Apple Cider Doughnuts

Total Time:
3 hr 10 min
50 min
2 hr
20 min

12 doughnuts

  • 2 red apples, such as Cortland or McIntosh
  • 2 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 3 1/2 cups all-pourpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Core and coarsely chop the apples (do not peel). Combine with 1 1/2 cups cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the apples are tender and the cider is almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth. Measure the sauce; you should have 1 cup. (Boil to reduce further, if necessary.) Let cool slightly.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

Beat 2/3 cup granulated sugar and the shortening in another bowl with a mixer on medium speed until sandy. Beat in the egg and yolk, then gradually mix in the applesauce, scraping the bowl. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and vanilla, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix to make a sticky dough; do not overmix.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper and pat into a 7-by-11-inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: Simmer the remaining 1 cup cider in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar until smooth and glossy, then set aside. Mix the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a shallow bowl; set aside for the topping.

Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Cut the chilled dough into 12 rounds, using a floured 2 1/2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter, then cut out the middles with a 1-inch cutter (or use a doughnut cutter). Slip 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.

Dip one side of each doughnut in the cider glaze, letting the excess drip off; dip just the glazed side in the cinnamon-sugar or roll all over in cinnamon-sugar, if desired. Serve warm.

Photograph by Kate Mathis

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3.8 40
I made this recipe 2 years in a row and plan on making it again this week.  I would recommend the recipe. However, the reducing portion of the recipe did take much longer than expected, so maybe you should add time for that? Also keeping the oil at the proper temperature was a challenge. All the work is worth it because the doughnuts are delicious!  item not reviewed by moderator and published
Definite Keeper This is the second Apple Cider Donut recipe I’ve tried, and it is by far the best tasting. SPOILER ALERT – if you are a recipe purist do not read further for my suggestions. 1. Do not be foolish like me and not read the recipe before you begin throwing ingredients in the mixer. So annoying when a recipe doesn’t say, “1 2/3 cup sugar, divided.” Equally annoyed with myself – I should know better. 2. Reduced cider + apples is really good and adds a lot of flavor. However, I make and can my own applesauce so will use that plus reduced cider in the future. Much, much, much simpler. 3. I baked these in a donut pan vs. frying. (Gasp!) They turned out really wonderful. My husband said he liked them better than fried as they didn’t sit so heavy when eaten. 4. Here’s how: prepare recipe as indicated (I had to make my own buttermilk with milk and cider vinegar - worked like a charm), chill dough appropriately, preheat oven to 375, spray pan with non-stick spray. For the dough – use knife to divide dough into 18 portions. (That’s how many I got out of this recipe.) It’s going to be sticky so lightly flour your hands and roll the dough into 6-inch or so ropes. Then wrap them around the pan indention. Be sure to really even out the dough and mend the two ends together. The dough will puff nicely to round out the tops, but the two ends need to be secure for a solid donut. Bake for 7-8 minutes (my oven is very old and has a spiteful personality so your time may differ), then I rotate the pan and bake for an additional 3 minutes to ensure even baking (note spiteful oven comment above). I think the donuts will be done at the first 7-8 minute mark, but I like the bottoms a bit brown to visually convince me they’ve been fried. Your choice. 5. Glaze. The reduced cider is key! But the combination of powdered sugar and glaze just tasted like sugar to me. Ick. I use ½ block room-temp cream cheese, blend with the sugar in mixer and then add in the reduced cider to make it smooth. Role your eyes while you rub your tummy like a third grader. So good! 6. Dip warm donuts in glaze then dip in the cinnamon sugar mix. Really yummy. 7. What did I hear? Oh, I have a donut calling my name. 8. Enjoy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The only recipe I've found that actually tastes like apple. The boiled cider glaze is well worth making, though you could double the batch for the amount of doughnuts it makes (a lot more than 12 for me. Mine also took longer to fry than 1 minute per side. I'm going to try using a doughnut maker someday instead of trying to cut them, doughnut holes have been more successful for me so far than full size doughnuts. My only tweak - adding a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice at the very end of cooking down the applesauce to brighten up the apple flavor a little bit more. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very tasty! And since I fried the doughnut holes last, I let them soak in the glaze leftover glaze after they were done. They were amazing! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The first attempt to make the dough was a flop. The dough was definitely much too sticky. But I tried a second time and the dough was perfect. I love this recipe and will use it for a long time to come. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Cooking the apples took a lot longer than stated to reduce. I live in humid Florida, so I am not surprised when I need more flour, but I needed a LOT more flour, and even then it was so sticky, it needed more to roll/cut/handle. As a result, they fried too fast and crumbled apart. Very big mess...I threw out the rest of the dough after attempting a few different methods! item not reviewed by moderator and published
AMAZING. I used an actual "doughnut maker" and these were honestly phenomenal! item not reviewed by moderator and published
They were delicious, but now I know what to do next time to make them better. I agree with all who said, it definetely needed a lot more flour. Also, I have a deep fryer thermometor, so I know the temperature was right- but every time I made them (and I started with only one at a time the center was uncooked. Then I realized that I had to keep them in for exactly 2 minutes per side. Once I did that, they came out fine. So, I don't know why the recipe said only 1 minute per side. Also, I did dip them in a sugar/ cinnamon mixture after, instead of the glaze- they tasted just like they came from the apple farm! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yummy donuts that were not difficult to make, just a little time consuming. I did not make the glaze as it was kind of late and I was tired by the time we got to the frying stage. Still wonderful tossed in cinnamon sugar. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Like the other have said it does take longer to cook the apples down for me it was about 20 mins.I made to dough the day before I wanted to make them and chilled it over night.The dough is sticky but it wasn't as bad as some of the others made it out to be.I did not like the glaze at all.I just dipped mine in the sugar cinn mix.I was a bit disappointed with the favor. I guess I was thinking it was going to be more of a apple favor. If I made them again I would see able adding more apple or making the sauce more chunky then smooth . I thought they were easy to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was straight-forward and easy to make. I have made the dough-nuts three times and my large family loves them! I do, however, prefer a plain glaze, or a simple cinnamon-sugar coating. Making sure my oil was at the correct temp was the biggest concern. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not sure why these are getting such bad reviews? This was my first time donut venture on a whim, and they came out absolutely perfect. The dough did not fall apart, the dough was definitely sticky as noted below, but if you simply flour your board and the top of the dough as you roll it, you shouldn't have a problem. It is true that the reduction takes longer than stated in the instructions, but if you're setting out to make donuts, it's going to be a time consuming process anyhow. All in all, totally worth it, really easy and everything came out great. I have to honestly say I expected to put way much more work into this than I expected. The one thing I changed was how I made the glaze, I wasn't a fan of the glaze here as I like a thicker, more "frosting" than a glaze. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not worth the time, energy, effort and resources. I've been cooking for 25+ years and I just couldn't wait to try this recipe. I prepared the ingredients as indicated and the dough chilled overnight. Thought I'd have some tasty homemade donuts on my day off. It was a total flop... 1. The 8 minute apple and cider reduction took 35 + minutes...I did have about 1 cup of applesauce to eat, though 2. The dough was extremely sticky as other cooks indicated, so I was prepared to fry as donut sticks. 3. When frying time came, the dough just disintegrated. I tried rolling out some dough balls which ended up burning in the pan. Big thumbs down for this recipe... item not reviewed by moderator and published
My only complaint about this recipe is how it is instructed on paper... I had to re-wright the directions so it made more sense... But other than that... These doughnuts are AMAZING!!! I love the recipe and will keep forever =] item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't understand the complaints about this being too sticky. I let the dough chill overnight & it was the perfect consistency the next day. As with any dough, if it became a little too sticky during rolling & cutting, I added flour. I also put the pre-fried donuts in the fridge to keep the dough's consistency & took them out when I was ready to fry them. My only complaint about this recipe is the glaze. I followed the recipe exactly (reducing the 1 c cider to 1/4 c & adding 1/4 c conf sugar. It was still liquid; it was not glaze consistency at all. I added almost 1 lb of conf sugar to get the mixture close to a glaze. After dipping the donuts in the glaze, the glaze was still so thin, the donuts ended up absorbing the glaze. Needless to say, after rolling the donuts in cinnamon & sugar, these were cloying. I loved this recipe & aside from the glaze (& complaints that the donuts were too sweet, I would probably make it again. The apple flavor is distinct & they’re extremely moist. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Looks and smells good but the end result is not worth the effort. Like everybody says, the dough is incredibly sticky, even with quite a bit of extra flour added. Chilling the dough overnight didn't make any difference in consistency - it remained sticky and hard to handle. My donut cutters did not work because the dough was more like batter. Ended up making donut holes, which were very tart and the point where they just were not that great. I was hoping for a great fall recipe, but this one is just not worth the effort for the mediocre results. item not reviewed by moderator and published
