Apple Cider Doughnuts

Packed with the comforting flavors of Fall, these Apple Cider Doughnuts are an excellent sweet treat for the crisp, cool days ahead.

This post may contain paid links. For more information, please see our disclosure policy.

Packed with the comforting flavors of Fall, these Apple Cider Doughnuts are an excellent sweet treat for the crisp, cool days ahead.There are certain foods that different parts of the country just master.  For instance, the South certainly knows how to bake biscuits, make pulled pork and knock out some incredible grits.  Texas (yes, that’s a part of the country all by itself) is king of brisket and all things BBQ.  My blog friends out on the West Coast keep posting all of these incredible recipes featuring avocados, chilis and strawberries.  The fresh Mexican fare out there makes me want to buy a ticket to Cali today.  (Thanks to Kevin for sending me a cross-country care package of chilies…it almost makes me feel like I’m in Cali.  Almost.)

But what about the Northeast?  I’ve only lived up here for a few years now, but it didn’t take long to learn that this area of the country is serious about maple syrup, lobster rolls and clam chowder (but not all in the same recipe, thank goodness).  Oh, and Apple Cider Doughnuts.

Packed with the comforting flavors of Fall, these Apple Cider Doughnuts are an excellent sweet treat for the crisp, cool days ahead.Apple Cider Doughnuts

Apple Cider Doughnuts are a thing of beauty here in upstate New York.  They show up every year about this time at farm stands and apple orchards across the area.  Folks debate which orchard has the best doughnut, and you’ll even see commercials from various orchards on tv once the Apple Cider Doughnuts make an appearance in the Fall.

One of our favorite places to pick up these sweet treats is an apple orchard that’s about 10 minutes away from our house.  We’ll drive over there occasionally on a Saturday afternoon to pick up 2 doughnuts.  I can’t trust myself with buying any more than 2!  In fact, those doughnuts usually don’t make it out of the parking lot.  Yup, these Apple Cider Doughnuts are parking lot good.  That’s legit.

Packed with the comforting flavors of Fall, these Apple Cider Doughnuts are an excellent sweet treat for the crisp, cool days ahead.A couple of years ago, my wife’s 30th birthday was on tap, and I secretly invited a bunch of our friends to come up and surprise her for the weekend.  They arrived about 30 minutes before my wife got home from work, and they hid in the basement to surprise her.  Needless to say, that entire weekend was crazy awesome!  Since her birthday is in the Fall, I went over to our favorite orchard and picked up about a dozen Apple Cider Doughnuts for breakfast.  These doughnuts are hands down one of my favorite New England recipes.

Packed with the comforting flavors of Fall, these Apple Cider Doughnuts are an excellent sweet treat for the crisp, cool days ahead.So I decided to go all out and fry these doughnuts.  I normally bake doughnuts around here (like these Baked Powdered Sugar Doughnuts), but I wanted to go straight authentic with these Apple Cider Doughnuts.  We don’t fry much just to try to keep life a tad bit healthier…but sometimes you just need to pull out the frying pan.  It took a couple of attempts to get it down as the first round of doughnuts looked perfectly golden, but sadly they weren’t quite fully cooked inside.  I fried the others just a bit longer, and the result was magical.

Packed with the comforting flavors of Fall, these Apple Cider Doughnuts are an excellent sweet treat for the crisp, cool days ahead.These bad boys are just as good as the ones we get from our favorite orchard down the street.  Will I start making my own Apple Cider Doughnuts when we need our Fall doughnut fix?  Doubtful.  (It’s still fun to go out to the orchard!)  But I definitely can turn to this recipe whenever we do want to make a batch of delicious doughnuts at home.

Did you make these Apple Cider Doughnuts at home?  Leave a comment.  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!

Looking for more tasty apple-inspired recipes?  Check out these other favorites:

Caramel Apple Crisp
Candy Apples
Deep Dish Apple Pie
Apple Cobbler Cheesecake Bars
Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail

Packed with the comforting flavors of Fall, these Apple Cider Doughnuts are an excellent sweet treat for the crisp, cool days ahead.

