If the first fall recipe you are baking this year isn't these baked apple cider donuts, what are you even doing? These donuts are super fluffy, stay soft for days, have the best apple flavor, and are topped with an apple pie spice sugar coating.
Why you will love these baked apple cider donuts
- The texture. This is a baked donut (not fried) so it has more of a cake-y texture. But don't let that fool you, these baked apple cider donuts are super moist and have the perfect crumb.
- The sugar coating. These donuts are coated in butter and then tossed in a mixture containing granulated sugar, cinnamon and apple pie spice. It is *mwah* chef's kiss!
- The apple flavoring. These donuts are made with reduced apple cider (for extra apple flavor), applesauce, and apple pie spices - the apple flavor basically smacks you in the face.
- Apple cider: apple cider - duh! We reduce the apple cider down from 1 ½ cups to just ½ cup. Some of the liquid cooks off so you are left with a very concentrated apple cider that has a rich and potent apple flavor.
- All purpose flour: all purpose flour is the flour of choice for these donuts. It provides the perfect texture.
- Sugar: a combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar is best for these donuts to make them sweet and super soft.
- Fats: the key fats in this recipe are the butter, egg, and yogurt. All of these ingredients help make the donuts tender and moist.
- Spices: a combination of warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom come together to create a delicious apple pie spice that is mixed in the batter and in the sugar coating.
- Reduce the apple cider. Simmer the apple cider in a sauce pan over low-medium heat until it cooks down to ½ cup (120 mL).
- Make the apple pie spice. If you can't get your hands on any store-bought apple pie spice, simply make your own by whisking cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom together in a bowl.
- Make the donut batter. Whisk together the dry ingredients - this includes the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and apple pie spice. Then whisk together the wet ingredients - this includes the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, yogurt, applesauce, and reduced apple cider.
- Bake. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until a batter forms. Spoon or pipe the batter into the donut cavities. Bake for 11-12 minutes at 350F.
- Make the coating. Whisk together the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice until combined. Melt your butter in a separate bowl.
- Coat. Lightly coat the donut in the melted butter, then immediately coat the donut in the sugar mixture. Enjoy!
Can I use salted butter?
For the batter, if salted butter is all you have, then sure! It works just the same. I would just leave out the salt in the batter. However, I do not suggest using salted butter for the coating - it could be too salty.
Why are my donuts dry and tough?
A tough donut could potentially be from over mixing the batter. Make sure to only mix the batter until the dry ingredients are JUST incorporated, not any longer. If your donuts are dry, it is likely you are using a low-quality flour brand OR you over-measured your flour.
Why did my donuts brown so much?
Sometimes you will notice that the donuts brown a little too much on the edges. This can be from over greasing the pan. That extra fat causes the donuts to brown/crisp up. Lightly spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Can I use a different milk instead of whole milk?
Technically, yes. However, I really recommend sticking to whole milk due to its fat content. The fat content of the milk really adds to the moisture and softness of these donuts.
What type of yogurt should I use?
Honestly, I have tried these donuts with full-fat, non-fat greek, full-fat greek, etc., and all taste delicious. So whatever you have on hand works!
How long do these donuts last?
If properly stored in an airtight container, these donuts will stay fresh for 2-3 days. Donuts get stale pretty quickly, so they are best enjoyed the day they are made.
Other recipes you may like
Baked Apple Cider Donuts
Apple Pie Spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 ½ cups (360 mL) apple cider
- 2 cups (250 grams) all purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter melted
- 1 egg room temperature
- ½ cup (100 grams) brown sugar packed
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120 grams) yogurt room temperature
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce room temperature
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon apple pie spice
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter melted
Apple Pie Spice
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground cardamom. Set aside.
- Reduce the apple cider: in a saucepan over low-medium heat, simmer the apple cider until you're left with about ½ cup (120 mL). Start checking after 10 minutes, then after 5 minutes, then after 3 minutes, etc., to see if it's done. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes. It can be luke warm when you add it to the batter, you just don’t want it to be piping hot.
- Preheat your oven to 350F and lightly grease a donut pan with nonstick spray.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon and apple pie spice. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, yogurt, applesauce, and reduced apple cider until smooth and combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until combined. The batter will be thick - a few lumps are okay.
- Gently spoon the batter into the donut pan, or pipe them in using a piping bag/ziplock bag with the tip cut off (preferred method). Bake for 11-12 minutes until they are golden brown. To test, gently press your finger into the donut. It is ready if the donut bounces back.
- Let the donuts cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- While the donuts are baking/cooling, make the sugar coating. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, and apple pie spice.
- In a separate bowl, melt your butter.
- Once the donuts are cool enough to handle, coat the donut in the butter, then immediately coat it generously in the sugar mixture. Enjoy! Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Tried this recipe? Make sure to rate and review and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram!