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Before I begin my usual selfish ramble about how wonderful food is I need to thank Diana of Diana’s Desserts for this incredible apple cider baked donut recipe. I’ve seen the term “Apple Cider Doughnuts” wafting about food blogs like crazy as of late but after some investigation I’ve found most of them seem to stem from this recipe. So thank you, Diana, this recipe is amazingly delicious for something so simple (and since I busted my handmixer the other day this recipe was an absolutely blessing to my unfortunate circumstance).

I’ve added my own garnishes to these lovelies (because what’s the fun in cooking straight from a recipe?); my simple apple cider glaze and apple bark. It’s important to use a good quality apple cider here as it is the only wetting agent for the glaze (so if you were considering using Strongbow kindly close this browser now :)). And as for my apple bark – this was a complete(ly successful) afterthought that went down a treat providing a welcomed crunchy tang.  You may want to organise this a few hours prior to baking your goods as it will need around 3 hours in the oven.

As you can see I’ve used donut pans, mini donut pans and a baby cupcake tin so in the spirit of concise headings I’ve umbrella’d these delicious gems under “baked goods”. This recipe does not discriminate against shape!



Apple cider baked goods (from Diana’s Desserts)

2 cups plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 egg

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup apple sauce

1/3 cup maple syrup (or maple flavoured syrup)

1/3 cup good quality apple cider

1/3 cup vanilla yoghurt

3 tbsp vegetable oil


Apple cider glaze

1 cup icing sugar mixture

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup good quality apple cider


Apple bark

1 apple

springkling of cinnamon

For the apple cider baked goods

1. Preheat oven 180°C.

2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

3. In another bowl combine wet ingredients; beaten egg, brown sugar, apple sauce, maple syrup, apple cider, yoghurt and vegetable oil. Give them a quick whisk then add your bowl of dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined.

4. Divide your mixture between pans/tins of your choosing. For a donut pan bake for 10 minutes, for mini donuts and baby cupcakes bake for 5-7 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched.

5. After 5 minutes transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

For the apple glaze

1. Combine icing sugar, cinnamon and cider in a small bowl and stir well to remove any lumps.

For the apple bark (do this the morning before)

1. With a sharp vegetable peeler peel thin strips of apple, including the skins, and place on a baking tray. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

2. Bake in a cool oven (around 80-100°C) until completely dried, between 2 -3 hours. (If you are doing this day before you may need to re-crisp your apple bark for half an hour before assembling). Once dried, the apple skins will shrink and curl like little twigs. The apple strips will look like leaves.

For the assembly

1. Hold your baked good up-side-down and dip into the glaze. Shake of any excess and place back on the wire rack. Take a piece of apple bark and place on baked good while the glaze is still wet so it stays in place once dried. Continue with the rest of your donuts and baby cupcakes.

Bring these along to any dinner party and they will be very, very well received.

Trust me; I know from experience.

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Steven is a beautiful friend of mine I miss every day. His presence in my world is testament that life can work in mysterious ways. Should he still be with us today would be his 30th Birthday – and what a day! There’s such beautiful sunshine here in Sydney inviting us into Spring.

We met a show five years ago and continued seeing shows together like the sweet indie kids we were at the time. Coincidentally we ended up working only doors away from each other so every second-or-so afternoon we would meet in a downstairs cafe, order two coffees and discuss the day’s events. To this day a cappuccino will always remind me of dear Captain Steve who is my inspiration to this lovely recipe – replicating this warming friendship via a warming beverage with warming cake . This will serve 12 lucky caffeine fiends.


Cappuccino Cupcakes for Steven

(an original recipe)

150 g butter (room temperature)

1 cup caster sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

2 shots (60 ml) espresso

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs dutch-process cocoa

Espresso Syrup

3 shots (90 ml) espresso

1/4 cup sugar

Vanilla Buttercream

100 g butter (room temperature)

2 cups icing sugar mixture

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbs milk

extra cocoa, for dusting

wafers, chocolate-covered coffee beans for decoration

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 12-cupcake pan with cupcake liners of your choosing.

2. In a bowl, beat butter for a few minutes until it begins to pale. Add sugar and eggs, one at a time. Beat until fluffy.

3. Add flour, espresso, milk, vanilla and cocoa and beat until combined and light.

4. Divide mixture between your cupcake liners – they should be around 3/4 full. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are springy to touch.

5. While the cupcakes are baking in a small saucepan combine your espresso and sugar. Allow to boil and leave on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes without stirring until the mixture thickens to a syrup. Be wary of leaving it too long or it will become toffee.

6. As soon as your cupcakes are removed from the oven lightly prick them a few times with a fork and spoon your espresso syrups over the tops. This will take a few scoops as you must allow the syrup to slowly seep into the cake before the next. Allow to cool.

7. To prepare the vanilla buttercream beat the butter and icing sugar until just beginning to combine. Add the vanilla and slowly add milk until you reach the desired texture.

8. To assemble: prepare a piping bag and carefully ice your cupcakes. There’s no need to apply too much as the cupcakes are already quite sweet; we want to create a nice base to replicate the froth of a cappuccino. Lightly dust with additional cocoa and adorn with wafers or any other relevant candies of your choosing.



Life is precious and I’m so sorry I couldn’t make these for him sooner. Happy Birthday, my wonderful friend! We miss you.

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