Apple Cider Doughnut Recipe

Apple cider doughnuts make their appearance each Autumn at apple orchards and farm shops. They are more like a traditional cake doughnut than a puffy Krispy Kremes.  The latter use yeast to raise the dough, while apple cider doughnuts rely on baking powder for a more dense crumbly texture.  Here's an easy recipe that anyone can follow!

 Apple Cider Doughnut Recipe

Yield: about 18 doughnuts and and doughnut holes


For the doughnuts:

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (low-fat or nonfat works fine)

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider

Or for a maple syrup glaze:

  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Or granulated sugar coating

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

And vegetable oil for frying


  1. Boil the apple cider in small saucepan(or a crockpot on high) until it is reduced to 1/4 cup. That will take 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Beat the butter with your mixer, adding in the sugar.
  3. Next, add in the eggs, one by one, until the well mixed
  4. Add buttermilk and reduced cider.
  5. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in another bowl.
  6. Add these to liquid ingredients; mix just enough to combine.
  7. Transfer dough to lightly floured parchment or wax paper and sprinkle the doughnuts with flour.
  8. Turn the dough over onto one of the sheets and sprinkle the tops with flour.
  9. Roll the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use more flour if the dough is still sticky.
  10. Put the dough to the freezer until it is slightly hardened, about 20 minutes. Then remove the dough from the freezer.
  11. Make the glaze: While the cut doughnut shapes are in the refrigerator, make the glaze by whisking together the confectioners' sugar and the cider until the mixture is smooth. (or follow the maple syrup glaze recipe) Both are below) Set aside.
  12. Using a 3-inch doughnut cutter, cut out the doughnut shapes.
  13. Put the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto the second cookie sheet pan.
  14. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes. (If you have leftover dough scraps, just re-roll them, refrigerate them briefly and cut additional doughnuts from the dough.)
  15. Add enough oil or shortening to fill a deep pan 3 inches; heat the oil to 350 F (check with a frying or candy thermomenter).
  16. Fry several doughnuts at a time, turning once or twice, until golden brown and cooked through. That should be about 1 minutes per side. Watch them carefully; they'll quickly burn otherwise.
  17. Remove the doughnuts with metal tongs or a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain.
  18. While still warm, shake a few at a time in a paper bag containing cinnamon sugar OR pour the glaze (see ingredients) over them.
  19. Cool on a rack.

Estimated calories per doughnut: 200 calories

Comments and Feedback

  • A visitor writes on October 16, 2011: "I just wanted to thank you for the cider donuts recipe! This was my first time ever making donuts. I made a couple of mistakes in preparing the dough and cooking: I cut the first few donuts too large (I got greedy, what can I say), and let the oil get too hot. A little adjustment though and the rest came out really nice. The dough is delicious and very forgiving to work with; just keep it cold right up until it\'s ready to go in the fryer. Fantastic! Now excuse me as I need to grab more donuts before the hubby eats them all!"
  • A visitor writes on October 26, 2010: "Wanted to show you photos of the DELICIOUS & PERFECT cider donuts we made with your recipe!! and Thank you! SO PERFECT!!! we're from New England, and live now in Baltimore and miss things like this from home in NH. This was the perfect match for what my husband & I remembered. What fun to make them & bring them to a friend's housewarming party. "



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