.

Let’s talk about filling the donut pans.  There are several ways to do this (without leaving a mess behind):

  • Use a small spoon to fill each donut spot.  Add a bit of batter into each spot.  Better to add the batter in small amounts.  Trying to add a large spoonful of batter all at once will likely leave behind a bit of a mess.
  • Use a pastry bag with a wide open tip.  This method yields nice, uniform donuts, with little to no mess on the pan.  Simply opt for a wide open tip (pastry tip) like this:

  • Use a resealable (Ziploc) bag.  Simply place your batter into a bag.  Take as much air out of the bag as possible.  Seal.  Lastly, cut a corner off of the bag.    You will pipe the batter from the snipped end.   Since using a wide opening works best for this recipe, snip off a section (corner) that is about 1/2″ long.
  • Use disposable piping bags.  This recipe does not require the use of a tip, so bags such as these, would work perfectly.

Piping Bags

Making the Crumbs

What sets these donuts apart are the crumbs.  Really, who doesn’t love crumbs?  Gluten free crumbs are so easy to make.  Begin by cutting cold butter into small chunks.  Add in the flour, sugar, and cinnamon.  Using a pastry blender, forks, or your hands, work all of the ingredients together until crumbs form.  This takes a little bit of time.  Be sure to keep working the ingredients together until actual crumbs form.  You want to work past sandy crumbs.

Once you have your crumbs, sprinkle them evenly over the tops of each uncooked donut.  Gently press the crumbs down into the batter.  You do not want to submerge; you are just looking to make sure that all of the crumbs are in contact with the batter.  As the batter bakes, the crumbs will adhere nicely.

Gluten Free Apple Crumb Donuts - The Gluten Free Gathering

Gluten Free Apple Crumb Donuts - The Gluten Free Gathering

Gluten Free Apple Crumb Donuts - The Gluten Free Gathering

The Gluten Free Gathering is on :


Gluten Free Apple Crumb Donuts

A delicious baked donut full of apple flavor and sugary crumbs.

  • 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup gluten free flour (with xanthan gum) – I used Bob’s 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Crumb Topping

  • 2 teaspoons salted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup gluten free flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, sifted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a donut tin (6 donuts) with cooking spray; set aside.
  3. Place 1/4 cup of butter in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add 1/2 cup sugar to the butter and cream together.
  5. Add in the egg and apple butter; mix until smooth.
  6. Sift together 1 cup of gluten free flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and baking powder.
  7. Add the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix until just combined.
  8. Evenly distribute the batter among the 6 donut spots. You can do this with a small spoon, or you can place the batter into a piping bag or a resealable bag (with the end snipped off), and pipe the batter into each spot. If you use a bag be sure to cut a large end portion off the bag so the batter is piped out in a wide tube. If using a pastry bag, use a large, open tip.
  9. Set the donut tin aside.
  10. Cut 2 tablespoons of butter into small chunks. Place into a bowl along with the remaining gluten free flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Work all of the ingredients together until small crumbs form. You do not want sandy crumbs, but you also do not want huge crumbs. See photo.
  11. Evenly distribute the crumbs among the 6 donuts. Very lightly press the crumbs slightly into the batter. You do not want to submerge the crumbs; you simply want them to make contact with the batter so the crumbs will adhere to the donut as it bakes.
  12. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  13. Remove the donuts from the tin and place onto a cooling rack.
  14. Once cool, place 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar into a handheld sifter. Sift the sugar over the tops of the donuts.

This post contains affiliate links through Amazon.  Should you choose to click on a link and make a purchase, I will be paid a small commission by Amazon.  This comes at NO additional cost to you and assists with the expenses associated with this blog.  Thank you for your support!

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