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.
What can I use instead of a donut pan?
Donut pans are easy to find on Amazon (this is the one I own). 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.
More apple recipes…
If you are a fan of apple cider and apples (who isn’t this time of year?), try these recipes…
Apple cider donuts will surely be a his this autumnal season. If you try one of my recipes, be sure to tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media!
Baked Apple Cider Donuts
Cider donuts are baked in donut pans, brushed in butter and generously dusted with cinnamon sugar. They are a staple for fall baking!
- 1 ¾ cup (225 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 10 tablespoons (141 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 ml) apple cider
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- 1/2 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 1/2 cup (120ml). Mine takes between 12 and 15 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease two 6-cavity doughnut pans (or a 12-cup muffin with nonstick spray). 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. Keep the mixer on medium speed and add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated (avoid over mixing). With the mixer still running, very slowly add the apple cider in and mix just until combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to remove any remaining flour pockets.
Use a spoon to transfer the batter into prepared doughnut pans, filling them about 2/3 of the way full. (For this step I like to use a piping bag with a 1/2-inch opening at the tip). Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking.
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.
- Suggested tools: 6-cavity donut pans, stand mixer or hand mixer, silicone spatula, measuring cups and mixing bowls
- Apple cider donut muffins: If you don’t have a donut pan, use a muffin pan! Divide batter evenly between the prepared cups and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- Mini donuts/muffins: Use a mini donut pan or mini muffin pan to make smaller portions. Reduce baking time to 8-10 minutes.
- Store apple cider donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Donuts are best when eaten the day of.