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Apple Cider Donuts in pan

Apple Cider Donuts

  • Author: Theresa | Quiet Baking Day
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 hours
  • Yield: 8 donuts
  • Category: Pastries
  • Method: Expert
  • Cuisine: American


Nothing says fall baking like apple cider donuts. A deep apple flavor comes from cider concentrate and apple butter with a hint of cinnamon.



Apple Butter

  • 3 lb. bag of granny smith apples
  • 100g brown sugar, packed
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch all-spice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Apple Cider Donuts

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 480g all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 56g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 50g brown sugar, packed
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 130g apple butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg


Apple Butter*

  1. Prep day before. Peel, core and thinly slice (1/8th-inch thick) the apples. Combine with sugar and spices in a crock pot. Cook on HIGH, COVERED for 5 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. After 5 hours, remove the cover and blend apples with an immersion blender until apples are completely smooth.
  3. Add apple cider and vanilla extract, stir to combine. Cook on HIGH, UNCOVERED for another hour.
  4. Cool completely before use.

Apple Cider Donuts

  1. Prep day before. While apple butter is cooking, make apple cider concentrate. Pour 2 cups of the apple cider in a large pot. Boil rapidly until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes.
  2. Prep day before or day of**. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixture, combine butter and sugars. Mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes on medium-high, scraping down the sides as needed.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully combined before adding the next egg. Mix in the the apple butter and vanilla extract.
  5. Beginning and ending with the dry mixture, add 1/3 of the dry mixture. Mix on low until nearly incorporated. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and cider concentrate. Repeat dry – wet – dry.
  6. Do not overmix the batter, use a spatula to incorporate the last bits of the flour.
  7. Flour a sheet of parchment paper. Scoop batter onto the parchment, batter will be quite sticky. Sprinkle flour on the top, and with floured hands pat into 1/2″ tall sheet.
  8. Transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  9. Day of. Cut 8- 4″x4″ parchment squares and lay out on baking sheet.
  10. Remove baking sheet from refrigerator. Using a well-floured donut cutter or 3″ cutter and 1″ cutter (I used the large side of a piping tip), cut out donuts and gently place one donut on each parchment square. If you are using the 3″ and 1″ cutters, it’s easier to cut the inside holes *after* transporting to the parchment square – it will keep its shape better. Reroll any scrapes and continue cutting. Brush off any excess flour from donuts to prevent burning.
  11. Heat at least 3″ of oil in a large Dutch oven to 350°F. Using a candy thermometer, keep a close eye on temperatures, keeping the oil between 340° and 360°F while frying.
  12. Set up frying station as outlined above.
  13. Working in batches of 2 or 3 donuts, lift parchment squares and lower into the oil, careful to not splash. After about 1 second, the parchment paper can be removed using tongs.
  14. Fry for 1:30 – 2 minutes, flip and repeat until a dark golden brown.
  15. Remove using a spider or slotted spoon and place on paper towel set over a cooling rack.
  16. As soon as cool enough to touch, coat in cinnamon sugar*** mixture outlined above. Transfer to the second cooling rack.
  17. Best served immediately while warm.


*Store-bought apple butter can be substituted. Recipe as written will make more than necessary for donuts.

**Dough can be made the day in advance and refrigerated overnight. Or shorten the time to 1 hour depending on timing preference.

***If donuts are too cool for the sugar to stick to, donuts can be quickly dipped in melted butter.

Keywords: spiced, brunch, fall

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