Delicious & Easy

Apple Cider Doughnuts

In my neck of the woods in New Jersey, I was raised on apple cider doughnuts. These puffy, warm doughnuts are rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with hot coffee or mulled cider. We would buy them by the dozen and my three siblings and I would fight over the crumbs at the bottom of the bag.

Prepare doughnut dough in the evening and chill in the fridge for up to 12 hours. They’ll be ready to fry up fresh in the morning.

Ingredients for

Apple Cider Doughnuts

3 cups apple cider (I chose Smit Farms)

1⁄4 cup maple syrup plus 1 tablespoon, divided

2 cinnamon sticks

2⁄3 cup apple butter

1⁄2 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger

1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

6 tablespoons butter, softened

2⁄3 cup brown sugar

1⁄4 cup granulated sugar, plus 21⁄2 cups, divided

2 large eggs

1 gallon peanut oil for frying

Yields 20–24 doughnuts

Instructions for

Apple Cider Doughnuts

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, boil apple cider, 1⁄4 cup maple syrup, and cinnamon sticks until thick and syrupy, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in apple butter, buttermilk, and vanilla until smooth; set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together butter, brown sugar, and 1⁄4 cup of granulated sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time, followed by 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternatively add half of the dry ingredients with half of the apple butter mixture until both are fully incorporated. The resulting dough will be sticky, resembling cookie dough.

Transfer the dough to a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper and floured generously. Flour hands to press the dough to evenly fill the sheet pan. Generously dust the top of the dough with flour and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or at most 12 hours, before shaping doughnuts.

When preparing to shape doughnuts, heat peanut oil in a Dutch oven to 350°. Combine remaining granulated sugar and cinnamon in a rimmed baking dish or a takeout container. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface or wood cutting board. Fold the dough a few times, adding flour when sticky.

Press or roll out dough with a baking pin to 1⁄4-inch thickness. Using a large round biscuit cutter (3 1⁄4-inch diameter), cut out as many doughnuts as possible from the dough. Using the smallest round biscuit cutter (1 1⁄4-inch diameter) or a round household item of smaller diameter (I used a bottle cap), punch out the center of each round.

Prepare a sheet pan fitted with a cooling rack and fry the first round of doughnuts in the heated oil. Carefully place the cut dough in the oil as it will be dangerously hot. Fry until deep golden brown on both sides, about 2 1⁄2 minutes per side, flipping gently using a chopstick.

Remove from oil with a pair of chopsticks or a handheld strainer and place on cooling rack. Allow to cool slightly before tossing in cinnamon sugar. Fry the dough centers as doughnut holes or combine them into the main dough. Continue until all the dough is used.

Enjoy warm with hot cider or coffee, and store for up to 3 days in an airtight container or freeze for up to 1 month.

Frequently asked

Questions About This Recipe

Do you need to buy a special doughnut cutter to make doughnuts at home?

Not necessarily, especially if making doughnuts at home doesn't happen frequently. Look for tools that you may already have in your kitchen like a wide-mouth Mason jar lid to stamp the doughnut and a small water bottle cap to stamp out the center would work. If you end becoming a doughnut master, acquiring the right tools can be a worthy investment but repurposing is still so easy.

What do you do with your leftover frying oil?

Best bet is to start by saving the bottle or jug your frying oil came in so you can follow these directions from Spruce Eats on how to save it for reuse and proper disposal. Locally, check out the Solana Center for resources to best recycle it.  


Notes & Thoughts

For some of us, the holidays will mean more opportunities for entertaining and hosting family and friends—and more occasions to come up with a satisfying and comforting morning meals fit for a crowd. Here's to celebrating good mornings with your crew over this Fried Pork Roll with Roasted Potatoes, Apple Cider Doughnuts and Vegan "Chicken" n' Waffles.

Read Good Morning Crew and bring this story to life with these delicious recipes.

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