Traditional recipes

Our site's Best Apple Cider Doughnuts

Our site's Best Apple Cider Doughnuts

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These sugared doughnuts are craggy and crunchy on the outside, tender and moist on the inside. Apple butter (not sauce!) is key to their texture and flavor; look for it alongside jams and jellies in the supermarket, or at farmers’ markets, or make your own.


  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • Vegetable oil (for frying; about 4 cups)

Special Equipment

  • A 3¼-inch-diameter cutter, 1¼-inch-diameter cutter, deep-fry thermometer

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring cinnamon sticks and apple cider to a boil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until liquid is thick, syrupy, and reduced to about ⅓ cup, 20–30 minutes. Scrape into a medium bowl and whisk in apple butter, buttermilk, and vanilla until incorporated; set aside.

  • Whisk baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, 3½ cups flour, and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and ¼ cup granulated sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 2 additions, alternating with cider mixture in 2 additions, starting with dry ingredients and ending with cider mixture (dough will be very soft and sticky).

  • Scrape dough onto a parchment lined-rimmed baking sheet thoroughly dusted with flour (about ⅓ cup). Dust hands and top of dough with more flour, then gently pat dough to ¾" thick. Dust with more flour and tightly cover with plastic wrap; chill dough at least 3 hours.

  • Whisk remaining 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 Tbsp. cinnamon in a small bowl until no lumps remain.

  • Working on baking sheet, punch out as many rounds as you can with 3¼" cutter, then use 1¼" cutter to punch out center of each round. Gather doughnut scraps, reserving holes, and gently re-roll without overworking dough; repeat until all dough has been used (you should have 18 doughnuts).

  • Set a wire rack inside a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet. Fit a large pot with deep-fry thermometer and pour in oil to a depth of 3". Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 350°. Working in batches, fry doughnuts until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to prepared rack and let cool slightly. Fry doughnut holes until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Toss warm doughnuts and doughnut holes in cinnamon sugar.

  • Do Ahead: Dough can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill.

Related Video

Rick Makes Apple Cider Doughnuts

Reviews SectionThis was my first time making donuts, so I followed the instructions and video to a T. I needed to cook them longer than I expected (based on visual cues) to have a thoroughly cooked interior. Ok, piping hot doughnuts with un cafecito? Yes and amen.It was well worth the labor. I'd recommend every home baker attempt doughnuts at least once. It felt like a rite of passage.HayleyyelyaHCalifornia03/26/20My wife ordered these instead of a birthday cake, and it was a definite win. I adjusted flour some for altitude, and was generous on the board rolling it out and while it looked like it might fall apart when I turned them, I had no problems. Finished with an amaretto whip cream...most excellent birthday breakfast!SkarpetiColorado Springs01/19/20This did not turn out well. The first couple I tried cooking completely fell apart so I added more flour. They then held together but weren’t cooking inside before they got dark. I turned down the temperature and they finally cooked through and we’re golden brown. The problem after that was they had soaked in a lot of oil and were more like a churro.Flavor was good, but dough just was a huge struggle. It felt like there was maybe too much baking soda, and the donuts fell apart when frying. We ended up salvaging it with a lot of extra flour, and doing just donut holes as the full donut still fell apart. The flavor was fantastic, and the donuts holes were a hit, just not worth all the work and troubleshooting at the end.Taste good but fell apart, I adjusted for altitude but they still fell apart and they were kind of greasyTrying to recreate New England cider donuts - these were delicious and pretty darn close. I’d add more nutmeg and maybe 1/4-1/2 tsp more salt. The reduced cider and apple butter flavors really come through. The donuts fried up beautifully. Will definitely make again.AnonymousFairfield, CA11/17/19Amazing donuts. Delicious, craggy, moist, and super flavorful. I will definitely be making these again! I wish I could post a picture so everyone could see how beautiful they turned out!!Jaclyn HendersonTuxedo, NY10/12/19

Watch the video: Apple Cider Donuts vegan (June 2022).


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