Learn how to make homemade Baked Apple Cider Donuts in less than 25 minutes! This easy recipe only requires pantry staples, plus cider and apples! These donuts are deliciously moist and fluffy, perfectly spiced, made with REAL apples and generously dunked in a sticky glaze! They’re the BEST homemade doughnuts to celebrate fall!
These Glazed Apple Donuts are easy to make and even easier to devour! They’re the perfect fall morning treat, afternoon snack or evening dessert! Enjoy them with a cup of warm apple cider, coffee, hot chocolate or hot toddy!
Update: This post was originally published in September 2017. I made updates to the post below to include more information about baked apple cider donuts. Plus, I’ve included a recipe video and step-by-step photos to show you exactly how easy these cider doughnuts are to make!
Hey there, friends! How’s the week treating you!?
I certainly hope it has been nothing short of stellar! But, just in case you are having one of those weeks that are unpleasantly rough and far from joyous, get ready to turn that frown upside down! Because today we are feasting on donuts! Hooray! 🙌
Apple cider donuts: overview
Also known as donuts that simply scream fall!
These donuts are bursting with real, crisp apple flavor and packed with all the cozy fall vibes! They feature smooth apple cider, delicate grated apples, warm cinnamon and sweet brown sugar. Lovingly smothered with a sticky, smooth and sweet apple cider glaze, and then generously dusted with crunchy walnuts, these donuts are straight up delicious! They are the perfect mix of sweet and savory meets warm apple cider flavor!
This donut recipe doesn’t involve any fussy yeast, so the donuts are tender and moist with a crumb that is more dense and cake-like.
Plus, since these apple studded treats are baked and not fried, you don’t have to worry about any hot oil or greasy mess! And, you can eat your weight in glazed donuts and still feel like the good person you are. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention, baking these donuts will make your house smell like heaven!!! If all that isn’t winning at life, then I don’t know what is!
What are apple cider donuts?
Apple cider donuts, or doughnuts, are a delicious autumn confection or dessert food often sold in cider mills in the United States.
Traditionally, they are made from reduced apple cider and flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar.
Where did apple cider donuts originate?
Cider doughnuts originated in the Northeastern United States.
What do cider donuts taste like?
Baked apple cider donuts are tender and moist in texture with a dense, muffin-like crumb. Overall, they’re slightly sweet and bursting with robust apple and warm cinnamon flavors.
How many calories are in these donuts?
The exact number of calories in cider donuts will vary greatly from recipe to recipe. Fried apple cider donuts have significantly more calories and fat than these healthier baked donuts! There are approximately 203 calories and 34 carbohydrates in each baked apple cider donut.
Are they vegan?
Unfortunately, cider donuts are not vegan. This donut recipe contains butter and egg, while the glaze also contains cream.
Ingredients in apple cider donuts?
These doughnuts are made with budget-friendly pantry staples, plus real apples and apple cider!
- Apple Cider: Reduced apple cider provides intense, concentrated apple flavor! (See below for more information on cider!)
- Flour: All purpose flour provides the foundation for these donuts. You can substitute gluten-free flour blend if needed. Look for brands that can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio for regular flour.
- Baking Powder: This chemical leavener helps the donuts lift and rise.
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon adds a touch of warm flavor.
- Salt: A touch of coarse kosher salt is needed to enhance all the flavors!
- Egg: One large egg adds structure and helps bind everything together.
- Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar provides a warm sweetness.
- Butter: Melted and cooled unsalted butter prevents dry donuts – it adds moisture and creates a tender texture.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives the donuts an inviting flavor.
- Apple: Freshly grated apple add a pop of delicate texture and sweet flavor.
What is apple cider?
Apple cider, also known as sweet cider or simply cider, is an unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic beverage made from fresh raw apples. While true apple cider is (quite simply) raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process nor been heated, not all ciders are created equal. Unfortunately, the term ‘cider‘ isn’t regulated across the United States; therefore, many brands will label their apple juice product with the term ‘cider‘ as a marketing scheme.
When shopping for true apple cider, check the label for a short ingredient list that’s free of added sweeteners, preservatives and caramel coloring.
Do you have to reduce the apple cider to make donuts?
The key to flavorful cider donuts is reduced, or concentrated apple cider. Apple cider that has been reduced down by at least half its volume packs a more intense flavor! Plus, concentrated apple cider is thicker than regular cider.
How to thicken apple cider?
Thickening cider is as simple as reducing it! If you can boil water on the stove, you can thicken apple cider at home!
To thicken cider, pour the apple cider into a small saucepan. Bring the cider to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to a rapid simmer and cook until the cider has reduced by half. Remove the reduced cider from the heat and allow it to cool completely before using.
