Apple Cider Doughnuts

These sweet and delicious apple cider doughnuts are the perfect fall treat! They’re so fun to make and topped with a brown butter glaze!

These sweet and delicious apple cider doughnuts are the perfect fall treat! They're so fun to make and topped with a brown butter glaze!

It’s officially fall, which means it’s time for all things pumpkin and apple! These apple cider doughnuts are a favorite fall recipe in my family, and I thought they deserved an updated post with some new pictures to bring in the fall season. I’ve been making these for years, since before my twelve year old was born, and they are such a treat. They’re caky and sweet, with the perfect apple cinnamon flavor, and the sweet brown butter glaze on the top just makes them all the more irresistible. They are a must-make for my family every fall season!

These doughnuts get their flavor from fresh apple cider, which is boiled down to concentrate the flavor. I love to buy fresh cider from a local farm every year, and the sweet apple flavor makes these doughnuts so tasty. If you don’t have fresh cider on hand, I’ve found that Simply Apple brand cider from the grocery store works well too.

The dough for these doughnuts is fairly soft and sticky, so you’ll want to chill it in the fridge for about an hour before rolling it out and cutting it into the doughnut shapes. If you’re having a hard time rolling it out, it’s okay to sprinkle the dough with a little flour to prevent sticking, but be careful not to add too much flour, or to overwork the dough. You’ll want the doughnuts to stay as light and tender as possible!

The brown butter glaze on these doughnuts is my absolute favorite. It’s so decadent and sweet, and complements the flavor of the doughnuts perfectly. If you’re in a hurry, or just don’t want to go to the trouble of making the glaze, you can roll the doughnuts in cinnamon sugar after frying instead. The glaze is pretty quick and easy to make, though, so I definitely think it’s worth it!

These doughnuts are best the day they’re made, still warm from the fryer, although we’ve enjoyed them for up to 2-3 days afterwards. They’re one of my favorite fall traditions, and I hope you’ll give them a try!

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Print Recipe
Prep Time:1 hour
Cook Time:5 minutes
Chill Time:1 hour
Total Time:2 hours 5 minutes


for the doughnuts:

  • 1 cup fresh apple cider
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 quart oil for frying

for the glaze:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 teaspoons milk


  • Pour the apple cider into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 10-15 minutes, until the cider is reduced to 1/4 cup. Let cool completely.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and butter until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, and reduced apple cider and mix well.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. The dough will be soft and a little sticky.
  • Roll the dough out into a 1/2 inch thick layer between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment. Refrigerate the dough for an hour. (I found it helpful to put the dough on a baking sheet before putting it in the fridge.)
  • Toward the end of the chill time, heat the oil in a heavy pot or deep fryer to 350. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  • To make the glaze, add the butter to a small skillet over medium heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned. Pour the butter into a shallow dish. Add the powdered sugar and whisk to combine. Add milk as needed to make a glaze that is about the consistency of honey.
  • Using a doughnut cutter or two round cookie cutters of different sizes, cut out the doughnuts. Try to re-roll the dough as little as possible.
  • Fry the doughnuts on one side for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown, then flip and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the doughnuts from the oil and let cool on the paper towels for a few minutes, then dip one side of each doughnut in the glaze and move to a cooling rack.
Servings: 18
These sweet and delicious apple cider doughnuts are the perfect fall treat! They're so fun to make and topped with a brown butter glaze!

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