Creating these Baked Apple Cider Donuts was such a sweet victory in the kitchen! Wonderfully spiced, moist and fluffy, this apple cider donuts recipe is the best way to kick off the fall season!

apple cider donuts covered in cinnamon/sugar on a wire cooling rack

homemade apple cider donuts

These apple cider donuts are soft, moist and perfectly tender. They are coated in a wonderful cinnamon/sugar/nutmeg mix and have the best balance of sweet and spicy flavor. And because they are baked, not fried, you can feel a twinge less guilt when you consume one, two or three. I like to have one alongside a big bowl of creamy Greek yogurt that’s been drizzled with honey for breakfast.

You’re going to LOVE these – they’re insanely delicious! And addicting. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

You will need a non-stick donut pan for this recipe. You can find donut pans at most major retailers, and they typically come with 6 donut indentations to a pan. I ordered mine from Amazon and it was just over 10 bucks. It is this donut pan from Nordic Ware and it does the job quite nicely.

apple cider donuts with cinnamon sugar coating on a wire cooling rack

INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR apple cider DONUTS

Baked apple cider donuts are made with common baking ingredients like all-purpose flour, butter, sugar, eggs and buttermilk; which gives them the perfect soft, tender crumb. An easy apple cider reduction is mixed into the batter for that classic apple cider flavor and then after the donuts are baked, they are coated in a sweet cinnamon/sugar mixture. Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Apple cider. I recommend using a high-quality organic apple cider for the best flavor.
  • All-purpose flour. For the best results, you need regular all-purpose flour. I have not experimented with using different flour varieties for this recipe.
  • Baking powder. To fluff up the donuts!
  • Cinnamon + nutmeg. For warm, cozy flavor!
  • Salt. Just a small amount brings all of the flavors together.
  • Unsalted butter. Adds flavor, structure, and moistness to the donuts.
  • Sugar. I love using a combination of light brown and white sugar because brown sugar helps to make the donuts soft, moist and flavorful. You can just use all white, granulated sugar, if that’s what you have available.
  • Eggs. You’ll need two eggs to help with binding and ensure they bake properly.
  • Vanilla extract. Always adding vanilla for delicious flavor!
  • Buttermilk. You can really use any milk, but buttermilk is wonderful in this recipe because it creates a slightly acidic batter that helps keep the donuts moist and tender by breaking down tough strands of gluten. Your donuts will be lighter and fluffier!
  • Cinnamon/sugar/nutmeg coating. So good! But if you’d rather have a glaze on your donuts, make a simple vanilla glaze like in my chocolate donuts recipe.
bite taken out of an donut covered in cinnamon/sugar

how to make apple cider donuts

These baked donuts are very easy to make – no mixer required! Here’s a quick rundown of the process, but for full instructions, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

The most time-consuming part of the recipe is making the apple cider reduction, but it’s a MUST for BIG flavor!

  • Apple cider reduction. Add apple cider to a small saucepan and simmer on low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the cider reduces down to 3/4 cup. Once it is reduced, set it aside to cool for about 10 minutes before adding it to the batter.
  • Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; set aside.
  • Stir together wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, stir the melted butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla and stir until completely combined. Pour in the buttermilk and the reduced apple cider and mix until smooth.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients; stir until just incorporated. Do NOT over mix or donuts will be tough.
  • Add batter to the donut pan. You can spoon batter into the donut pan or you can use a piping bag or freezer bag with the tip snipped off to pipe the donut batter into the pan.
mixing batter and adding it to a donut pan
  • Bake donuts. Place donuts in the oven and bake for 14-15 minutes or until the tops are firm and spring back slightly when you touch them. Do NOT over bake or you will have dry donuts. Once baked, let donuts cool while you melt the butter and make the cinnamon/sugar mix.
  • Coat the donuts. Once cool enough to handle, dip both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the cinnamon sugar mix.
dipping donut in melted butter and then in cinnamon/sugar mix

TIPS FOR SUCCESS WITH THIS BAKED DONUT RECIPE

These baked donuts are super simple to make, but here are a few tips to make sure they are perfect every time!

  • Follow the recipe. The best way to ensure the success of these apple cider donuts is to follow the recipe and use the exact ingredients as written (unless substitutions are noted).
  • Use room temperature eggs. They will mix and incorporate with other ingredients better. Also, if your eggs are too cold, the melted butter might harden back up. To bring your eggs to room temp, simply place them in a bowl of warm water for 3-5 minutes before you use them. Also make sure your butter has cooled slightly, after melting it.
  • Do not over-mix the batter. If you over-mix batter you’ll end up with donuts that are more dense and gummy instead of fluffy and soft.
  • Use fresh baking powder. If your baking powder is older than 3 months, I suggest grabbing a new one for best baking results. When I open a new container of baking powder, I always write the date on the lid.
  • Do not overfill the donut pan with batter. Only fill the indentations up to 3/4 of the way full. If you add too much batter, the donuts will rise up over the edges of the pan and lose that classic shape.

STORAGE RECOMMENDATIONS

Baked apple cider donuts are best the day of making them. However, you can store the baked donuts in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Allow the cinnamon sugar coating to fully dry before stacking them, so that they don’t stick together. If you need them to last longer than 2 days, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Microwave them for about 20-30 seconds when you’re ready to eat.

Freezing baked donuts. These donuts are freezer-friendly! Simply wrap donuts individually in freezer-safe bags or store them in a large freezer bag. When you’re ready to enjoy them, reheat for 30-45 seconds in the microwave or simply thaw them at room temperature.

covering apple cider donuts with cinnamon sugar coating

The smell of these apple cider donuts is so intoxicating, I dare you to stop at just one! I know, I can’t. Especially when they’re warm straight out of the oven.

MORE BREAKFAST RECIPES YOU’RE SURE TO LOVE

If you try this apple cider donuts recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re baking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

apple cider donuts covered in cinnamon/sugar on a wire cooling rack
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Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Creating these Baked Apple Cider Donuts was such a sweet victory in the kitchen! Wonderfully spiced, moist and fluffy, this apple cider donuts recipe is the best way to kick off the fall season!

Ingredients

For the donuts

  • 2 cups apple cider, reduced to 3/4 cup
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (other milk varieties will work)

For the topping

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions 

  • Before you begin, you will need to reduce the apple cider. Add apple cider to a small saucepan and simmer on low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the cider reduces down to 3/4 cup. Once it is reduced, set it aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a donut pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the melted butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla and stir until completely combined. Pour in the buttermilk and apple cider and mix until smooth.
  • Add the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients; stir until just incorporated. Do NOT over mix or donuts will be tough.
  • Spoon the batter into a ziploc bag and snip off one corner. This makes it much easier to add batter into the donut wells. Add batter into prepared pan about 3/4 to the top of each donut well. Alternatively, you can spoon the batter into the donut cavities.
  • Bake donuts for 14-15 minutes or until the tops are firm and spring back slightly when you touch them. Do NOT over bake or you will have dry donuts.
  • When done, remove donuts from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then carefully remove them from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool until they are warm to the touch, but you are to handle them. While they are cooling, get your butter + cinnamon/sugar topping ready.
  • In a small bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
  • Once donuts are cool enough to be handled, dip the tops and bottoms into the melted butter and then quickly into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Repeat for the entire batch of donuts.

Notes

These are best served fresh the same day, but will stay soft for up to 2 days stored in an airtight container. If they get a bit firm, you can reheat in the microwave for a few seconds to soften them up and they are good as new.
Serving: 1donut, Calories: 340kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 69mg, Sodium: 82mg, Potassium: 221mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 534IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 91mg, Iron: 2mg

Did you make this recipe?

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