Apple cider donuts are a must when you go apple picking. But they shouldn't be reserved to your time at the orchards—that's much too limited! Though time consuming, they're easy enough for anyone to make from home. Here's what you need to know.
They're cake donuts. Unlike our classic glazed donuts, this recipe doesn't involve any yeast. They're crumb is also more cake-like (DUH). While the dough is very simple to make, you can't fry it up right away. It needs an hour in the fridge of rest time.
For best results, reduce the apple cider. If you simply add apple cider to the dough, the taste will be very faint, if it's even noticeable at all! Boiling down the apple cider concentrates the flavor.
Use your candy thermometer. When we first tested this recipe, we fried at 375° and the donuts turned very dark very quickly. (They were still delicious!) We had better luck with a temperature of 350°. Using a candy thermometer helps maintain the right temperature.
Looking for more fall inspiration? Browse through our amazing apple recipes.
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested and updated on September 9, 2020 after noticing users having trouble with the dough.
packed brown sugar
butter, melted and cooled
Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring apple cider to a boil. Continue to boil until reduced to ¾ cup, about 25 minutes. Pour into a large heatproof bowl and let cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk butter and egg into cooled apple cider. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just combined.
- Cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate until dough is cold and firm, about 2 hours.
- On a floured surface, roll chilled dough into a ½“ thick rectangle, lightly flouring as necessary. Using a doughnut cutter or 3” and 1” biscuit cutters, punch out doughnuts. Bring scraps together and punch out as well. Place doughnuts and holes onto baking sheets, cover with dish towel.
- Place cinnamon sugar in a shallow bowl. Heat ½" oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°.
- Working in batches, add donuts to Dutch oven and cook until evenly golden and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes per side, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain frying temperature between 350° and 375°.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate for 30 seconds, then roll warm donuts in cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.