Apple Cider Doughnuts

Fluffy and cakey on the inside with a crispy sweet exterior, our Apple Cider Doughnuts will make you fall in love with doughnuts again. Rest assured that your morning can't get any better.

Active Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins

Fluffy and cakey on the inside with a crispy sweet exterior, our Apple Cider Doughnuts will make you fall in love with doughnuts again. Spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, the dough for these treats is rich with reduced apple cider, apple butter, and buttermilk—making for a classic and unmistakable flavor that celebrates the South's most beloved fall fruit. Since no yeast is used in making these doughnuts, you only have to wait a total of 30 minutes for the dough to chill before frying. If you don't have a fryer on hand, a Dutch oven or a large sturdy pot will work just fine. And as soon as the doughnuts come out of the oil and have a few moments to drain on a paper towel-lined plate, the doughnuts are immediately rolled in cinnamon sugar that sticks to the surface and fills in the cracks decorating the craggy surface. Grab one of these with a cup of coffee in the morning, and rest assured that your morning can't get any better. 

Apple Cider Doughnuts
Micah A. Leal


  • 2 1/2 cups apple cider*

  • 1/2 cup apple butter

  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 2 tablespoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 64 ounces Canola Oil (for frying)

Cinnamon Sugar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  1. Boil apple cider over medium-high until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 30 minutes. Whisk in apple butter, buttermilk, and vanilla. Set aside.

  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice until well combined. Set aside.

  3. In a stand mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar until lightened and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, waiting until the first is incorporated before adding the next.

  4. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low until combined. Add half of the cider mixture and mix to combine. Repeat process with remaining flour mixture and cider mixture.

  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Flour generously. Dump dough onto prepared baking sheet, flour the surface of dough generously and pat into 3/4-inch thickness. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes. Prepare another baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Remove baking sheet from freezer and use a floured 3-inch doughnut cutter to cut out doughnuts. Transfer doughnuts to unfloured baking sheet, re-rolling scraps as needed. Cover doughnuts in plastic wrap and freeze for an additional 15 minutes.

  6. Mix together cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl. Set aside.

  7. Heat canola oil in a fryer or Dutch oven to 365°F. Fry 3 doughnuts at a time, allowing to cook for 3 minutes on one side, and 1 to 2 minutes on the other side, until the doughnut is evenly browned. Transfer doughnuts to paper towel-lined plate to dry. Roll doughnuts in cinnamon sugar while still warm. Fry remaining doughnuts in batches of 3, rolling each doughnut in cinnamon sugar after it has drained on the paper towels.

Chef's Notes

If apple cider is not in season and cannot be found, boil 2 1/2 cups Honeycrisp apple juice with 2 sticks of cinnamon and reduce to 1/3 cup. Use like the apple cider reduction in Step 1 of the recipe.

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