Breakfast

Homemade Apple Cider Donuts

4.73 from 18 votes
If you have a craving for donuts and you look outside and it's a gorgeous fall day, my Apple Cider Donuts recipe is essential — and they're covered in cinnamon sugar, which is always, always welcomed.
A lovely plate of apple cider donuts.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Sure, the leaves have started to change their colors, and you’ve had to bust out your warmer sweaters — but is it really fall if you don’t have Apple Cider Donuts? I don’t think so!

Apple cider donuts are a staple of the fall season and one of our favorites here! My apple cider donut recipe is all-around perfect. The donuts are delightfully sweet, so soft on the inside, with a delicious crunchy cinnamon-sugar coating on the outside. I love the subtle tastes of the nutmeg and the tangy apple cider.

Apple cider donuts are good when you pick them up at a local farm stand — but warm, freshly fried apple cider donuts? Game. Changer.

A plate of apple cider donuts covered in cinnamon sugar.

What Are Apple Cider Donuts?

Apple cider donuts are a staple in northeast America, where cider mills and orchards sell them alongside their freshly picked apples and pressed cider. 

My apple cider donut recipe is a no-yeast cake donut full of warm spices and tasty apple cider.

[ Want the taste of fall? Try my Best-Ever Pumpkin Bread! ]

The Type Of Apple Cider You Should Use

First, don’t use a boozy cider! And apple juice is not recommended either. Besides those two points, any apple cider you find at your favorite orchard, farm stand, or grocery store will work. 

You could even make your own apple cider! 

What You Need To Make Apple Cider Donuts:

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Shallow saucepan
  • 2 Baking sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Mixing bowl
  • Deep saucepan for frying

How To Make Apple Cider Donuts

The perfect fall breakfast (or anytime snack) is just a few steps away. Here is how you make apple cider donuts (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. First, reduce the apple cider by boiling in a shallow saucepan until the liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup. Allow the cider to cool completely. 
  2. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Sprinkle with flour. 
  3. Beat the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Then, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the cooled cider, yogurt, and vanilla.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet.
  5. Once the dough is just combined, place it on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with more flour. Roll, or pat, out to be 3/4-inch thick.
  6. The dough will be very soft, so cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for 15 minutes to allow it to firm up. This will make cutting and handling the dough easier.
  7. While you wait for the dough to chill, heat 2-3-inches of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. If you are using a thermometer, let it heat to 325°F (165°C). Adjust the heat to keep it at that temperature. 
  8. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and place it next to the oil. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and place near the oil and sugar as well. 
  9. Cut circles out of the chilled dough with a 3-inch cutter. Gather, repat, and cut any scraps.
  10. Using a 1-inch cutter, cut the hole out of each circle’s center to make the doughnut shape.
  11. Carefully fry 2-3 donuts or 4-5 donut holes in the oil and put the rest of the dough in the freezer to stay chilled while waiting to be fried. If the dough gets too warm, it may break apart in the oil, so it’s best to keep it chilled.
  12. Fry the donuts for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown on one side, then flip and fry the other side.
  13. Once done, remove the donut from the oil and let it drain for a minute, then toss in the cinnamon sugar and place on the wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining donuts.

A plate of apple cider donuts, one with a bite taken out of it.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Apple Cider Cake Donuts

  • Use store-bought or my Homemade Apple Cider.
  • You can reduce the apple cider a day or two in advance to save time on the day you plan to fry the donuts.
  • Cinnamon sugar is a classic coating for cider doughnuts, but you can also try my vanilla or maple doughnut glaze for these doughnuts!
  • For extra flavor, add a pinch of salt to your cinnamon sugar.
  • Oil is HOT when frying! Make sure you stay safe: place doughnuts carefully in the oil to avoid splash burns, watch carefully to make sure that the oil doesn’t start to smoke, and never walk away from oil heating on the stove! If you are a child making this recipe, make sure to get an adult’s help!
  • These donuts can baked for about 12-15 minutes at 350oF (180oC). Dust them in sugar when they come hot out of the oven.

How To Store Apple Cider Donuts

Donuts are best when they are eaten the day they are made, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Make More Fall Recipes!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Apple Cider Donuts Recipe

4.73 from 18 votes
If you have a craving for donuts, my Apple Cider Donuts recipe is essential — they're covered in cinnamon sugar and have all the spices you could want.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 Donuts
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
If you have a craving for donuts, my Apple Cider Donuts recipe is essential — they're covered in cinnamon sugar and have all the spices you could want.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 Donuts

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (12floz/ 340ml) apple cider Homemade or store-bought)
  • 5 tablespoons (2 ½oz/71g) butter softened
  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup (4oz/115g) yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups (17 ½ oz /497g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • oil, for frying (veg, canola, sunflower, etc.)