What to do with leftover apple cider?
This recipe calls for one cup of apple cider. If you have purchased a fresh jug of cider at the store or market, you will have a good amount leftover – but, don’t worry! There are plenty of festive ways to use up that golden, bitter-sweet cider you have hanging out in your refrigerator!
What to make with cider
- Dressing: Replace the apple cider vinegar in your favorite homemade dressings for reduced cider!
- Oatmeal: Swap out the milk or water for cider in your breakfast oats or overnight oats! Garnish the top with fresh slices of apples and a dusting of ground cinnamon!
- Pancakes and Waffles: Replace 1/4 cup of milk or buttermilk in your pancake and waffle mixes with cider for a delicious apple-flavored update!
- Smoothies: Shake up your boring breakfast shake by adding a bit of cider instead of water!
- Marinades: Combine apple cider along with extra virgin olive oil, shallots, fresh thyme, garlic, dijon, kosher salt and black pepper to make a delicious marinade for chicken or pork!
- Gravy: Whisk a bit of cider into your gravy for a sweet spin on the old classic!
- Soup: Switch out a cup or more of broth for apple cider in fall soups! Try it in butternut squash or sweet potato soup for a fun twist of flavor!
- Cocktails: Replace orange juice with cider in mimosas, use it to make a fall flavored apple cider sangria or add it to your next hot toddy!
How to make apple cider donuts at home?
Making apple cider donuts from scratch is incredibly easy! This recipe does not require any yeast or waiting around for dough to rise! Plus, this simple baked donut recipe doesn’t require any deep-frying or hot oil!! For the most traditional appearance, a donut baking pan is required; however, you can also bake these in a muffin pan! I’ve included instructions for preparing donuts in a muffin pan in the recipe card below.
How to bake apple donuts
- Reduce the apple cider: In a small saucepan bring the apple cider to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the cider has reduced by half. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix the dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Mix the wet ingredients: In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients with 1/3 cup of reduced cider.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix together. Add in the grated apple and gently fold to combine.
- Add batter to donut pan: Pipe or spoon the batter into the donut pan cavities, filling about ¾ full.
- Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until the top of donut springs back to touch. Remove from the oven and let the donuts cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the donuts from the pan and transfer them to a wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes before glazing.
- While the donuts are cooling, make the glaze: In a small, shallow bowl, combine the ingredients for the glaze. Whisk together.
- Serve: Dip the donuts into the glaze and transfer to a wire rack. Allow to dry. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
How to make apple cider donuts step by step photos
(Don’t forget to scroll down for the detailed instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.)
What to serve with donuts?
While chilly days call for the classic combination of warm cider and a few glazed cider donuts, the fun doesn’t have to stop there! You can pair these donuts with a variety of side dishes to create an impressive brunch spread or simply enjoy a more balanced meal.
- Eggs: Scrambled, fried, poached, soft-boiled or omelet-style!
- Breakfast Meats: Crispy bacon, ham, sausage or Canadian bacon
- Sautéed vegetables: Spinach, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms or onions
- Fresh Fruit: Fresh fruit salad, fruit parfait or plain fresh fruit
- Dairy: Greek yogurt, plain yogurt or cottage cheese
How to keep donuts fresh?
The key to fresh and tasty baked donuts is proper storage! Below are a few simple tricks for keeping your donuts fresh.
- Refrain from glazing: Glazed or frosted donuts don’t hold up as well to storage. If possible, don’t glaze the donuts until right before you are ready to eat.
- Wrap them separately: Loosely wrap each baked donut separately using aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
- Use airtight containers: To prevent donuts from drying out, place the wrapped donuts in airtight containers.
How to store apple cider donuts?
Cinnamon apple cider doughnuts taste the best served fresh on the day they were baked; however, you can store them to eat at a later date.
To store donuts, follow the recipe as directed, but forgo dipping them in glaze. Allow the donuts to cool completely before storing according to one of the methods below.
- Room temperature: Wrap individual donuts in aluminum or plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container. Store donuts in a cool, dry place in your pantry, or on the counter away from direct sunlight.
- Refrigerator: Wrap individual donuts in aluminum foil and place them in an airtight container (avoid plastic resealable bags). Store the container in the refrigerator.
How long do they last?
Properly stored baked donuts will last for up to 2 days at room temperature. To extend their shelf life, store donuts in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
How to freeze cider donuts?
You can store unglazed apple cider donuts in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To freeze cider donuts
- Cool: Allow baked donuts to cool completely. Do not dip, drizzle or coat the doughnuts in the glaze!
- Arrange on a wax paper-lined pan: Line a metal baking sheet with wax paper. Place the donuts in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Flash freeze: Place the baking sheet in the freezer and allow the donuts to freeze for 3-4 hours, or until completely frozen through.
