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Vegan Apple Fritters

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This kid-approved Vegan Apple Fritter recipe is just the dessert-like breakfast you’ve been craving this Fall! It’s warm, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, just how it should be!

Vegan apple fritters on a white plate.

Apple fritters are traditionally made by deep frying dough in oil, which is exactly how you’ll find them made below. In all of their crispy and glazed glory! 

But if you’re trying to make them without oil, you’ll find the directions below for baking apple fritters in the oven AND making the apple fritters in the air fryer!

Ingredients you’ll need for Apple Fritters

Vegan apple fritters ingredients, labeled, and on a white marble countertop.

All-Purpose Flour: Forms the base of the fritter batter, providing structure. Other flours have not been tested yet.

Brown Sugar: Sweetens the fritters and contributes to their caramelized exterior. You can use coconut sugar or white sugar as alternatives.

Baking Powder: Helps the fritters rise and become light and airy.

Cinnamon: Adds warm, aromatic spice to the fritters, complementing the apples. Apple pie spice can be used for variation.

Salt: Enhances flavor and balances sweetness. A pinch of sea salt or kosher salt can be used.

Nutmeg: Offers a warm and nutty flavor that pairs well with apples. Cloves or allspice can provide a similar spice profile.

Applesauce: Provides moisture and apple flavor to the batter, making it moist. This takes the place of adding oil directly into the batter. 

Almond Milk: Adds liquid to the batter and helps achieve the desired consistency. Any plant-based milk, like oat or soy, can be substituted.

Vanilla Extract: Enhances the overall flavor profile with a hint of sweetness. Almond extract or maple extract can offer alternative flavors.

Apples: The star of the show, diced apples add texture, sweetness, and a burst of fruity goodness. For best results go for firmer tart apples, such as granny smith or honeycrisp (we prefer honeycrisp every time!).

Vegetable Oil: Used for frying the fritters, creating a crispy exterior. Canola oil or peanut oil can be used for frying, or other oils with a high smoke point.

Icing Ingredients:

Powdered Sugar: Forms the base of the icing, providing sweetness and thickness. Adjust the amount for desired consistency.

Almond Milk: Thins the icing to the desired consistency for drizzling. Any plant-based milk can be used, we simply like almond the best for this icing.

Cinnamon: Adds a hint of spice and warmth to the icing, enhancing the flavor and also gives the icing the color to make these apple fritters look just like the ones from a bakery!

Vanilla Extract: Enhances the flavor of the icing . Feel free to sub in almond or maple extract different flavors.

How to Make Vegan Apple Fritters

*Note that these instructions can be printed below

Step one: Start heating your oil on the stove over medium heat.

4 photo collage of the process for making Vegan apple fritters; adding the dry, then the wet, then stirred, then apples.

Step two: Whisk together all of the dry ingredients for the fritters (flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg).

Step three: Mix in all of the wet ingredients for the fritters (applesauce, milk, vanilla).

Step four: Then gently fold in the diced apples

Vegan apple fritters process photo collage with the batter done in the first image and on a slotted spoon above a pot full of oil in the other image.

Step five: Once the oil is between 350℉ and 375℉  (keep heat at medium-low once it reaches this temperature), add about ⅓ cup of the batter into the oil, flatten the fritter batter at the bottom of the pot (or deep fryer) and cook for about 1-3 minutes both sides. It should be a medium to dark golden color when done.

Step six: Allow the fritters to cool on top of a paper towel(s) on top of a cooling rack. 

Step seven: Make the icing and then dip the fritters in the icing once cool.

Step eight: Allow the icing to set, turn the apple fritters over and allow the icing to set on the other side, and then enjoy!

Vegan apple fritters cooling on a cooling rack after having been dipped in icing.

Success Tips

  • Use baking apples, such as honeycrisp, or other firm and tart apples like granny smith for the best flavor & texture.
  • Cut the apples right before adding them to the batter to help prevent them from browning.
  • The batter should feel like a thick pancake batter, not like a bread dough.
  • Be careful when working with hot oil, especially if teaching your kids how to make these.
  • Only fry 2-3 at a time, give them plenty of room.
  • Make sure the oil is at least 350℉ before dropping in the batter.
  • Dip them in the icing as soon as they become cool enough to handle, they should still be warm.
  • Allow the glaze to set before enjoying it!

Alternative Ways to Make Apple Fritters

Are you going to deep fry, bake, or air fry your vegan apple fritters? The choice is up to you!

Vegan apple fritters made three different ways. 3 apple fritters showing what they look like when fried in oil, air fried, and baked in the oven.

Baking Apple Fritters

So many people wonder “Can I bake Apple Fritters?” and most people will flat out say “NO!”

But, that’s not entirely true.

You can bake apple fritters, they just don’t taste like traditional apple fritters.

Baked apple fritters are a bit softer, a bit juicier, and have no crisp to them.

They’re more like an apple donut, without the hole in the middle.

And the only thing that differs in the process from making them is that you bake them in the oven at 375℉ for about 15 minutes, instead of deep frying them.

