Sure, pumpkin anything is bringing sexy back this fall (and all the falls) but apples have been an autumnal all-star far longer. We could do a comparison table here showcasing everything you can do with apples versus pumpkin and I bet these two tasty ingredients would be neck-and-neck, but that is too much formatting and work for me to handle before my next yoga class (truth be told). So instead, I’m going to tell you about how I turned this delicious Pumpkin Cake Donut recipe from King Arthur Flour into a Maple-Apple Cake Donut using apples I picked from my local Waters Orchard.
Growing up in Massachusetts, my favorite donuts were those powdered cake donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts which inevitably left more sugary dust on your chin and clothes than made it into your mouth. I loved the fluffy texture and sweet remnants you got to lick off your lips after the treat was done. As a nutrition coach, I tend not to eat or recommend too many donuts these days but if you’re going to do it, do it good.
The following Maple-Apple Cake Donut recipe was inspired by sweet apples and a small jar of granulated maple sugar from my parents up in New England. The ingredients did the talking, King Arthur helped me with the baseline, and my creative mind made swaps to cut back on added sugar and fuse these fluffy Os with fall flavor.
MAPLE-APPLE CAKE DONUTS
Makes 12 donuts
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 stick of butter (or 1/4 cup), melted
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 Tbs maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups 15-minutes homemade apple sauce (recipe follows)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 ts ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, level
- Granulated maple sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two donut pans.
- In a large mixer, use the flat beater attachment to combine the oil, butter, eggs, sugars, maple syrup, apple sauce, spices, salt, and baking powder until smooth. (You can also do this by hand with a little elbow grease and a whisk).
- Add the flour, stirring just until smooth.
- Fill the wells of the donut pans about to the top but be careful they don’t overflow.
- Bake for ~18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, let cool a few minutes, loosen the edges (if need be) with a butter knife, and gently flip onto a rack to cool.
- While the doughnuts are still warm generously dust them with granulated maple sugar (or cinnamon sugar).
- Let cool completely and store at room temperature for several days. I like to place them on a plate, stick them with toothpicks, and tent them with plastic wrap so they have room to breath.
HOMEMADE APPLE SAUCE
- 2 extra large or 3 large apples – peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- In a medium microwavable mixing bowl, combine prepped apples with sugar and cinnamon.
- Microwave for 3 minutes, stir, and microwave again another 3-4 minutes until apples are soft (not mushy) when pricked with a fork.
- Transfer to a blender or food processor and blender until mostly smooth (any little chunks will taste delicious when you bite into them).
‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread (recipe to come), pumpkin smoothies (recipe to come) and, my personal favorite, pumpkin soup! As iconic a fall staple as apple-picking and Halloween, pumpkins and pumpkin products are abundant this time of year. The orange gourds are packed with beta carotene which your body converts into vitamin A–essential for good eye sight and a healthy heart–as well as disease fighting vitamin K and powerful antioxidants. Pumpkin can definitely be deemed a superfood.
The recipe I’ve created for you today uses canned organic pumpkin. Chances are some of you out there may experience a certain skepticism for anything that comes out of a can. Before you throw the fresh-food-is-better book at this one consider this: according to Greatist, one cup of the canned stuff has 7g of fiber and 3g of protein—that’s more than two times the fiber and 50% more protein than pulling it fresh from the pumpkin patch. Topping this semi-sweet soup with a sprinkle of raw pumpkin seeds will add a powerful dose of essential minerals including zinc, potassium and magnesium.
I’ll have more pumpkin-perfect recipes later this month, so stock up on your canned pumpkin and spices now!
What You’ll Need:
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- 1 sweet onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 2 – 15oz cans organic pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling!)
- 1 tbs maple syrup
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4-1/2 tsp smoked chipotle chile flakes
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbs tahini
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
How to Make It:
- In a large pot or casserole dish, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic (both coarsely chopped) and sauté until translucent (about 5-7 min). Add spices and cook another minute.
- Add 3 cups of vegetable stock and bring mixture up to a simmer.
- Add two cans of pumpkin purée and maple syrup, stirring to combine.
- Remove mixture from heat and pour it into a blender. Blend until thoroughly combined.
- Add blended soup back to your pot and mix in one cup of coconut milk. Taste for seasoning and adjust according to taste. (Note: if you want to thin this out, add another cup of vegetable stock at this point).
- Bring mix back to a simmer and serve immediately, or remove it from the heat, let cool, and store in your fridge for up to a week (or 1-2 months in your freezer).
- Serve with a spoonful of the optional coconut milk/tahini blend (whisk together the tahini and coconut milk until smooth) and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds for a little more flavor and texture.