- Store: Remove baking sheet from the freezer. Transfer the donuts to a freezer-safe zip-closure bag. Seal the bag, removing as much excess air as possible.
- Freeze: Place the bag in the freezer and store for up to 2 months.
How to reheat cider donuts?
To reheat frozen apple cider donuts, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. To reheat donuts, remove any plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place donuts in the microwave and cook for a few seconds, or until just warm to the touch. (Avoid microwaving them for too long or they will get hard.) Drizzle the donuts with the glaze and enjoy!
These Baked Cider Donuts are downright delish and a GUARANTEED way to wake up on the right side of the bed in the morning!
Grab a cup of Joe and bake your way to a better day with these donuts!
Until next week, friends, cheers – to fabulous fall donuts!
Looking for more breakfast recipes?
If you love these donuts, try one of these delicious fall breakfast recipes next:
The best Baked Apple Cider Donuts recipe and step by step video👇
Baked Apple Cider Donuts
- donut pan
- 1 Cup Apple Cider (SEE NOTES)
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 large Egg
- 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 2 TBS Unsalted Butter - melted & cooled
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Honeycrisp Apple – peeled, grated & gently squeezed dry (about 1/2 cup) (SEE NOTES)
Apple Cider Glaze:
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1-2 TBS Heavy Cream (SEE NOTES)
Optional for Garnish: Crushed Walnuts, Gold Sprinkles, Ground Cinnamon
- Reduce the apple cider: In a small saucepan bring the apple cider to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce heat to a rapid simmer and cook until the cider has reduced by half (to ½ a cup), about 6-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Make ahead: You can transfer the reduced cider to a container and let cool in the refrigerator. (NOTE: You will be using 1/3 cup of reduced cider in the donuts and 2 tablespoons of reduced cider in the glaze)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray or lightly grease with butter.
- Make the batter – dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl with whisk, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- Make the batter – wet ingredients: In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the egg, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup of reduced cider. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until the batter is JUST combined. Add in the grated apple and gently fold to combine. (The batter should be thick)
- Transfer the batter to a bag: Spoon the batter into a large piping bag, or zip-closure bag with the tip snipped off*. Pipe the batter into the donut pan cavities, filling about ¾ full (the batter will expand and rise).
- Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until the donuts are lightly golden brown around the edges and the top of donut springs back to touch. Remove from the oven and let the donuts cool in the pan for 5 minutes before using a thin spatula to remove the donuts from the pan. Transfer the donuts to a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes before glazing.
- While the donuts are baking or cooling, make the glaze: In a small, shallow bowl (you want to be able to dip the donuts), whisk together the sugar, 2 tablespoons of reduced cider and cream until thoroughly combined. (SEE NOTES)
- To serve: Dip the cooled donut tops into the glaze and transfer to a wire rack. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, sprinkles and cinnamon. Allow to dry. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Apples: I used a Honeycrisp apple, but feel free to substitute whatever variety of apple is your favorite. If you are looking for a donut with a touch of tart flavor, Granny Smith would taste great! Or, if you are looking for a mix of the sweetness of a Honeycrisp and the tartness of a Granny Smith, I highly recommend using Pink Lady!
- Grating apples: When grating the apple, make sure you use the large holes on a box grater. If you do not have a box grater you can finely dice the apple. Make sure you paper towels or a tea towel to gently squeeze out excess moisture from the grated apple.
- Reducing cider: You can reduce the apple cider (step one of the recipe) up to three days in advance. Just make sure to keep it stored in a container with a tight fitted lid in the refrigerator. The reduced apple cider is used in both the donut batter and the glaze, so make sure you read the directions carefully!! Do NOT just add all the reduced cider to the donut batter.
- Mixing batter: Make sure you only mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until everything is JUST combined. The batter should be thick and wet.
- Piping batter: Transferring the donut batter into a disposable piping bag, or zip-closure bag, isn’t necessary but it does make things easier! However, you can definitely just spoon it into the donut molds. If you are using a bag, make sure you snip off the corner of the bag large enough to allow the grated apple to pass through.
- For donut muffins: To use a muffin pan instead, divide the batter evenly between the greased muffin tins. Bake for 16 to 22 minutes, rotating halfway through baking.
- Glaze: The amount of heavy cream in the glaze depends on personal preference and desired thickness. Start with one tablespoon and add more cream, one teaspoon at a time, until you reach your preferred consistency. I used 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon.
- Serving & Storage: Donuts are always best served fresh on the day they are made, but the donuts will keep, stored in an airtight container, overnight. Just be sure NOT to glaze them until right before serving!
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