Every year, when fall rolls around, we go to the local orchard and buy a bunch of goodies. Apples are a must, of course, and the cider is excellent. One of the stars of the show, though, is the fresh apple-cinnamon donuts they make on site. We get some every year, but this year, I thought I’d try out making my own.
They aren’t quite as good as the real thing, but they’re still really good. They’re baked donuts, so they have a more cake-like consistency and don’t have quite as much of a crispier fried outer layer as normally-fried donuts do. Even so, though, they’re easy to make and they’re delicious.
The secret to making good apple cider donuts — with real apple flavor instead of just cinnamon-sugar — is to use an apple cider reduction. It takes some times to reduce cider to a thicker, more syrupy consistency, but the concentration of flavor is definitely worth it.
Like my other baked donut recipes, you need a donut pan to make them. But, since they aren’t fried, you don’t need to deal with a bunch of hot oil, which I always feel uneasy with. I much prefer my baking.
I also chose to use cake flour to make something a little less dense and heavy than regular all-purpose flour would. You can use whichever, but I recommend cake flour if you have it.
Apple Cider Donuts
- 2 Donut Pans
- Mixing Bowls
- Piping Bag
- Sauce Pan
- Rubber Spatula
- 1½ Cups Apple Cider
- 1¾ Cups Cake Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ Tsp Baking Soda
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- ½ Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- 1 Egg
- ⅓ Cup White Sugar
- ⅓ Cup Brown Sugar
- ½ Cup Buttermilk
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter For the coating
- 1 Cup White Sugar For the coating
- 2 Tsp Cinnamon For the coating
- ⅛ Tsp Nutmeg For the coating
- Put your apple cider in a sauce pan and heat it over medium. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring every few minutes, until it has reduced to about ⅓ cop worth. This should take about 20 minutes, but can be made the day before.
- Preheat your oven to 350℉. Grease your donut pans.
- In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg and sugars together until combined. Add in the cider, buttermilk, and vanilla, mixing well.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mix and stir until it starts to come together. Try not to over-mix or the donut will be extra dense.
- Scoop the mix into a piping bag and pipe into your donut pan, filling each mold about halfway. You can also just pour or use a spoon if you prefer, I just find piping easier.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean.
- Let cool for about 5 minutes, then pull out and mostly finish cooling on a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter, and combine the white sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Brush the donuts with butter, then dip them in the cinnamon-sugar mix. Enjoy while warm for the tastiest donuts!