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Homemade Baked Apple Cider Donuts: Simple & Delicious

Homemade baked apple cider donuts

Fall is on its way to quickly winding down. The leaves have fallen, daylight savings has happened, and all the fun fall food and flavors have been put away until next year. I always enjoy caramel apples during this time of year, and try to have as many as I can until the end of October. However, there’s another food that came along and captivated me a year ago, and I’m going to miss it. Apple cider donuts! I had my first taste of these fabulous donuts last year, and I fell in love.


This season was about trying to find as many places as I could locally to taste them, and compare them to the ones I first experienced at an orchard in Michigan. When I stepped out of the car in Grand Rapids, I was immediately hit with the sweet smell of donuts being made. The line was long, but I was determined to see what the fuss was all about, and boy am I glad I did. The donuts were warm, soft, and absolutely delicious.


Me holding the finished baked apple cider donuts

This season I found three places that carried them. Two local orchards and a grocery store. Two of them were good but they were pretty basic donuts that didn't stand out like the ones in Michigan. The grocery store donuts weren’t even in the same category. Well, you know what that means? The pursuit for how to make my own donuts started. I began looking up some recipes, and I found one I decided to try. I was happy because they seemed simple enough, and they were baked. This recipe was SO  GOOD that my family rated them a very close second to the donuts we had last year.  


You know I’m excited about this delicious find, and now I can have them anytime I want, well as long as there is apple cider available. Give these a try and tell me what you think. What's the best recipe you’ve had then made at home?




(Recipe courtesy of NYT Cooking)


Nonstick cooking spray

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup room temperature unsalted butter

3/4 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature  

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup apple cider




1.     Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two doughnut pans (about 12) with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, one teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg, and whisk to combine. Set aside


2.     In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 10 tablespoons butter, ¼ cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about three to four minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated. After each addition scrape the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract.



3.     Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated. With the mixer running, add the apple cider in a slow, steady stream and mix to combine. Scrape the bowl well to make sure the batter is homogeneous.



4.     Spoon the batter into prepared donut pans, filling them about 2/3 of the way. You can also do this using a disposable piping bag or a resealable plastic bag with a half inch opening cut from one corner. Bake until evenly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the thickest portion comes out clean, about 12 to 15 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking.



5.     While the donuts bake, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and one teaspoon cinnamon together in a small bowl to combine. In a separate small bowl, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in the microwave. Let the donuts cool for 5 minutes after baking, then unmold them from the pants, brush with the melted butter and dredge them in the cinnamon sugar mixture while they are still warm. Serve immediately or let cool to room temperature



Homemade apple cider donuts



A.   I did not have a stand mixer and took a chance with my regular mixer, and they turned out great. I don’t know if the stand mixer and paddle would make a difference but this was absolutely delicious to us.

B. When I do these again I will pipe them into the molds. Trying to spoon them in was very tedious, and I think piping would go quicker.


C.  Do not over fill the pans or you will have a mess on your hands. The recipe says you can use muffin tins as well, but I grabbed these donut molds at a great price, and they worked great.


D. I would highly recommend enjoying these when they are warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container, and microwave about 8 seconds the next time to warm them a bit before enjoying again.


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