Apple Cider Doughnuts

Fresh warm donuts, coated in cinnamon sugar, filled with apple flavour. These Apple Cider Doughnuts melt in your mouth and will have you wanting more.

apple cider doughnuts


History Behind this Recipe

Apples on a branchWhen my kids were little, we would take them apple-picking every September. We always went to the same apple orchard. They made the best Apple Cider Doughnuts at this orchard. My family looked forward to this treat every year. I think they enjoyed the doughnuts more than the actual apple picking. 

Now that my kids are older and we don’t go apple picking anymore, they miss the doughnuts, so I went in search of a recipe that could replicate the taste of the doughnuts they served at the orchard.

After many tries, I created this recipe and the kids loved them. They are not the same as the orchard, but they are close, and the kids loved them so that is a win.

This recipe can also easily be cut in half. We are a large family and I like to share with extended family so this is a rather large recipe. 

Apple Cider vs Apple Cider Vinegar

Please don’t confuse apple cider with apple cider vinegar. They are definitely two different things.

You may be thinking, “But I know the difference between the two.” I only bring this up because I have been asked if they are the same or can apple cider vinegar be substituted. That is a big NO!

If you don’t have apple cider, you can use apple juice and add a large shredded apple to the juice while you are simmering it to help thicken it. The apple will also add more apple flavour to the doughnuts.

Serving Apple Cider Doughnuts

apple cider doughnutsThese doughnuts are best served warm. My kids and Mike will eat them fresh out of the cinnamon sugar, while they are still piping hot. I prefer to let them cool a little longer so I don’t burn my mouth.

Doughnuts can easily be heated in the microwave. If you plan on reheating them later, skip the coating of cinnamon sugar until you reheat them or the sugar will melt when they are reheated.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in freezer bags in the freezer for up to one month. When freezing, I skip the cinnamon sugar coating because it doesn’t hold well in the freezer. I then reheat the thawed doughnuts in the microwave for a few seconds and toss them in the cinnamon sugar coating while they are warm before serving. 

Get the Kids Involved

The kids usually like to help me bake, but I don’t like them around the hot oil when I am frying. So for this recipe, I place the cinnamon and sugar in small paper lunch bags. Then when the doughnuts are ready to coat, I place them in the paper bags and allow the kids to shake them. That way they feel like they are helping and they have fun doing it. Just make sure they don’t shake them too hard or they will break up the doughnut.

Sharing is Caring

Since this recipe makes such a large batch, I like to share these with family and friends. These doughnuts are perfect for an after-school study group, or for a classroom or workplace potluck.

If you looking for more apple recipes, check out my Spiced Apple Jam recipe.

apple cider doughnuts

Apple Cider Doughnuts

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 7 cups all purpose flour
  • 1⅓ cups brown sugar, packed
  • tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ¾ cups butter, melted and cooled
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • cups white sugar
  • Tbsp cinnamon


  • In a medium saucepan, heat apple cider to boiling, then simmer for about 10 to minutes to reduce to half
  • Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and all-spice. Set aside
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together cooled apple cider, eggs and cooled butter.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together until a sticky dough forms and all the flour has been incorporated. 
  • Cover and refrigerate 1-½ hours or overnight.
  • Place 3 to 4 inches of oil in a large heavy pot and heat to 325°F. 
  • Remove from the fridge and working with ¼ of the dough at a time, roll out on a clean floured surface to ½” thickness.
  • Cut into doughnuts using a floured doughnut cutter.
  • Once oil is heated, place 3 or 4 doughnuts in the oil and fry 2-3 minutes per side
  • Remove from oil and place on a cooling rack over a baking pan or paper towel lined pan.
  • Cool slightly before coating in cinnamon sugar. 
  • Repeat with remaining doughnuts. 
  • Serve warm


  • Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a flat bottomed bowl. Set aside for covering hot doughnuts.


*The doughnut holes take only about 1-1-½ minutes per side to cook.
Another way to coat the doughnuts is by placing the cinnamon and sugar in a paper bag. Then toss the warm doughnuts in and shake. 
Keyword Apples, Doughnuts



  1. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this recipe! I used to buy apple cider doughnuts when I lived on the East Coast but I can’t find them here in Texas. I am absolutely going to have to make this recipe ASAP!

  2. I have never tried my hand at homemade donuts but this recipe makes me eager to try! I love the idea of the kids shaking them in the bags to get them coated. And the flavor seems like it would be just awesome!

  3. Apple cider doughnuts are so fall!! I have only ever had them at the Apple festival we have every year at the Mill, but now I can make them at home!!!! I will be trying these this weekend with the kiddos!

  4. I have been looking for a good apple cider donut recipe. I have been disappointed with the lack of apple cider flavor from the ones I buy at farmstands or the grocery store, which taste more like a cinnamon donut with no apples. Can’t wait to try these!

  5. These look AH-mazing!! I loved these donuts when I used to live in Amish country PA. Can’t wait to try making them myself!! 💖

  6. 5 stars
    U-pick apples at Ontario Orchards has the best in Upstate New York, heading there opening next Saturday. Such a treat. I moved here two years ago from Texas. Apple picking, orchards, u-pick stuff, and apple cider donuts are new favorite loves of mine. Thanks so much for the recipe. I hope I can do a better job in making them vs the slightly bitter aftertaste I’ve noticed when I buy them. Fresh is best, probably the cinnamon. I can’t wait to taste ’em.

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