Apple doughnuts with a variety of toppings

Fresh Apple Doughnuts

Fancy a treat but can’t be bothering baking? Then this recipe for a healthy take on fresh apple doughnuts from Sharon Hearne-Smith is just the ticket, all the fun with none of the mess – that’s our sort of baking!

Sharon says: Okay, so these are not real doughnuts, but you will be pleasantly surprised by how delicious (and addictive) they are, not to mention fun to make and far healthier than their sugary namesakes. Kids especially will love making and eating these – so why not turn it into a fun party game and see who can be the most creative with their toppings and decoration? These are great for breakfast, or as a healthy snack at any time of day.”

Makes 12

You will need:

300g full-fat cream cheese

100g peanut, almond or cashew nut butter

2 tbsp fruit purée or coulis

1 tsp maple syrup or clear honey

2 large apples, either red or green or 1 of each

3 tbsp chocolate spread or toffee sauce (optional)

75g mixture of your chosen toppings (see below)



Dried fruit, e.g. golden raisins, cranberries, dried apricots or goji berries

Nuts, e.g. hazelnuts, pecans, almonds or pistachios

Seeds, e.g. pumpkin, sunflflower, toasted sesame seeds or linseed

Roasted nut and seed mix

Toasted coconut flakes

Bee pollen

Edible flowers


Essential kit:

Apple corer



  1. Line a tray with non-stick baking paper and set aside.
  2. Divide the cream cheese evenly between two small bowls. Mix the nut butter into one and the fruit purée or coulis into the other. Stir ½ teaspoon of maple syrup or honey into each bowl. Cover and set aside until ready to use. This can be made up to one day in advance.
  3. Use the apple corer to remove the core of each apple. Cut each apple into six even-sized slices (including the ends) and lay them flat on the prepared tray (with the ends cut side up).
  4. Spread the nutty cream cheese over six of the slices and the fruity cream cheese over the other six, leaving the centre hole clear. Now, for the really fun bit. Use your selection of toppings to decorate the apple doughnuts as you like. You can also chop your toppings into smaller pieces if you prefer. Either arrange them on top of the apple slices or press the creamy side down onto the toppings to stick.
  5. As a further flourish, drizzle chocolate spread or toffee sauce over the apple doughnuts, if you like. To loosen the sauce for drizzling, spoon it into a small bowl and sit the bowl in another bowl of just-boiled water. Leave for a minute or two until the edges start to melt and give it a good stir. Leave in the heat until a drizzling consistency is achieved.
  6. These can be made up to one day ahead and kept covered in the fridge. Serve on a tiered cake stand or layered between small squares of baking paper in a nice box.


For a twist…

  • Use chocolate spread instead of nut butter, or jam instead of fruit purée.
  • Sprinkle the tops with cake sprinkles, for a treat!

No Cook Cooking cover by Sharon Hearne-Smith


Taken from The No-Cook Cookbook by Sharon Hearne-Smith (Quercus Publishing). For more information visit sharonhearnesmith.com