Spiced with the flavors of fall and coated in cinnamon sugar, these baked apple cider donuts are the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee!
originally published 10.16.2020
One of the first recipes we bake when the seasons begin to change? These super easy baked apple cider donuts! Perfectly soft, slightly cakey and coated in cinnamon sugar, they’re the ultimate breakfast for a cozy autumn morning.
reducing the apple cider
Whenever baking with apple cider, I like to reduce it on the stovetop to get a more intense and concentrated apple flavor. This extra step only takes about 15-20 minutes and has a huge effect on the flavor of the donuts!
To reduce the cider for these donuts, start by pouring 1 ¼ cup (300 ml) into a saucepan. Bring the cider to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until it reduces to about ⅓ cup (80 ml). This will usually take about 20 minutes, but start checking at about 15 minutes to make sure you don’t simmer it for too long. Then you’ll just need to let it cool for about 10 minutes before adding it to your donut batter!
When I’m making these donuts to serve warm, I like to reduce the cider the night before to make my morning baking super simple!
making the donuts
Baked donuts are one of my favorite morning bakes — they only need about 10 minutes in the oven so they’re perfect for a last minute breakfast!
The donut batter can be whipped up in three easy steps:
- Mix together the dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl: reduced cider, melted butter, egg, vanilla extract and milk.
- Combine the wet and dry mixtures and whisk together until just combined.
I use a donut pan to get the shape, but there are some inventive ways to get around this if you’re not ready to invest in one. For example, try baking the batter in regular muffin tins and placing a ball of foil in the center to make the donut holes.
tips for making baked donuts
- Use a kitchen scale to measure the flour when possible. Scooping flour with a measuring cup can result in too much flour, which will result in donuts that are too dry. If measuring by volume, use the spoon and level method. Lightly spoon your flour into the measuring cup and then use a knife to scrape off the excess.
- Be careful not to overmix the batter or your donuts may turn out too dense.
- It can be a bit messy to spoon the batter into the donut forms so I like to use a piping bag (or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off) to pipe in the dough.
- Fill the donut pans only about ¾ of the way full to get perfectly shaped donuts. And don’t forget to grease the pan well so they come out easily.
cinnamon sugar coating
The final step — roll your fresh apple cider donuts in some cinnamon sugar goodness!
You have two options here:
- Coat the donuts in melted butter and then roll them through the cinnamon sugar.
- Skip the butter and roll the donuts in cinnamon sugar while they’re still warm.
I’ve made these both ways and they’re equally delicious. The melted butter gives the donuts a bit more of a fried feeling and will help the cinnamon sugar stick better if you’re waiting to coat them until completely cooled. But the donuts in the photos on this post skipped the melted butter and the mixture still coated the donuts perfectly (just make sure to coat them while warm).
baked apple cider donuts: FAQs
These donuts are soft and cakey, with a texture most similar to a muffin. To get more of a fried donut feel, we recommend brushing the donuts with melted butter and coating them in cinnamon sugar.
Apple juice will result in your donuts having a bit less apple flavor. Juice also tends to be sweeter than cider. If you must use apple juice, we recommend something like Simply Apple, which is 100% apple juice and not sweetened.
When you press the donuts, they should bounce back a bit. If not, give the donuts a minute or two more.
Apple cider donuts will keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days, or for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. The donuts will also freeze well for up to 3 months.
Looking for more ways to use up your apple harvest? Give these a try!
- apple crisp with polenta streusel
- apple crumble cheesecake
- sharlotka | russian apple cake
- apple fritters with pecans
- apple cider mimosas
- harvest apple sangria
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