baking · Easy recipe · Fall

Cider Donuts

When I was a child, we would make trips to a cider mill near us. The highlight for me was getting to enjoy a doughnut and a little cup of cider while there. Maybe this is where my love for a cake doughnuts began. Oh my! It was such a treat! I recently made a Cider Donut recipe that took me back to that childhood memory!

These Cider Donuts from Sally’s Baking Addiction have a lovely apple flavor that is enhanced by the addition of the cider, of course, but also the apple pie spices in the dough and in the sugar topping. These are baked, so they’re more healthy than the fried versions. Okay, the butter they’re dipped in might add some calories and fat, but every fall needs an occasional treat, right?!

Here’s the simple recipe with my additional notes and improvisions.

Apple Cider Donuts – These make about 18

  • 1 and 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice*
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Reduce the apple cider: Stirring occasionally, simmer the apple cider in a small saucepan over low heat until you’re left with about 1/2 cup. Start checking at every five minutes, etc until you have 1/2 cup. (Mine took about 30 minutes.) If there are any spices or solids on top of your reduced apple cider, leave them. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Whisk the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together. Pour into the dry ingredients, add the reduced apple cider, and whisk everything together until smooth and combined. Batter will be slightly thick.
  5. Spoon the batter into the donut pan—I highly used a large zipped-top bag and cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and piped the batter into each donut cup, filling about halfway.
  6. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of the donut. If the donut bounces back, they’re done. Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.
  7. Coat the donuts: Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together in a medium bowl. Once cool enough to handle, dunk both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the apple spice topping.
  8. Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I only baked up one dozen, then put the bag with the batter into the fridge overnight. The next day I baked off the next pan of six, and they did great! Then I froze them uncoated. A couple days later I pulled them out and dipped them in the butter and sugar coating. Yum! This was a great way to have a homemade donut at a moment’s notice!

If you don’t have apple pie spice (like me!), you can mix up your own using this recipe:

  • 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom – I didn’t have this and left it out. It was still great!

All these need is a cold glass of milk, a cup of coffee…or of course a glass of cider to make the perfect fall treat!

If you’re a cake donut fan, you’re going to love these!

Some other donut suggestions – Have you tried these light donuts I posted a while back? Also if you don’t have a donut pan, you could bake up these muffins that have a very similar taste as the Cider donuts!

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