This post contains links through which we may earn a small commission should you make a purchase from a brand. This in no way affects our ability to objectively critique the products and brands we review.
Evidence Based Research To fulfill our commitment to bringing our audience accurate and insightful content, our expert writers and medical reviewers rely on carefully curated research.
Read Our Editorial Policy
We. Love. Donuts. Seems kind of unnecessary to say out loud because who doesn’t? Sweet, decadent, and satisfying. But then it hits… the post-fried food stomach ache. We have a solution: apple donuts!
Now, to be totally transparent, these are not donuts. They’re not deep-fried or have a cinnamon sugar coating, but they totally hit the spot and can be eaten regularly (read: daily) while still fitting into a healthy, nutrient-forward lifestyle.
These “apple donuts” make for a great post-meal sweet treat or midday pick-me-up. You only need a few very simple ingredients and amateur cutting skills to get these things done and ready in five minutes!
How to Make Apple Donuts
Apples and peanut butter are an after-school classic. These apple donuts take them up a notch by adding high protein ingredients like protein powder and Greek yogurt.
To make our take on delicious apple donuts, start by cutting your apple into round slices and removing the core with a circle (or any shape) cut out, or carefully using a sharp knife. Pat them dry before you start frosting, or it won’t stick well.
The Greek yogurt can be mixed with chocolate, vanilla, or any flavored protein powder you prefer, and this creates your “frosting.” Not a protein powder fan? Trying to keep these kid-friendly? Mix peanut butter instead into your Greek yogurt for a peanut buttery, protein-packed frosting layer—you won’t even miss the cinnamon sugar!
Next up, our favorite step—toppings! We like to use no-dye sprinkles, nuts, coconut flakes, dried fruit, and mini chocolate chips. This is the creative part, so have fun! If you’re making these for tiny hands to eat, ask them to join in on this step. Food is always tastier when you have fun making it!
Apple Donuts Ingredients
Here are the ingredients that make our apple donuts:
This is such a personal thing. Have you ever asked someone what their favorite apple is? Chances are they have an opinion! (If you haven’t had a Honeycrisp, you’ve got to try it with this recipe!) But, truly, any apple will do. Apples get bonus points for being available generally year-round, so you can make these apple donuts whenever you like.
Greek yogurt is an incredible way to get a little extra protein in your recipes without adding a ton of calories. Greek yogurt is so versatile, and while used in a sweet frosting in this recipe for apple donuts, it can easily be added to marinades and salad dressings to play up its savory side too.
Greek yogurt is generally sold with different fat contents (0%, 2% and 5%). Use whichever you prefer that fits your nutrient goals and taste preferences.
We used creamy, no salt-added peanut butter. You could, of course, use crunchy for extra texture or PB2 powder to cut back on calories. Alternatively, you could use sunflower butter to keep these nut-free or your preferred nut/seed butter of choice.
Another opportunity to customize! We used Garden of Life Raw Organic protein powder in the flavor vanilla. See our review of their line of products here. They also have flavors like vanilla chai and chocolate that could pair great with this recipe too!
Apple Donuts Toppings
Don’t let us limit you! We chose toppings for our apple donuts that add texture, flavor, and some extra nutrients. For example, pomegranates have a reputation for their antioxidant properties, and sprinkles have a reputation for making everything more fun! It’s all about balance, and these apple donuts totally nail this! You could also sprinkle some cinnamon sugar mixture on top if you want it to be more reminiscent of baked apple donuts.
- 1 medium apple
- 2 tsp protein powder of choice
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt (we used 2%)
- 1 tbsp smooth or crunchy peanut butter
- pomegranate seeds
- coconut shreds
- chocolate chips
Wash and dry your apple and cut into thin slices (about ½ inch thick)
Cut out the core using a shape cutter or delicately with a knife
Pat dry the apple with a paper towel and set aside
Make your frosting by mixing Greek yogurt with protein powder and or nut butter of choice. It’s fun to make a few different options, so have fun here!
Spread your frosting, add toppings, and serve!
Apple Donuts FAQs
Can donuts be healthy?
Depends on what kind of health you’re referring to, but generally, no. Can an occasional maple bar to celebrate be considered healthy for your mental state? Probably! However, our apple donuts can be eaten every day and are still deemed “healthy.” Not sure we can say the same about their deep-fried apple donut counterparts.
A “healthy” food, of course, is somewhat subjective. These apple donuts are definitely intended to be a feel-good snack with ingredients that will make you feel satisfied.
If you’re accustomed to eating less nutrient-dense foods like donuts regularly, making swaps like our apple donuts is a reminder that you don’t have to give up sweet treats (or even sprinkles!) to hit your nutrition goals.
What goes well with apples for a snack?
So many flavors work well with apples. The customization options for these apple donuts are nearly endless. You could mix coconut sugar and cinnamon with your Greek yogurt for a cinnamon-sugar vibe! Or maybe you want to drizzle your finished product with maple syrup or honey. If peanut butter isn’t your thing, any nut or seed butter can easily be replaced. Since the toppings for these are so interchangeable, you’ll never get bored with this snack.
Are apples a healthy choice for a snack?
Yes! A medium apple on its own is around 100 calories and has about 4 grams of fiber. They contain natural sugars and carbohydrates making them an easy on-the-go snack for afternoon slumps. However, apples on their own will likely not keep you satiated or full for very long. Adding ingredients like protein powder, peanut butter, and Greek yogurt boosts the nutritional value of this snack, making it both filling and delicious.