Irish Apple Cake Donuts with Whiskey Glaze

Irish Apple Cake baked Donuts with Whiskey Glaze on a plate with a linen
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These baked apple cake donuts have a vanilla-scented crumb with buttery apples dispersed throughout. They’re a 100% perfect anytime treat. 

Baked Apple Donuts: An Ode to Autumn 

Once the leaves turn from green to golden, apple season has officially begun—what better way to celebrate than with apple-studded baked donuts? Tart Granny Smith apples are cooked over the stovetop with brown sugar and butter, then tossed into a vanilla-scented batter. Prepared in a donut baking pan—which you can find at any Kroger store—apple cake donuts are the perfect morning or mid-afternoon treat, especially when drizzled with an Irish whiskey glaze.

ingredients for Irish Apple Cake Donuts with Whiskey Glaze legs, vanilla

What Makes a Cake Donut A Cake Donut? 

In the world of pastry lovers, there has been a war raging for centuries—cake donuts vs. yeast donuts. Die-hard yeasted donut lovers will argue that their beloved yeast donuts are lighter, airier, fluffier and therefore better, while cake donut devotees love the dense, dunkable texture of their pastry of choice. We’re not here to settle any debates, BUT when it comes to making donuts at home, we prefer a baked cake donut recipe for two reasons:  

  1. No hot oil to contend with. This is always a major plus! Not only does it mean less mess, it also means that it’s safe to involve the kiddos in the whole donut-making process. 
  2. Made with what is essentially a classic cake batter, you don’t need to wait for the batter to rise as you would with a yeasted donut. Oven-baked apple donuts that are ready in under thirty minutes? Yes, please! 
batter for Irish Apple Cake Donuts in a pan

How to Make Cake Donuts

If you have made a cake before, this cake donut recipe will be a breeze. Actually, even if you’ve never made a cake before, this recipe shouldn’t scare you. We promise it’s a cinch. Here’s how to make these whiskey icing-topped, appley treats: 

  1. Fry your diced apples in butter and sugar until they're caramelly and delicious. 
  2. Make the batter! Dry ingredients + wet ingredients—you know the drill. 
  3. Fold in the apples, and pour the cake donut batter into a prepped donut pan. 
  4. Whip up the whiskey glaze. If you'd like to keep these booze-free, just use whole milk instead of whiskey.
  5. When the donuts are still warm, but cooled enough so you can handle them, pop them out of that pan and dip them in the glaze. 
baked donuts on a cooling rack

Tools You’ll Need: 

Other Apple Recipes to Try! 

Knowing that the end of summer marks the beginning of apple season definitely makes it easier to say goodbye to those warm, breezy days. Here are four of our favorite apple recipes: 

The Sweet Smell of Apple Donuts 

We hope you love these homemade baked donuts as much as we do. Snap a photo of your finished apple donuts, and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed them to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

This is a sponsored post written by TMP on behalf of Kroger/Fred Meyer. The opinions and text are all ours.

Irish Apple Cake Donuts with Whiskey Glaze

Serves 12


3 cups granny smith apples, peeled, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 eggs beaten
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup whole milk

Whiskey Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp Irish whiskey, optional (substitute with 2 tbsp milk if omitting whiskey)
2 tbsp whole milk


  1. In a frying pan, set over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add apples and brown sugar to the butter and saute for 7-10 minutes, until the apples are tender with a slight bite to them. Turn off heat and set apples aside.
  2. Heat oven to 425° F.
  3. In a mixing bowl sift flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the eggs, with the sugar. Add the melted butter and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the whole milk, mix until fully incorporated. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the eggs mixture and stir until just combined and there are no more dry bits left. Add the apples to the batter.
  4. Spray a donut pan, or muffin tin with cooking spray and fill ⅔ of the way full with batter. Bake donuts for 10 minutes or until they bounce back when poked with your finger.
  5. In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar with whiskey and 2 tbsp milk. Dip warm donuts into the glaze and allow to cool. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon or nutmeg and serve.