Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Apple & Cinnamon Upside-Downuts - Baked Doughnuts with a 'Twist' (gluten free)

Doughnuts......... Generally defined as small cakes made of rich, light dough, that are fried in hot fat and are typically either ring-shaped with a hole in the middle, or filled with jam.

More recently however, some doughnuts got more healthy and moved from the frying pan into the oven. Baked in special ring-shaped baking pans, this allows for the versatility to create any number of new generation flavours and ingredient variations and in addition to being less bad for you, they are also far less messy to make. The texture may be slightly different from the traditional fried variety, but they are just as delicious!

My inspiration for the Upside-Downut comes from this month's Alphabakes challenge, being hosted by Ros at The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline at Caroline Makes, March's letter being 'U'.

And I thought 'Z' was tricky? This month, I rifled through about ten different recipe books searching for ingredients or dishes beginning with U.............. Ugli fruit, Unleavened bread, Upside-down pudding was about as far as it went. I even resorted to foreign spellings and almost went for 'Uova' which (I think) means eggs in Italian?

I figure that there have probably been a whole bunch of upside-down cakes and puddings made this month thanks to Alphabakes and in the absence of any knowledge of how best to use an Ugli fruit (although I guess it is probably much like any other citrus), decided that I might as well add to them. What the heck....... I love upside-down cake!

But then I got to thinking about doughnuts........... and started playing around with words in my head......... Mmmm.......... 'upside doughnut'? 'Upside-downut'? Could be delicious....... I wonder if it can be done?

Well...... It can! Oh yes...... Delicious fruity topped baked doughnuts, which look fantastic and taste even better. Doughnuts with a twist! AND gluten free!

I made my doughnuts with a pumpkin and apple-based batter as I thought this would ensure they were both moist and flavoursome and would compliment the apple-cinnamon caramel top best. Instead of using pure oil, I used coconut cream alongside a small amount of sunflower oil, both to enrich the flavour of the doughnut sponge as well as add to the healthiness of the purees.

These little rings are full of exotic cinnamon spice which pairs perfectly with the apple and delivers a wave of warmth and luxury with each bite. Soft, fruity, sweet, moist, doughnutty deliciousness. They are wonderful eaten fresh from the oven, but equally enjoyable when they are cold. Eat as they are or add custard or ice cream for more of a dessert.

Doughnuts can be notorious for going stale quickly and are often best eaten the day they are made. Not these! I had to go away for work last week and accidentally left one uneaten. When I returned two days later, it was still amazingly soft, moist and just as delicious.........

So there you have it........ My offering for Alphabakes 'U'.......... My own special take on the good old baked doughnut....... and upside-down cake...... all in one tasty little ring. I present to you....... the gluten free Apple & Cinnamon Upside-Downut.........

Baked Apple & Cinnamon Upside-Downuts (makes 8 doughnuts)


toffee-apple base
60g unsalted butter
60g soft light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cold water
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 small-medium sized cooking apple (e.g. Bramley)

doughnut batter
80g white rice flour (finely ground)
35g tapioca flour
30g sorghum flour
20g potato flour
20g ground almonds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
100g soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs
30 ml/2 tablespoons sunflower oil
45 ml/3 tablespoons coconut cream
130g pumpkin puree
40g apple sauce/puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Get ready your doughnut pan(s). If they are not non-stick, lightly grease with a little butter.
  2. To make the toffee-apple base, put the butter, sugar, water and cinnamon in a small saucepan and gently heat and stir until the butter melts.
  3. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook on a low heat, stirring continuously for about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and spoon a small amount of the syrup into the doughnut moulds, ensuring that there is an even covering.
  5. Peel and core the apple and cut into small, flat pieces. Place a layer of apple pieces on top of the syrup in the doughnut moulds. Set aside.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  7. To make the doughnut batter, weigh and mix together the flours, almonds, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum, salt and brown sugar in a medium-sized bowl, making sure any lumps are completely broken down.
  8. In a separate large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and then add the sunflower oil, coconut cream, pumpkin and apple purees and vanilla extract. Continue to beat with a whisk until fully combined, light and airy. 
  9. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and gently fold to combine completely. Be careful not to over-mix.
  10. Pipe or spoon the batter into the doughnut moulds on top of the apple and syrup. I used a disposable plastic piping bag with the end cut off, but you could equally use a large food freezer-bag with a corner cut off.
  11. Bake in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  12. Remove from the oven and leave in the tray for 10 minutes to start to cool.
  13. To remove from the doughnut pan, place a clean baking tray over the top of the doughnut pan and holding carefully but tightly, turn so that the doughnuts release onto the baking tray, toffee-apple side up.
  14. Move to a wire rack and cool completely.
  15. To serve, sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy as they are, or with custard/ice cream.

Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-14 unless otherwise indicated


  1. Oh my goodness. What a gorgeous recipe! And I love the photographs too :-) Also, did you invent the "upside-downuts"? Because that's genius...

  2. Thanks Aimee. Sometimes you get a bake that is just made for a career in modelling! And yes 'upside-downuts' are all mine! I googled after I had the idea and can find no other doughnut with the same name and none made with apple (there are a few similar which use pineapple). So yes..... I am well-chuffed!

  3. These look awesome! Apple, cinnamon and donuts are made for each other.

    1. Thanks Sarah. They certainly tasted pretty good too!

  4. They look so pretty - like mosaics!

    1. Thank you..... Now you mention it.... yes they do don't they?

  5. Love the name downuts - I think you may have started a new trend here! Love the flavour combination of apples, pumpkin and spice. Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.

    1. Thanks. I will certainly be trying out a whole variety of downuts from now on! Thanks for inspiring me to invent them!

  6. Oh, what a clever, clever idea! And the combination of apples, spice, and toffee is one that I never tire of. Gorgeous pictures, too. I love the shot of the doughnut with the bite out of it. The crumb texture looks so enticing!

    1. Thank you Alexandra. They were lovely and moist and cinnamony........ I had to be very restrained to just take the one bite for the photo!

    2. That's always the hardest part of the photography, isn't it? Being good and waiting to eat until after you've got your shots (and making other people wait, too).

    3. I know! I always feel so sorry for my family when I tell them 'sorry, the cake/biscuits/bread.... is going for a photo-shoot'!


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