Baked Apple Cider Donuts

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.

stack of cider donuts coated in cinnamon sugar

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:

  1. Mix together the dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl: reduced cider, melted butter, egg, vanilla extract and milk.
  3. 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:

    1. Coat the donuts in melted butter and then roll them through the cinnamon sugar.
    2. 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).

donut cut in half

baked apple cider donuts: FAQs

What type of texture do these donuts have?

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.

Can I use apple juice for this recipe?

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.

How can you tell when baked donuts are ready?

When you press the donuts, they should bounce back a bit. If not, give the donuts a minute or two more.

How long will the donuts keep?

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.

close up of cinnamon sugar coated donuts

Looking for more ways to use up your apple harvest? Give these a try!

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stack of cider donuts coated in cinnamon sugar

baked apple cider donuts

  • Author: Brittney
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12


Spiced with autumn flavors and coated in cinnamon sugar, these baked apple cider donuts are the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee!


apple cider donuts

  • apple cider 1 ¼ c (300 ml)
  • flour 1.5 c (180 g)
  • (spooned and leveled*)
  • brown sugar ½ c (100 g)
  • granulated sugar ¼ c (50 g)
  • baking powder 1 tsp
  • baking soda ½ tsp
  • salt ¼ tsp
  • cinnamon 1 tsp
  • nutmeg ¼ tsp
  • melted butter 2 tbsp (30 g)
  • egg 1 large
  • vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • milk ⅓ c (80 ml)

cinnamon sugar coating

  • granulated sugar ¾ c (150 g)
  • cinnamon 1 tsp
  • melted butter (optional) 5 tbsp (70 g)


apple cider donuts

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, simmer the apple cider until it reduces to ⅓ cup (80 ml). It took about 20 minutes for me, but start checking at around 15 minutes. Let the cider cool for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) and grease a donut pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the reduced cider, melted butter, egg, vanilla extract and milk.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter into 10-12 donut forms. They should be about ¾ full.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool slightly and then turn out to cool completely on a wire rack.

cinnamon sugar coating

  1. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the coating.
  2. If not using butter: Roll the donuts in the cinnamon sugar once they are cool enough to handle. The cinnamon sugar will adhere best if the donuts are still warm.
  3. If using butter: Once the donuts have slightly cooled, brush with (or dunk into) melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.


Measuring Flour: We highly recommend using a kitchen scale to measure flour. If measuring by volume, use the spoon and level method to avoid over-measuring the flour. Lightly spoon flour into the measuring cup until it’s completely full. Then run the back of a knife over the cup to gently scrape off any excess.

Storing: These donuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

  • Category: breakfast
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: american

Keywords: baked apple cider donuts, apple cider donuts

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Sue September 7, 2022 - 10:45 am

These look yummy. Question, if freezing, do you freeze without coating in the cinnamon sugar or not?

Brittney September 7, 2022 - 11:58 am

Hi Sue! I generally freeze them with the cinnamon sugar coating if I’m not using butter. If I decide to brush them with butter first, then I freeze them uncoated and right before serving add a bit of butter and cinnamon sugar.


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