In a large, heavy pot, heat 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil until a candy thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375ºF.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the applesauce, vanilla, and ¾ cup sugar. Add the margarine, and mix well. In a separate medium bowl, combine the 4½ cups flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt with a wire whisk. Add the flour mixture and the soy milk alternately to the applesauce–margarine mixture. Add more flour, if needed, to make a smooth and not-too-sticky dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Knead for about 1 minute, and roll out to a ½-inch-thick circle. Dip a doughnut cutter into flour, and cut into the dough. Remove the trimmings and reroll, repeating the process.
Slide a few doughnuts into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry until the doughnuts rise to the surface, about 2 minutes, and turn over with metal tongs to fry the other side. Doughnuts should be golden brown on both sides. Lift out the doughnuts with metal tongs and drain on paper towels.
Mix together the ½ cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Place the cinnamon–sugar mixture in a brown paper lunch bag. Place the warm doughnuts, one at a time, in the bag. Shake to coat. Shake off excess sugar, and place on a serving platter. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.
Note: If you don’t have a doughnut cutter, use a 3-inch biscuit cutter instead. To make the doughnut holes, use an empty, sterilised round medicine bottle without the cap. Poke the hole in the middle of the circle, and down the hole will pop.
Recipe by Kelly Rudnicki
You can find more delicious recipes by Kelly Rudnicki in Vegan Baking Classics.