Deliciously Fall themed apple cider glazed doughnuts with two ways to do the recipe – baked or fried! These doughnuts are tastefully seasoned and decadently covered in a fresh apple cider glaze.
Are you surprised these aren’t pumpkin donuts? In the past couple of weeks, I’ve managed to create now four different pumpkin breakfast/desserts – pumpkin waffles, flourless pumpkin muffins, healthy pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin scones. But these have not a drop of pumpkin in them. Instead, they are apple cider-flavored which, apple, is another one of my favorite Fall flavors!
Caramel dipped apples, apple pies, apple scented candles, apple picking –quintessential Fall right there! And these donuts are filled with plenty of spice and apple flavors. In fact, the glaze is made with real apple cider. But only one cup of apple cider – leaving you with practically an entire whole jug to enjoy!
Because what’s better than a freshly baked or fried apple cider donut? Well, eating it with a tall glass of apple cider of course!
One of my husband’s all-time favorite desserts are donuts. When we were dating, I would pass a Krispy Kremes donut shop on the way home from work. Every once and a while I would stop by and get a whole box of donuts – one dozen in all different flavors. He would go crazy over them and finish them all within a day – sometimes two. Eating 12 donuts before they go bad or stale? That is one impressive feat.
When he came home from work the other day and saw that I had donuts on the counter he got seriously excited. And when I told him they were apple cider flavored, he practically pulled out a medal reading “best wife ever.” The husband grew up in Vermont and apparently they sold apple cider donuts close to where he lived. They were his favorite flavor donut ever. And after all these years, I had no idea about these magically flavored donuts!
As a donut liker, but not donut fanatic, I have to admit, the glaze and the flavor of these donuts are un-real. Not to mention I had to do a happy dance because my entire house smelt like Fall. 🙂
These donuts are completely from scratch – making them so much better than store bought and way better than using pre-made dough. Although, at the end of the day, all donuts are good! These are just the best.
The dough uses yeast and takes time to rise, but don’t be intimated; the results are worth it! The yeast gets mixed right in with the dry ingredients and with the right temperature of the milk + butter mixture, your donuts will rise. So let’s talk about ensuring that your dough rises. After the dry ingredients are mixed together, you will need to combine milk and butter to stir into the dry ingredients. It is very important this mixture is the right temperature so it activates the dough. The temperature called for is 120-130 degrees F. You will get the best results with a thermometer. Thermometers are cheap, useful, and accurate. I would highly recommend investing in one!
However, if you don’t have one, hopefully I can help a bit. 110 degrees is fairly easy to tell you’ve reached. Drop a small bit of the milk + butter mixture on the inside of your wrist from a spoon. If it feels slightly warm, you are close to 110 degrees. At this point, I would recommend microwaving the mixture for 15 more seconds and you should be at 120 degrees. When sticking a finger into the bowl of the milk + butter mixture it should feel hot, but not burn your finger hot and definitely shouldn’t be boiling.
Once the ingredients are all mixed together and you have a soft dough, it’s time to knead. The dough will start out looking like a slightly lumpy mass and will gradually smooth out as you knead. By the time you finish, it should be completely smooth and slightly tacky to the touch. Knead the dough until it looks smooth and feels elastic. You can test your dough by sticking a finger in it. If the hole where your finger was fills up quickly, you’re good to go. If it stays looking like a deep dimple, continue kneading the dough for another few minutes.
After kneading it you will let the dough rest for ten minutes while being covered. This is very important so don’t skip this step! After it has rested, it’s time to roll out and cut the dough to make donuts. The “hard” part is all over!
Roll out the dough to a large circle that is about 12 inches in diameter and one-half an inch thick. If you have a ruler, quickly measure! It will make sure your donuts don’t end up way too thin or far too thick. Cut out the donuts with a 3-inch circle cutter and then cut out or poke out the center. I used the top of a spice container to cut out the centers of the donuts. You can take the centers and re-roll them up with the rest of the dough, or leave them out for small donut bites. I love the donut bites, so I save the center and fry them for another delicious treat.
Cover your donuts lightly with plastic wrap and let the donuts rise for 45 minutes to an hour.
Before frying or cooking your donuts, you should have the glaze prepared. Ideally, the donuts get dipped and covered in the glaze while they are still warm – preferably 30 or so seconds after being deep fried or baked. The glaze is a simple 4 ingredients and doesn’t take too long to make. I made mine about 15 minutes before the donuts were done rising.
Now for the cooking!! If you want to bake the donuts – it’s an easy 8-10 minutes in a 375 degree F preheated oven. For frying: Another important time to use your thermometer is to test the oil for frying the donuts. If you have a deep fryer – use the manufacturer’s instructions to fry these donuts. If you are using a saucepan make sure it is a heavy and deep saucepan. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F and make sure the oil is at least 2 inches deep leaving the donuts enough room to float in the oil.
Gently place the donut in the heated oil with a slotted spoon or tongs. Make sure to remove it gently as well so you don’t let any oil splatter – it will burn you! The donuts take about 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown. Make sure to occasionally turn the donut. I like to use tongs to flip it over in the oil.
Remove the cooked donut onto a paper towel lined plate, then to a cooling rack, and finally – dip it in the glaze about 30 seconds later. Enjoy these while they are hot – there is nothing like a warm apple cider donut!
- 3-1/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 envelopes RapidRise Yeast
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger optional
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 large egg yolks
- Optional: Oil if frying instead of baking
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon Light Corn Syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine 2 cups flour, undissolved yeast, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a large mixer bowl. In a small bowl combine the milk and butter and warm in the microwave to very warm (120° to 130°F). Use a thermometer if you have one!
Beat in the egg yolks to the flour mixture and then add in the milk + butter mixture. Beat for 2 minutes at low speed. Continue adding the remaining 1 and 1/2-2 cups of flour, until a soft dough forms.
Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 4 to 6 minutes). Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured counter into a 12-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick. Using a 3-inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible.
Cut out center with a 1-inch cookie cutter, the top of a spice container, or poke a hole through the center with finger. Place doughnuts about 2 to 3 inches apart on lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Re-roll and cut remaining dough. Cover doughnuts and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
To bake: Preheat your oven to 375°F, and bake the risen doughnuts for 8 to 10 minutes.
To fry: Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a deep fryer or deep pan to 350°F. Fry 2 to 3 doughnuts at a time, turning occasionally until well browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
Cool and then transfer to wire rack. Drizzle with Apple Cider Glaze OR using tongs, dunk the doughnuts in the glaze. Serve warm.
Boil the apple cider in a small saucepan until reduced in half, about 7 to 10 minutes. Place powdered sugar in medium bowl. Whisk in hot cider, vanilla, and corn syrup until smooth.
I have lots of tips and trouble shooting in the post; I would recommend reading from the 4th paragraph down to achieve the best results.
Here are some more Fall flavored treats: