The Best Baked Apple Cider Donuts

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You will go crazy over these melt-in-your-mouth, baked apple cider donuts! The flavor is full of fall favorites such as apple cider and warm spices like cardamom and cinnamon with a hint of orange zest. The donuts are moist, fluffy, and one of the best apple cider donut recipes we’ve ever had.

We love that these donuts are baked and have a tender and moist texture. They are then brushed with melted butter and dipped in a cinnamon sugar mix.

The texture is soft, moist, and fluffy, and they are pretty simple to make. They make a great fall treat and are especially delicious paired with a warm cup of coffee.

A donut with cinnamon and sugar.

So this fall, when you go apple picking, make sure you pick up some fresh apple cider from the farm to make the best homemade apple cider donuts.

Check out all of our brunch recipes and brunch cocktails. You will also love our monkey bread muffin recipe with cardamom and the best blueberry homemade donuts.

With their sweet cake-like texture and notes of tart apple cider, how could you not resist an apple cider donut on a leafy fall day? 

What We Love About These Baked Apple Cider Donuts

  • You don’t have to reduce the apple cider, making it easier than other recipes.
  • The cardamom and orange flavor throughout are divine together. The perfect paring!
  • These are baked donuts, so no fussing with hot oil. They are much easier to make.
  • They have a very tender, moist texture and delicious apple flavor.
  • Brushed with melted butter and dipped in cinnamon, sugar and cardamom, giving them the ultimate fall flavor.
  • You can make them in less than 1 hour.
Apple cider donuts on a plate.

TOOLS AND INGREDIENTS TO MAKE AN APPLE CIDER DONUT

You will need a few tools to make this apple cider donut recipe.

  • Donut Pan – This simple pan is perfect for making baked donuts.
  • Mixing Bowl – Medium bowl and large bowl.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
Ingredients to make cider donuts.

Ingredients

The full recipe is in the recipe card below.

All-Purpose Flour – We use King Arthur all-purpose flour for this recipe.

Baking PowderSodium Bicarbonate helps the donuts rise.

Cinnamon, Cardamom, and Nutmeg – These spices are key for flavor. The cardamom in the dipping sugar is especially important in this recipe, so make sure you add it!

Brown Sugar – Give the donuts a molasses flavor.

Granulated Sugar – Sweetens the recipe.

Orange Zest – Adds a subtle orange flavor to the donuts.

Apple Cider – Use real apple cider for this recipe. No need to reduce it. There is nothing better than fresh apple cider for this recipe. It gives them the best apple cider flavor.

Buttermilk – Gives the donuts a super moist texture.

Vanilla Extract -Enhances the flavors in the recipe.

Butter – Unsalted butter creates a tender and moist donut and adds more flavor.

Eggs – Stabilizes the donuts and adds structure to the recipe.

Donut batter in a donut pan.

Step-by-Step Directions For Apple Cider Donuts

Here is everything you need to know to bake the best donuts ever!

  • Combine Liquid Ingredients – In a measuring cup, combine buttermilk, apple cider, and vanilla extract.
  • Combine Dry Ingredients – In a bowl, add the flour, salt, baking powder, and orange zest.
  • Cream Butter and Sugars – In a large mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and both sugars until combined.
  • Add the Eggs – Beat in one egg at a time.
  • Alternate Wet & Dry – With the mixer on low, slowly alternate the wet ingredients with the dry until the ingredients are mixed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Prepare – Preheat the oven and butter the donut pan.
  • Piping Bag – Add half of the batter into a piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag, the corner of a plastic Ziplock will work. Cut a 2-inch hole at the end and then pipe the batter into the donut pan.
  • Bake – In a preheated 350-degree oven, bake the donuts for 15-18 minutes. Check after 15 minutes. If they are still sticky on the top, bake for another few minutes. They will be a very light golden brown.
Baked apple donuts in a donut pan.
  • Dipping – Melt the butter in a mixing bowl. In another bowl add cinnamon, sugar, and cardamom. Stir the mixture together.

When the donuts come out of the oven, brush them with melted butter and dip them in the sugar mixture. Put them on a cooling rack to cool.

