Apple Cider Donuts Recipe (2024)

Apple Cider Donuts Recipe (1)

This year feels like it’ll never end, but tomorrow is officially the first day of fall! Fall is absolutely my favorite season so even though the weather is still hovering around 100 degrees, I am READY to embrace the season!

Normally one of the first fall activities that our family participates in is going to our local apple orchard. We pick what’s left of the apples, take a hay ride, and enjoy fresh apple cider and the best part of all, apple cider donuts!

This year though, we’re skipping it- the hay rides aren’t running, it’s still really hot out even early in the morning, and for the last couple of years the apples have all been picked over anyway. But, I’m not ready to give up those donuts!

These delicious Apple Cider Donuts are basically the definition of fall. They’re not overly hard to make, though they do require a little bit of work {at least, more than just showing up to the orchard and ordering them like I usually do}.

While I wouldn’t call these donuts healthy, I will say that the fact that they’re baked- not fried- means they’re a little better for you than the ones you buy at the orchard.

Can you make Apple Cider Donuts with Apple Juice?

Nope, you’re going to need apple cider for this one. Apple cider has the right consistency, the right flavor profile, and can stand up to the heat this recipe requires. Not only would apple juice make these a runny mess, but you’d lose all the apple flavor.

Do you have to use apple cider from the apple orchard? Not at all- you can definitely use whatever kind you like from your local grocery store. Just make sure it says apple cider, not juice.

Apple Cider Donuts Recipe (3)

Are Apple Cider Donuts Vegetarian, Vegan, or Gluten-Free?

These donuts are definitely not gluten-free, but they are vegetarian! They are not vegan, but you could substitute the butter and milk to make them that way. If you’re looking for a good milk substitute for baking, I recommend oat milk as it’s nice and thick and holds up well, but your favorite milk substitute will work fine.

Apple Cider Donuts Recipe (4)

Can the Kids Help?

Kids can ALWAYS help in the kitchen! For this recipe, I’d suggest having them help with:

  • Mixing the dry ingredients
  • Adding in the wet ingredients and stirring
  • Making the topping
  • Brushing the donuts with butter
  • Adding the donuts to the bag and shaking to add the sugar {kids will especially love this part!}

I’d also suggest that you help a little extra with any steps requiring the oven of course, as well as any steps involving heating the cider or using the warmed cider. That said, depending on the age of your child they may be able to assist with these parts- with supervision, of course.

Apple Cider Donuts Recipe (5)

What Supplies Do You Need to Make Apple Cider Donuts?

To make Apple Cider Donuts, you’ll need:

{These links are affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission on your purchase at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!}

Apple Cider Donuts Recipe (6)

Hungry for More?

Want more delicious fall recipes? Try these:

  • Brown Sugar Crescent Rolls
  • 50 Pumpkin Spice Recipes
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Donuts
  • No Bake Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bites
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies
  • Pumpkin Pecan Bites
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
Apple Cider Donuts Recipe (7)

Apple Cider Donuts

Yield: 12

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

These delicious apple cider donuts are a great way to enjoy fall! These donuts are baked, not fried, and contain real apple cider!


  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For topping:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare two donut pans by spraying with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Pour the apple cider in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When the cider begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and cook until reduced by half, to around ½ cup.
  3. While the cider is simmering, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Add the milk, eggs, and vanilla and beat to combine.
  5. When the cider is reduced, remove from heat. Add the butter and stir until melted.
  6. Allow the cider mixture to cool slightly, then add it to the flour mixture. Beat until combined.
  7. Pipe the batter into the prepared donut pans and bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly in the pan, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. To prepare the topping, mix together the powdered sugar and cinnamon in a large zip-top bag.
  10. Brush the donuts with the melted butter, then place one or two donuts in the bag. Close the bag and shake to coat the donuts with sugar.
Apple Cider Donuts Recipe (8)
Apple Cider Donuts Recipe (2024)


What makes apple cider donuts different? ›

For starters, the TEXTURE. They're so soft and pillowy but remain really moist and tender. This is due to the fact that these donuts are made with oil instead of butter. Apple sauce is also added to further that moist texture.

