Apple Cider Doughnuts are fried cake donuts that are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and packed with apple flavor!
These apple cider doughnuts are made like old fashioned buttermilk donuts with the added bonus of the apple cider! They are so delicious that you will understand why they are popular at state fairs, fall festivals, and apple orchards!
Start by reducing the apple cider. Bring the apple cider to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until the cider is reduced to 1/4 cup. Then, set aside to cool to room temperature.
Why boil the apple cider?
To get really good apple flavor in these apple cider doughnuts, a lot of apple cider needs to be added. But if you just added the plain apple cider, it would be way too much liquid for the dough. By boiling the apple cider, the amount of liquid is reduced leaving a thick, concentrated syrup that is packed with flavor.
Can I use apple juice?
No, apple juice should not be substituted for the apple cider in this recipe. For the best results, you’ll want to look for fresh apple cider that is found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and allspice. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, apple butter, and cooled apple cider reduction. Set aside.
Beat together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
Stir in 1/2 of the flour mixture.
Then, add 1/2 of the apple cider mixture and stir to combine. Repeat with the remaining dry and wet ingredients.
Turn out onto a well-floured, parchment-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle additional flour on top of the dough. Flatten or roll out to about 3/4 inch thickness. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat oil in a deep fryer (or large pot with a thermometer) to 360˚F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Use a 3-inch, floured doughnut cutter to cut out doughnuts. Save the donut holes and re-roll the scraps to use all of the dough. Return the cut doughnuts in the fridge until ready to fry.
Fry two apple cider doughnuts at once for 3 minutes, carefully turning halfway through cooking. Fry the doughnut holes for 2-3 minutes.
The exteriors should be a deep brown color. Drain the fried apple cider donuts on a paper towel lined plate.
Coat the apple cider doughnuts with cinnamon sugar. All of those wonderful craggy edges and cracks help the cinnamon sugar coat the donuts!
What can apple cider doughnuts be coated with?
We went with the classic cinnamon sugar coating on these fried apple cider doughnuts but other toppings or glazes would be good as well! Here are a few ideas:
Can apple cider doughnuts be prepared ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare apple cider doughnuts ahead of time. The donuts can be fully made, stored, and served the following day. But freshly fried, still warm doughnuts are pretty amazing! So, you can prepare the dough the day before and store it in the fridge overnight. When ready to fry the apple cider donuts, remove the dough from the fridge and continue with the recipe.
How should fried cake donuts be stored?
Store fried cake donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw frozen doughnuts at room temperature. The apple cider doughnuts can be warmed in the microwave before serving if desired.
Want to make more apple recipes? Try these next:
This recipe for Dutch Apple Pie is so easy to make! Instead of having a double crust like a traditional apple pie this recipe has a fabulous crumble on top.
This homemade Apple Pie Filling recipe is SO EASY to make! Store the filling in the freezer and enjoy apple desserts all year long!
This four ingredient Apple Cobbler Recipe is super easy to make with apple pie filling, cake mix, pumpkin pie spice, and butter!
Easy Apple Crisp recipe with sweet, tender apples topped with a crunchy crumb topping. Apple crisp is best served warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel!