Fall is my favorite time of year, but it’s not complete until I’ve had an apple cider donut. I love the sweet, cinnamony apple flavor. There’s a stand at my local farmer’s market that sells them every Saturday once fall arrives. Sometimes I get one. Oftentimes they’re sold out. And many times, I buy a six-pack for my family.
But as good as those are, there’s nothing like a fresh, warm-from-the-oven, apple cider donut that you make yourself. The scent alone of fresh baked donuts will bring your family into the kitchen wondering what you’re making. And when they taste them, watch the look of pure donut pleasure overtake their faces.
Why Make Apple Cider Donuts at home?
But why make them at home when you can buy them in the store, at the farmer’s market, or at an orchard? The reasons are simple. The fresher they are, the better they taste. You can also can tailor them to your tastes by adding or eliminating spices, and reduce the amount of sugar or fat used. Also, you can substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the usual all-purpose flour to add fiber.
Now, if you already have a recipe for apple cider donuts that you use and want to know how to make that substitution, take a look at my post on How to Substitute Whole Wheat Flour for All-Purpose Flour to get you started.
If you don’t have an apple cider donut recipe that you already use, or maybe you do but you want to try a new one, keep reading! Homemade donuts are fairly easy to make, especially if you bake them – no hot oil for frying, or rolling out and cutting. Seriously, the hardest part is getting the batter into the donut pan. And that’s made super easy by using a pastry bag or a zip-topped plastic bag to pipe the batter into the pan.
These baked apple cider donuts are tender and full of cinnamony, apple cider flavor that you and the whole family will love. Why not give them a try?
Tips for making Baked Apple Cider Donuts
- For the best apple flavor, reduce your apple cider by simmering it for a few minutes to concentrate the flavor. If you’re short on time, just use apple cider without reducing it. Or reduce it the evening before so it has time to cool.
- When reducing the apple cider, add a couple cinnamon sticks and some whole cloves to the cider to give it that hot apple cider flavor everyone loves.
- Use a zip-topped plastic bag to pipe the batter into the prepared donut pans. Once you’re done, just throw it away for easy clean-up.
- Don’t overbake. Bake them just until a toothpick comes out clean or with only a couple crumbs from the donuts.
They’re best eaten fresh, the same day you make them. But if you do have any left over, store them in an air tight container. Before serving, wrap them in a paper towel and warm them for a few seconds in the microwave.
Baked Apple Cider Donuts
- 2 cups apple cider reduced down to 1 cup and cooled
- 2 each cinnamon sticks
- ½ tsp whole cloves
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp each of nutmeg, ground cloves, and ginger
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp salt
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (optional)
- 2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Pour the apple cider into a small sauce pan and add the cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Bring to a low boil over med-high heat. Then turn to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes,, stirring occasionally, until cider is reduced to half, leaving about 1 cup. Remove from heat, strain to remove cinnamon sticks and cloves, and allow to cool.
- Prehead oven to 350° F. Spray two donut pans (6 donuts each) with non-stick pan spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, ground flax seed, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and salt.
- In a separate mixing bowl, blend together the brown sugar, egg, vegetable oil, melted butter, and reduced apple cider. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the blended liquid ingredients into the dry. Stir until evenly moistened.
- Spoon batter into a zippered plastic bag and press closed. Snip off a small corner of the bag and squeezing gently, pipe the batter into the prepared donut pan.
- Place pans in preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until toothpick inserted into donuts comes out clean or with just a few crumbs sticking to it. Do not overbake. Remove from oven when done and let cool in pans for 5 minutes.
- If cinnamon sugar topping is desired, mix together the ½ c. granulated sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon. Remove donuts from pan after 5 minutes, while still warm, and dip into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on wired rack and serve immediately.
- Reduce the apple cider the evening before to help keep the prep time short in the morning.
- Mix the dry ingredients together the night before and cover till morning.
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