(WGHP) — Apple cider doughnuts are a rustic treat that might evoke the thought of fairs and carnivals and fall parties. Or maybe they just create the memory of grandmother’s house.

I approached these doughnuts with no such nostalgia. In fact, I’ve never actually eaten apple cider doughnuts before I made these. I admittedly am a little bit of a doughnut snob. I like yeast donuts. The lighter the inside, the better.

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These, however, could very well convert me. These apple cider doughnuts are not quite “cake” doughnuts but don’t have yeast, either. They’re more akin to a fritter. They’re light and fluffy, with a nice dark crust. Packed with warming spices and rolled in cinnamon sugar, these are a perfect (and easy!) fall treat.

Apple Cider Doughnut Holes

Dry Ingredients

  • 4 cups of flour
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
Apple Cider Doughnuts are a perfect fall treat!
The arsenal for a doughnut!

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup of apple cider
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and ginger 

Sugar Coating

  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
Apple Cider Doughnuts are a perfect fall treat!
Two bowls: one for dry, one for wet.


  1. Mix together your dry ingredients (flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and set aside
  2. Melt butter. Allow the butter to cool.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients (cooled butter, apple cider, eggs) together. Add spices to the wet ingredients and whisk together.
  4. Make a small hole in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the ‘well’. Mix with a rubber spatula or a spoon until a wet dough forms.
  5. Refrigerate the dough for an hour.
  6. While the dough is chilling, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon for the coating and set aside.


  1. Once your dough has firmed up, heat up a neutral oil (canola, corn, sunflower or avocado have a high smoke point & neutral flavor) in a high-sided pan on the stove. (This step can also be done in an electric deep fryer or an air fryer, but the cook time will be different.)
  1. If you own a probe thermometer, your oil should be reading about 350 degrees. If you don’t, toss a small amount of dough into the oil and if it immediately bubbles up, it’s ready.
  1. Dust your work surface with flour and pat your dough out into a rectangle. It may be a little sticky. It won’t require kneading but a little extra flour if it’s too wet to work with may be required.
  1. If you have a biscuit or donut cutter, you can cut the donuts into the traditional shape and fry them like that. You can also fry donut “holes” by just making small dough balls. If you have a kitchen scale, you probably want your dough balls to be about half an ounce.
  1. Cook until the outside is a dark brown. They may look too dark, but they aren’t. If you find that your doughnuts are a little too big and still doughy in the middle while the outside is dark, bake them in the oven at 350 for another 5 minutes to let them finish.
  1. Toss in your cinnamon & sugar mixture while the donuts are still hot and set them aside.
Apple Cider Doughnuts are a perfect fall treat!
It looks like a hushpuppy but it’s much more than that.

Yes, it looks like a hushpuppy. But it opens up into a fluffy, sweet bite of deliciousness. It’s a straightforward recipe that should be easy regardless of skill level.

Keep baking soda on hand because oil fires are not put out with water. Do not leave oil on heat unattended.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor!