Apple Cider Donuts

October  3, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Makes 10-12 donuts and holes
Author Notes

There is nothing like wandering through an apple orchard with a cold cup of apple cider in one hand and a donut in the other on a crisp fall day, but just in case you can’t make it to the farm this weekend I have cracked the code to perfect cider donuts at home. —Yossy Arefi

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated shortening or lard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • canola oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup sugar, for topping
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, for topping
  • 2 1/4'' circle cookie cutter
  • 1 1/4'' circle cookie cutter
  1. Bring the apple cider to a boil over high heat and cook it until it has reduced to 1/3 cup, 7-10 minutes. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the donuts.
  2. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the shortening and sugar together on medium speed until sandy. Add in the egg and egg yolk and mix on high until light and thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Mix the reduced apple cider and buttermilk together. Then add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk mixture to the mixer in three additions mixing until just combined. The dough will be soft and sticky much like cookie dough.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour or overnight.
  6. When you are ready to roll and fry the donuts, heat a large pot or dutch oven with at least 2 inches of oil over medium heat until the oil reaches 370º on a candy thermometer. Gently roll the chilled dough out onto a generously floured board or piece of parchment paper into a circle about 1/2'' thick and about 8'' wide. Cut as many donuts and holes as possible, making sure to flour the cutters before each cut. Gently reroll the scraps and cut more holes. If at any time the dough becomes too soft to handle, just put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Place the cut donuts on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes until they are slightly firm and easier to handle. While the donuts are chilling, stir together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping in a shallow, wide bowl.
  7. Brush off any excess flour and fry the donuts for about 1 minute per side, being careful not to crowd the pan. When the donuts are deep golden brown on each side, remove them from the oil, gently blot off excess oil and toss immediately in the cinnamon sugar.

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Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at &

34 Reviews

Nancy H. August 24, 2020
I love the sound of this recipe and can't wait to try it as soon as I get back in my own kitchen (I'm vacating on a Maine island for a couple of weeks). If it works (and I have every confidence it will), may I add it to my new Instagram feed called Coming Home to Maine? it is SUCH a Maine tradition. One question: there is a product available called "boiled apple syrup." Could a cook use that in place of the task of boiling down apple cider? Thanks so much!
Robbye H. February 16, 2016
are these cake doughnuts or flakey>
Amy C. October 3, 2015 dough looks like cake batter. Will add more flour, once it doubles.
jon August 15, 2015
after frying them could you freeze them?
Gabriella May 16, 2015
These look incredible, I love cider doughnuts and can't wait to try making them!
Jennie April 1, 2015
Ok, the recipe calls for 1 tps baking soda AND 1/2 tsp baking powder. Can someone please clarify which to use? The instructions only mention baking powder, and the comments thus far are still unclear!
Anna P. October 25, 2014
This recipe looks great. I need to make a dessert to bring for a birthday dinner. Do you recommend they be made on the spot or are they as good if made earlier in the day?
Sarah October 20, 2014
I was thinking of mailing these to some family out of state. Would these hold up being shipped? How long do they last at room temperature, or are they supposed to be refrigerated?
susanna.faygenbaum September 17, 2014
Can you substitue for ap flour? Don't have cake
Dorothy R. October 27, 2013
Can you tell me why you used shortening instead of butter?

And is it really Baking Powder? I am still confused.

Carol C. October 27, 2013
Recipe says Baking make cake flour use the soda. re-read
Priscilla A. October 17, 2013
I am still confused~baking powder or baking soda
Carol C. October 27, 2013
Re-read is Bakiong Powder. The soda is how you make cake flour.
KSnow October 14, 2013
Made these last night for my dad's bday - they were devoured! My oil was a little to hot but no one cared, every single one gone with no left overs. My kids already want to make more!
Clay October 11, 2013
Have you made these with a commercial doughnut depositor instead of rolling them out?
Yossy A. October 13, 2013
Hi Clay, I haven't, but a donut depositer sounds pretty cool.
KatieF October 9, 2013
Where do I find non-hydrogenated shortening? Is there a particular brand that's common in most grocery stores? And if that fails, would butter totally ruin the recipe? Can't wait to make these tough! Thanks for the recipe!
Yossy A. October 13, 2013
Hi Katie, try Whole Foods or another natural foods store. I use Spectrum brand. You could probably use butter instead, but I haven't tried that variation.
Carol C. October 27, 2013
You can find LARD in the stores. Butter is a no no .
Joy H. October 8, 2013
I had the same issue as ErinC when I made these.
ErinC October 7, 2013
I tried these yesterday, but they came out somewhat dense. Do you think I overmixed the batter? Trying to figure out what to adjust for next time.
Yossy A. October 13, 2013
Hi Erin, you may have over mixed the batter. Also, cake donuts like these tend to be a bit more dense than raised or yeast donuts.
IrishJenn October 6, 2013
Golly, these sound delish! What adjustments, if any, would you suggest if I prefer baking doughnuts to frying them? Or should I find a different recipe?
Yossy A. October 6, 2013
Hi Jenn, I've never made baked donuts before, but from what I understand the mixture for baked donuts is closer to batter than dough so I don't think this recipe would work as baked donuts.
Carol C. October 27, 2013
you don't change a great recipe. It not the same. I can't understand why prople change recipes and then wonder why it not the same.
Rose L. October 6, 2013
i prefer baking powder with buttermilk so i'm hoping that's what you meant!
Yossy A. October 6, 2013
Yes, you are correct, sorry for the typo!
awg October 6, 2013
Ended up using half of each. My dough was exceptionally soft, I added a bit more flour to make it manageable. Used some boiled cider syrup I had purchased... they turned out beautifully. Exactly as pictured and with a wonderful cider cinnamon flavor. Lovely for a sunny fall morning. Thanks!
Yossy A. October 6, 2013
That's great news, sorry about the typo in the recipe. The recipe calls for baking soda, not baking powder.
Yossy A. October 6, 2013
Gah, the recipe calls for baking POWDER, not SODA.
awg October 6, 2013
Getting ready to mix these up for my husband's bday breakfast.... but, baking powder or baking soda? Ingredients list says powder, step 2 says soda. I might split the difference....