Apple Cider Donuts

In Fall 2018, I made a batch of very good apple cider donuts. I had the intention of posting the recipe, never did (surprise, surprise) and promptly lost the recipe. Here we are 2 years later, and I’m confident these are as good or better than the originals!

Cider donuts are a pure joy during the fall whether fried or baked. These are baked for simplicity and because I’m afraid of deep frying, but they’re perfectly cakey and coated with a classic cinnamon sugar blend. They’re also infused with notes of brown butter and bourbon because to me, that screams ~Fall~.

You’re going to be reducing the cider here to concentrate the flavour. Keep an eye on it, but at a steady simmer/near boil it should take about 20 minutes to reduce to a 1/2 cup. Don’t be afraid to measure and return to the pot as needed.

Donut Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1 small apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 6 tbsp butter

Topping Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar


Preheat oven to 425F.

Place cider in a small pot over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Reduce to 1/2 cup and pour into a small bowl to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices and brown sugar. Add diced apple and toss until coated. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla and bourbon and set aside.

Apples tossed in dry ingredients

To brown the butter, place butter in a pan over medium heat and allow to melt, bubble and foam, stirring occasionally.  Once the butter starts turning a dark golden brown and smells nutty, remove from heat and pour into a small bowl to cool. The butter will have reduced slightly – measure 1/4 cup and slowly pour butter into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Discard remaining brown butter (or drizzle on toast!)

Butter starting to foam

Create a well in the dry ingredients and add egg mixture, slowly stirring until just coming together. Add reduced cider and stir until incorporated and relatively smooth.

Final batter

Spoon or use a piping bag to pipe batter into donut pan until 3/4 full, bake for 8 minutes, or until they spring back when lightly tapped. Allow to cool completely.

To cover with the cinnamon sugar topping – place melted butter in a medium bowl. Whisk together cinnamon and sugar until incorporated and place in another bowl. Lightly dip both sides of a donut into the melted butter, then dip each side in the cinnamon sugar, tossing gently as needed and allowing excess to fall off. Allow to set on a rack for 10 minutes and enjoy!

Best enjoyed same day, makes 11-12 donuts


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