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Apple Cider Donuts

Happy Fall y'all!! I know I am a bit early but autumn is my favorite season, especially for baking. There are so many great fall flavors and beautiful nature-based inspiration during this time of year. Not to mention the sweaters are cozy socks you can bake in! So first up, in a line of fall goodies, is Apple Cider Donuts. This recipe makes warm, cakey donuts covered in delicious cinnamon sugar. The best part is this mouth-watering recipe is simple, beginner friendly, and you most likely have all of the ingredients you need right at home. Let's get started!

Tips for great donuts

  1. Use high quality ingredients. If you use apple juice and store brand cinnamon your donuts won't taste as great as they do on the farm. Splurge on some nice cinnamon and fresh, farm made cider and I promise you will not regret it. I prefer Vietnamese cinnamon because I think it has the best kick and plays best with the apple flavor.

  2. Don't leave the donuts unattended while frying. When I was making these for the first time I thought "I know how fast 60 seconds goes by" and boy did my sad, burnt donuts prove me wrong. I definitely suggest staying right next to your stove or fryer and doing one donut at a time for the first two or three until you get the hang of it.

  3. Dip the donuts in the topping mixture immediately after frying. The heat helps the cinnamon sugar stick to the donut and it is much easier than trying to sprinkle it on a cold donut. Take your time and only put a few donuts in the oil at a time so that you will have time to top them before they cool down.

Apple Cider Donuts


Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes Active Time: 45 minutes Yields: About 12 donuts


  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted & cooked

  • 1 cup (130g) apple cider, cold

  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour, more for dusting

  • 1/4 cup (30g) granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp (6g) cinnamon

  • 1 tsp (6g) salt

  • 1 tsp (6g) active dry yeast

  • 1/2 tsp (3g) baking soda

  • Optional 1/2 tsp (3g) pumpkin spice, ground nutmeg, or ground cloves

  • 2 quarts (8 cups) neutral oil, for frying

Cinnamon sugar topping

  • 1/3 cup (75g) granulated sugar, raw sugar, or preferably a mixture of both

  • 1 tsp (6g) cinnamon

  • 1 tsp (6g) salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, cook butter over medium high heat. Stir butter constantly until golden brown in color. There should be milk solids at the bottom of the pan. The process should take about three minutes. Add cold apple cider directly to pan and then add butter-cider mixture to a cup to stop cooking.

  2. Add all of the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, yeast, baking soda, pumpkin spice) to either a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. With the mixer running, drizzle in the butter-cider mixture until a shaggy dough forms. Alternatively, gradually add butter-cider mixture to dry ingredients and mix with a spoon. If dough seems too sticky, add flour by the teaspoon. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave on counter for at least two hours to rise. Dough should double in size.

  3. When the dough has risen, flour a work surface and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough out to a rectangle that measures to about 1/2 an inch thick. Using a ring mold, cookie cutter, or circular glass with a knife, create six circular donuts. Then, using a smaller ring mold or a frosting tip, create the donut hole in the middle. Transfer each donut to the baking tray. Reshape the dough and repeat the process.

  4. Time for another rise. Cover the donuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for one hour. After rising they should spring back with a light poke. When an hour is almost up, add your oil to a fryer or large pot over medium high heat. Ideal oil temperature to insure even frying is 350°F. Also, create the topping at this time by whisking together the sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.

  5. Once the rising time is complete and oil is heated to 350°F, it is time to fry the donuts. I suggest adding only one to the oil for a test fry. Fry both sides of each donut for about a minute or until golden brown. While still hot, coat donuts in the cinnamon sugar mixture, using a spoon to assist you in covering the sides. Now it's time to enjoy some warm doughnuts and a glass of apple cider. Enjoy!

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