Baked Apple Butter Cardamom Doughnuts with Brown Butter Glaze

by Kelli on October 25, 2013

Perfect for a chilly fall morning…Baked apple butter doughnuts spiced with cardamom and topped with brown butter glaze
These perfect-for-fall Baked Apple Butter Doughnuts are spiced with cardamom and topped with brown butter glaze. | #apple #doughnuts

This is one of those recipes that happened in parts.  Then it started snowballing and getting more awesome with every turn.

It’s based off of Baked Pumpkin Pecan Doughnuts I made last fall, which were mind-blowing, and also my first experience with baked doughnuts.  I should have expected no less, because I got that recipe from Shutterbean, and Tracy knows what’s up.

These perfect-for-fall Baked Apple Butter Doughnuts are spiced with cardamom and topped with brown butter glaze. | #apple #doughnuts

Fun fact you probably never knew about me, cardamom is one of my most favorite spices.  Like if I could only own three spices, cardamom would be one of them.

I’ll have to get back to you on the other two….I’m having a hard time narrowing it down, and also I’m a little too focused on brown butter glaze right now.

Apple butter, on the other hand, is totally new to me.  Like, last week new to me.  Sad fact, I wasn’t even totally sure what it was….I had to Google apple butter.

We became fast friends.

I don’t really think I need to tell you about the wonder that is brown butter glaze.  I think the brown butter part speaks for itself.

These perfect-for-fall Baked Apple Butter Doughnuts are spiced with cardamom and topped with brown butter glaze. | #apple #doughnuts

If you’ve never made brown butter before, it’s a total cinch.  Although the first time I made it I was so scared of burning the butter.  There’s a fine line, think a handful of seconds kind of fine line, between perfect brown butter and burnt butter.  I just wasn’t totally sure when to take the butter off the heat.

Here’s the lowdown – use low heat when making brown butter.  The butter will melt.  It will start to boil, and get frothy.  The froth will eventually settle, a nutty aroma will take over and the milk solids in the butter will start to brown and settle on the bottom of the pan.  The whole process takes about four to five minutes.

P.S. If you don’t already have a doughnut pan, let me help you fix that!!  I adore my Wilton doughnut pan!  I just wish I had a second one…and also a mini doughnut pan, and a doughnut hole pan!  I want them all!

These perfect-for-fall Baked Apple Butter Doughnuts are spiced with cardamom and topped with brown butter glaze. | #apple #doughnuts

Baked Apple Butter Cardamom Doughnuts with Brown Butter Glaze

Yield: Makes 6 doughnuts


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup apple butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a doughnut pan with cooking spray, and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, mix the apple butter, sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

Spoon the batter into a Ziploc bag. Cut off one of the corners and squeeze better into the prepared doughnut pan. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until golden and the doughnuts spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 3 minutes, then carefully turn them out directly onto the cooling rack.

To make the glaze

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, until browned, 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.

Add the confectioners' sugar in a small bowl. Pour in the brown butter, 2 tablespoons of milk and the vanilla. Stir until smooth. Add an additional teaspoon of milk, if necessary.

Dip the cooled doughnuts in the glaze.

Serve immediately.


More Baked Doughnuts you’ll want to sink your teeth into:

Baked Pumpkin Pecan Doughnuts are a delicious fall breakfast! | #pumpkin #doughnutsBaked Pumpkin Pecan Doughnuts

Double Lemon Glazed Doughnuts are light & fluffy and bursting with lemon flavor! | #doughnutsDouble Lemon Glazed Doughnuts

Banana Bread Doughnuts are your favorite quick bread in doughnuts form! | #bananabread #doughnuts Baked Banana Bread Doughnuts


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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Ali @ Inspiralized October 25, 2013 at 8:08 AM

These look like the perfect thing to have after a long day on a Friday during the fall. I’m definitely going to try these, you’ve motivated me to buy a donut pan!


Kelli October 25, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Yay, doughnut pan! So many amazing possibilities…you won’t regret it!


Tieghan October 25, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Some much going on in these little doughnuts, it is awesome! I love the flavor from the apple butter and cardamom, but then the brown butter glaze just puts these of the top. They sound and look awesome!


Kelli October 25, 2013 at 9:42 AM

These doughnuts a good on their own, but yes, the brown butter is sorta what really makes it :)


Julia October 25, 2013 at 8:20 AM

There is no end to the deliciousness of these things! Cardamom is by far one of my favorite spices, and this time of year, I crave it in everything. Delicious treats!!


Kelli October 25, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Thanks, friend! Is it just me, or do we totally have the same palate?! Cardamom forever!


Zainab @ Blahnik Baker October 25, 2013 at 8:22 AM

I love everything that is going on with these donuts!! Baked, cardamom, apple butter all great!! And of course, look at that glaze?? Perfect fall breakfast here my friend!!


Kelli October 25, 2013 at 9:44 AM

And, these gems totally get better with every bite!


Carrian October 25, 2013 at 9:11 AM

These doughnuts look amazing!


Kelli October 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Thanks so much, Carrian!


Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats October 25, 2013 at 9:13 AM

umm I love everything about these donuts! they sound incredible!


Kelli October 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM

So much to love about apple butter + brown butter….your weekend need these!


steph@stephsbitebybite October 25, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Oh my lordy I need one of these!


Kelli October 25, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Maybe even 2….or, 3! Go wild, it’s the weekend :)


ashley - baker by nature October 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Whoops! Just realized I left my doughnut comment on a different post of yours! Ha. Well anyways, these look FAB! xo


Kelli October 25, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Totally cool…you’re just super excited about cooking meat and making doughnuts. Happens to me all the time :)


Amy @ Elephant Eats October 25, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Note to self: buy that freaking donut pan already!!! I’ve been seeing so many delicious baked donut recipes flying around the internet. When I’m finally moved into our new house (not til spring) I’m going to finally use my kitchen store gift cards I’ve been hoarding since I can’t fit any more pans/appliances/gadgets in my tiny kitchen. These look so yummy!


Kelli October 27, 2013 at 9:32 AM

A new kitchen + a new doughnut pan….you’re in for a great spring!


Joanne October 26, 2013 at 9:53 AM

I totally have a donut pan but..have also totally NEVER USED IT. Sigh. Bad blogger.

Definitely time to change that! Cardamom is one of my favorites also and I am of the opinion that it is really not used enough in baked goods! Thanks for these beauties!


Kelli October 27, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Whaaaaat!!!! Girl, you’ve got to break that doughnut pan out of its hiding place. Marathon taper time is the perfect time for baking doughnuts :)


Jennifer October 27, 2013 at 12:29 PM

I made these using Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter and my Babycakes donut baker. Oh my!! Delicious!


Kelli October 29, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Sounds scrumptious, Jennifer!


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