Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts

Fat Tuesday was yesterday, but that didn’t stop us from frying up our own batch of Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts. In my life before FA (Food Allergies), I loved to make a special trip to my local bakery for a Paczki (pronounced poonchki). Often I would choose a raspberry or custard filled version, but really any type was delicious.

Speaking of doughnuts, my all time favorite¬†hails from Long Grove, Illinois, a beautiful little historic village about 40 minutes north of Chicago. Every fall I would go there with my mom and sister for lunch and shopping. The village¬†boasts adorable antique and¬†speciality shops as well as¬†their¬†famous Long Grove Confectionery Shoppe. But the real draw for me¬†always was the Apple Haus;¬†home of the gorgeous apple¬†pie baked in a brown¬†bag.¬†The pie¬†is¬†amazing, but the real secret of this place is its Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts. Oh I can see them now all lined¬†up on big¬†baking sheets, sold as fast as they’re brought in.

I’ve¬†taken John to Long Grove only twice for Apple Fest and Chocolate Fest, but¬†often wished he¬†could share the same sentimental experience of¬†going to the Apple Haus that I had all those years¬†growing up.¬†I¬†had to create the¬†perfect replica of that¬†special Apple Cinnamon Doughnut, just so John could know¬†what a¬†freshly baked doughnut tastes like.¬†And so here it is: The Best¬†Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts you or¬†kids will¬†ever have.¬†I think this version rivals anything¬†made in a true neighborhood bakery. The best part is they are super easy to make, require no rise time and very little kneading.¬†Making them with your kids¬†is a blast because they¬†get to shake their warm doughnuts in a brown paper lunch bag filled with¬†cinnamon sugar.¬†I guarantee you’ll love these.




4 ¬Ĺ- 4 ¬ĺ c. unbleached all purpose flour

3 ¬Ĺ tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

¬Ĺ tsp. nutmeg

¬ĺ c. unsweetened applesauce

2 tsp. vanilla

¬ĺ c. granulated sugar

3 T. dairy free margarine, melted

1 c. soy or rice milk

Vegetable oil for frying

Cinnamon Sugar for rolling

¬Ĺ c. granulated sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon


In a large heavy pot heat 2-3 inches of vegetable oil until candy thermometer reaches 375 degrees.


Meanwhile, in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine applesauce, vanilla and sugar. Add margarine and mix well. In a separate medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon with a wire whisk. Add flour mixture and soy milk alternatively with margarine mixture. Add more flour if needed to make a smooth and not too sticky dough.


Transfer dough to a lightly floured board. Knead for about a minute and roll out to a ¬Ĺ inch thick circle. Dip doughnut cutter into flour and cut into dough. Remove trimmings and reroll, repeating process.


Slide just a few doughnuts carefully into hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry until doughnuts rise to the surface, about 2 minutes and turn over with metal tongs to fry other side. Doughnuts should be golden brown on both sides. Lift with metal tongs and drain on paper towels.


Place cinnamon sugar mixture in brown paper lunch bag. Place warm doughnuts, one at a time in brown bags and shake to coat. Shake off excess sugar and place on serving platter. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.


Yield: 12 doughnuts and 12 holes


(Note: If you don’t have a donut cutter, instead use a 3 inch biscuit cutter. To make the donut hole use an empty and sterilized medicine bottle without the cap. Poke the hole in the middle of the circle and out will pop the hole. This is a time tested trick my mom used in the kitchen.)

28 Responses

    • Lucky you! Is the donut shop nut free too? If there was truly an allergen free bakery I think I would die and go to heaven. Nothing better!

  1. OMG Kelly, these donuts look amazing! This is why Devin wants to go to Northwestern so that Aunt Kelly can cook for him. ūüôā

    You are THE best cook!

  2. Apple doughnuts are my all-time favorite–I will be making these. I always feel bad that my daughter can’t have bakery doughnuts but she will love these.


    • me too. i find myself sneaking a trip to the local bakery for a donut just so i can get my fix. i was obsessed with donuts as a kid, so it was so important to me to have john try his first donut. hope your daughter enjoys them!

