Apple Cider Donuts are moist, tender, flavorful, and coated in cinnamon-sugar. They can be prepped ahead of time and refrigerated overnight. Old-fashioned cake donuts, ready in about 30-minutes.
This apple cider donut recipe has sweet and tangy apple cider flavor and in our opinion, are the best homemade cake donuts. They’re perfect fall treat! (The recipe makes donuts and donut holes.)
The trick for flavorful apple cider donuts is to use concentrated apple cider. Save time by reducing the apple cider the night before! (Watch the video below on how to make apple cider donuts!)
I love going to our local apple orchard in the fall and getting a basket of apples. And of course, warm apple cider donuts from their bakery.
Fall is such a great time of year for this apple donuts recipe! They taste just like ones from apple orchards in the fall! Super moist, full of apple and cinnamon-spice flavor!
I remember my mom frying old-fashioned cake donuts in our kitchen. And how our dog would wait, patiently under her feet- just waiting for a donut hole to fall to the floor. And the whole house smelled like donuts!
The trick to apple cider donuts is to flavor them with concentrated apple cider. Which is apple cider that’s been reduced down on the stove to be thick and potent. It’s much stronger apple flavor and less liquid. To save time, reduce the apple cider the day before, let cool completely and refrigerate overnight.
Why this recipe works
- Made in one bowl – Apple cider donuts recipe is mixed together in ONE bowl.
- Uses simple ingredients – You’ll find most of the ingredients for this cider donut recipe readily available in your local grocery store.
- Prep ahead of time – Make these apple donuts the night before. Place on half sheet pans lined with parchment paper, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Or, place the entire mixing bowl, covered with plastic wrap into the fridge overnight and roll out apple cider donuts in the morning.
- Flavor – They are full of apple, cinnamon and spice. They taste like they’re straight from the bakery of your local apple orchard! If you grew up in New England or have ever been there, you know what I’m talking about!
What you’ll need
- Apples – Use Granny Smith, Macoun, or McIntosh. These varieties have great apple flavor. Grate the apple or chop finely before mixing into the batter. If apple pieces are too big, they will not properly cook in the donuts.
- Apple cider – Locate at your local apple orchard or in the produce section at your local grocery store. Boil down to concentrate and cool completely before adding to your donut batter.
- Sugar & brown sugar – Add sweetness and a touch of moisture to this apple cider donut recipe.
- Vanilla extract – Adds a nice depth of flavor. Real, vanilla extract is always the best.
- Buttermilk – This helps make donuts moist and flavorful. Can’t find it in the store? Whisk together 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of milk.
- Eggs – Use large eggs that have been brought to room temperature. Always crack eggs into a separate measuring cup, rather than directly into your mixing bowl.
- Butter – Unsalted butter is best, so you can control the amount of salt in baking recipes. Butter should be softened to properly cream together with sugars.
- Baking powder and soda – Leavening agents that help the donuts rise as they fry.
- All-purpose flour – Sift the flour to make sure the apple donuts are light and fluffy.
- Cinnamon and nutmeg – Warm spice of cinnamon and nutmeg adds plenty of fall spice to your donuts.
Do you remember fair food and delicious homemade apple cider donuts from a local apple orchard?
This apple cider donuts recipe is flavored with concentrated apple cider. Place apple cider in a saucepan, put on the stove over low heat and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes. It’s reduced down and thickened with even more flavor.
Don’t have time to boil down apple cider? You can order apple cider concentrate!
These cider donuts rolled in cinnamon sugar mixture will remind you of days spent at an country fair or the local apple orchard. The wonderful addition of small pieces of apples makes this apple donut recipe moist and full of apple flavor!
How to make Apple Cider Donuts
- Reduce apple cider – In a medium saucepan over low heat, reduce the apple cider to about 3⁄4 cup, about 30 minutes. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
- Combine dry ingredients – Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices into a medium bowl and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar – In a large bowl, use a stand mixer to cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the cooled reduced apple cider, buttermilk, and vanilla extract, mixing to combine. Add the dry ingredients and combine. Gently fold the grated apples into the batter.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients together – Add the eggs one at a time and continue to mix until incorporated. Add the concentrated apple cider, buttermilk, and vanilla extract, mixing to combine. Add the flour mixture and combine.
- Roll out donut dough – Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. This dough will be sticky. Use a plastic bench scraper to fold the dough over and flour before cutting donuts. Flour the dough well.
- Cut out donuts – Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to ½-inch thickness. Cut out donuts using a 3.5-inch donut cutter. Place on half sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
While they are still warm, roll in cinnamon sugar mixture or dip in a thin glaze.
Donut Glaze Recipe
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons whole milk
You’ll need a rolling pin and a doughnut cutter. Order a donut cutter on Amazon. Unless you have a small, independently owned kitchen store, a donut cutter is a bit hard to find.
Step 5: Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to 1⁄ 2 inch thickness. Lightly flour a donut cutter and use it to cut out the donuts, then place them onto the prepared baking sheet.
Make these old fashioned apple cider donuts the night before, place them on half sheet pans lined with parchment paper and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Place the sheet pans in the fridge until the next morning and you can fry them up fresh. This helps keep your work to a minimum.
And, there’s nothing like a freshly fried donut with a cup of coffee!
Cider donuts are a harvest tradition in autumn originated in the northeastern United States and are sometimes sold at cider mills. Often paired with apple cider and rolled in a cinnamon sugar mixture.
Carefully place donuts into 375 degree F canola oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the donuts from the oil allowing excess oil to drip back into the pan.
Cider donuts are a cake donut made with butter, concentrated cider, sugar, flour, eggs, buttermilk, baking powder, soda, and vanilla extract.
More Apple and Pumpkin Recipes
More Donut Recipes
I find it easy to place warm donuts into a cinnamon sugar mixture in a disposable aluminum foil pan. This makes it easy to toss homemade donuts in cinnamon sugar and helps make clean up easy.
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Apple Cider Donuts
Apple Cider Donuts
- 1 cup apple cider
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and grated Macoun or Macintosh
- canola oil for frying
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Apple Cider Donuts
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, reduce the apple cider to about 3⁄4 cup, about 30 minutes. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, use a stand mixer to cream together the butter granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
- Add the eggs one at a time and continue to mix until incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to occasionally scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the condensed apple cider, buttermilk, and vanilla extract, mixing to combine. Add the flour mixture and combine.
- Gently fold the grated apples into the batter.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. This dough can be sticky. Use a plastic bench scraper to fold the dough over and flour before cutting doughnuts.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to ½-inch thickness. Lightly flour a doughnut cutter and use it to cut out the donuts, then place them onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels and set aside.
- In a large heavy-duty pot, add about 3-inches of canola oil. Heat to a temperature of 375 degrees F. Drop about 4 to 5 donuts into the oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly golden brown.
- Remove the doughnuts from the oil and allow to drain on the paper towels. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the cinnamon sugar; mix well. While the donuts are still warm, sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar.
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