Baked Apple Cider Donuts

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Baked apple cider donuts are a great way to celebrate fall. Brushed with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, they’re tender and light with the perfect crumb. This classic recipe captures the fall flavor of donuts from apple orchard bakeries. Make them in 35 minutes.

📌 PIN BAKED APPLE CIDER DONUTS


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🍩 About Apple Cider Donuts

When the leaves change color, our family heads to Apple Hill in Northern California. We visit wineries, apple orchards, and on-site bake shops. We pick apples and pumpkins, and bring home jugs of fresh apple cider.

These cider donuts are filled with the rustic flavors and scents of fall in the foothills. Your kitchen will smell like an apple-orchard bakery!

One dozen apple cider donuts served on a rustic metal tray.

🛒 Ingredients

Donut Batter

  • Butter: For a rich, delicious buttery taste.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds delicious sweetness to the batter.
  • Light Brown Sugar: Adds sweetness with a light caramel flavor.
  • Large Eggs: Provide strength and structure for the batter.
  • Vanilla Extract: Enhances the sweetness and provides a bakery aroma.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Provides structure for the donuts. When mixed with liquid, a gluten framework forms that stretches and helps hold the ingredients together.
  • Baking Powder: This leavening agent gives apple cider donuts the perfect rise.
  • Kosher Salt: Enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Ground Cinnamon: Adds warm fall flavor and aroma. If you don’t have this spice on hand, feel free to use apple pie spice instead.
  • Ground mace or ground nutmeg: Contributes the traditional flavor of donuts.
  • Apple Cider: It’s the star ingredient. It provides the delicious apple flavor that makes these baked treats apple cider donuts.

Donut Coating

  • Melted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Ground Cinnamon
The ingredients for making classic apple cider donuts shown on a white rustic table.

📖 Recipe Steps

Make the Donut Batter

  • STEP 1: This first step is optional, but will give your donuts a greater depth of gorgeous apple flavor! 👉🏻 On the stovetop, reduce one cup of apple cider down to one-half cup. Cool the liquid before beginning this recipe.
  • STEP 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition.
  • STEP 3: Add flour, salt, baking powder, and spices. Mix on low speed until all ingredients are incorporated. As needed, stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  • STEP 4: With the mixer running, slowly stream in the apple cider.
Four step-by-step images showing how to make apple cider donuts.

Bake the Donuts

These delicious fall favorites are baked not fried! Continue following this easy recipe for apple cider donuts:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease 2 donut pans with butter, or spray them with cooking spray.
  3. Fill the donut pan cavities to 2/3 full. Do not overfill!
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until done. Cool in pan for 4-5 minutes.
A USA donut pan filled with batter for baked apple cider donuts.

Coat the Baked Donuts

  1. Melt the butter.
  2. In a bowl, mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Brush each donut with butter.
  4. Dredge in sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Ramekin of melted butter next to a small bowl filled with cinnamon and granulated sugar.

👩🏻‍🍳Expert Tips

  • Use ground mace if you have it. After all, it’s the primary flavor of donut-shop favorites. Because nutmeg is pretty close, it’s a great substitute for mace in most donut recipes, including this one.
  • How to keep the surface of baked donuts smooth: After removing donuts from the pan, cool on a baking tray. A cooling rack would leave unwanted marks across the surface!
  • No donut pan? No problem. You can still make this easy recipe. Prep two muffin pans with cupcake liners. Fill each cavity 3/4 full. Bake at 350°F for about 18 minutes, or until a cake tester run through the middle of two separate muffins comes out clean. Makes one dozen apple cider donut muffins.

🧑🏼‍🍳 Recipe FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions when making baked apple cider donuts, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

How to give apple cider donuts a more robust flavor?

Reduce one cup apple cider down to 1/2 cup. On the stovetop, simmer the cider in a small saucepan over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Transfer the liquid to a freezer-safe bowl. Cool it in the freezer for 10 minutes before adding it to the donut batter. Another option: use thick, pourable, apple cider concentrate (boiled cider syrup).

Can apple cider donuts be frozen?

Yes they can! This is the perfect recipe for freezing. Store them in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.

How to bake donuts in mini donut pans?

Grease the pans. Fill the cavities 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350°F for 8-9 minutes. Makes 48 mini donuts.

Best way to fill donut pans?

Transfer batter to a large zip-top bag. Snip a corner of the bag. Pipe batter into donut pan cavities.

🍁 More Fall Recipes

Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor testers rated these the best baked apple cider donuts. They compared them against the same flavor donuts at Apple Hill bakeries in Northern California. They said the fluffy texture and delicious flavor was everything they were looking for in a fall donut.

If you agree this recipe’s a keeper, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with friends. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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Apple cider donuts stacked vertically on a small white plate.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts


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Description

Apple cider donuts are a fall favorite! Baked not fried, they’re lightly brushed with butter then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. These are the farm-style donuts sold apple-orchard bakeries throughout the country.


Ingredients

Units Scale

DONUT BATTER

  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace OR ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup apple cider*

COATING FOR DONUTS

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the wells of two donut pans with butter, or spray them with cooking spray.

  1. Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition.
  2. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and spices. Mix on low speed until all ingredients are well incorporated. As needed, stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  3. With your mixer running, slowly stream in the apple cider.
  4. Fill the donut pan cavities to 2/3 full. Bake for 15 minutes or until done. Allow donuts to cool in the pan for 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a baking tray.
  5. Melt 6 tablespoons butter. In a bowl, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon. While the donuts are still warm, brush them with melted butter. Dip them into the cinnamon sugar.

Notes

How to fill donut pans: Transfer batter to a large zip-top bag. Snip a corner of the bag. Pipe batter into donut pan cavities.

How to keep the surface of baked donuts smooth: After removing donuts from the pan, cool on a baking tray. A cooling rack would leave unwanted marks across the surface!

No donut pan? No problem. You can still make this recipe. Prep two muffin pans with cupcake liners. Fill each cavity 3/4 full. Bake at 350°F for about 18 minutes, or until a cake tester run through the middle of two separate muffins comes out clean. Makes one dozen apple cider donut muffins.

How to bake donuts in a mini donut pan: Grease the pans. Fill the cavities 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350°F for 8-9 minutes. Makes 48 mini donuts.

  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Category: Donuts
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

Baked Apple Cider Donuts 👉🏻 Join the Convo

When was the last time you enjoyed a freshly-baked apple cider donut? Was it from a rural road-side stand? Share your favorite fall traditions in the comments below!

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33 Comments

  1. This is what I love about the Fall. So many baked treats that have awesome flavor and the family enjoys them too. I will definitely keep this recipe! The donuts would go well with your fave cup of coffee or tea!

  2. We just had some of these at our local farmer’s market and they were amazing!! I’ll have to try to make my own.

  3. These donuts look amazing. It’s been awhile since I have made donuts before. I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe.

  4. What a way to make donuts, a little less hassle and of course sounds very delish! Thanks for the recipe and the tips! :)

  5. Baked apple cider donuts sound incredible. We can get these only in the fall around here, I’d like to make them other times. Thanks to you and your recipe, they can be a year long treat!






  6. I love apple cider donuts. They’re one of my favorite foods in the fall, even more than pumpkin spice anything.

  7. These are seriously delicious looking donuts! I love that you baked them and not fried. I can’t wait to try them and I bet they will taste fantastic@!! Cheers






  8. These bring back fond memories of living back east. Every Fall we’d head to the town Apple Harvest Festival. There they would have delicious apple cider donuts! I’m excited to try this recipe with my family and pretend we are back at the Apple Harvest Festival!