  3. Kelly,
    You are an angel for sharing this recipe. My middle one has never had a donut and I’m making these today.

    Thank you!

  4. These are on my list for this weekend – so far all of your recipes that we have tried have been winners – can’t wait for this one!

  5. Thanks so much Carla! Let me know how it turns out for you…I promise you’ll love em.

  6. Am I missing something? The directions say to water, vanilla and sugar, but I don’t see how much water to use. I was going to make these today so my kids could have them on Easter, and I don’t know what to do now.

    • Roseann – you are right on! The recipe ingredient list says 3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce, which is the correct measurement and ingredient. The directions should read add applesauce and NOT water. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention. I probably should stop writing blog posts at 5am! ūüôā

  7. Had to post an update – made the doughnuts on Memorial Day as a treat – brought tears to my eyes as my big boy ate his first doughnut at age 5! He has already asked “when can we make them again” and instructed me that next time we will have to put frosting and sprinkles on them! Thanks! They were great, so great that my husband ate all of the doughnut holes while I was at the pool with the kids!

    • Carla, wow, can’t tell you how much that made me smile! Hearing that your son enjoyed his first doughnut is the whole reason I worked so hard to get the cookbook out. You truly made my day!! Thanks so much!

  8. Yes! This is exactly what we need at our house right now! With fall in full force and a school field trip to the apple orchard looming, I need an allergy friendly alternative to the doughnuts the rest of the class will be eating at the orchard. Just one question, do they keep or do you need to eat them immediately? I’d like to make them the night before . . .

    • So excited Julie that you’ll be making these! Yes, freshly made doughnuts is always best, BUT I always have some left to eat the next day (up until two days if needed). A quite zap in the mircrowave will bring them back to life. Also, be sure to wrap well so they don’t dry out. Good luck!

  9. I’m trying to make these right now, but when I’ve added all the ingredients it’s more like a batter consistancy than a dough. There’s no way I could knead it. Should I just add more flour?

    We just got your book last week and have already thoroughly enjoyed 5 recipes especially the banana chocolate chip muffins. Thank You! My 9 year old daughter has egg and milk allergies and I’m always trying to create and make new recipes like the dairy alternatives. Your recipes are great!


  10. Just made these with the kids for the school Chanukah party. They were a big hit with kids and adults alike! Thank you for not only inspiring me to make doughnuts for the first time – but also for opening the world of doughnuts to my food allergic kid!

    We love your cook book and have already gifted it to schools, family and friends.

    • LOVE that BLH!! I adore this doughnut recipe for Hannukah parties and am THRILLED everyone loved them!

  11. Hi Kelly,
    I absolutely LOVE your recipes! I got the book and am working my way through- by the time my allergic daughter is old enough to look at other kids’ baked treats, I’ll be ready and set. :-)) Can I adapt this recipe for a donut baking pan? I just bought one, and my husband wants it set to use! ūüôā
    Thanks again for your book. I can tell you spent a TON of time on the recipes.

  12. Made these today in preparation for our trip to Edwards apple orchard later today.
    They are really good, but I think I did something wrong. Super dense. Any suggestions on how to make them lighter?

    Also, I used canola oil instead vegetable oil… Was that a bad idea?

    Love this book Kelly! Thnaks so much for sharing all your wonderful recipes!

    • Hi Chris, perhaps you added not enough or too little flour, or overmixed? Try again…and let me know. Shouldn’t be dense at all. Thanks!!

  13. Has anyone ever tried using a fry daddy for these? There is much more oil in it than 2-3 inches so just wondering if that would work? Thanks.

  14. Pingback: Allergy Free Donut Muffins | Cybele Pascal Allergen-Free Cuisine

  15. These look amazing. Quick question: Can you bake these in a donut pan or do they have to be fried?

  16. Thank you sooo much for this recipe! Just did a trial run, they turned out fantastic! Teachers wanted to serve doughnut holes and apple cider during a movie on halloween! Definitely couldn’t find egg, dairy, PN, TN free in any place local, was thrilled to come across this! Our son is so excited to try his first doughnut hole!