Apple Cider Donuts

4.50 from 4 votes

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Apple Cider Donuts are sweet and flavorful and perfect for fall. They are a delightful way to enjoy the taste of apples in a whole new way.

apple cider donuts and holes dusted with sugar on a white plate
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Apple cider donuts are a delightful addition to any autumn gathering or a cozy weekend breakfast. Their inviting aroma fills the air as they bake or fry, making your home smell like a warm hug from the season.

These donuts are a perfect way to use up that extra apple cider from your fall apple-picking adventures, turning it into a sweet treat that everyone will adore.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Amazing Apple Flavor: Apple cider is the star ingredient in these donuts, and it gives them a fantastic apple flavor that’s both sweet and slightly tangy. It’s like taking a bite of autumn!
  • Warm and Cozy: These donuts are often enjoyed during the fall season when the weather gets cooler. They make you feel warm and cozy inside, just like wrapping up in a soft blanket.
  • Soft and Fluffy Texture: Apple cider donuts are super soft and fluffy, and they practically melt in your mouth. They’re the perfect mix of cakey and sweet.
  • Cinnamon and Sugar Coating: Many apple cider donuts are coated with a cinnamon and sugar mixture that adds a delightful crunch and extra flavor. It’s like a sweet hug for your taste buds!
un-sugared apple cider donuts on a paper towel

Recipe Ingredients

  1. Apple Cider: Apple cider is the star of the show, infusing the donuts with a delightful apple flavor and moisture, creating a tender and flavorful crumb.
  2. Flour (plus extra for dusting): Flour is the primary dry ingredient that provides structure and texture to the donuts. Extra flour for dusting prevents the dough from sticking and helps with shaping.
  3. Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds sweetness and a subtle caramel-like flavor to the donut dough, enhancing its overall taste and providing a slight chewiness.
  4. Baking Powder and Baking Soda: These leavening agents help the donuts rise and become light and fluffy. Baking powder primarily contributes to the rise, while baking soda neutralizes acidity and aids in browning.
  5. Nutmeg, Allspice, and Cinnamon: These spices add warm, aromatic flavors that complement the apple cider’s sweetness. Nutmeg offers a hint of earthiness, allspice provides depth, and cinnamon brings a classic, comforting spice note.
  6. Eggs: Eggs act as a binding agent, helping the dough hold together and giving the donuts structure. They also contribute to the moist and tender texture.
  7. Butter: Butter adds richness and a buttery flavor to the donuts. It contributes to their softness and helps create a smooth dough.
  8. Oil for Frying (Vegetable or Canola Oil Recommended): The frying oil is essential for cooking the donuts. It heats up quickly and evenly, ensuring a crispy, golden exterior while maintaining the soft interior.
  9. Cinnamon Sugar (for Coating): Cinnamon sugar for coating serves as a sweet and slightly spiced coating for the freshly fried donuts, adding a delightful crunch and extra sweetness that makes them irresistible.
  1. Apple Juice or Apple Sauce: If you don’t have apple cider, you can use apple juice as a substitute. It will still give your donuts an apple flavor, though not as intense. Apple sauce can also be used to add moisture and apple flavor to the dough.
  2. Baked vs. Fried: While traditional apple cider donuts are fried, you can make a healthier version by baking them in the oven. Baked donuts are still delicious and have a slightly different texture.
  3. Spice It Up: To give your donuts an extra kick of flavor, try adding a pinch of ground nutmeg, cloves, or allspice to the batter. These spices complement the apple flavor beautifully and add a unique twist.

How To Make Apple Cider Donuts

Step #1. Boil the apple cider in a saucepan until it reduces to 1 cup. Allow it to cool.

Step #2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon.

Step #3. In a separate bowl, combine the cooled apple cider, eggs, and melted butter.Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, forming a sticky dough.

Step #4. Cover the dough and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface to a ½-inch thickness. Cut out donuts and holes using round cookie cutters.

Step #5. Heat oil to 350°F (175°C), fry the donuts in batches until golden (about 2-3 minutes per side), then roll them in cinnamon sugar while still warm. Enjoy!

top view of apple cider donuts and holes dusted with sugar on a cooling rack

Recipe FAQs

Can I use regular apple juice instead of apple cider?

Yes, you can, but apple cider gives the donuts a richer apple flavor.

What if I don’t have a donut pan?

Don’t worry! You can shape the dough into small circles and cut a hole in the center to make donut shapes.

How do I store leftover donuts?

Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two, or in the fridge for longer freshness.

Expert Tips

  • Fresh apple cider has a more intense flavor than store-bought apple juice, making your donuts taste even better.
  • If you’re frying the donuts, make sure the oil is around 350°F (175°C) for that perfect golden brown.
  • Mix the dough until it just comes together. Overmixing can make the donuts tough.
  • Allow your donuts to cool for a few minutes before adding the cinnamon sugar coating. This helps it stick better.
apple cider donuts and holes dusted with sugar on a cooling rack

What’s the best way to reheat apple cider donuts?

To reheat apple cider donuts, you can warm them in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds or place them in a preheated oven at 350°F for a few minutes until they’re heated through. This helps restore their freshness.

What can I serve with apple cider donuts?

Apple cider donuts pair wonderfully with a warm cup of apple cider, hot chocolate, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can also enjoy them with a drizzle of caramel sauce or a sprinkle of powdered sugar for added sweetness.

More Dessert Recipes To Consider

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apple cider donuts and holes dusted with sugar on a white plate
4.50 from 4 votes

Apple Cider Donuts

These delightful treats capture the essence of fall with their rich apple flavor, warm spices, and that irresistible combination of soft, fluffy interiors and sweet, cinnamon-sugar exteriors.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 24

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • Oil for frying, vegetable or canola oil recommended
  • Cinnamon sugar, for coating

Instructions 

  • In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of apple cider to a boil.
  • Continue boiling until the cider is reduced to about 1 cup. This concentrates the flavor.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk the cooled cider, eggs, and melted butter together until well combined.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon.
  • Gradually pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients.
  • Use a spatula or your hands to mix until a sticky dough forms.
  • Cover the bowl and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to make it easier to handle.
  • Turn the chilled dough out onto a well-floured surface.
  • Roll it out to a ½-inch thickness.
  • Use a floured donut cutter or round cookie cutters to cut out donuts and holes.
  • Fill a heavy-bottomed pot or deep fryer with 3 inches of oil.
  • Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C), monitoring the temperature with a cooking thermometer.
  • Carefully lower the donuts into the hot oil, frying in batches to avoid overcrowding.
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and cooked through.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the donuts to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  • While the donuts are still warm, roll them in cinnamon sugar to coat them evenly.
  • Enjoy the apple cider donuts warm, savoring the rich apple flavor and spices.

Notes

  • Ensure to reduce it to about 1 cup to concentrate the flavors sufficiently.
  • Maintain a constant oil temperature for even cooking. Use a thermometer to check.
  • Experiment with different toppings like a glaze or powdered sugar if desired.
  • These donuts are best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • This recipe was adapted from Norines Nest.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 of 24 donuts, Calories: 134kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 162mg, Potassium: 64mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 108IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1mg
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2 Comments

  1. Hi Melissa, If I wanted to bake the donuts what temperature would I use, how much time, and would I need to turn them? The recipe looks great! I’ve already gotten rave reviews on your easy cornbread recipe. Thank you!