So, apple fritters baked in the oven are a ton healthier than the deep fried version, but they don’t have that famous fritter crisp that you may be used to.

This would be a great way to make them for kids though, especially if they haven’t been introduced to deep fried foods yet!

Air Fryer Apple Fritters

If you’re looking for a bit of a crisp with your apple fritters, but are determined to not use oil or as much oil, then air frying them is the way to go!

You do lose a lot of the crisp without the oil, but there is still a slight crispiness to apple fritters made in the air fryer. It’s also important to note that they will be a bit softer in the air fryer, too.

Making them in the air fryer is just as easy, if not easier, than baking them.

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 375℉.
  2. Cut your parchment paper to fit inside your air fryer, and for best results spray your parchment paper with a cooking spray (this is optional, but makes it easier for removing the apple fritter from the parchment paper).
  3. Scoop out about ⅓ cup of your batter into the parchment lined air fryer and let air fry for about 10 minutes, flipping the apple fritter over halfway through the time.
  4. Finish making the apple fritters as outlined in the recipe below (allow to cool and dip in the glaze).

Again, they won’t be as crispy on the outside as frying them in oil, but they will be crispier than baking them.

How to Serve

Serve these FRESH!

Apple fritters are always best served fresh, like as soon as the glaze solidifies and up to the next 4-6 hours.

Storing them for later won’t give you the same result as eating them fresh.

You can serve them for breakfast, a snack, or dessert! Or just because!

Vegan apple fritters with a bite taken out of it.

How to Store

Room Temperature: Store them at room temperature for up to 4-5 days in an airtight container. 

The icing will soak into the apple fritter overnight, but you can get some of the fried texture back by air frying them for about 4-5 minutes at any temperature from 350℉-400℉ (this has been tested many times with great results at every interval of 10 degrees between those temperatures).

Apple Fritter FAQ’s

What is an apple fritter made of?

Apple fritters are made of flour, sugar, baking powder, applesauce, milk, apples, and spices.

Are apple fritters donuts or pastries?

Apple fritters are more so donuts than they are pastries. 

How will I know if these are done?

They will turn an almost dark golden color when done. 

How cool do these have to be before I can ice them?

They need to be cool to the touch. Be careful, but once they are cool enough for you to handle with your hands, they are cool enough to ice.

Can these vegan apple fritters be made gluten-free?

Unfortunately I have not yet had success making these gluten-free. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried this with success!

How can I make sure that the apple fritters are crispy?

The best way to make sure your apple fritters turn out crispy and not soft is by making sure the temperature of the oil you are frying them in is at least 350℉. Eating them the same day they are made will also ensure they are crispy when you are eating them.

Can they be made ahead of time?

Not well. They technically can be, and can be reheated in an air fryer to help get some of their crispness back, but the glaze soaks into the fritters and makes them soft. So it’s best just to make them the same day you want to eat them to prevent any disappointment.

Vegan apple fritters on multiple plates in an overhead view of the counter top.

More Vegan Apple Recipes You’ll Love

Vegan apple fritters on a white plate.

Vegan Apple Fritters

Shawna Clapper
You’re going to love this irresistible homemade apple fritter recipe and how it’ll impress your family, thinking you bought them from the nearest bakery! The fluffy fritters are crisp on the outside and loaded with juicy apples, coated in a sugary glaze, and bursting with a warm cinnamon flavor!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 11 fritters
Calories 208 kcal

Equipment

  • 1-2 Bowls
  • Large pot or dutch oven or deep fryer
  • Slotted spoon
  • Cooking Rack
  • Paper towels

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • ½ cup Applesauce
  • ½ cup Almond Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Apples diced
  • Vegetable Oil for frying

Icing

  • 2 ½ cups Powdered Sugar
  • cup Almond Milk
  • ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Instructions
 

  • Start heating your oil on the stove over medium heat.
  • Whisk together all of the dry ingredients for the fritters (flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg).
  • Mix in all of the wet ingredients for the fritters (applesauce, milk, vanilla).
  • Then gently fold in the diced apples
  • Once the oil is between 350℉ and 375℉ (keep heat at medium-low once it reaches this temperature), add about ⅓ cup of the batter into the oil, flatten the fritter batter at the bottom of the pot (or deep fryer) and cook for about 1-3 minutes both sides. It should be a medium to dark golden color when done.
  • Allow the fritters to cool on top of a paper towel(s) on top of a cooling rack.
  • Make the icing and then dip the fritters in the icing once cool.
  • Allow the icing to set, turn the apple fritters over and allow the icing to set on the other side, and then enjoy!

Video

Notes

It is important to keep the oil at 350℉- 375℉ to prevent the apple fritters from burning or becoming soggy.

Nutrition

Calories: 208kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 2gFat: 0.5gSaturated Fat: 0.05gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 157mgPotassium: 69mgFiber: 2gSugar: 35gVitamin A: 22IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 76mgIron: 1mg
Keyword apples
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