Breakfast/ Dessert/ easy/ Muffins & Quick Breads/ no mixer/ quick/ Sweet Rolls and Doughnuts

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

October 4, 2018

Moist, tender, and super flavorful, these are the best baked apple cider donuts I’ve ever had, and they are easy to make, too. Their sugary spiced coating makes them irresistible! 

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Today’s date means that autumn is officially here, and although it’s 30°C right now and I still get sweaty after 5 minutes of being outside, it is starting to feel like winter is coming. The nights are more chilly and Pinterest is full of photos of cozy sweaters, soups and hot chocolate. I can’t wait for it to arrive already. It’s been a long hot summer with those extra 17 pounds I carry in my belly.

So I think it’s the perfect time for some spice donuts! Ever since I posted this amazing spice cake I’ve been craving those flavors. I’ve tried many baked apple cider donut recipes before but they were either dry or flavorless, so this week my mission was to make them perfect and as easy as possible.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Flavor and texture

If you like spice cakes or apple cakes or anything with spices in it, then you’ll love this donut recipe. The donuts have a dense crumb similar to muffins, but they are moist and tender. I love their texture almost as much as I love their flavor. Although they are baked and not fried, they taste just like the donuts you’d buy fresh from a bakery shop, only more flavorful.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

How to make apple cider donuts

Use concentrated apple cider: The first step in making these donuts is cooking 1 and 1/2 cups of apple cider on the stove to reduce it down to 1/3 cup, until you’re left with a thick, syrupy liquid that contains less water and much more apple flavor. Mine took about 20 minutes. This helps in getting more apple cider flavor in your donuts. The apple cider flavor in the donuts is only subtle, so if you skip this step, you won’t be able to taste it in the final product. If you find store-bought concentrated apple cider, you can use 1/3 cup of it in the recipe, and skip the cooking step.

After that, the recipe is super easy to make. You’ll need to mix the ingredients in 2 bowls without using a mixer, and combine the two batters. Mix as little as possible just until the ingredients are combined, otherwise your donuts will be dense and heavy.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

I use a donut pan to make baked donuts. Donut pans usually have 6 molds so I recommend buying 2 pans if you love baking donuts. I use a piping bag to pipe out the batter into the donuts. It’s easier and quicker. You can also use a ziplock bag and cut off the corner for a quick fix piping bag.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Once the donuts are ready and still slightly warm, dip them in melted butter, and then in sugar-spice mixture. Be careful at this point because before you know it, you’ll realize you’ve just had 4 donuts (I’m talking from experience).

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

More Delicious Recipes:

5 from 9 votes
Baked Apple Cider Donuts
Apple Cider Donuts
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
YIELD: 16 donuts

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360 ml) apple cider
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (245 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cardamom , optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup (65 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (65 g) dark or light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (40 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk (or milk)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg , optional
  1. Reduce the apple cider: In a small saucepan, bring apple cider to a gentle boil and let simmer over medium heat until thick and reduced to about 1/3 cup (80 ml), 15-25 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease donut pans with butter or nonstick spray. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, granulated sugar and brown sugar, until well combined. Whisk in the melted butter. Add the reduced apple cider, buttermilk and vanilla extract, and mix until combined. Pour the mixture into the flour mixture and whisk just until combined and smooth. Don't overmix the batter.

  5. Divide the mixture between the donut cavities, filling about halfway full. I recommend using a piping bag to pipe the batter, it will be much easier and less messy. Bake for about 10 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the donuts comes out clean. Let donuts cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack.

  6. Meanwhile, make the topping: In a medium bowl mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Once cool enough to handle, for each donut, dip both sides in melted butter and then generously dip into the sugar mixture.
  7. Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve them warm or at room temperature.

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  • Reply
    October 5, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    This is the exact recipe I am looking for! Can’t wait to try this weekend with my daughter. 🙂

    • Reply
      October 8, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      Update: we made these and they were a huge hit! My husband even declared them the best thing I’ve ever made. 🙂

      Do you have any tips for boiling liquid down to a specific amount? I over-reduced the first batch of apple cider and had to try again – I poured back and forth to a measuring cup when it got close, but not sure if there’s a better way?

