The perfect treat to celebrate autumn (or taste its flavors): apple cider doughnuts. Perhaps you’ve picked these up at a local apple orchard along with good, old-fashioned cider and apple butter. But have you ever tried your hand at making them from scratch?
It might seem a little involved with chilling, cutting, and deep-frying, but we promise it’s not all that hard! That sweet, gritty cinnamon-sugar coating and moist apple cider center are so worth the effort. Keep reading below for our recipe…
Apple Cider Doughnuts
(makes about 18 doughnuts)
- 2 1/2 cups apple cider
- 2 red apples
- 3 1/2 cups flour (keep some additional to the side for a work surface)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons room temperature butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Oil for cooking (Coconut, canola, and vegetable oils all work as well as shortening)
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Core and coarsely chop the apples (but don’t peel them) and combine with 1 1/2 cups apple cider in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes or until softened.
- Uncover then continue cooking until the apples are tender and the cider is almost completely reduced (about 5 minutes).
- Puree with an immersion blender or a food processor until smooth. You should have about 1 cup of the sauce in the end (boil down and reduce further if you have too much). Let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, vanilla extract, and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat until completely incorporated.
- Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure the mixture is even.
- Slowly mix in the reduced apple cider and the buttermilk until it’s just combined. Slowly add the flour mixture until the dough comes together. Be careful of over mixing.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour.
- Turn the dough onto one of the sheets and sprinkle the top with four.
- Flatten the dough with your hands until it’s about 1/2″ thick. Use flour if the dough is still wet.
- Cover with plastic wrap then transfer the dough to the freezer until it is slightly hardened (about 20 minutes) or refrigerate overnight.
- While waiting, make the glaze or get your topping ready: reduce 1 cup apple cider in a small saucepan until you only have about 1/4 cup left. Whisk in the confectioner’s sugar until smooth and glossy. Set aside.
- For a lighter topping, in a separate, shallow bowl combine 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Set aside.
- Pull the dough out of the freezer or refrigerator. Using a 3″ or 3 1/2″ donut cutter (or a 3 1/2″ round cutter and a 1″ cutter for the center hole) cut out the donut shapes. place the cut donuts and holes onto the second baking sheet. Combine remaining dough and scraps, refrigerate briefly, then repeat cutting until there is no dough left.
- Refrigerate doughnuts again for 20-30 minutes.
- Add at least 3″ of oil to a deep or medium-deep pan. Use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature and heat the oil until it’s at 350F.
- Add a few doughnuts at a time to the oil while not crowding the pan. Fry until golden brown (about 60 seconds) then turn until the other side is golden (about 30 to 60 seconds). Drain on paper towels.
- Dip the top of the warm donuts into the glaze or the cinnamon and sugar mixture (or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, both).
- Serve warm.
Adapted From: Pumpkin Patches and More