Apple Cider Doughnuts

apple cider doughnutsWe all have little, feel-good traditions we like to observe when the weather gets cold and nippy. One of my favorite fall things to do is go to the farmers' market, buy a cup of coffee and warm Apple Cider Doughnuts, and eat them while walking through the stalls and looking at all the bins overflowing with autumn squashes, apples, and pumpkins. (And, it's sometimes on those wanderings when inspiration hits and I get my very best cooking ideas.) A couple years ago I started making apple cider doughnuts at home and discovered that I could make some that are almost as lovely as those at the farmers' market. I've definitely incorporated this recipe into my fall routine.


Apple Cider Doughnuts adapted from Food Network


  • 2 red apples, leave peels on
  • 2 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


1. Make "applesauce": Core and coarsely chop the apples. Combine with 1 1/2 cups cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the apples are tender and the cider is almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Puree -- either with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth. Let cool slightly.

2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

3. Beat 2/3 cup granulated sugar and the shortening in another bowl with a mixer on medium speed until sandy. Beat in the egg and yolk, then gradually mix in the applesauce scraping the bowl. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and vanilla, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix to make a sticky dough; do not over-mix.

4. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper and pat into a 7-by-11-inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

5. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Simmer the remaining 1 cup cider in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar until smooth and glossy, then set aside. Mix the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a shallow bowl; set aside for the topping.

6. Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a thermometer registers 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Cut the chilled dough into 12 rounds, using a floured 2 1/2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter, then cut out the middles with a 1-inch cutter (or use a doughnut cutter). Slip 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.

7. While the doughnuts are still warm, coat them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Do you have a favorite fall tradition?


Image via tomatoes and friends/Flickr

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