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Packed with the comforting flavors of Fall, these Apple Cider Doughnuts are an excellent sweet treat for the crisp, cool days ahead.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12 doughnuts
Calories: 343kcal


For the Doughnuts

For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping


For the Doughnuts

  • Using a medium saucepan, add the apple cider and place over medium heat. Boil until cider has reduced to ½ cup (~20-25 minutes). Remove reduced cider from heat and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, using a countertop mixer or a hand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy (~2-3 minutes on medium speed).
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until just incorporated after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well combined.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the reduced apple cider and buttermilk.
  • Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl; mix on low speed until just combined.
  • Add half of the liquid mixture; mix on low speed until just combined.
  • Repeat with the remaining flour and liquid.
  • Place dough in freezer for 20 minutes or until firm.
  • Transfer dough onto well-floured countertop.
  • Roll dough into large square approximately ½” thick. If dough is still sticky to roll, then just use some additional flour. (Note: If your doughnuts are too thick, then the outsides will burn while the insides remain uncooked.)
  • Using a doughnut cutter (or a 3” and a 1” round cookie cutter), cut the doughnuts and doughnut holes. Place doughnuts on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Reroll any scraps and continue cutting until all dough has been used.
  • Place doughnuts in freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Pour oil into a deep fry pan or Dutch oven until it is about 3” deep. Using a deep-fry thermometer, heat oil over medium-high heat until temperature reaches 375°F. Meanwhile, prepare a tray with 2 layers of paper towels; set aside. (Tip: If you don’t have a deep fry thermometer, then you can drop a pinch of flour into the oil. If it browns and bubbles immediately, then the oil is ready to go!)
  • While oil is heating, make the Cinnamon Sugar Topping by whisking together the sugar and cinnamon. Place mixture in a paper bag.
  • Place 2-3 doughnuts into the pan, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Fry doughnuts for 1 minute, flip and then fry for 1-2 more minutes, or until completely cooked. Transfer cooked doughnuts onto paper towels and pat dry. Continue until all doughnuts have been cooked.
  • Once doughnuts have cooled, shake doughnuts (one at a time) in the bag with the cinnamon-sugar topping until well coated. Tap off any excess sugar. Repeat with remaining doughnuts. Serve immediately. (Note: If you plan on serving these doughnuts later, store them uncoated in an air-tight container. Shake them in cinnamon sugar just before serving.)

Packed with the comforting flavors of Fall, these Apple Cider Doughnuts are an excellent sweet treat for the crisp, cool days ahead.

Spiced® is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that receives a small commission by linking to and other sites at no cost to the readers.


  1. Ah man, is it apple orchard time already? Where did summer go? I don’t want to let it go just yet…
    Anyways, kudos to you for making REAL fried doughnuts. I have nothing against baked doughnuts, but fried, fried ones are the real deal. Great job D!

    1. Even though the weather isn’t cooperating (yet), it is indeed apple season, Mike! That didn’t stop us from doing our own taste test of apple cider doughnuts this weekend, though. Haha!

  2. Dear David, these doughnuts look absolutely perfect! I would love one with my morning coffee. It’s funny how each part of the country is so uniquely different from one another…and how wonderful that the world of blogging has brought us all together so we could appreciate each other’s recipes and foods. You have made NY proud with these doughnuts! Have a wonderful weekend my friend, Catherine

    1. Thank you so much, Catherine! We did indeed have an awesome weekend…we actually lined up apple cider doughnuts and did a blind taste test. Talk about a fun way to spend the long weekend…haha! I hope you had an awesome weekend yourself!!

