Monday, November 23, 2020
Nov. 23, 2020

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After you get apple cider, it’s time for doughnuts


Among the highlights of visiting an apple orchard are hot, crispy apple cider doughnuts. They are a treat. There’s no need to wait until the next apple-picking season to enjoy them when you can make your own.

Many recipes call for the doughnuts to be fried. We’re taking a simpler approach with a rich cake batter version, then baking them in specialty pans. They can brushed with butter, then dredged in cinnamon and sugar, or dipped in glaze.

Cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg usually hold court for that nostalgic apple-cider doughnut flavor. You can also consider anise, ginger, allspice, and cardamom. For more depth of flavor, you’ll want to simmer the apple cider into a reduction.

The doughnuts are best served warm, or eaten on the same day.

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Makes about 2 dozen 2-inch doughnuts

For more apple flavor, reduce 1 cup of fresh apple cider to 1/3 cup by heating in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until it has cooked down to 1/3 cup. Adapted from “The Barefoot Contessa” by Ina Garten


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Zest of 1 lemon

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/3 cup apple cider (See headnote)

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray doughnut pans with nonstick baking spray.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Mix on high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add the cider, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix on low speed, then add the flour mixture until well combined.

Transfer the batter to a piping bag or large zipper bag with a corner snipped off, and pipe into the prepared doughnut pans, about 2/3 full.

Bake until the doughnuts spring back, about 10 to 14 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack. Brush with melted butter, then dip in cinnamon sugar. Serve warm.

• Glaze

Vanilla: Whisk 1 cup confectioner’s sugar with 1 teaspoon milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract until well combined.

Maple: Whisk 1 cup confectioner’s sugar with 1 teaspoon milk and 2 teaspoons maple syrup until well combined. Spoon over doughnuts.