Few things say fall more strongly than going to the apple orchard and picking up a half dozen (or a dozen) cider donuts, don’t you think? But what to do when you can’t get to the orchard and you’re craving cinnamon covered donuts? Make your own baked cider donuts of course! All the apple cider and cinnamony goodness and no need to mess with any oil.
Hello, all! How is fall treating you?
Loving the pretty leaves? And all the beautifully fresh apples? Me too!
Fall is also treating me to several batches of baked cider donuts! 🙂 It’s been a while since I’ve baked a donut, so it took me a little while back in the groove.
Like remembering to grease the donut trays so the donuts slide out instead of sticking. And remembering to add the butter to the batter so the donuts are tender and not rubbery. And just getting the hang of squeezing out the batter into the wells neatly. (Note: you can still make awesome donuts even if your batter squeezing abilities are less than perfect. Don’t worry! I just need to make pretty donut wells for photos.)
With all of these things to remember is it any wonder that I forgot how differently a thick liquid like buttermilk works versus a thin liquid like cider? Which is my way of saying that I based this recipe on my recipe for baked churro donuts and switched the buttermilk to cider and wondered why the batter was so thin!
Yeah. As soon as I thought of that, I reduced the amount of cider and my batter was perfect. EXCELLENT. With my nice, thick batter getting it into the trays neatly was a breeze and my giant underlined notes in my recipe notebook to REMEMBER the butter and SPRAY THE TRAYS took care of my other donut making problems.
Just another day in my quest to thoroughly test all baked goods by screwing up. 😉
How do you make baked cider donuts?
To make baked cider donuts, mix together all your wet ingredients then fold in the dry ingredients to make a thick batter. Pour the batter into the wells of a donut tray and bake until firm. Then brush with butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.
- Whisk together eggs, melted butter, cider, and sugar in one bowl and flour with baking soda, powder, and spices in the other.
- Fold together the wet and dry ingredients until you have a thick batter.
- Scoop the batter into a plastic bag and snip off the corner.
- Squeeze the batter into prepared donut trays.
- Bake until the donuts and browned and cooked through.
- Brush with melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.
And have fun!
Baked donuts, snack cakes, muffins: these are all great recipes to make with your kids. With no mixer and fairly unfussy prep, you can let younger hands measure, whisk, and stir. And, since they bake up real fast, the kids get some immediate results to enjoy.
The proper way to measure the flour
This is an easy batter to make with no creaming the butter or waiting for ingredients to get to the right temperature. The one thing you need to keep track of is that you use the right amount of flour.
There are two main methods to measure flour in a measuring cup and it’s important to use the right one!
- Scoop and sweep, where you scoop up the flour with your cup and then sweep off the excess.
- Spoon and sweep, where you spoon flour into the cup and then sweep off the excess.
With scoop you will get about 5 ounces of flour per cup, while you will get about 4 1/4 ounces with the spoon method. This recipe uses the spoon and sweep method of measuring! I have the info in the recipe card too, but I wanted to go into the details here a little more.
Tip: Or, if you want to sidestep the whole issue, get a kitchen scale. I love mine!
Making the batter and baking the cider donuts
Once you’ve measured out your flour, measure the rest of the dry ingredients and whisk them up. Then measure out the wet ingredients and whisk them together. Add the dry to the wet (or vice versa if you prefer!) and gently mix with a large spatula until you have a batter. The batter should be fairly stiff but not dry. Add a little more cider or some milk to the batter if needed.
Next up, grease your donut trays! They may be nonstick but that doesn’t mean the donuts won’t stick a little.
Then scoop your batter into a gallon sized plastic bag and snip off the corner. I like the cut to be about 3/4 inch. That makes for a controllable squeeze. Squeeze the batter into your donut wells until you have 12 donuts. This recipe makes just about the perfect amount for 12 donuts.
Bake the donuts and remove them to a cooling rack when they are done.
The last step is to brush the warm donuts with butter and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar. Well…actually the last step is to eat a donut! Preferably with some mulled apple cider. Mmmmm, yes. Yum!
Tip: Brush the donuts, don’t dunk them in the butter. Brushing gives the donuts a light coat which is the right amount for the sugar to stick but not so much you have greasy taste on the donuts or a super thick coat of sugar.
If you want some more tips and info on making baked donuts, I like this Baked Donuts 101 post.
If these apple cider donuts have you wanting more apple recipes, you are in luck! I love baking with apples and I have a some great ones here on the site. Enjoy! 🙂
My Favorite Sweet Apple Recipes
- Best Ever Deep Dish Apple Pie – I think the name says it all!
- “Apple Pie” Pancakes – apple pie in pancake form
- Apple Crisp Bars – fun bar cookie for a crowd
- Mom’s Amazing Fresh Apple Cake – it’s my mom’s recipe and you can’t go wrong with that
That should get you started! I have more sweet and savory apple recipes under my apple tag.
If you try my recipe for Baked Cider Donuts, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Baked Apple Cider Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar
- 2/3 cup apple cider
- 2 cups (8 1/2 oz) cake flour, or all-purpose flour, measured by spoon and sweep (see note)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Bring the apple cider to a boil. Then lower heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 15-18 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 6-well donut trays.
- Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- In another bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients. Pour in the cider and whisk that in.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Using a silicone spatula, mix together the wet and dry with a few swift strokes.
- Spoon the batter into a large resealable bag, making sure the batter is spooned to the bottom of the bag. Press out the air and seal the bag. Snip about a 3/4 inch piece off one bottom corner.
- Pipe the batter into the donut wells, filling each a little past halfway.
- Bake the donuts for 9-11 minutes or until they are firm to the touch.
- Turn out the donuts onto a cooling rack while you make the topping.
- Heat the butter until it melts. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl large enough to fit the donuts.
- Brush some butter on a donut, then roll it around in the sugar pressing a bit to adhere the topping. Repeat for each donut.
- Spoon and Sweep: Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and then sweep off the excess with something flat, like the back of a butter knife.
- Reducing the cider: I would recommend starting with a little extra cider so that you won't be left with less than 1/3 cup when you're done. Also, dipping a toothpick into the cider before you start reducing it and then marking the half way point between the tip and the cider depth can help keep track.
- Portions: You have just enough batter to make 12 donuts. You may only make 11 if you overfill the wells.
- Topping: Brush, don't dunk the donuts in the butter. Brushing gives you a light coat of butter and just the right amount of sugar. If you dunk you will need twice the butter and sugar topping.
BitofBaconHQ Pet Corner
Every morning during school when the daughter is on her way up the street to the bus stop (it’s just a short walk up to the corner), both Ginny and Midnight sit at the door and watch her until the bus comes. 🙂