    1. Oh my gosh, Kathy! You need to find (or make!) some apple cider doughnuts ASAP! These are one of my favorite things about Fall…but I had never heard of them before we moved up North a few years back. Trust me…it’s worth the hunt to find these bad boys! 🙂

  3. I’ve never had an apple cider doughnut – I am so intrigued by that recipe – that reduced down apple cider must be so concentrated AND delicious all on its own – have you ever tried making apple cider maple syrup with it? You are spot on about where I live – though there are these little mom and pop shops/restaurants up by Ellijay that sell some of the best darn hand held apple pies and apple fritters ever! And duude – you HAVE to go to Cali – they have the tastiest and freshest Mexican fare ever and they have Hwy 1! Lil Shashi and I went there a few years ago and drove down from SF to San Diego and wow – the food, the views – made me wanna stay there forever!

    1. Apple cider and maple syrup together? Now there’s an idea, Shashi! I think that would pretty much be the perfect Fall recipe…even though maple syrup is technically a spring thing. (But I always associate maple syrup with Fall anyways!) Yes!! Ellijay…I think I know one of the orchards that you are talking about! We used to go there every Labor Day weekend with friends from Atlanta. Oh man, now you are making me want to take a roadtrip out to Cali…I’ll put it on the list! 🙂

  4. Hi David! These are one of the few things I miss about Michigan! These and apple fritters always get my attention! On my to do list and thank you! 🙂

    1. Hey there, Dorothy! I can’t believe the South hasn’t discovered apple cider doughnuts yet. You need to help fix that! 🙂 Apple fritters are also one of my all-time favorite treats. The weather might not be cold yet…but that won’t stop me from enjoying apple fritters and apple cider doughnuts!!

  5. I’ve never tried these but have heard them spoken of as if they were legend! Clearly I need to figure out a gluten free version. They look scrumptious.

    1. Oh, Apple Cider Doughnuts are most certainly legendary, Lauren! Try using a gluten free baking mix (like the one from Bob’s Red Mill) for these bad boys…I bet it would work pretty well since this recipe uses all-purpose flour. It’s worth the effort to figure out how to make these gf! 🙂

  6. These doughnuts are rocking my world right now! As you know, crabs rule the world in my next of the woods-Maryland in da the house!! Whoop! Whoop! 🙂 I’ve never had apple cider doughnuts before, but I can imagine the smell on these were intoxicating-totally agree with you on frying sometimes just gotta do whatcha gotta do!! Pinned!

    1. Haha…I do know about crabs and Maryland, Tonya! We can’t get crabs up here in New York (at least not easily), but we do have plenty of apple cider doughnuts! Trade you? 🙂

    1. Hey Jeff! Wash the doughnuts with cider? I like where you are going with this…I’m definitely going to use that trick next time I make a batch of these bad boys. Thanks!!

        1. Thanks, Jeff! I don’t think I’ve ever been to a true cider mill. The apple orchards sell cider, but I’ve never actually seen the process. Now I totally want to find a cider mill! (And now I know what you mean when you say “wash ’em down.” I thought you meant like brushing the doughnuts with cider…which might not be all that bad of any idea?) Thanks, man…hope you’re having an awesome weekend!

  7. I’ve never tried apple cider donuts. I’ve never used apple cider in cooking either. I’ve just woken up thanks to this post, David! I mean I’ve been waisting my life without these delicious donuts, right? And since I’m planning to make apple donuts this fall too, perhaps I should keep in mind this recipe. Well done, indeed! P.S. Did you know apples work great with lavender? (Just saying…)

    1. You totally need to grab some apple cider for the kitchen, Ben! It has such an amazing flavor…perfect in all sorts of recipes! (And for a really intense flavor, you can boil it down to reduce it like I did here. I think you did something similar with watermelon recently!) I had no idea that apples + lavender go so well together. You’ve opened my eyes! Haha!

    1. These doughnuts absolutely scream Autumn, Dannii! They also scream “eat me”! Hey, baked doughnuts are better for you than the fried version…so maybe that doughnut pan wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. Definitely add apple cider doughnuts to your list of things to find in the States! How long is that list now?? Hah!

