Apple Cider Doughnuts

When I was younger, my family went apple picking every year. One of the best things about the apple orchard is the fresh apple cider donuts. The smell of the doughnuts just stops you in your tracks, and you feel like you MUST have one. Well, that’s how I feel anyway. The apple orchard I used to go to would always have a line wrapped around the building for the amazing apple cider donuts. As I stood in line I would always contemplate should I buy a half dozen or a buy a dozen doughnuts? I mean a dozen doesn’t even seem like enough because I only get them once a year when I go apple picking.

After years of visiting the apple orchard, I finally decided to try to make these apple cider donuts on my own. I tried the Cider Spiced Doughnuts recipe from the 2018 October/ November Fine Cooking Magazine. I followed the recipe precisely since it was my first time making doughnuts like these. They were delicious, especially warm.  

This recipe was relatively easy to make. The first thing I did was bring apple cider to a boil until it reduced to a half cup. Once the apple cider reduced, I cooled it down in the refrigerator. Cooling down the apple cider is vital because if you put the hot cider in the bowl with the butter and eggs, it will just melt your butter, and cook your eggs. While the apple cider was cooling, I measured my dry ingredients to get them ready for mixing. Next, I creamed the butter with the sugar, and I added eggs one at a time. The next thing I did was pour in the buttermilk, vanilla, and reduced apple cider. I slowly added my dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. The dough was thick and a bit sticky. I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkled it with flour. Next, I pressed the dough evenly into the pan, covered the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerated it overnight, (however the recipe says you can refrigerate it for 2 hours at minimum)

I used a 3 inch circle cutter to make the doughnuts, and a 1 inch circle cutter to make doughnut holes. Using the 3 inch circle, I was able to get about 9 doughnuts out of the dough. I filled a pot about 2/3 of the way with oil to fry the doughnuts. I used a candy thermometer to heat the oil to 350 degrees. It is important to measure the temperature of the oil because if your oil isn’t hot enough your doughnuts will be too oily, and if your oil is too hot your doughnuts the outside of your doughnuts may cook too fast and the inside my be raw. I cooked the doughnuts about 2-3 minutes per side.  When I took the doughnuts out of the oil, I tossed them in a cinnamon sugar mixture.

These doughnuts are definitely a must try. There is absolutely nothing better than biting into a warm, fresh doughnut that’s been tossed in cinnamon sugar.

Apple Cider Doughnuts

These doughnuts are definitely a must try. There is absolutely nothing better than biting into a warm, fresh doughnut that’s been tossed in cinnamon sugar.
Makes about 12 Doughnuts
Course Dessert


For the Dough

  • 2-1/2 cups Apple Cider
  • 4 oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • Zest from 1 Lemon
  • 16 oz All Purpose Flour (about 3-1/2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice

For Frying

  • 14 cups Canola Oil

Cinnamon Sugar

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon


Make Dough

  • Cook the cider in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes; the texture should be thick and will become almost syrupy as it cools. Remove from the heat, and let cool to room temperature.
    2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a handheld mixer and a large bowl), beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary, about 3 minutes. While blending on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing just to incorporate before adding the next, and then add the cider reduction, buttermilk, vanilla, and zest.
    3. In another large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the cider mixture 1 cup at a time until a wet, sticky dough forms, about 3 minutes total. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment, and sprinkle generously with about 1/3 cup flour. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet, dust the top generously with flour, and press into an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
    4. When ready to cook, use a 3-1/2-inch doughnut cutter (or 3-1/2-inch and 1-inch round cutters) to punch the doughnuts out 4 and a thin metal spatula to lift them 5 ; reserve the inner pieces (the holes). Punch additional holes out of the scraps (rerolling the dough to cut more doughnuts will make it tough).

Fry the doughnuts

  • Fill a fryer or large Dutch oven fitted with a candy thermometer with 2-1/2 to 3 inches of oil. Heat to 350°F. In a large bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.
    2. Once the oil has reached temperature, carefully drop 3 doughnuts into the oil, and cook, flipping with a fork after about 1-1/2 minutes, until lightly brown all over, about 3 minutes total.
    3. Transfer the doughnuts to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels and then, while still warm, to the bowl of cinnamon sugar. Toss to coat the doughnuts completely, and then set on cooling racks. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts, and then fry the holes. Serve warm.

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