i almost didn't try these based on reviews,but did family LOVED them! i let the dough rest overnight right in the mixing bowl.i didnt find the dough too sticky at all.i making them again tomorrow,after i make the dough today. thank you food network! item not reviewed by moderator and published
We just made these for a lunch with a friend. They are delicious, but definitely not one I would call easy. The dough is very, very sticky, and I ended up with about a cup and a half of the apple and cider puree. Still, delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these, and yes, like everyone else said, the dough was sticky. I added in a bit more flour, and while still sticky, I had no problems with the dough falling apart while frying. These were delicious, and are worth the effort! item not reviewed by moderator and published
As everyone else has stated, it is a very sticky dough. None of my donuts stayed together. Insteas we just fried the dough in pieces. Very delicious and great flavors, but way to sticky. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been waiting to try this recipe for weeks now and finally got around to it this weekend. We made the dough the night before and cut/fried them up this morning. The dough wasn't hard to make but (as many have said before) was very sticky. Though I only got a few "donuts" from the dough (the rest fell apart), I got lots of donut holes. Everything turned out yummy, but it was a pain to get the oil at the right temperature. Also, the apple cider flavor in the dough was barely noticeable. I won't bother with doing that whole process next time. A couple tips: keep the dough refrigerated until you are about to drop it in the oil and don't worry about getting the oil temperature just right--it drops a lot when multiple donuts are added. I enjoyed mine without the glaze, but my boyfriend thought the glaze was the best part!! Still, I think next time I will just go to Krispy Kreme. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was so excited to make these donuts. It was my first attempt at making donuts. It came out awful. The first time the dough was just a sticky mess and yes. as all the others said- it took more like 30-40 minutes for the apples and cider to reduce. I tried it a second time thinking maybe I had done something wrong. The second time the dough was a little better - was able to shape and put in fridge over night. When I took out the next day - it looked good and solid - but as I started to cut out the donuts and try to lift them - the dough became sticky and fell apart. Cooked a few pieces and they were good - but it was a mess and too much hassle. Ended up throwing away the second batch too. I was very disappointed. I have never had a receipe just fall apart like that. But still love the Food Network and their Magazine. I will keep trying new recipes - as challenge is the Spice of LIfe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made donuts before, I have been looking for an apple cider doughnut recipe i thought i would try this one. I chilled my dough for over 3 hours the dough was still extremely sticky. I added more flour to make the dough managable and then i rolled out the dough on a floured board. This worked. The donuts were good. Next time I make these i would do the same thing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I cooked half of the recipe first night, ran out of oil. That was letting the sit for an hour and a half in the fridge. The second day they came out way better. Full 24 hours of resting in fridge. They cooked all the way thru on second day, also they were much lighter and the apple taste was more pronounced. item not reviewed by moderator and published
We loved these but the dough was far too sticky. I kneaded in approx 1 c of flour more even after it was chilled. I would not rate this as an easy recipe but it was well worth the effort. I made these when we were camping & did not have my doughnut cutter so I cut off pieces, rolled them & hand formed the doughnuts. (you can't use a biscuit cutter as they would not cook in the middle, as I found out with some of the larger round doughnut holes I cooked.) I thought the glazed really added to the taste , tried some in just cinnamon & sugar the the glaze first was much better. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These donuts were so good, my 14 year old ate 3 in one sitting! They were easy to make and well worth the effort! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these yesterday and they were a huge hit. Yes, the apples/cider did take much longer to reduce, but they smelled so good that it didn't matter! I didn't find the dough difficult to work with at all. I did half with the glaze/sugar, and half with just cinnamon/sugar. I actually ended up with 16 donuts in the end. Yum! Will definitely make these again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I thought I had done something drastically wrong, but see by other comments I hadn't. This is the first Food Network recipe I have been disappointed in. Not worth my time, effort or money wasted when I had to throw out two-thirds of the "dough". I did have a donut cutter. The ones I was able to get off the parchment paper and out of the cutter soaked up too much oil. Oh well, on to the next recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these last night as doughnut holes. I lost count of how many it made, but I know it was at least 4 dozen. The dough was very wet, I used waxed paper instead of parchment, and about an 1/8 of a cup of flour underneath and on top. I also didn't follow the directions perfectly, using apple juice (what I had) and adding all the cinnamon to the dough. I was worried it would be too much, but no one noticed a problem. The sauce took about 45 minutes to reduce for me. The glaze was delicious and added a nice apple sweetness, and the cinnamon sugar mix made WAY more than we needed for all the doughnut holes, if I make them again I will make half that amount. It felt like a waste to throw away the cinnamon and sugar but it had bits of glaze and doughnut throughout so it couldn't be saved. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Reduction of Apple Cider took much longer then stated, but well worth the wait. The dough was extremely stickey but I was determined to make it work, they were so worth the effort! First time doughnut maker, and I will make this recipe again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
We were searching for an apple cider donut to match the mouth watering one's baked at our local orchard. Followed recipe exactly as stated (except for glaze). I did make the dough last night. Very sticky dough....I found it difficult to work with. As others have stated, it does take much longer for the cider & apples to reduce. These were tasty....great job for my first time effort with a cake donut!!! Fried up every single scrap of dough! Decided to pass on the glaze. Rolled them in cinnamon & sugar. Where was the apple flavor? It was missing in mine. Had I not made them myself, I wouldn't have know it was an apple cider donut. The applesauce made from this recipe was delicious!! Would make that again and use as a topping for pork! Will try this again, make the glaze, to see if that gives me the flavor I'm looking for. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Since trying donuts for the first time, we were somewhat nervous about the deep frying aspect, but got over that real fast. We did find the cider and apples took closer to 20-30 minutes to fully reduce as opposed to the 8-10 minutes mentioned in the recipe. The dough was a bit sticky, but our philosophy was: no 2 donuts look alike, so we carefully dropped the sticky donuts into the oil and they cooked beautifully. Of course the oil temp. kept fluctuating (thank goodness for the candy thermometer). End result - great apple flavor, delicate donuts. My 7 year old says "awesome". We will make them again (after losing the weight gained today).... item not reviewed by moderator and published
When I got my magazine this recipe made me jump for joy, I love apple cider donuts. I was quickly let down though.I floured my parchment paper well because I could tell the dough way very sticky and I still could not cut the donuts. I even stuck the dough in the freezer for an hour hoping it would come lose and it still didnt. I finally ended up just scraping little pieces off and frying them. They looked ugly but the flavor was amazing. I will not try these again as I was very frustrated with the trouble but I did use the apple cider glaze on my mom's apple cake recipe and it was too die for. item not reviewed by moderator and published
These are absolutely delicious, as long as you eat them right away. (The next day, they aren't so great.) I had a little trouble with my dough sticking, so I didn't end up with perfectly shaped doughnuts, but they were incredibly tasty. You'll want to fry up every last scrap! See my step-by-step here: item not reviewed by moderator and published
I had never made doughnuts before and I had a hard time with the too moist dough. I just made doughnut holes! I shared with two of my children and my parents! It made lots. I would make them again except for the fact that I am trying to maintain my new lower goal weight. These would definitely threaten that!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
these also were my first attempt at doughnuts and i was happily suprised. they came out great and were easy to make. the cider took alot longer to reduce than expected but it all worked out .. my boyfriend absolutly loved them .. will def. make them again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
These were decent doughnuts, but my family didn't care for the cider glaze. They would have been just as good with just the sugar and cinnamon coating. Reducing the cider and apply mixture took a lot longer than the recipe indicates. I felt there were just too many steps in this recipe and the end result didn't justify the effort. I probably won't make this recipe again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm not sure what I did wrong here, but I was very dissappointed with this recipe. When I unwrapped my chilled dough this morning it was too sticky and slimy to even hope to cut with a biscuit cutter. I added more flour so I could at least handle it.. When I fried it the center was all gooey. The glaze didn't really come together either and I ended up throwing everything away. May work better if you have a doughnut cutter, but I would not recommend trying to do this by hand. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was my first attempt at doughnut making and I was SOOO pleased. I was so nervous that it would be too tricky and my doughnuts would be hockey pucks, but the recipe is super easy to follow and came out beautifully. Can't wait to make them again. PS. If you get tired cutting out doughnuts, roll the dough into balls. They make delicious munchkins :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just got my magazine 2 days ago and I saw this receipe and I HAD to try them! The receipe is VERY easy to follow and the dough was not hard to make at all. I did find that it took longer for the apple cider to reduce than the 8 -10minutes alloted in the receipe. Other than that the doughnuts are to die for!! The apple flavor really comes through and is absolutely delicious. I would warn that if you add the cinnamon and sugar after the glaze, they turn out to be very sugary which might turn off some people. The glaze would be fantastic by itself. I will definetly make these again and again!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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