Cinnamon sugar

  • ¾ cups (6oz/170g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon

Instructions

  • Reduce the apple cider: pour the cider into a shallow saucepan and let boil until the liquid is reduced to ⅓ cup (2 ½ floz/71ml). Let cool completely.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle with flour.
  • Beat butter and sugar together for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then add in the cooled cider, yogurt, and vanilla.
  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg, and then gradually stir into the wet ingredients.
  • When just combined, place the dough on the prepared baking sheet, sprinkle with more flour, and roll or pat out to ¾ inch (2cm) thickness.
  • The dough will be very soft. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to allow it to firm up for easier cutting and handling.
  • While the dough is chilling, heat up the oil: pour oil 2-3 inches (5-8cm) deep in a saucepan set over medium heat or clip a thermometer in the oil if you are using one and let it heat to 325°F (165°C). Adjust the heat to keep the oil at this temperature.
    Note: You can bake these for about 12-15 minutes at 350oF (180oC). Dust them in sugar when they come hot out of the oven.
  • Make the cinnamon sugar: combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set next to the oil.
  • Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and place near the oil and cinnamon sugar.
  • After the dough has chilled for 15 minutes, cut circles with a 3-inch (7 ½ cm) cutter. Gather, re-pat, and cut any scraps.
  • With a 1-inch (2.5cm) cutter, cut out a hole in the center of each circle to make the doughnut shape.
  • Carefully place 2-3 doughnuts or 4-5 holes in the oil and place the rest of the dough in the freezer to stay chilled while waiting to be fried. (If the dough gets too warm it may break apart in the oil.)
  • Fry for about 2 or 3 minutes, until golden brown on one side, and then flip to fry the other side.
  • Once done, remove the doughnuts from the oil, let drain for a minute, then toss in the cinnamon sugar and return to the wire rack to cool.
  • Serve with a steaming cup of hot apple cider! These doughnuts are best eaten the day they are made, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.

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44 thoughts on “Homemade Apple Cider Donuts

  1. Don’t have a donut cutter so I used a small heart shaped cookie cutter. These have a great slightly spicy taste and, since we baked them, they are heavier in texture. I made a vanilla glaze and then sprinkled it with the cinnamon sugar. Worked pretty well. Although tasty, they were a lot of work. Not sure if we’ll make them again, but glad I tried them.

    1. Technically, you can. You may need to adjust the amount of liquids as flours do not absorb liquids the same way. Some may need more, or less than what the recipe requires. Note to hold back on the liquids when adding and just add the amount needed for you to reach the same consistency as described in the recipe.

  2. How could I convert this recipe accommodate my Mom’s Ron Popeil donut maker?
    I have never found a recipe, Please advise

    1. Hi Judith. This is a sticky dough, that it needs to be chilled. It might work using your mom’s donut maker if you don’t chill it. I don’t recommend converting the recipe by making the dough runny as that means the proportions will be off, giving you a different result.

  3. Dear Gemma, I need to substitute the sugar for something fructose free (like Dextrose or Erythritol. How much substitute would you recommend here.

    1. Hi, Anja! I don’t have much experience with Dextrose but I know it’s always use for white sugar at 1:1 ratio in many recipes.
      Monk Fruit sweetener (Lakanto) or erythritol can be used at 1:1 ratio for white sugar. They are diabetic friendly natural sugars which are able to CARAMELIZE.

      Hope this helps!
      Do let me know how it goes, Gemma

    1. Yes, Lulu!
      See TIPS or STEP 8: Note: You can bake these for about 12-15 minutes at 350oF (180oC). Dust them in sugar when they come hot out of the oven.

      Hope this helps and you get on well!
      Best, Gemma

    1. Hi there,
      we do not do videos for every recipe right now – but we may go back to that in the future, especially when requested. I will add your request to my list, thank you,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Hey Gemma! What kind of yogurt is used? Plain? Greek? Whole-fat, etc? Thank you!! I can’t wait to make these!

    1. Hi Heather,
      usually, when I say yogurt in a recipe it will be plain natural yogurt, organic if possible.
      When I say Greek yogurt I mean Strained yogurt – which removes a lot of the whey and yields a thick delicious yogurt. You can strain the yogurt at home too, use a fine sieve with a clean kitchen cloth or cheesecloth in the sieve and drain it in the fridge for a few hours.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Please answer my question Bigger Bolder Baking. Please.
    Why are your vanilla cake recipes different from your vanilla cupcake recipe?
    Also does it really make a difference how it’s incorporated? Such as butter and sugar creamed then adding adding eggs, milk, sour cream or whatever you use them adding flour? I see some recipes and even here at BBB wherein some recipes call for mixing sugar with flour and baking powders.. Please answer BBB.

    1. Thanks for reaching out, Shay!
      1. Cupcakes are lighter and fluffier, the big cake is denser to hold the shape and all the frosting. They’re the same flavor but designed for different purposes.
      2. The mixing method matters a lot. When butter and sugar are creamed together, lots of air is incorporated, sugar gets dissolved and coats the surface of the air bubbles. So the structure is sturdy to hold other following ingredients and yield a light fluffy result. Some recipes like the vanilla birthday cake, needs to be denser so does not use this method.
      3. As to the mixing order, mix wet and dry separately first then combine the two. So everything would be distributed more evenly . Add wet to dry. Because flour in different places behaves in different ways, depending on how, where, when and the type of wheat grain being milled. They absorb liquid differently. Note to hold back some liquid by using up to 3/4 in one go and adjust it accordingly to get the same consistency with mine.

      Hope this makes sense!
      Gemma

  6. Gemma loved your recipe a lot ! Where could I watch the video ! Is it uploaded on you tube . Thanking you immensely

    1. Hi, Malika!
      Here’s the egg substitute chart with guidance for different types of recipes: https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/egg-substitutes-for-baking/. Egg substitutes won’t work well in recipes which call for separating egg whites and yolk especially whipping up either or both. When you whisk eggs with other ingredients together, lots of air is incorporated into protein whose structure can hold air and help the baked goods rise. Egg substitutes don’t have this feature.

      **Flax eggs work closest to eggs in many recipes.

      Do let me know how you get on!
      Gemma

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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