How Do You Keep Apple Cider Donuts Fresh?

Don’t have enough room in your stomach for another apple cider donut? Fear not. There are a few ways you can store your delicious treats until you’re ready for round two.

1. Store 

Store your apple cider donuts in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container at room temperature. That way, your donuts will keep fresh for one to two days. Be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight and give them a quick microwave blast when it’s time to eat. 

2. Refrigerate 

To keep your donuts fresh for longer, store them in the refrigerator. This will give them up to five days of freshness.

Make sure the plastic bag or container is completely sealed, and there is no air is trapped inside. And when you’re ready to dig in, all they need is a quick ten-second zap in the microwave. 

3. Freeze

For the best long-term storage solution, wrap your donuts in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer in an airtight container. Your donuts will stay fresh for around three months and can be enjoyed once thawed overnight or in the microwave. 

Cinnamon and sugar homemade donuts.

Apple Cider Donut Recipe Variations

Looking for a few recipe variations? Check out these below:

  • Dip them in a light glaze instead of cinnamon and sugar.
  • Use lemon or lime zest to replace orange zest.
  • Switch out the ground spices to ones you love.

Tips For Making the Best Apple Cider Donuts

  • Always use whole, organic ingredients when possible.
  • Use pure vanilla extract.
  • Don’t overbake the donuts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Substitute Apple Juice for Apple Cider?


Yes! If you’re in a pickle, apple juice can be used as a substitution. Just remember to use unsweetened apple juice. Why? Because sweetened apple juice will throw off the flavor profile and make your cider donuts too sweet. 

But, if sweetened apple juice is all you have, reduce how much sugar you add to the mixture. Or, if you’re up for a challenge, try making your own homemade apple cider. 

Can I Make Them Apple Cider Donuts in Advance?


Absolutely! There’s nothing more stressful than baking right before a special occasion. Prep your dough the night before and wake up ready to bake for a care-free day ahead. 

How Are Apple Cider Donuts Different From Regular Donuts?


Apple cider donuts are not your average Dunkin’ or Krispy Kreme Donuts. These run-of-the-mill donuts are sugar bombs that will put you in a food coma before you know it.

Don’t get us wrong, apple cider donuts are sweet, but they’re also complex. They combine rich spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice with tangy apple cider that gives it a crisp punch.

Unlike other donuts, these bad boys are best served warm and enjoyed on your front porch on a leafy fall day. 

Can I Freeze Apple Cider Donuts?


Yes, of course! If you haven’t already eaten them all, freezing your apple cider donuts is perfectly safe.

The fresher the cider donuts are when you freeze them, the fresher they will taste when you decide to pull them back out.

When you do, place the donut in the microwave for around 15 to 20 seconds. Or, you can defrost them on your kitchen counter overnight. 

apple cider donuts with cinnamon and sugar

How Are Apple Cider Donuts Different From Regular Donuts?

Apple cider donuts are not your average Dunkin’ or Krispy Kreme Donuts. These run-of-the-mill donuts are sugar bombs that will put you in a food coma before you know it.

Don’t get us wrong, apple cider donuts are sweet, but they’re also complex. They combine rich spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice with tangy apple cider that gives it a crisp punch.

Unlike other donuts, these bad boys are best served warm and enjoyed on your front porch on a leafy fall day. 

baked apple cider donuts

What Kind of Pan Do I Need?

You’ll need a donut pan to bake the best donuts possible. A donut pan will ensure even baking and produce a perfectly round shape. They are available in different sizes, ranging from a tray of four all the way up to twenty. 

Most donut pans are made from steel or silicone. If you are using a steel pan, make sure it’s nonstick so you can easily pop your apple cider donuts out. 

And if you don’t have a donut pan on hand, get one! If you’re like us and bake donuts all the time, there’s nothing better than whipping out your donut pan and baking to your heart’s content. 

What to Serve With Apple Cider Donuts

Of course, our apple cider donuts are perfect on their own. But why not get in the fall spirit and jazz it up with a little something extra. Try pairing them with: 

Vanilla Ice Cream or Apple Butter

A Warm Pot of Coffee

Apple Cider Punch 

Snickerdoodle Coffee

Apple Cider Moscow Mule or Apple Pie Moonshine 

Or try it with any of our apple cider cocktail recipes and make your Thanksgiving one your guests won’t forget!

Donut with a bite taken out of it.

When to Serve Apple Cider Donuts

It’s always a good time to serve fresh-baked donuts! We love to enjoy these in the morning or for an afternoon snack. The entire kitchen will smell like spices and apples. They’re also great for any of these occasions:

Fall Harvest Party

Halloween Party

Pumpkin Carving Party

Fall Tea Party

Baby Shower

They’re also great just hanging out by a campfire too!

More Apple Recipes You’ll Love

If you love these baked donuts as much as we do, you have to try these recipes!

Upside Down Apple Cake

The Best Apple Crisp

Carmel Apple Crumble Bars

Apple Mountain Pies

The Best Old-Fashioned Apple Cake

You can trust us when we say this apple cider donut recipe is a top-tier delicacy for the fall season. Well, between you and us, apple-baked cider donuts can be enjoyed all year round.

Moist, fluffy, and completely flavorsome, you’ll wow your guests (and yourself) with our easy apple cider donut recipe. 

If you make these easy baked apple cider donuts recipe, please leave a comment and review below. We’d love to know your thoughts!

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baked apple cider donuts

The Best Baked Apple Cider Donut Recipe

You will go crazy over these baked apple cider donuts! Full of the most delicious fall flavors like apple cider and warm spices like cardamom, cinnamon with a hint of orange zest make this apple cider donut recipe one of the best we’ve ever had. 
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
10 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 21 minutes
Servings: 18 donuts
Calories: 246kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp.

Dipping

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Instructions

  • In a measuring cup combine buttermilk, apple cider and vanilla extract.
    oil, apple cider, vanilla and buttermilk
  • In a bowl, add the flour, salt, baking powder and orange zest.
    flour, orange zest, spices
  • In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and both sugars until combined
    apple cider donut batter
  • Add in egg one at a time and continue to beat.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly alternate the wet ingredients with the dry until the ingredients are mixed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Preheat the oven and butter the donut pan.
  • Add half of the batter into a piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag, the corner of a plastic Ziplock will work.
    batter, donut pan and piping bag
  • Cut a 2 inch hole at the end and then pipe the batter into the greased donut pan.
    apple cider donut batter
  • In a preheated 350 degree oven, bake the donuts for 15-18 minutes.
  • When the donuts are done, carefully remove them and brush melted butter over the top and bottom.
    brushing donut with butter
  • Then, dip both sides in the sugar and spice mixture.
    dipping in cinnamon and sugar

Notes

The fresher the cider donuts are when you freeze them, the fresher they will taste when you decide to pull them back out. You can freeze them once they are dipped in cinnamon and sugar. Freeze for up to 2 months. 
When you do, place the donut in the microwave for around 15 to 20 seconds. Or, you can defrost them on your kitchen counter overnight. 
Make the batter ahead of time and refrigerate it so you can have freshly baked donuts in the morning without the hassle of making the batter.
Always use high-quality ingredients when baking. 
Bake for 15 minutes then check to see if they are done. If they need more time, bake for a few more minutes. 
Do not leave out the cardamom, it’s an important flavor in the recipe and what separates it from other cider donut recipes.

Nutrition

Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 145mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
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donuts pin with title.

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8 thoughts on “The Best Baked Apple Cider Donuts”

      • In the recipe notes it says: “If sweetened apple juice is all you have, reduce how much sugar you add to the mixture.” I’d be using apple juice, not cider, and would like to know how much the sugar would be reduced. Thanks.

      • Hi! If the apple cider is pure, no sugar added (only sweetened from the apples) then you don’t need to adjust. If there is added sugar (there usually is not) then you can leave out 1/4 cup sugar. We have not tested that though. We use Martinelli’s Apple Cider in this recipe and there is no added sugar. It works great.

  1. 5 stars
    Made your donuts today and they came out amazing! My family enjoyed it and wanted me to make another batch again. Thank you for the lovely recipe.

    Reply

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