Apple Cider Donuts are Part of New England Culture
Growing up in New England, fall isn’t merely a season. It’s a lifestyle, and the second that leaves touch the ground, fall fever takes over. It’s the time of the year when the best flavors are in season, from tart cranberries, crisp apples, and pumpkin spice. There are usually two things on every New Englander’s fall bucket list: going apple picking and buying freshly made apple cider donuts. If you haven’t experienced the taste of a warm apple cider donut out of the oven, you’re missing a piece of heaven.
The Flavor of Apple Cider Donuts
Apple cider donuts combine the sweetness of apple cider with the spice of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. While they’re still warm, they’re coated with cinnamon sugar. Are they messy to eat? A little bit. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Freshly baked donuts pair perfectly with coffee on a crisp fall morning watching the sunrise. Though apple cider donuts haven’t fully hit the shelves yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t get early access to them. You can easily bake them at home!
Easily Bake Apple Cider Donuts at Home
If you don’t want to wait for cider donuts to hit the shelves, you can have early access to them. Apple cider is available most times of the year, and so long as you have access to cider, you can make donuts! The best part is they’re baked, not fried. Cutting out the frying process reduces added oil and saves you from the hassle of frying. It’s as easy as making muffins, and all you will need for equipment is two six-cell donut pans.
Apple Cider Donuts
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 5 Tbsp. melted butter
Apple Cider Donuts
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease two six-cell donut pans.
- Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Add the butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a stand mixer or medium bowl. Using either a beater paddle or hand mixer, combine until fluffy and free of clumps.
- Add the eggs one at a time, evenly incorporating after each. Be sure to scrape the bowl to mix evenly. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Add the flour mixture in two batches, lighting folding in each half.
- Add the apple cider, and mix until smooth.
- Fill each ring of the prepared donut pans 2/3 of the way.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the thickest portion removes clean. Rotate the pans halfway through baking if not using a convection oven.
- Remove the donuts from the oven and let them cool in the pans for five minutes. Then, transfer the donuts onto a wire rack and set them aside.
Adding the Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- Once the donuts have thoroughly cooled, mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon in a wide and shallow bowl.
- Lightly brush the top, bottom, and sides of a donut with melted butter. Place the donut into the sugar mixture, flipping to coat both sides evenly. Shake off any excess sugar.
- Brush the next donut, and cover it with sugar. Repeat this process for the remaining ten donuts.
- Arrange on a tray and serve immediately.
Baking and Storage Tips
Warm apple cider donuts have the best flavor by allowing the spices to come through fully. If you have leftover donuts and wish to enjoy one warm with a morning coffee, you can easily do so in a microwave. I set my microwave to half power and reheat a donut in intervals of 15 seconds. Another option is to reheat a donut using a small toaster oven. Unless you’re reheating a large batch, I try to avoid using the energy to preheat a standard-size oven for small portions. When storing leftovers, these donuts can be stored at room temperature for up to two days in an air-tight container. Keep them out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources.
For extended storage, you can place the container in a fridge for up to five days. When freezing, I lay leftover donuts on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Space the donuts about two inches apart and place them in a freezer for at least 6 hours. Finally, transfer the donuts to a container and store no more than three months for the best flavor.
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