Breads · Breakfast foods

Fresh Apple Cider Donuts

It’s November, the local apple orchard is closed for the season, and I’m craving some apple cider donuts. What is a girl to do? Why, make my own, of course! Fresh Apple Cider Donuts are totally easy, baked (think healthier!), and take less than an hour from start to finish. Go ahead! You CAN DO THIS!

Fresh Apple Cider Donuts Recipe…

Apple Cider Donuts are the FIRST thing my family grabs when we get out of the car at the apple orchard! If there aren’t any on the shelf, we wait. 🙂 Unfortunately for us, our apple orchard is only open for a couple of months and it’s a twenty-five-minute drive. So, I decided to craft my own recipe and Fresh Apple Cider Donuts were born. After searching online, I found this recipe and this recipe. I knew I wanted to bake these little beauties, as I’m not really a fan of frying foods…it’s not so healthy and smells up the house! But I also wanted a donut FULL of apple flavor.

fresh apple cider donuts

I decided to add unsweetened applesauce and small apple bits to the Fresh Apple Cider Donuts because our orchard’s donuts contain dried apples. (I asked our orchard for the recipe at one point, but I was very disappointed to learn it was a mix!) Be Happy and Do Good DOESN’T do pre-made mixes! Why use artificial ingredients when making food from scratch is so easy? 🙂

fresh apple cider donuts

My kids are big fans of cinnamon powdered sugar doughnuts…which is super easy to recreate! I love glazed, so of course, that’s also what I made. 🙂 Because the recipe for Fresh Apple Cider Donuts makes so many doughnuts, you can make everyone happy! If you prefer simple powdered sugar, just leave out the cinnamon. The recipe is very adaptable to everyone’s likes!

fresh apple cider donuts

This recipe works great for both large and small baked doughnut pans. I used a #40 scoop for the mini donuts and a #20 scoop (twice) to fill each large donut pan. Don’t have cookie scoops? You can use a one-quart freezer baggie, too. Just snip an end and pipe the dough into the pan–it works great! Just be sure to spray your pans really well with cooking spray…the donuts should easily fall out onto a cooling rack.

fresh apple cider donuts

My Fresh Apple Cider Donuts recipe makes me very happy! The boiled cider helped to concentrate the cider flavor and lent a subtle flavor to these not-too-sweet treats! I hope you’ll give these a try and let me know what you think! Are they close to the flavor of apple cider donuts from your favorite orchard???

Fresh Apple Cider Donuts

Category: Bread

Cuisine: American

Yield: 15 large donuts

Fresh Apple Cider Donuts

Fresh Apple Cider Donuts taste like your favorites from the apple orchard but can be enjoyed any time of year!


  • 2 cups apple cider, reduced to 1/3 c.
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup apple, peeled and finely minced
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
    Cinnamon Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease donut pans with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Boil cider until reduced to 1/3 cup and set aside to cool.
  3. While cider cooks, in a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, minced apple, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, applesauce, cooled cider, and vanilla extract.
  5. Add liquids to dry ingredients and fold together until incorporated.
  6. Scoop into greased donut pans and bake 10-12 minutes or until donuts test done with a toothpick.
  7. Cool for five minutes before turning out on cooling rack.
  8. Cover with desired topping.
    For Cinnamon Powdered Sugar:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine 2 t. cinnamon and 1 c. powdered sugar until well mixed. Roll cooled donuts in mixture to coat.
    For Icing:
  1. In a small sauce pan, melt 2 T. butter. Stir in 1 c. powdered sugar and 2 t. vanilla extract until a paste forms.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in water a tablespoon at a time until desired thickness.
  3. Dip donuts in icing and place on cooling rack to harden.


Reducing the cider to 1/3 cup will take approximately 20-25 minutes. Get started on the rest of the recipe while cooking cider. I used #20 scoop (twice) for each large donut and #40 scoop for mini donuts. Dough could also be piped into pans.

Dough can also be fried. To make fried donut holes, fill large dutch oven with enough oil that dough will float and heat to 375° F. Using a cookie scoop, place dough into hot oil. Remove to drain on paper towel lined plate before covering with powdered sugar or icing.

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If you’d like to see what products I used to create Fresh Apple Cider Donuts, please see below. Please know, these contain affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission on any sales, at no extra cost to you. The income I earn helps to pay for maintaining my blog. Thank you so much for your support!

If you like easy, apple-flavored treats, you might like my Homemade Slow Cooker Applesauce, Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake, Holiday Apple Salad, or my Applesauce Meatballs.