Apple Cider Doughnuts Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 40 min. + chilling Cook: 5 min./batch
A batch of these apple cider doughnuts will have you feeling like it's peak fall season, no matter the time of year.

Updated: Mar. 07, 2024

Eating apple cider doughnuts is a must-do every fall season. This year, elevate your doughnut-dunking experience by baking your own! When you head home from the farmers market or apple orchard with a jug of fresh cider, give this recipe a go. These apple cider doughnuts are cakey, soft and kissed with notes of warm fall spices and crisp apples.

Ingredients for Apple Cider Doughnuts

  • Apple cider: The namesake of this recipe! Use fresh cider when you can get it. The depth of flavor in farm-fresh cider is unparalleled by anything jarred at the store.
  • Whole wheat flour: Our apple cider doughnut recipe uses a bit of whole wheat flour for its hearty texture and earthy flavor.
  • Brown sugar: Brown sugar adds a deep, caramel-y sweetness that pairs wonderfully with the autumnal spices and apple cider.
  • Baking powder and soda: Baking powder and baking soda are the leavening agents in cake doughnuts, whereas raised doughnuts use yeast.
  • Spices: A mix of fall spices like warm cinnamon, spicy cardamom, aromatic nutmeg and bold allspice make these apple cider doughnuts feel cozy and autumnal.
  • Eggs: It’s important your eggs are at room temperature so they incorporate easily into the dough. Cold eggs would harden and curdle the dough’s fats.


Step 1: Reduce the apple cider

In a small saucepan, bring the cider to a rapid boil. Cook the cider over high heat until it’s reduced by half, about 12 minutes. Cool completely to room temperature.

Step 2: Create the dough

Dry Ingredients in a bowlTMB Studio

Whisk together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices.

Whisking eggs TMB Studio

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter and cooled cider.

Whisking wet ingredients with dry ingredients in a bowlTMB Studio

Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened (the dough will be sticky). Cover the bowl, and refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to shape, about one hour.

Step 3: Cut out the doughnuts

Flattening the dough on surfaceTMB Studio

Divide the dough in half. On a floured surface, pat each portion to 1/2-inch thickness.

Cutting doughnuts with cutter TMB Studio

Cut with a floured 3-inch doughnut cutter.

Editor’s Tip: Reserve the holes left from the cutouts to fry up as doughnut holes!

Step 4: Fry the doughnuts

Frying the doughnuts in skilletTMB Studio

In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat the oil to 325°F. Fry the doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown, two to three minutes on each side.

Frying the doughnuts until golden brownTMB Studio

Fry the doughnut holes, a few at time, until golden brown and cooked through, about one minute on each side.

Editor’s Tip: When it comes to frying, work in small batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot and drop the oil temperature too much. If the oil temperature drops too low, the doughnuts won’t cook evenly, and they might get oil-logged instead. Yuck!

Step 5: Cool and decorate the doughnuts

Glazing the doughnutsTMB Studio

Drain the doughnuts on paper towels, and allow them to cool slightly.

Dipping the doughnuts in sugarTMB Studio

If desired, dip the doughnuts into glaze or sugar of your choice.

Editor’s Tip: Apple cider doughnuts are famously tossed in a cinnamon-sugar coating. To do this, simply whisk together 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon. Toss the warm doughnuts in the mixture until evenly coated.

Apple Cider Doughnuts Variations

  • Make ‘em mini: Use a smaller cutout shape to make adorable mini doughnuts, or simply make all of them into apple cider doughnut holes.
  • Top with chocolate glaze: In a saucepan, bring 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream and 2 tablespoons light corn syrup just to a boil. Pour mixture over 6 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Dunk the cooled doughnuts into the glaze.
  • Dunk into maple glaze: Whisk 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons 2% milk, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring until smooth. Dunk the cooled doughnuts into the glaze.
  • Toss in a ginger-sugar coating: Swap out the usual cinnamon-sugar coating for a zippy, bold and bright ginger-sugar coating. In a shallow bowl, stir together 3/4 cup sugar and 2 to 3 tablespoons ground ginger. Toss with warm doughnuts.
  • Go gluten free: If you’re celiac, don’t miss out on the fun! Make our gluten-free apple cider doughnuts for an enjoyable fall treat.

Can you store apple cider doughnuts?

Yes, you can store apple cider doughnuts, but we don’t recommend it as fried doughnuts are best eaten right away. If you want to enjoy these doughnuts later, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. Reheat them in the microwave for a few seconds to refresh.

Apple Cider Doughnuts Tips

Do you need to reduce the cider for apple cider doughnuts?

Yes, you need to reduce the cider for apple cider doughnuts. Reducing removes the excess water while concentrating the sweet apple flavors. The result of reducing is a thick, potent apple cider that adds more apple and warm spice flavor to the doughnuts.

There are so many recipes to make with apple cider that involve reducing the cider (like our apple cider cinnamon rolls or apple cider-glazed ham), so feel free to make a large batch of reduced apple cider for all of your fall cooking endeavors.

Can you bake apple cider doughnuts?

Yes, you can bake these apple cider doughnuts, although they won’t rise as much or have their characteristic crispness. Fried doughnuts are often tastier due to being fried in oil, but they also tend to be a bit greasier than baked doughnuts. Baked doughnuts are usually denser than fried doughnuts and not as chock-full of rich oil, making them less flavorful than fried doughnuts.

To bake apple cider doughnuts, preheat your oven to 350°, and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the cutout doughnuts on the baking sheet, and bake until the doughnut bottoms are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Do not overbake the doughnuts, or they won’t be soft.

You can also try our no-fry doughnuts recipe. It bakes up yeasted doughnuts (as opposed to this recipe’s cake doughnuts) for a super fluffy, fried-free doughnut.

Watch how to Make Apple Cider Doughnuts

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Prep Time 40 min
Cook Time 5 min
Yield 1 dozen doughnuts plus doughnut holes.


  • 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
  • Chocolate Glaze for Doughnuts or Maple Glaze for Doughnuts, optional


  1. In a small saucepan, bring cider to a rapid boil; cook over high heat until reduced by half, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.
  2. Whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, melted butter and cooled cider; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened (dough will be sticky). Refrigerate, covered, until firm enough to shape, about 1 hour.
  3. Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, pat each portion to 1/2-in. thickness; cut with a floured 3-in. doughnut cutter.
  4. In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 325°. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown, 2-3 minutes on each side. Fry doughnut holes, a few at time, until golden brown and cooked through, about 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels; cool slightly. If desired, dip doughnuts into glaze or sugar of your choice.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 335 calories, 15g fat (5g saturated fat), 46mg cholesterol, 338mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

Apple doughnuts remind me of family trips to South Dakota. We’d stop at Wall Drug for a dozen or so before camping in the Badlands. Maple glaze was and still is my favorite. Share a batch with friends and family who appreciate a hot, fresh apple cider doughnut. —Melissa Hansen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin