Apple Cider Donuts

filed under: Breakfast · Food + Drink on December 5, 2020

Apple Cider Donuts are homemade donuts made with apple cider and apple pie spice to give you the taste of apple in every bite! Try my Apple Cider Muffins for another apple spice treat.

Apple Cider Donuts

These homemade donuts are so homemade that they are even made with homemade apple cider and homemade apple pie spice! There are no apples to peel, core, and chop in this recipe. But, each donut is full of apple flavor and would be great with a cup of coffee, a snack, or just to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Fried Apple Cider Donuts Stacked

Apple Cider Donuts Recipe

Once you fry the donuts, don’t forget to coat them in the sugar and apple pie spice mixture! 

A couple of stand-out ingredients in this donut are:

Apple Pie Spice– Homemade makes a difference and I happen to love my homemade recipe, but you can also purchase from your local grocery store.

Apple Cider – Again, props to homemade here! I love knowing every ingredient that goes into the food I am making for my family and this is no exception. The flavor is unbeatable!

Donut Dough

To make the dough, first, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt in a large bowl. Next, add in the apple cider, egg, melted butter, Greek yogurt, and vanilla. Use a wooden spoon to stir the ingredients together until fully incorporated. It will be sticky. Cover the dough with a damp towel and chill it in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Raw Apple Cider Donuts on Sheet Pan

Rolling and Cutting the Dough

When ready, roll out the dough to 1/4-1/2-inch thick. If you are making them on the thinner side, you will get more donuts. Just make sure the dough is as even as possible for consistency.

After the dough has been rolled out, it’s time to cut out the donuts! Use a donut cutter to get the donut shape. If you don’t have a donut cutter, use a kitchen jar or lid that is about 3-inches across. Then, to get the center hole cut out, use a bottle cap or small shot glass. Set the cut-out donuts on a baking sheet to rest as you heat up the oil.

PRO TIP: You can stop here and refrigerate the donuts to make them later! They can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Just make sure they are room temperature before frying.

How to Make Apple Cider Donuts

Be prepared! To best prepare for this make sure you have these tools out and ready:

  • thermometer safe for hot liquids
  • a hand-held strainer or forks to easily rotate the donuts in the hot oil
  • plate lined with a paper towel to set hot donuts
  • several cookie sheets fitted with cooling racks for setting glazed donuts
  • a bowl for the sugar and apple spice mixture that is large enough to drop an entire donut in
  • fork/spoon/tongs for easy transferring of donuts
  • a table lined with parchment paper to set donuts on to dry

Fried Apple Cider Donuts

Heating the Oil

Pour oil into a Dutch oven or large, heavy-duty pot. The oil should reach 2 to 3-inches deep. I don’t recommend adding more than that. And make sure your pot is bigger than you would think you would need.

Dropping beautiful dough into a too-hot oil or a too-cold oil can do bad stuff to the dough that you have spent hours with. I found that the best way to ensure your oil stayed at a consistent 350°F was to have a thermometer right in the oil at all times. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, here are a few tricks to get your oil heated to 350°F without one:

  1. Test the oil temperature by putting the handle of a wooden spoon into the hot oil. The oil will start to bubble steadily when it’s good to go. If you are seeing the oil bubbling like crazy, it’s too hot and needs to cool down a bit. If there are only a few to no bubbles, it’s not hot enough.
  2. Another method is using a 1-inch square of bread. Carefully put the bread into the oil and if it browns in 60 seconds, the oil is ready.
  3. My favorite method is the popcorn test. Put a kernel of popcorn into the pan of oil as soon as you begin heating up the oil. As soon as that kernel pops, the oil is ready!

As the oil is heating, mix the sugar and apple pie spice in a bowl that is large enough for a donut to be dipped. Set that aside.

Frying the Donuts

To fry the donuts, place one donut at a time into the hot oil. Brown each side of the donut for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Use a handheld strainer to carefully remove the donut from the oil. Place it on a plate lined with a paper towel. Continue with the remaining donuts. Please note: The oil may cool down a bit after each donut is put in. Make sure it is hot enough before frying the next donut.

Dipping Fried Apple Cider Donut in Cinnamon Sugar

Coating and Storing Apple Cider Donuts

While the donuts are still warm, dip each one into the bowl of sugar and apple pie spice. Place the coated donuts on a table or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Serve warm. 

Although donuts are best served and enjoyed the same day, you can store them in the refrigerator for a few days. Use a sealed paper bakery box for best results. To freeze the donuts, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze them for about 4 hours before transferring them to zipped, freezer-safe bags. They will last up to 3 months. 

Half Fried Apple Cider Donut on Cutting Board

Looking for More Donut Recipes?

Glazed Donut Bites

Glazed Cake Donuts

Easy Donut Bites

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

5 from 2 votes
Apple Cider Donuts
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
2 mins
Proofing Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 22 mins

Apple Cider Donuts are homemade donuts made with apple cider and apple pie spice to give you the taste of apple in every bite!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple Cider Donuts
Servings: 10
Calories: 331 kcal
Author: Amanda
  • cups (312.5g) all-purpose flour
  • cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup apple cider
  • 1 large egg, room temperature and slightly beaten
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup (71g) Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups vegetable oil, 2-3 inches deep in pot
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt.

  2. Add in apple cider, egg, butter, Greek yogurt, and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are fully incorporated. (It will be sticky.) Cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for one hour.

  3. When ready, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick. (The thinner the dough, the more donuts you can make.) Try to make them as consistent in size as possible.

  4. Once rolled out, use a donut cutter to cut out the shapes. If you do not have a donut cutter, use a round tool like a kitchen glass or a jar lid that is about 3-inches across. Use a bottle cap or small shot glass for the smaller hole.

  5. Set the cut-out donuts on a baking sheet to let rest as you heat the oil.

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and apple pie spice. Set aside.

Frying Donuts
  1. Fill a large pot with 2-3 inches of oil. Heat to 350°F.

  2. Once the oil is hot, drop in one donut at a time. Cook 45 seconds to a minute on each side.

  3. Using a hand-held strainer, carefully remove the donut from the oil and set on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining donuts.

  4. While donuts are warm, dip them into the sugar and apple pie spice mixture. Place the dipped donuts onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Serve warm.

  5. Store cooled donuts in between parchment paper in a paper pastry box for up to two days.

Recipe Notes

Apple Pie Spice Recipe (clickable link)

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  • Yesha Brighton says:

    Can these go in the air fryer?

  • Jennifer D. says:

    Does it matter what the protein percentage of the AP flour is? For ex., King Arthur’s AP flour has a fairly high percentage of protein. Will this affect the recipe? Thanks!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      The recipe is tested with standard AP, but generally speaking, it shouldn’t affect the recipe negatively.

  • Laura Berg says:

    #YouAreBaker OMG. I’ve been looking for a recipe like this. Authentic apple cider donuts. Yeah Yeah Yeah!

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.