Apple Cider Doughnut Recipe (Yeast-Raised Like Krispy Kreme!)

Apple cider doughnuts make their appearance each Autumn at apple orchards and farm shops. They're tasty, but they are more like a traditional cake doughnut than a puffy Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donut.  Those are yeast raised donuts, while most apple cider doughnuts rely on baking powder for a more dense crumbly texture.  OK, let's be honest: the yeast raised are superior in texture and flavor. So here's how to make an apple cider donut that is better than any others you have ever had.  If, you're short on time, and need to make the cake-type baking powder raised doughnuts, here is that recipe.

ANd if you're looking for pumpkin spice donuts, see this page.

 Apple Cider Yeast Raised Doughnut Recipe

Yield: about 18 doughnuts and doughnut holes (really depends on the size you make !)


For the Doughnuts:

  • 1 and a half cups apple cider
  • 2 packets of instant yeast (two 1/4 ounce packages yeast or 4-½ teaspoons of  yeast)
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (any type)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter or shortening  (75 grams)
  • 6 cups all purpose flour (770 g, 30 oz)

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 Canola oil, corn oil or vegetable oil for frying


Step 1 - Reduce the apple cider

Boil the apple cider in small saucepan(or a crockpot on high) until it is reduced to 1/3 cup.

That will take 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool down to 105F to 115F  ( 40-46C)

Step 2 - Mix in the yeast

Add the 2 packets of yeast to the warm reduced apple cider. Mix and let rest for 5 minutes.

Step 3 - Warm the milk

Warm the milk to about 100 degrees.

I just pop it in the microwave for 45 seconds.


Step 4 - Mix the milk with the other ingredients (but only 2 cups of the flour)

Put the milk, reduced cider-yeast mix, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and 2 cups of the flour in the bowl of your stand mixer (like a KitchenAid).

Step 5 - Mix with whisk

Mix for 2 minutes at medium speed with the whisk.

The whisk is good in the beginning, but the dough will become too thick for either the whisk or paddle when you go to the next step.


Step 6 - Switch to the dough hook

Put the dough hook on and add 3 cups of flour and continue mixing dough.

Mix with the dough hook for about 5 minutes.

Then you gradually add more flour until it starts to become dough that can form a ball or wad of its own. This is a judgement call, I can't tell you precisely how much more flour to add.  Simply put, you add just enough of the remaining floour so the dough feels like, well, dough, meaning it doesn't stick to everything, but will almost hold some shape of its own.

Step 7 - Dough rises. It's ALIVE!!!

Put the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl (double the size of the ball of dough), and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a draft-free, warm (80 - 90 F) place until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.  I just put it in the oven (turned off!!!).

If it is cold in the room, you can pre-warm the oven by turning it on for 2 minutes.But don't forget to turn it off!

Don't let it rise too much, no more than doubled in size is plenty!

Step 8 - Making the Icing

Mix  1 cup of powdered sugar with about 2 tablespoons of apple cider. It doesn't take much cider.  Add it sparingly until you get a paste, like elmer's glue. A wand blender is perfect for making a smooth, well-blended glaze.  You can also add 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to the icing! 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract is also popular.

If you prefer, you can just mix 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a ziploc bag and use this instead of the glaze.  You'll just put each cooked donut in the bag and shake.

Step 9 - Heat the oil

Now is a good time to get the oil heating. It takes about 20 minutes. Add enough oil or shortening to fill a deep pan 3 inches; heat the oil to 360 to 370F (check with a frying or candy thermometer). The temperature is important, you don't want to burn them.

Step 10 - Roll out the dough

Roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick.  Actually, it depends how thick and big you want the donuts. 1/3 to 1/2 inch makes pretty big doughnuts. 1/4 inch is more the size of Krispy Kremes. Same with the size of the donut hole cutting. 3 inch circles expand to about 4 inches.

Step 11 - Cut out the donuts

If you don't have a donut cutter, don't sweat it.

You can use either use a 2 or 3-inch donut cutter to cut out the donuts, or a large wide mouthed jar (or a large cup as I did in the photo) and a small circular item like an empty  medicine bottle.  They do expand at least an inch, so go smaller, rather than larger.

I used a shot glass for the inner hole. 

Just press down and twist to cut through the dough.

Step 12 - Let the donuts rise until doubled in size

Separate the donuts and put them on a lightly oiled pan in a warm place while you get everything else ready.

Let rise until double, 20-30 minutes.



Step 13 - Cook the donuts!

Fry several doughnuts at a time, turning once or twice, until golden brown and cooked through.

That should be about 1 minute per side, but the key is watching them and flipping when they are light golden brown

and removing themwhen they're done on each side.

Watch them carefully; they'll quickly burn otherwise.




Step 14 - Remove and drain

Remove the doughnuts with metal tongs or a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain.

Step 15 - Glaze or dust with sugar/cinnamon

While still warm, shake a few at a time in a paper bag containing cinnamon sugar OR pour the glaze (see ingredients and step 8) over them.

Step 16 - Snarf them down!

Needs no explanation!
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. "