Recipe exchange: A twist on apple cider doughnuts and other sweet treats

Written by The Frontier Post

Monitoring Desk

A few years back I wrote about a Hanover Township, Northampton County man who’s an incredible baker.

But what sets Scott Gruber apart is not only that this baked treats are impeccable, they are also gluten-free.

Gruber has celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder. Consuming gluten can lead to painful digestive distress and damage to the small intestine. He’s like many in the Valley who have had to adopt a gluten-free diet because of medical reasons.

Apple cider doughnuts at Grim’s Family Orchard and Farms in Breingisville are a Valley favorite. But some folks around the Valley make their own at home. We have a recipe this week from a gluten-free baker, Scott Gruber.
Apple cider doughnuts at Grim’s Family Orchard and Farms in Breingisville are a Valley favorite. But some folks around the Valley make their own at home. We have a recipe this week from a gluten-free baker, Scott Gruber. (Rick Kintzel/Morning Call)

So when I posted my story recently on Grim’s Orchard & Family Farms in Breinigsville and their amazing apple cider doughnuts, I asked whether any readers make their own at home.

Gruber does and he sent in a recipe.

“The recipe is one I got fairly early on in my Celiac diagnosis, and do not know the source. I’ve tweaked it a bit over the years, but several of my gluten-eating friends have requested this recipe because they are just that yummy!,” he said in his email.

Gluten-free apple cider doughnuts

What you’ll need:

2 cups gluten-free flour blend

3/4 cup sugar

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1 pack quick rise yeast

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/3 tsp. Xanthan gum (if not in flour blend)

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1 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. cardamom (if desired)

1/4 tsp. nutmeg (if desired)

1/8 tsp. baking soda

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1/2 cup warm water ~ 110°F – 115°F

6 Tbsp. butter, melted

1/4 cup applesauce

1 Tbsp. vanilla

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1 cup apple cider

1Tbsp. softened butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar — or to desired consistency

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In a large bowl, mix the first 10 ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the water, butter, applesauce and vanilla until blended. Add this to the dry ingredients, and stir until blended. Cover and let rest for about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cut a small hole in the corner of a food safe plastic bag; fill with the doughnut batter. Pipe the batter into a 6-holed doughnut pan, which has been prepped with cooking spray. Fill the holes about 3/4 full.

Bake at 325° for 11 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for about five minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack. Repeat this process with the remaining batter.

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To make the glaze, bring the apple cider to a boil in a small sauce pan and cook until the liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Transfer this to a small bowl and stir in butter until melted. Stir in enough of the powdered sugar to reach the glaze consistency you desire. Dip each donut halfway, allowing the excess to drip off. Place back on the wire rack and let stand until the glaze is set.

The recipe yields anywhere from 8 to 12 donuts. Instead of the glaze, you can also coat with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar after brushing the donuts with some melted butter.

Holiday cookies

It’s hard to believe we’re so close to the holidays already.

So far, we at the Recipe Exchange have received some tasty holiday cookie recipes. Keep ‘em coming! We’ll be devoting several columns to cookies as we lead up to the holidays. We’re looking for easy-for-beginners cookies to true show-stoppers. And don’t forget to include your name, hometown and any relevant family stories or traditions.

Speaking of the holidays

I’d love to focus a Recipe Exchange column on Hanukkah desserts. I’d especially love to get any family history or traditions associated with the recipes.

Maybe it’s because I’m obsessed with doughnuts but I would love to find a Valley resident who makes sufganiyot, a jelly doughnut made for Hanukkah. They symbolize the miracle of the burning oil lamps in the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem celebrated during Hanukkah.

Funny cake

A few weeks ago, I asked for recipes for funny cake, that Dutch dessert that’s like the delicious love child of a cake and a pie.

Often times what happens to us in the journalism business is that we get onto other, timely story ideas or assignments. So funny cake went into the freezer for a bit, so to speak.

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While I was writing this column, I’d thought since we’re talking about sweets generally today, a revisit to the funny cake submissions was in order.

I received this one from Denise Fantuzzi of Orefield. It’s her grandmother Edna Gross Fretz’s recipe.

What you’ll need:

Chocolate layer:

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1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup hot water

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Cake layer:

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

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2 eggs,

1 rounded Tbl. Crisco,

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

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2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

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1 cup of cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch cubes

4 to 6 tbsps. ice water

Makes two 8? pies

Crust: Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Toss the cut butter into the bowl with the flour mixture, and gently coat with flour. Work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until the butter pieces are the size of a small bean or pea. Add the ice water, starting with 2 tablespoons and adding more if needed, up to one additional tablespoon, then gather up the dough. Press or roll the dough into a flat disk shape on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of parchment paper, using as little flour as possible. Chill in the fridge till you’re ready.

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Chocolate layer: Mix 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1 cup sugar 1 tsp. vanilla with 1 cup hot water. Set aside.

Cake layer: Sift together 2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix 2 eggs, Crisco, 1 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup milk. Add to the flour mixture and blend well.

Pour half of the cake part into each pie crust. Then pour half of the chocolate part of each pie. The chocolate will seep through the cake during baking.

Bake at 375 for about 45 to 55 minutes.

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Send in your recipes

We want you recipes as well as welcome requests for recipes you’re missing. Email: and include “Recipe Exchange” in the subject line as well as your name and hometown.

Courtesy: mcall

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The Frontier Post