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Breakfast / Brunch

Apple Cider Doughnuts with Cider Glaze or Cinnamon Sugar

Apple Cider Doughnuts are the quintessential orchard treat — who doesn’t love biting into a warm, freshly glazed (or sugared) homemade doughnut? Reducing apple cider intensifies the flavor, and whisking it into a glaze adds another layer of fruit flavor. Whether you serve these for breakfast, brunch, or as a fall dessert, they’re truly one of fall’s greatest pleasures for both kids and adults, alike.


about 16 doughnuts + holes

Total Time

2 hours + chilling

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Test Kitchen Tip

The ideal frying temperature is between 360–365°, but since the temp will fall once the doughnuts are added, heat the shortening to 370–375°.


For the doughnuts, reduce cider with cinnamon stick in a saucepan over medium-high heat to ⅓ cup, 1–1¼ hours, being careful not to overreduce. Discard cinnamon stick; transfer cider to a glass measuring cup with a pour spout.

Whisk apple butter and buttermilk into cider until combined.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.

Cream butter and sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low, sift flour mixture over batter, in three increments, alternating with cider mixture (beginning and ending with flour mixture), beating after each addition until combined. Transfer dough (it will be very soft and sticky) to a bowl; cover and chill at least one hour or overnight.

Sprinkle dough with flour and roll on a heavily floured surface to 3/8-inch thick. Cut doughnuts and holes using a well-floured 3-inch-round doughnut cutter; arrange doughnuts and holes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Reroll and cut scraps until all dough has been used. Chill cut doughnuts and holes 30 minutes; brush off excess flour before frying.

Heat shortening in a cast-iron pot or high-sided skillet filled two-thirds to 370°.

For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, cider, cinnamon, and salt until smooth.

For the sugar coating, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt.

Carefully add 3 doughnuts (or 6 holes) to pot and fry 1–1½ minutes per side; transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.

When cool enough to handle, but still hot, dip cracked side of doughnuts (or all sides of holes) in glaze; shake off excess and transfer to a wire rack set inside a second baking sheet. Once glaze is slightly set, dip doughnuts again on same side. Allow glaze to set completely, 15 minutes. If coating with sugar, omit glaze and dip all sides of cool enough to handle, but still hot doughnuts (and holes) in sugar coating.

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