Easy Apple Cider Donut Recipe

Made with fresh apple cider, this melt-in-your-mouth Apple Cider Donut Recipe is so flavorful! An easy fall doughnut recipe to make at home, it’s perfect for breakfast, dessert, or as a snack.

When the leaves turn from green to golden, I am all about everything apple! Try my Apple Crisp and Apple Fritter Bread to use up the fall season’s best fruit!

Apple Cider Donuts on a white plate, with one donut cut in half.

Apple Cider Donuts

I spent this past Saturday morning making these delicious melt-in-your-mouth Apple Cider Doughnuts. My love affair with these doughnuts didn’t start there. I was first introduced to them at a local farm in Maryland. They make their doughnuts with fresh squeezed Apple Cider from their orchard. They come out piping hot and were rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

When I think of these doughnuts I think of Fall. Visiting the orchards, drinking apple cider, and eating these delicious doughnuts. Even if you do not live by an orchard you can still experience all there is to love about Apple Cider Donuts with this recipe.

A tower of Apple Cider Donuts on a white plate with a fork, with one donut cut in half.

What you’ll need for this recipe

  • Apple cider: The cider is reduced to get a concentrated flavor of apple cider. It also adds a nice tang to the donuts and helps them retain moisture.
  • Butter: Butter and sugar are creamed together to make the donut batter lighter and airier.
  • Sugar: Both light brown sugar and granulated sugar are added to the batter for sweetness and flavor. The light brown sugar has some caramel notes which are delicious with the apple. You can substitute either all light brown sugar or all white sugar, however, it may affect the texture.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla brings out the sweet warmth of this recipe. Skip it if you don’t have any on hand.
  • Egg: A whole egg plus 1 egg yolk binds the ingredients together.
  • Flour: Plain, white, all-purpose flour is the foundation ingredient for the batter.
  • Baking powder: Baking powder helps the donuts to rise a little and makes them soft and fluffy just like cake.
  • Spices: Cinnamon and nutmeg are warm and spicy, and perfect for the taste of fall in this Apple Cider Donut Recipe. The cinnamon is a must, but you can skip the nutmeg if desired.
  • Coating: Cinnamon and sugar coat the donuts immediately after frying. It reminds me of churros or snickerdoodles!
  • Oil for frying: Vegetable oil is perfect for this recipe as it’s neutral-tasting and fries the donuts well.

How to make this Apple Cider Donut Recipe

Prepare the donut batter

  1. Reduce the apple cider: In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook cider until reduced by almost 1/3. You should end up with about 1/2 cup of reduced apple cider. This should take about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Cream butter and sugar: Meanwhile, add butter and both sugars to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream butter and sugar for 4 minutes until fluffy.
  3. Add wet ingredients: Add in vanilla and whole egg plus egg yolk. Mix to combine.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients: In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, salt, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg. Set aside.
  5. Combine the dry and wet ingredients: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two parts. Mix slowly making sure to scrape the sides. Do not over-mix.
  6. Firm up: Place dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours to firm up. You can even leave it in overnight.

Shape the Donuts

  1. Roll the dough: Roll out the dough onto a floured surface (about 1/2 inch thick)
  2. Cut out the donuts: Cut out donuts with a lightly floured doughnut cutter or a biscuit cutter (2 1/2 or 3 inches). Cut out the center with a 1-inch cutter for doughnut holes.

Fry the Apple Cider donuts

  1. Heat the oil: Add oil to a large pot with high sides. I do about 6 cups of oil for this recipe. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
  2. Drop your doughnuts in 2 or 3 at a time. Do not overcrowd the oil with too many doughnuts. It will lower the heat of the oil substantially.
  3. Watch the color: The doughnuts take about a minute to cook on each side. If they are browning too quickly and not cooking through the center your heat is too high and needs to be turned down.
  4. Drain excess oil: Place the doughnuts on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
  5. Mix the cinnamon sugar coating: Combine the 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon and 5 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl to coat your doughnuts.
  6. Dip the donuts: Immediately dip the apple cider donuts in the cinnamon sugar mixture while they are still warm.
  7. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Apple Cider Donuts on a white plate, with one donut cut in half.