Is apple cider donuts good? ›

Flavor: Flavor-wise, they're APPLE and CINNAMON and SPICE all over. They taste like they're straight from the bakery! Ease: A simple mix of wet and dry ingredients plus the apple cider concentrate makes these a snap to prepare for crisp fall mornings. No mixer, rolling pin, or donut cutter required!

Are apple cider donuts a New England thing? ›

CIDER DONUTS have become nearly as synonymous with a New England fall as apples and foliage.

What pairs well with apple cider donuts? ›

Nothing pairs better with our apple cider donuts than a nice, creamy slathering of our Chiles Family Orchards apple butter. If you're looking to branch out into more fall flavors, try our rich and scrumptious pumpkin butter. A good tip for this dessert is to heat up your apple butter and toast your donut.

Why are apple cider doughnuts so good? ›

There's something almost magical about being at an orchard or fall fair (or even your favorite doughnut shop) and taking that first bite of an apple cider doughnut. A good one is tender yet cakey, has a delicate crust, and is lightly spiced, with an apple-y tang. And it's best eaten warm.

What's the deal with apple cider donuts? ›

Apple cider doughnuts are very similar to traditional cake or buttermilk doughnuts but have the additional ingredient of cider or apple juice. The doughnuts are likely associated with fall because of the harvest of apples and farm animals.

What is a fun fact about apple cider donuts? ›

Cider donuts originated with the American colonialists. With fall as the butchering season, there was a surplus of leftover fat from the animals. To use it up, colonial cooks would mix the seasonal apples with fry dough, and eventually, cider donuts became a homespun Halloween treat.

Why are they called apple cider donuts? ›

Cider Donuts are to be eaten with cider, that's where the name comes from. So if you grew up in rural New England, as I did, you have indelible memories of the smell of cider donuts at Apple Orchards this time of year.

What is the best way to store apple cider donuts? ›

The best way to store cider donuts is at room temperature in an airtight container or ziplock bag. The donuts will keep for about 1 to 2 days, though the longer you keep them on the counter, the less fresh they taste. Don't try to store them in the fridge. The cold will just make them dry out more.

What do British people call apple cider? ›

In America, cider is a drink that's made from the juice of apples. In the UK that's called Apple juice and the term cider only refers to Apple juice that has been fermented and scrumped into an adult beverage version of Apple juice that now contains alcohol.

Are Aldi apple cider donuts good? ›

The doughnuts had a sweet but not overpowering apple-cider flavor. In my opinion, the texture inside was soft but a little too dry. The next time I have one, I'll pair it with hot apple cider or dunk it in coffee.

Do apple cider donuts taste like apple cider? ›

Note that while apple cider donuts include apple cider, they're actually not designed to TASTE very strongly of apple, per several readers. Fittingly, most of these recipes are basically excellent cinnamon sugar cake doughnuts with a hint of apple.

Does Dunkin donuts have apple cider donut holes? ›

For a bite-sized serving of seasonal sweetness, guests can also enjoy Apple Cider MUNCHKINS® donut hole treats.

Do apple cider donuts freeze well? ›

Easily freeze and reheat our apple cider donuts to enjoy a taste of the orchards whenever the craving strikes. Freezing: Place donuts on a baking tray and put in the freezer for 3-5 hours or until frozen. Without letting them thaw, place in an airtight container or freezing bag. Keep up to 3 months.

What's the difference between apple cider donuts and apple fritters? ›

Apple Fritters vs Apple Donuts

Many apple cider doughnut recipes are cake-based, not yeast-based. And most apple fritters don't have cider in the dough, they just rely on the apple chunks to provide flavor.

What are apple cider donuts made of? ›

What Are Apple Cider Doughnuts? Apple cider doughnuts are a New England treat — one of the symbols of fall as the spectacular foliage turns autumnal and the weather starts to feel crisp. They're made with a base of boiled-down apple cider, which turns into a syrup that's sweet and deeply apple-y.


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