Apple-scented, cakey, and perfectly spiced, this apple cider doughnut recipe is going to be your new favorite fall tradition. Bring on apple season!
While you can buy apple cider doughnuts just about anywhere these days, it’s totally worth it to make them at home because fresh apple cider doughnuts are a completely different experience. Warm! Moist! Fragrant! All-around amazing!
These apple cider doughnuts really get their apple cider flavor from…well, the apple cider. BUT you must take the extra step to boil it for 12 minutes in the beginning. This is the key to nailing the apple cider flavor. Cooking down the cider into a syrup concentrates the flavor, giving you more bang for your apple cider buck. (PS – If you love apple cider, plan on making my apple cider chicken skillet recipe too!)
The effort to make this apple cider doughnut recipe is so worth the gorgeous cinnamon sugar covered fried dough goodness. I recommend that you eat these hot out of the frier, freshly dusted with cinnamon sugar. You can’t get that experience anywhere but your own kitchen!
What You’ll Need
The ingredient list might look long, but don’t worry—you probably have most of these items on hand already if you like to bake. Here’s what you’ll need to make apple cider doughnuts:
- Apple cider – The refrigerated kind that’s usually sold in either the produce or juice section of the grocery store is preferable to the shelf-stable varieties, but even better if you can get a fresh bottle from your local apple orchard.
- All-purpose flour
- Whole wheat flour
- Brown sugar
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Ground cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice – Or use apple pie spice.
- Eggs – Take them out of the fridge and set them on the counter about an hour before you plan to start baking.
- Canola oil – You’re using this for frying, so you’ll need a quart.
How to Make Homemade Apple Cider Doughnuts
Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own apple cider doughnuts at home:
Cook down the apple cider. Pour the apple cider into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil for about 12 minutes, or until it’s reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Mix the dry and wet ingredients. Whisk the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and spices in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, butter, and cider.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Make a well in the bowl with the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients. Use a spatula to fold the flour into the liquid until a sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then place it in the refrigerator for about an hour, or until the apple cider doughnut dough is firm enough to shape.
Roll out the dough. Sprinkle a work surface with flour, then divide the dough in half. Place the first half onto the surface, roll it out into 1/2-inch thickness, then use a doughnut cutter to cut it. You can repeat with the scraps of dough left behind, then with the remaining half of the dough.
Make the cinnamon-sugar. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow plate or bowl—there should be enough room to set a doughnut in it. Set aside.
Fry the doughnuts. Heat the canola oil to 325ºF in a heavy-bottomed pot. Carefully add the apple cider doughnuts to the oil, 2 or 3 at a time, and fry them until they’re golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Place the doughnuts on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil, then toss them in the cinnamon sugar.
Tips for Success
If you want to make perfect apple cider doughnuts every time, here are some tips to follow.
- Use apple cider. Not apple juice. While, technically speaking, you can use apple juice in this recipe, it’s a lot sweeter than apple cider and, frankly, has more of a one-dimensional flavor. The end result just isn’t the same.
- Make doughnut holes. If you don’t have a doughnut cutter, you can make apple cider doughnut holes instead.
- Use the right amount of oil. The recipe calls for a quart, but this can vary a bit depending on how wide your pot is. The oil should be 4-inches deep, so you could need less for a tall, narrow pot or more for a wide pot.
Can I Bake Apple Cider Doughnuts?
I haven’t baked this apple cider doughnut recipe myself, but I adapted it from Taste of Home and they say that it can be baked in a doughnut pan at 350º for 15 to 18 minutes. Note that the flavor and texture aren’t the same, though!
How to Store Homemade Doughnuts
I’d be shocked if you have any leftovers, but if you do, they’ll keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Homemade Apple Cider Doughnuts
- 2 cups apple cider
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon each: ground cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 1 quart canola oil for frying
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
- In a small saucepan, bring apple cider to a rapid boil. Cook over high heat until reduced by half, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.
- In the meantime, whisk together in a large bowl: flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and spices
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, butter, and cooled cider.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients then pour the liquid into the well. With a spatula, start folding the flour into the liquid then once a cohesive, sticky dough is formed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 1 hour, or until firm enough to shape.
- Once ready, divide dough in half then on a floured surface, roll out dough into 1/2-inch thickness then use a doughnut cutter, cut dough.
- In a shallow plate or container, whisk together sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Heat canola oil in a heavy-bottom pot to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry doughnuts, 2-3 at a time until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Place fried doughnuts onto a paper towel to drain then immediately toss in cinnamon sugar mixture.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.