Tips for Success

  • The dough can get pretty sticky which can make it difficult to work with. Therefore I place the dough in the fridge for about 10 minutes before I start rolling it out as well as before frying them. This makes handling the dough a lot easier.
  • After the doughnuts come out of the fryer they are tossed with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. It is important to toss the doughnuts in cinnamon and sugar as soon as they come out of the oil.
  • Cutting the donuts: I used a small biscuit cutter to cut out the doughnuts. You can always use a doughnut cutter or improvise with a round glass. Just make sure to dip the cup in flour.
  • Boiling apple cider additions: The smell of the apple cider boiling in the house is intoxicating! Stick a cinnamon stick in and your house will smell amazing. You can even simmer your apple cider with orange slices for some extra flavor.
  • Healthier option: I fried my doughnuts but you can bake them if you want a lighter option. This Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan works great for baking doughnuts.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat for a few seconds in the microwave if desired!

What is in a cider donut?

In this Apple Cider Donut Recipe, I added apple cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, butter, flour, and egg to the batter and then dipped them in cinnamon sugar for a deliciously warm and sweet coating.

Yes! I used apple cider from a local farm in Maryland. The apple cider is reduced to make a concentrated apple juice and then added to the batter.

Easy Homemade Apple Cider Donuts on a white plate, with one donut cut in half.

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Apple Cider Doughnuts

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Melt in your mouth Apple Cider Doughnuts made with fresh apple cider. Easy fall doughnut recipe to make at home!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat cook cider until reduced by almost 1/3. You should end up with about 1/2 cup of reduced apple cider. This should take about 5-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add butter and both sugars to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream butter and sugar for 4 minutes until fluffy.
  • Add in vanilla and whole egg plus egg yolk. Mix to combine.
  • In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, salt, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg. Set aside.
  • Combine the 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon and 5 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl to coat your doughnuts. Set aside.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two parts. Mix slowly making sure to scrape the sides. Do not over-mix.
  • Place dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours to firm up. You can even leave it in overnight.
  • Roll out dough onto a floured surface (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • Cut out doughnuts with a lightly floured doughnut cutter or a biscuit cutter (2 1/2 or 3 inch). Cut out the center with a 1 inch cutter for doughnut holes.
  • Add oil to a large pot with high sides. I do about 6 cups of oil for this recipe. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
  • Drop your doughnuts in 2 or 3 at a time. Do not overcrowd the oil with too many doughnuts. It will lower the heat of the oil substantially.
  • The doughnuts take about a minute to cook on each side. If they are browning too easily and not cooking through the center your heat is too high and needs to be turned down.
  • Place the doughnuts on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
  • Immediately dip them in the cinnamon sugar mixture while they are still warm.
  • Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Apple Cider Doughnuts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 614 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 63mg21%
Sodium 249mg11%
Potassium 332mg9%
Carbohydrates 121g40%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 59g66%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 322IU6%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 122mg12%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple Cider, Apple Cider Doughnuts, Baking, Fall Recipes, Homemade Doughnuts

 

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Comments - page 2/2

  • Leo

    I have a ronco donut dispenser. Would I be able to reduce the flour and just plop the dough in the oil like they do at the orchards?

    • Hi Leo,

      I have not used that type of dispenser before so it’s really hard to say. You could try reducing the flour but I would worry it would stick to the donut dispenser.

      Sorry I could not be of more help. Let me know how you make out.

      Thanks!

      Kelley

    • Nathan

      Hi Karen,

      In step 6, after you put half of the dry mix in, You can add the cider reduction, followed by the remainder of the dry ingredients. Sorry that wasn’t clear, I will change it in the instructions. It will work best if the cider is cooled but will still work fine if its still a little warm. Thank you for your questions and I hope you enjoy!

      Nathan

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