These Baked Apple Cider Baked Donuts are bursting with crisp apple flavor and packed with cozy fall vibes! Easy to make and even easier to devour, these donuts are the perfect fall morning treat, afternoon snack or evening dessert!Recipe can be scaled up or down by using the slider if you hover your mouse over the number of Servings.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Make sure you only mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until everything is JUST combined. The batter should be thick and wet.
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.
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!
Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 6 servings. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.