      • Reply
        October 9, 2018 at 11:16 am

        Thank you Emma, I’m glad you like it! This is how I do it too – pour it into a measuring cup and check. It doesn’t have to be exact though so if it’s a little less or more, it’s ok.

      • Reply
        October 2, 2020 at 11:06 am

        A tip for reducing liquids to a desired amount. I always put desired amount in pot then mark liquid level on a wooden skewer when dipped in pan then while reducing liquid i reduce until it reaches mark on skewer. Hope that helps. Trying this recipe today along with the tip of frying in oil for a few seconds after baked to add a crispness

        • Reply
          October 9, 2020 at 9:20 pm

          Quick question – is there a certain type if cider? I put the cider in the pot, and it evaporated, but didn’t get thicker yay all.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Do you have a suggestion for what to do if I don’t have a donut pan? Really want to try these!

    • Reply
      October 25, 2018 at 5:09 am

      Hi Jane, you can bake them in a muffin pan or a mini muffin pan.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks for another lovely recipe! These just came out of the oven and look and smell fantastic! Just wondering, if making a day ahead, would you still dip in butter and sugar or do that on the day they are being served? Thanks!

    • Reply
      October 31, 2018 at 6:22 am

      Hi Tanya, the donuts are best served the day they are made, so I dip them in butter and sugar after baking them.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    These were lovely, they came together easily and look just like the photos! One thing I’d recommend though – if you don’t have two donut pans, buy a second one! Since the batter for the second batch had more time to activate/rise while the first batch was in the oven, the second pan of donuts were much fluffier than the first – it was clear the two sets didn’t bake in the oven together as they looked quite different. No difference to the taste but would have looked prettier overall had they baked at the same time!

  • Reply
    December 15, 2018 at 11:33 am

    I made this recipe this morning.YUMM!! I wonder how they would freeze.
    I must have a small donut pan because I have 18 donuts.Also, I didn’t dip mine in butter before putting them in topping ,came out fine.

  • Reply
    Linda G
    February 18, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    These turned out great…and I got rave reviews from many people!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2019 at 10:57 am

    These are THE ones!! All thumbs up at my house! I will be making these again and again!! Sadly the recipe only made 11 in my pans but not really a problem.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    I loved the apple cider donuts we had at the cider mills in Michigan, and I’ve been looking to replicate them at home here in California, where most people have never had a cider donut! The batch out of the oven was a little underwhelming to me, so I heated about an inch of oil in a saucepot on the stove, and fried the already-baked donuts for about 10 seconds each to give them the crispy fried layer that you love on a real donut, without the long exposure to the oil. Drained, dabbed off the extra, and skipped the step of buttering them; I just plopped the hot, fresh donut into the sugar coating. They were EXACTLY like I remember from the Midwest!

  • Reply
    October 23, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Have you ever made these the night before? I have family coming in town and it would be great to make these a day in advance and keep them in the fridge until morning.

    • Reply
      October 28, 2019 at 4:07 am

      Hi Casey, donuts are always best eaten as fresh as possible, but yes, it’s possible to make them the night before and keep them in the fridge. Serve them warm or at room temperature.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Can you fry them?

    • Reply
      October 28, 2019 at 4:02 am

      You can’t, because the batter is soft, like a cake.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    It made 12 for me. Better than cider mill donuts! Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Reply
    Amy Asbury
    November 2, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    These are awesome!! My family loved them and they were pretty easy to make!! I do agree with the other person who recommended having two donut pans.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    Hi can you please tell me if I can make this beautiful donut gluten free?

    • Reply
      February 11, 2020 at 3:02 am

      Hi Gloria, if you use gf flour it might work, but I have no experience working with this kind of flour so I can’t recommend it.

  • Reply
    Local Food Coupons - Getfelyx
    October 2, 2020 at 7:21 am

    This is the best DONUTS recipe ever having mouth watering flavours and taste.

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