★★★★★

Apple Cider Donuts

Embrace all the fun and flavor of fall with these baked Apple Cider Donuts! Topped with buttery cinnamon sugar, these are the best donuts to celebrate the season.

Love fall baking? Be sure to try my favorite Pumpkin Streusel Donuts and Apple Pie Donuts.

Apple cider donuts with cinnamon sugar coating on wire rack.

Apple Cider Season

It’s officially apple cider season and I couldn’t be more excited. Hot and mulled with spices or sipped cold, apple cider just tastes like fall!

Especially this Apple Cider Sangria!

Hands down, my FAVORITE way to get my cider fix is in donut form. It took me a while to get these perfect, but the effort was well worth it.

Using an apple cider reduction gives these donuts rich apple flavor in every bite.

Because these are baked vs. fried, you can make them at home with no mess or fuss. Just the aroma while these bake makes your kitchen smell like a cider mill!

Did I mention that each one is dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar? If that’s not enough to convince you these are worth a try, I don’t know what is.

Grab a mug of Pumpkin cold brew coffee, snuggle on the couch with a movie, and enjoy an apple cider donut!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make apple cider donuts, including fresh apples, cider, and sugar.

Apple Cider- The key to apple cider donuts that actually taste like apple cider is simmering the cider to reduce it before using it in the donut recipe.

Use real, fresh apple cider for this recipe (not apple juice or instant cider from a packet). You can make the reduction in advance to save some time when you’re ready to bake the donuts.

You can also use the cider straight out of the carton instead, but reducing it definitely brings out more flavor.

Fresh Apples- This recipe also gets its unbeatable taste from fresh apples shredded then folded into the batter before baking.

I tried several versions of this recipe, with and without the fresh shredded apple, and hands down, it was so much better with the fresh apple.

Granny smith are best for this, balancing the sweetness of the apple cider reduction with some tartness.

To spice these donuts, use your favorite apple pie spice. Alternatively, substitute 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg and allspice for the teaspoon of pie spice in the recipe.

Greek yogurt keeps the baked donuts moist, even a day or two later. An equal amount of sour cream or 1/4 cup buttermilk can be used in its place.

Step by Step Instructions

Step by step instructions to make apple cider donuts in the oven.

STEP 1. Make the apple cider reduction

Simmer the apple cider over low heat, stirring occasionally, until all that remains is 1/2 cup. This takes about 30 minutes. Set it aside and let cool.

STEP 2. Prepare the donut batter

In a mixing bowl, beat the melted butter, egg, sugars, yogurt, and vanilla extract until creamy. Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt.

Slowly pour in the reduced apple cider and beat until batter is smooth.

STEP 3. Bake

Spray your donut pan with baking spray. Or grease with homemade cake release.

Spoon the donut batter into a large ziploc bag. Snip off the corner and pipe into prepared donut pan, filling each cavity about half full. You should have enough batter for 12 donuts.

Bake at 350 F for 12 – 14 minutes until the donuts are lightly browned at the edges. Remove and let cool for a minute in the pan, then transfer the baked donuts to a wire rack.

STEP 3. Dip in topping

Melt butter and set aside. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a separate small bowl. Dip each donut into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Cover all sides completely!

Enjoy warm for peak flavor and cozy fall feelings.

Baking sheet filled with apple cider donuts to serve.

Tips and Tricks

  • You can make these as apple cider muffins too! Use a mini muffin tin and reduce the baking time to 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Make the apple cider reduction the day before and store in the fridge until ready to use.
  • To check if the apple cider donuts are done baking, lightly touch one with your finger tips quickly. If it springs back, the donuts are ready to come out of the oven.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recipe FAQs

Can I freeze apple cider donuts?

Yes. After coating in cinnamon sugar, slide into a ziploc freezer safe bag or airtight container. Freeze up to three months, thaw at room temperature for 2 hours.

How long do apple cider donuts last?

For best flavor, store apple cider donuts in airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Reheat in microwave for 10-15 seconds if desired.

Can I use apple juice instead of apple cider?

Yes. Skip the reductions and use the 1/2 cup of juice. You’ll lose out on some of the rich, deep apple flavor, but it will still be delicious.

Stack of apple cider donuts on a wire rack with one tilted sideways.

More Fall Recipes

PS. If you try this recipe, please leave a STAR rating in the recipe card below. I love your feedback! Connect with me on social media by following me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.

Yield: 12 donuts

Apple Cider Donuts (baked)

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 47 minutes

Embrace all the fun and flavor of fall with these baked Apple Cider Donuts! Topped with buttery cinnamon sugar, these are the best donuts to celebrate the season.

Ingredients

For the Doughnuts

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider**
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt**
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 apple, peeled and shredded (about 3/4 cup)

For the Topping

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, simmer the apple cider over low heat until all the remains is 1/2 cup. This process takes about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and start checking it at about the 20 minute mark. Set aside and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 6 cavity donut pan with non-stick baking spray and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the melted butter, egg, sugars, yogurt, and vanilla extract until creamy (scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed).
  4. Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt. Slowly pour in the 1/2 cup of apple cider and beat until batter is smooth. Fold in shredded apples.
  5. Spoon the donut batter into a large ziploc bag. Snip off the corner and pipe into prepared donut pan, filling each cavity about half full (recipe makes 12 donuts).
  6. Bake in oven for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned and donut springs from the fingertips when touched.
  7. Remove from oven, cool one minute in the pan, then invert onto a wire cooling rack.
  8. For the topping, combine the sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl (or pie plate).
  9. Dip slightly cooled donuts in the melted butter (coating both sides), then dip in cinnamon sugar mix. Return to wire rack and repeat for remaining donuts. Enjoy warm.

Notes

  • Apple Cider reduction can be done the day in advance. You can also use apple cider as it is straight from the store, but reducing it brings out more flavor! Make your own apple cider recipe and reduce that!
  • Greek yogurt can be replaced with sour cream or 1/4 cup buttermilk (make your own buttermilk substitute if needed).
  • Mini muffins can also be made. Spray a mini muffin pan, fill half full with batter, bake 8-10 minutes. Coat with topping as directed.
  • Store donuts in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze in ziploc freezer bags for up to 3 months.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 257mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 1gSugar: 37gProtein: 3g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Brew a pot of coffee, put on your favorite cozy sweater and get ready to enjoy the best ever apple cider donut you’ve ever tasted!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on September 27, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. I’ve been searching on line for some decent baked doughnut recipes and the problem I have consistently come across is most of them are baked at too high a temperature or not enough moistness. I can tell by the picture you’ve included with the recipe and by the recipe itself that this is a perfect recipe. You can see the moistness in the doughnut. I’m going to buy my Norpro pans from Amazon also. They have the best deal on doughnut pans. Thank you so much Aimee.

  2. These are delicious, there still warm in my kitchen! I did a baked donut, but I put it into muffin form, making it a bit less messy. Check it out!

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