Apple Cider Donuts: How to Bake the Perfect Donuts!

What should you do with all those leftover apples? Well, you could press them into apple cider. But then what about all that leftover apple cider you’ll have? How about apple cider donuts? 

That’s right, apple cider and donuts are our new favorite combination. Throw in some delicious spices (cinnamon and cardamom) - and a little sugar - and you’ve got yourself a sweet, cidery donut that’s going to be baked to perfection. 

These donuts aren’t fried but baked - so you can feel a little less guilty about eating them all in one sitting. Keep reading, and discover how to bake the best apple cider donuts. 

Why are they called apple cider donuts? 

But what are apple cider donuts, and why are they so-called? These are a type of donut - they are really just like your regular donuts in that they are prepared using a batter of flour, butter, milk, egg, sugar, and baking powder as a base. The batter is baked so that it has that distinctive round shape, with that iconic donut-hole in the middle. 

Into the batter, though, we first have to mix a range of different spices and some concentrated apple cider. This is what sets homemade apple cider donuts apart from a plain donut!

What do they taste like? 

Apple cider donuts have a very similar taste and texture to regular donuts. They are sweet and cinnamony, and of course, the apple cider really does provide a slightly bitter (yet also sweet) appley taste. 

They are baked rather than deep-fried. That means they aren’t covered in oil and have a fresh yet spongy texture when you bite into them. If you love donuts and have a sweet tooth, these are for you!

How to make apple cider donuts 

To make apple cider donuts, you’ll need your batter, a few spices, and plenty of apple cider. You mix up the batter, add the spices, and add your apple cider. Then you bake them in the oven. We suggest using a donut baking tray; that way it’s super easy to get the right shape (and those iconic apple cider donut-holes). 

You need concentrated apple cider

The most important thing to note, though, is that you can’t just use any old apple cider! It needs to be concentrated apple cider. That means the first part of the recipe sees you reducing the apple cider you have on the stovetop (and mixing it with cinnamon at the same time). 

You can even prepare your own apple cider at home, too. Use an  apple peeler to peel your apples, then boil them on the stovetop. Simmer the apples for a few hours, then mash them up and strain out the juice. The juice is your apple cider!

Conversely, if you don’t have any apple cider or the apples or time to make apple cider, then you can also try using applesauce or apple juice to make these donuts. 


Here’s a quick breakdown of the ingredients that you’re going to need to bake these delectable sweet treats.

The following quantities are enough for at least 12 apple cider donuts: 

  • 1 ½ c of apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 c of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp of melted butter (unsalted)
  • 1 large egg (at room temperature) 
  • ½ c of milk (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • ⅛ tsp of cardamom powder
  • ½ c of brown sugar
  • ½ c of granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp of vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt

Directions for apple cider donut recipe 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350℉ and use a light cooking spray to grease your donut baking tray. 
  2. Leave the oven to preheat, and start reducing your apple cider. Pour the apple cider into a saucepan, add a stick of cinnamon, and simmer on the stovetop for 15-20 mins.
  3. At the same time, you can mix your batter. Measure flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Combine them together thoroughly. 
  4. Crack a large egg into a separate bowl, and whisk it together with melted butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. When you have a smooth mixture, pour in the reduced apple cider and whisk again!
  5. Next, pour your egg mixture into the flour-mixture (pour the wet into the dry mixture). Keep the whisk handy because you now need to whisk this mixture until you have a smooth batter!
  6. Now pour your batter into your donut baking trays (you should have enough for 12 donuts), and then bake the donuts in the preheated oven for 10 mins!
  7. You can serve the baked donuts with some fresh sugar or cinnamon, applesauce, cream, ice cream, or any other delicious toppings!

How long do apple cider donuts last? 

Once baked, apple cider donuts will last for at least 3 days. Keep them stored at room temperature, but make sure they are stored in a sealed container. 

Enjoy these leftover donuts hot or cold - them lightly in the microwave for a few seconds if you want them to be hot. Remember to serve them with your favorite toppings, too!

Can they be frozen? 

Apple cider donuts can also be frozen, too, if you’ve made far too many for the next few days. We recommend freezing them before you add any extra toppings (don’t add extra sugar or cinnamon just yet). Place them into a resealable container or a ziplock bag and then store them safely in the freezer.

We suggest storing them in batches, so you can defrost them easily when it’s time to enjoy them again. Let them thaw naturally on the side if you have time (they won’t take long), then reheat the donuts (in the microwave or the oven).

Allow to cool, then serve with a sprinkling of sugar or cinnamon powder to add a little extra freshness to the donuts!

Let’s get baking!

That’s it for our apple cider donuts recipe, so we think it’s time to get baking. Reduce your apple cider, prepare your spices, and get ready to start whisking up that donut batter. 

This recipe is surprisingly easy to prepare at home, and we love the fact that these donuts are baked, rather than taking the traditional route of deep-frying (which requires a lot of oil!).

If you’re hungry for donuts, then why not bookmark this guide?