Apple Cider Donuts

At this time of year, I love the warm autumnal and spicy flavors. When the cooler temperatures come around, I find myself baking more often especially comforting goodies. Back home, cider donuts are real treat in the fall. I tried to replicate the ones I love from Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury, Vermont. They aren’t exactly the same but they’ve got that cider hint and autumnal spice! I am surprised how simple donuts are to make. I remember my mother and grandmother would whip up a fresh batch on the weekends which were gone by the next day. These are baked which feel like they are healthier, but still a donut is a donut! Hope you enjoy them too!

cider donuts.jpg

Makes about a dozen

***You’ll need a donut baking pan


2 cups of good quality apple cider (reserve 1/2 cup)

2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 tablespoon of cinnamon (I bet using pumpkin pie spice in addition would be delicious too, feel free to experiment with fall spices)

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 egg

1 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of honey

1 teaspoon of vanilla

For the cinnamon sugar topping:

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1 cup of granulated sugar

3 tablespoons of cinnamon (adjust to your liking)

I found that to get the most cidery flavor in the donuts you’ll need to reduce it down to a concentrate. On medium - low heat in a small sauce pan, add 1 1/2 cups of good quality cider. Keep on medium - low until it starts to bubble on the outer edges and then set the temperature to low. It should reduce down within 20 minutes or so to a 1/2 cup. Check on it every few minutes or so making sure it doesn’t burn or else you’ll have to start all over again! Set aside for now.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a donut pan with a nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients of flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and mix evenly. In a separate smaller bowl, crack the egg and add the cider concentrate, sugar, honey, vanilla, and remaining 1/2 of cider and whisk together thoroughly.

Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients in the larger bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It will be the consistency of a thicker cake batter.

Using a wooden spoon or soup ladle, add a spoonful of batter to each donut tin leaving about 1/4 inch of space from the rim. You will have to make 2 batches if you have just one baking pan.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the edges are golden brown. I like them slightly underdone so they are soft. They bake fast and slide out easy if you’re using a silicone baking pan.

You can serve them plain like this or add a cinnamon and sugar coating. To do so, melt down the 2 tablespoons of butter. In a small bowl that will fit a donut, mix the cinnamon and sugar together. Dip each donut in the butter and coat evenly. Immediately dip it into the cinnamon sugar mix.

It’s nice to serve with hot dark coffee or mulled spiced cider in the mornings or for a late afternoon treat. They pack easily too in either a plastic bag or glass container if you like to serve them for a little autumnal outing.

I want to experiment using more cider concentrate for a richer cider flavor which I adore. You can buy pre-boiled cider concentrate but I prefer making my own. I’ll update the recipe when I find out how!