Cinnamon sugar coated and baked – not fried, these yummy apple cider donuts will become a fall favorite sweet treat in your house! Quick and ready in under an hour, these fall-inspired donuts are also perfect to serve with homemade apple cider.
Do you feel like you are missing something this fall season? I was definitely feeling this way the past few weeks. Maybe it is the ongoing pandemic or maybe it’s the abnormally warm weather we have been having but it just didn’t seem quite like fall. Until I discovered apple cider donuts.
My sister actually turned me on to this amazing fall treat after she had a few donuts at a local farm. Of course, being the foodie that I am, I had to immediately find out how to make apple cider donuts of my own. Cider, cinnamon, fresh baked goods…what could be more fall-y?!? I got right to work crafting the perfect make-at-home apple cider donut recipe that could rival any farm stand treat.
I use to be intimidated by donut recipes. They always seem to require so much time and also I’m not a huge fan of deep frying foods at home. However, donuts can easily be baked in your oven rather than fried in oil. And, when you make cake-style donuts, there is no yeast or rising time involved- much easier! Apple cider donuts are traditionally made this way so they are perfect for creating in your own kitchen. They will also make your whole kitchen smell heavenly as they bake!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST APPLE CIDER DONUTS
To make the donuts, you start by boiling apple cider to help it reduce. This means the flavor will be more concentrated without the excess water in the cider. The sugar and butter in the recipe are creamed together and then the eggs, buttermilk and cooled cider are added to the bowl.
The dry ingredients are mixed in to the wet ingredients and then the batter is done! Simple, right? It is the same mixing method as most muffin or quick bread recipes so you are likely already familiar with these steps.
The batter is scooped into a greased donut pan, filling each ring about half way. If you don’t have a donut pan, you can definitely use this same recipe to make “donut muffins”. Fill a mini muffin tin with the batter instead and then continue on with the recipe as written. However, to get the full apple cider donut experience, you may want to invest in a donut baking pan. You’ll use it a lot, I promise!
After the donuts have baked, they are dunked in melted butter and dipped in a cinnamon sugar mix. Coat the donuts completely in the fall flavored cinnamon sugar to get maximum deliciousness! The cinnamon sugar mix can be made even more delicious by using apple pie spice in place of the plain cinnamon. You can find apple pie spice in most grocery stores and it will give your donuts even more seasonal flavor. You may even want to try pumpkin pie spice for a fun mix of apple cider and pumpkin flavors- could these donuts be any more fall-perfect?
If I am going to splurge on a donut, I want it to be totally over the top. That is why I also drizzle my donuts with some of the glaze after dipping them in the cinnamon sugar. Of course, you can opt to just use the glaze instead of the cinnamon sugar too. Both ways work! Both donuts will be incredibly tasty. You should probably make them both ways just to see which you like more.
Enjoy the donuts while they are still nice and warm. They are guaranteed to make it feel more like fall and your house will smell amazing while baking them too! You should definitely give this recipe a try and taste it for yourself. One bite of this delicious baked apple cider donuts and you will know that fall is here! And while you’re here, check out my homemade apple cider recipe too – a perfect fall drink to pair with these yummy fall-inspired donuts!
OTHER FALL SWEET TREATS TO TRY:
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 3 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ** see notes
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- *For the Coating:
- Cinnamon Sugar: 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon plus ½ cup unsalted butter, melted for dipping
- Glaze: 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, 1 tablespoon apple cider
- 1. Add apple cider to small saucepan
- 2. Bring to boil over medium high heat and cook until reduced to ¼ cup, about 10 minutes
- 3. Cool completely
- 4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- 5. Coat donut pans with non-stick cooking spray
- 6. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until combined
- 7. Add eggs and mix until well combined
- 8. Add buttermilk and reduced apple cider and mix until well combined
- 9. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices
- 10. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir just until combined
- 11. Fill donut pan about ½ full ** see notes
- 12. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned
- 13. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes
- 14. Remove from pan
- 15. Combine cinnamon sugar coating or glaze in a medium bowl ** see notes for glaze
- 16. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl and cool slightly
- 17. Dip donuts in cooled butter and immediately coat both sides with cinnamon sugar mixture and set on a wire rack
- 18. Serve warm or room temperature
- 19. Store leftovers in airtight container
1. You can substitute 1 ½ teaspoons apple pie spice in place of cinnamon and nutmeg
2. Donut pan – to make filling the donut pan easier, use a plastic decorator bag or resealable bag
3. If you want to glaze the donuts, make this Glaze recipe: Add powdered sugar to medium bowl, add milk and juice and whisk until smooth
Add additional liquid if the glaze is too thick. Dip donuts top side down into glaze and place on a wire rack to drip off excess.