Baked Apple Cider Donuts
Apple cider donuts can be baked in a donut pan or muffin tin. Use fresh apple cider and cinnamon sugar for the ultimate fall flavor!
Happy first day of fall! The mornings have been crisp and days sunny, which is perfection in my mind. What better way to kick off the season than with some freshly baked apple cider donuts? Packed with cider and cinnamon flavor, these donuts will immediately put you in the fall mindset.
Cider donuts have been on my baking list for a couple years now. They remind me of trips to the apple orchards in Connecticut where you can see how they make apple cider from scratch! The fresher the apple cider, the more flavor these donuts will have.
How to make apple cider donuts
Apple cider donuts are usually baked instead of fried, which means they are easy to make from scratch at home!
- In one bowl simply whisk together the dry ingredients—flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In the bowl of the hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs and vanilla.
- Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Slowly add the apple cider reduction and stir until incorporated.
- Transfer batter to a greased donut pan and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool donuts in pan for 5 minutes then remove.
- Brush melted butter on warm donuts and then generously dust the donuts in cinnamon sugar.
Apple cider reduction
Okay here is the secret sauce to apple cider donuts—reduce the apple cider. Basically what that means is heating the apple cider on the stove for about 10 to 15 minutes until the cider boils down from 1 cup to 1/2 cup. The flavor will become intensely concentrated making the cider taste more pronounced in the donuts (I use it in my apple cider muffins too).
What can I use instead of a donut pan?
Donut pans are easy to find on Amazon (I own these donut pans). However, a muffin pan will work in a pinch! Prepare the muffin pan the same way by greasing with nonstick spray. Increase baking time by a few minutes (15 to 20 minutes total). The muffins will taste just as good as baked donuts! You can also use a mini muffin pan to make donut holes (bake these for 8 to 10 minutes).
How do you store cider donuts?
Store donuts in an airtight container at room temperature. I like to layer them between sheets of parchment paper. Make sure the donuts are 100% cool before storing. Excess heat in an enclosed space will make condensation and result in soggy donuts (yuck).
Can apple cider donuts be frozen?
Donuts are best when eaten the same day they are baked. However, they can be frozen for up to one month. Place cooled donuts in a freezer safe bag or airtight container. Layer them between sheets of parchment paper to avoid them sticking to each other.
You can freeze the donuts before or after you coat them in butter and cinnamon sugar. Defrost the donuts in the refrigerator, then bring them to room temperature. This will prevent any condensation during the defrosting process.
If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate apples or apple cider into your baking this fall, here are some recipes I suggest you try next!
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Get the Recipe: Baked Apple Cider Donuts
- 1 cup (240 ml) apple cider
- 1 ¾ cup (225 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup (100 g) packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, melted
- Reduce apple cider for concentrated flavor. In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer the apple cider, stirring occasionally, until you’re left with about 1/2 cup. Start checking at 10 minutes until you have 1/3 cup (80 ml). Mine takes between 12 and 15 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease two 6-cavity doughnut pans. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), mix together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined (avoid over mixing). Slowly add the apple cider reduction and mix just until combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to remove any remaining flour pockets.
- Transfer batter to a ziplock bag and cut a hole in the corner. Pipe batter into prepared donut tins, filling each cavity about three-quarters full.
- Bake donuts 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into one comes out clean.
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- While the donuts bake, whisk together 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, melt 6 tablespoons of butter in the microwave.
- Remove donuts from oven when baked and allow them to cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Gently remove them them from the pans and while they are still warm brush with the melted butter and generously coat them in the cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature.