In the Midwest, it doesn’t really feel like fall until you’ve picked apples at a local orchard. (Here’s the best spot in every state!) And while filling a bushel with fresh-from-the-tree fruit is rewarding, my favorite part is checking out all of the other apple goodies available for sale. Pies, tarts and apple butter—they’re all delicious. But the ultimate fall treat? Apple cider doughnuts.
These bites of heaven pair the crisp taste of apple cider with a warm, spicy blend of sugar. Fresh from the oven, these treats are the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee—and the ultimate reward after a long day at the farm. Here’s how to make ‘em at home (all year round!).
How to Make Apple Cider Doughnuts
This recipe comes to us from Melissa Hansen in Wisconsin. As a child, Melissa remembers eating fresh apple cider doughnuts before family camping trips.
For the Doughnuts:
- 2 cups apple cider
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon each ground cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- Oil for deep-fat frying
For the Sugar:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2-3 Tablespoons ground ginger (to taste)
Step 1: Reduce Cider
First, we need to reduce our cider so it’s nice and thick. Pour the cider into a small saucepan, and bring it to a rapid boil over high heat. Cook the cider for about 12 minutes, or until it’s reduced in half. Let cool completely before moving on to the next step.
Drinking apple cider straight? Add one of these secret ingredients.
Step 2: Combine the Dry
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices. Set aside.
Step 3: Mix the Wet
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter and cooled cider. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, just until moistened. The dough will be sticky. Cover the bowl and place the dough in the fridge until it’s firm enough to shape—about 1 hour.
Step 4: Divide and Shape
Once the dough is well-chilled, divide it in half. On a floured surface, pat each portion to 1/2-inch thickness. Use a floured, 3-inch doughnut cutter ($7) to shape the doughnuts and holes.
Step 5: Let ‘em Fry
In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 325 degrees. Fry the doughnuts, a few at a time, until they’re golden brown—about 2-3 minutes on each side. Then, fry the doughnut holes, a few at time, until they’re golden brown and cooked through—about 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels and let cool slightly.
New to deep frying? Check out this guide.
Step 6: Sugar Time!
Mix together the sugar and ginger. Roll the slightly warm doughnuts in the mixture until they’re evenly coated. If desired, you could coat these doughnuts with a maple glaze instead of spiced sugar.
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