Apple Cider Donuts

Apple cider donuts

Apple cider donuts are a fall tradition for many – you go to your local farm stand and grab a bag of the sweet treats, preferably right out of the fryer. These donuts are best warm as they do tend to get stale quickly so why not try making them in your own kitchen, ensuring you can literally eat them as soon as they’re done!

Cooking Tips

I made the dough the first night, refrigerated them overnight, and fried them the next day. They are a bit labor intensive so this does split up the work a bit making them seem a little bit easier. If you want to do it all in one day, just let them sit in the fridge for 3 hours before frying.

Apple cider donuts are good as is, but I prefer mine rolled in cinnamon sugar. I wanted to have a donut faceoff with cinnamon sugar vs. apple cider glazed – both were delicious though I still do prefer those rolled in cinnamon sugar. Both recipes are below and if you have other glaze ideas, give them a try. I am imagining the apple cider playing very well with a salted caramel glaze. Yum!

Apple Cider Donuts

Adapted from Bon Appétit

Makes 15-18 donuts and donut holes



      • 3 cups apple cider
      • 2 cinnamon sticks
      • ½ cup apple butter
      • ½ cup buttermilk
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
      • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
      • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
      • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
      • Pinch of cloves
      • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
      • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
      • 3½ cups flour, plus more for dusting
      • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
      • ¼ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
      • ¼ cup granulated sugar
      • 2 eggs
      • Canola oil for frying


  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider


  1. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, bring the apple cider and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Cook until the liquid is thick and syrupy, about 20-25 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and scrape the boiled cider into a medium bowl. Add apple butter, buttermilk, and vanilla bean paste and whisk to combine.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the baking powder, salt, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and flour.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, half of the wet, and repeat with the other half. After each addition, be sure to beat well. The dough will be very soft and sticky when you’re done; this is normal!
  4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper thoroughly dust with flour (about 1/3 of a cup); scrape the dough onto it. Dust your hands and the top of the dough with more flour and pat down until the dough has reached a thickness of ¾”. Dust with even more flour and tightly cover with plastic wrap; chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  5. Using a 3” round cutter, punch out as many donuts as you can then use a 1” cutter to punch out donut holes. Gather up the scraps and continue making as many donuts as you can, being careful not to overwork the dough. You should have about 15-18 donuts (I had 15).
  6. Apple cider donut prepMake the cinnamon sugar – in a wide shallow bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon, and set aside.
  7. Make your glaze – in a wide shallow bowl, combine the confectioner’s sugar and apple cider, and whisk until smooth; set aside.
  8. Using a large pot or very deep skillet, pour in oil until a depth of at least 2” is reached. Heat over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 350° Fahrenheit (use a deep-fry or candy thermometer and leave it in the pan so you can monitor the temperature as you fry them).
  9. Line another rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire rack inside the sheet. Working in batches of 4-5 donuts at a time, fry donuts until they are a deep golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Initially, the donut will fall to the bottom of the oil then pop up to the surface. Do not overcrowd the pan or the temperature of the oil will be too low and the donuts will start absorbing too much oil. Transfer the donuts to the wire rack and let cool slightly.
  10. Fry the donut holes in batches for about 1-2 minutes per side.
  11. Toss the warm donuts in the cinnamon-sugar mixture or dip the top of them into the glaze. You may have to dip them in the glaze a couple of times to get enough to stick because they’re so warm.
  12. Donuts are best enjoyed warm!


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