  8. I love it. Go somewhere and ONLY buying two donuts… I feel your pain!

    So I hope this becomes a staple after seeing my instagram feed (or rather, your sisters) with a tonne of apples! Dude, those looked AMAZING. Like…I would eat 10 off the tree then have a huge stomach ache. The most iconic food here is (I learnt yesterday!) Buckeyes!

    1. Hey, if we bought more than two…we would have eaten more than two. It’s either learn how to control our doughnut craving or just only buy two doughnuts. I think only buying two is the easier route here!

      We might have eaten 10 apples off the tree and then gotten a stomach ache. Just sayin’. Oh, and buckeyes are amazing! The team? Not so much. They are incredibly over-rated. But the food/dessert/bite? Not overrated at all! I’m expecting to see a buckeye something show up on your site soon!

  9. I’ve never tried an apple cider doughnut – but they sure do look amazing, David! Definitely the perfect treat for autumn with the cinnamon sugar topping!

    1. Oh man, it’s not Autumn until the apple cider doughnuts show up, Jess! If you can’t find ’em over there, then you definitely just need to make a batch. They’re amazing! But don’t blame me if you want to eat the whole batch…haha!

  10. Thanks for the shout out Dave, I hope you make something SoCal/Mexican inspired with those chiles. I think the variety I sent were my favorites.

    I love the fact you drive to the nearby orchard and just get 2 Apple Cider Doughnuts! Now that’s willpower in action. I got to say the fried doughnut just rocks the baked varieties I see all over the place. Plus I think if things are fried properly, it seals and crisps, not soaked in and adds more calories to whatever dish you deep fry, but I digress… These are killer. From the apple cider to the buttermilk, these are straight up legit! Plus, look at all the cinnamon sugar coating each one… perfect snack! #WolfpackDonutFactory

    As for my neck of the woods, I’d have to say the classic fish taco is the iconic food for San Diego. I love them. Period. 🙂

    1. Oh, we will definitely be making some delicious SoCal inspired recipes, Kevin! The only question is whether I’ll post ’em or just keep ’em all to myself. 🙂

      So yeah, we have to only buy 2 donuts at the orchard. They literally bring out trays full of donuts, and I don’t think I could control myself with more than 2! I do enjoy baked donuts here at home…they’re super easy to make. But going all out and frying them was a fun experience…not to mention that it made them taste more like authentic apple cider donuts, too.

      Fish tacos! You and Laura would be great friends…that’s one of her favorites, too!

  11. True Story: Two years ago, a friend of ours moved out to Colorado for College. No one out there had ever heard of Apple Cider Donuts. We thought this was just a terrible tragedy, so we Fed Ex’d two dozen to him! He was the hero of the dorm as he shared this yummy treat with his college friends.

    1. Haha! I love that you FedEx’d two dozen apple cider doughnuts out to Colorado, SueAnn! Now this is how to make lifelong friends right there. 🙂

  12. These doughnuts truly look amazing! I can almost taste them staring at your photos! 🙂

    I would say living in GA, during the summer anything with peaches represents the region. Peach pie, peach cobbler, peach hand pies are all favorites in this area.

    1. I totally agree about the peaches…in fact, that’s the one thing that I miss most about living down South. Well, that and good Southern food, college football, the weather…hmm…the list goes on and on. 🙂

  13. Hi David! Remember that I “won” the King Arthur certificate? Well, I went to their site today and they have boiled cider syrup! Don’t you think if “someone” made apple/cinnamon/bacon waffles and then poured that syrup on that it wouldn’t suck? Hint! 🙂

    1. Boiled cider syrup? Awesome! I didn’t realize that they carried that…and now my mouth is watering at the waffle idea like you wouldn’t believe! I did make some waffles the other day, but I didn’t think about apple cider in/on them. I like the way your brain works!! (Plus, it involves bacon…and bacon makes everything better!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating