Moist homemade fried apple cider donuts with three delicious ways to enjoy them; plain, cinnamon-sugar or topped off with caramel icing.

Apple Cider Donuts: 3 Ways! from

It’s unofficially Fall, we’re just going to go ahead and call it Fall since it’s September even though that’s not really accurate until the end of the month. Technicalities. Fall brings cooler weather, falling leaves, school days, apparently pumpkin flavored drinks at every local and national coffee or donut chain and all things APPLE! If you go apple picking in New England, you can expect a few things, besides the obvious – apples. There’s always pie, cider and apple cider donuts! They’re a classic and for good reason.

These donuts are always fried. Do not. No wait, let me emphasize that a big more. DO NOT ever bake cider donuts or really any donut for that matter. It’s a crime against humanity. Too dramatic for you? I take my donuts seriously. If you’re going to indulge in a donut, indulge in the real thing. You want real flavor, truly moist and traditional donuts. Fry them. Don’t eat cake shaped like a donut.

Apple Cider Donuts: 3 Ways! from

Up until last week, I’d never made cider donuts before. Of course, now that I have, I’ll be making them far more frequently. And definitely a time or two more this season. I kid you not, my family of five devoured this batch within hours. And that’s probably stretching it. I mean factor in the photo session time etc and yeah. Too good to resist. They’re perfectly tender and full of flavor. Just how they should be.

The best thing about these is that you have your choice in how you want to indulge. Eat them plain – delicious! Eat them topped off with sweet caramel icing – scrumptious! Or eat them coated in cinnamon and sugar – my absolute favorite of all three! But honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of the three options. I’d cut off a small piece of each to keep taste testing because I couldn’t decide which way was my favorite. They’re all that good and truly irresistible.  A must make!

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Apple Cider Donuts: 3 ways!

Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 12 plus
Moist homemade fried apple cider donuts with three delicious ways to enjoy them; plain, cinnamon-sugar or topped off with caramel icing.



  • 3 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 1 C apple cider
  • 2 large eggs

Cinnamon-Sugar topping:

  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Caramel icing:

  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp caramel syrup
  • 2-3 Tbsp heavy cream
  • Vegetable oil, for cooking
  • Deep frying thermometer


  • Prepare one 12x17 jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Coat completely with a layer of flour. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, apple cider and eggs. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until ingredients are completely incorporated.
  • Spread batter onto prepared baking sheet. Coat completely with flour. Pat into a 1/2-inch thickness. Be sure all areas are coated with flour. Freeze tray for 30-40 minutes or until manageable.
  • Begin heating vegetable oil over medium heat in a deep pan, such as a French oven.
  • Using a 2 1/2 to 3-inch donut cutter*, cut out donuts, transferring to a second parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for 10-15 additional minutes. Dough should not be soft. Chill until you can easily pick up the donuts shapes without the dough stretching or falling apart. Refreeze as needed.
  • When your oil has reached 375°F on a deep fry thermometer, begin frying 2-3 donuts at a time. Fry on first side for 60 seconds, flip and fry the other side for an additional 60 seconds. Drain on paper towels. Repeat process with remaining donuts.
  • For cinnamon-sugar topping: combine cinnamon and sugar in a large shallow bowl. Press donuts lightly into mixture, flip and coat remaining side.
  • For caramel icing: In a small bowl combing powdered sugar, caramel syrup and heavy cream. Whisk until smooth. Dip top of donuts in icing.


*Alternately a round cup or cookie cutter may be used with an apple corer or small shot glass to remove the center, in place of a donut cutter.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most accurate data, use your preferred nutrition calculator with the actual ingredients you used to make this recipe.
Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Snap a picture and tag @bakedbyrachel on Instagram!
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American

An apple a day party at
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Items used in this recipe:

*Disclaimer: I asked KitchenAid to be a sponsor of An Apple A Day Party. I was not compensated for this post or giveaway. All opinions are my own.
**This post contains affiliate links.