Apple Cider Donuts

As a New England transplant to the Deep South, there are a few things I desperately miss about the Northeast around this time of year. I’ll rank them in order of importance: leaves changing, apple picking, and fresh apple cider doughnuts. It’s for this reason that I created this recipe for Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts.

Baked (not fried) Apple Cider doughnuts
Cinnamon-apple-spiced goodness

That’s right; the thing I miss most about New England is a crinkly, white paper bag, full of freshly fried, subtly spiced, apple cider doughnut goodness. Picking actual apples comes second. The eye-searingly gorgeous array of fall foliage brings up the rear. These Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts scratch that itch, without all the deep-fried fat..

We don’t get much of a fall in Alabama (or a winter for that matter). Once the weather cools, I’m prompted me to pour some cider into a pan and let it bubble and reduce. Eventually it becomes what New Englanders call “boiled cider,” and what I call pour-it-on-everything-apple-cider-caramel. This is the star of these doughnuts. Please don’t even think of substituting it for Straight-Outta-Carton apple cider. Yes, it adds 20 minutes to the prep time, but it packs a punch of spicy, floral warmth that just won’t happen otherwise.

There’s one piece of “special equipment”, a doughnut pan, that you’ll need for these doughnuts. I assure you, you won’t regret purchasing it. Think of all the weekend doughnut runs you can avoid, and they’re baked–not fried–so it’ll save you thousands of calories in your lifetime (especially if you’re a rabid doughnut-lover like me).

Doughnut pans are pretty inexpensive; I have this one from Williams-Sonoma and this Wilton one. The Williams Sonoma one makes slightly smaller doughnuts, which is really nice if you’re trying to watch your sugar intake (again, like me). I just reduce the baking time for this pan by three minutes to accommodate the smaller size. 

Batter filled doughnut pan

Sweet, tender, and still warm from the oven (essential), they practically melt in the mouth. The texture is very different than that of a traditional fried doughnut, yeast or cake, and it can best be likened to a muffin in circular form. Dunked in melted butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar or drizzled with apple cider glaze, these are sure to be a hit any chilly weekend morning.

My household was in disagreement over the finishing touch for these babies. Spencer (5) voted for Halloween sprinkles; I desired the typical butter-cinnamon sugar dunk (see last photo). I did both. The smaller doughnuts were glazed and sprinkled; the larger doughnuts I dunked and sugared. Either way, they were delicious.

Halloween Apple Cider Donuts
With a spooky twist
Apple Cider Donuts
3.38 from 8 votes

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts

These delectable, fall-inspired Baked Apple Cider doughnuts are even better than those from an apple orchard–they're baked in your very own oven!

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword apple cider cinnamon sugar doughnuts, baked apple cider doughnuts
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 360 kcal
Author Amanda


  • 2.5 cups flour all-purpose
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • dash ginger ground
  • dash nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter the cavities of two six-capacity doughnut pans.

    Pour apple cider in small saucepan and heat over medium high heat until boiling. 

    Continue to boil (watch carefully) until it’s reduced by over one-half. You should have a dark, thick syrup after about 10-15 minutes. Pour into a heatproof mug to cool.

    Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in a mixing bowl.

    In another bowl, whisk melted butter with sugars until evenly combined.

    Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla and whisk.

    Add flour mixture and whisk just until combined (mixture will be lumpy).

    Set batter aside to rest for a minute while you prepare a gallon-size ziplock bag.

    Open bag and pour batter into the bag.

    Snip one corner and pipe mixture into the cavities, filling each to the top.

    Bake for 12-15 minutes, checking after 12 minutes to see if they spring back when touched.

    Cool in pan for a few minutes, then carefully run a butter knife around each one to loosen.

    Invert onto a metal rack.

    Melt remaining butter and mix sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl or dish.

    When cool enough to handle, dip doughnuts into butter and immediately into the sugar mixture, flipping to coat entirely.

    Alternatively, pour up to two tablespoons of apple cider into 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, whisking vigorously to make a glaze.

    Dunk doughnuts into glaze and decorate with sprinkles or let dry as is.

Nutrition Facts
Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 360 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 42mg14%
Sodium 155mg7%
Potassium 201mg6%
Carbohydrates 52g17%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 30g33%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 491IU10%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 91mg9%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Happy fall, y’all!What’s your favorite fall breakfast? Let me know in the comments!

Apple Cider Donuts

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