It’s officially October and there’s a hint of fall weather in the air. The stores are lined with tons of fresh apples and apple cider is like everywhere now. This is by far my favorite time of year because I love creating fall desserts, especially anything with apples or apple cider in it… which is why creating these baked apple cider donuts were a no brainer.
You know how there are some recipes that are just so delicious and so so crave-worthy? Well, these donuts are just that. They’re full of fall flavors, slightly crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, perfectly sweet, and truly mouth-wateringly good. They’re best enjoyed on a crisp fall morning, or afternoon, with a warm mug of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa.
What Do I Need To Make Baked Apple Cider Donuts?
First things first, to make baked donuts you’re going to need a donut pan. Luckily, they’re really inexpensive! You can get a set of 2 non-stick, six cavity Wilton donut pans on Amazon for less than $15. Here’s the set I have.
It can also be handy to have a large round piping tip for adding the donut batter into the pan, but it’s not 100% necessary. You can always spoon the batter into the pan, just make sure the batter is even.
Once you have your materials, get your ingredients out and you’re ready to get started. And, to be honest, making baked apple cider donuts is really similar to making muffins. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another and then mix them together. (It’s really that easy.)
How To Make Baked Apple Cider Donuts:
The first step to making these apple cider donut holes is to reduce some apple cider in a saucepan. You might be annoyed with me for requiring the extra step of boiling the cider before it goes into the donut batter. I was annoyed myself, honestly, but enough recipes I looked at while researching indicated it was necessary… so I gave in. Trust me when I say it’s worth it. The flavor concentrates and it’ll make your home smell like fall heaven.
Once your cider is reduced, you’ll add butter to it until melted; the result with be syrupy in texture. Then you’ll whisk together 1/2 cup of the cider/butter mixture with an egg, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla until combined. In a separate bowl, you’ll whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt then add to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.
Now I have to admit, it’s a little tricky transferring the donut batter into the donut pan without making a huge mess. That’s why I suggest spooning it into a large ziplock or pastry bag and piping it into the donut cavities. I know it sounds a little odd, but it’s the easiest way to get the donut batter neatly into the donut pan. Plus, hello easy cleanup.
Once these beautiful little donuts are baked (and it happens quickly), they get a little bath in the reduced cider/melted butter mixture for some extra flavor, then dunked in apple pie spiced cinnamon sugar. DELICIOUS.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I have!
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Baked Apple Cider Donuts
For the Baked Apple Cider Donuts:
- 1½ cups apple cider
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- ⅛ tsp coarse sea salt
For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
- ¼ cup apple cider/butter mixture see below
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp apple pie spice
- Reduce the apple cider: Stirring occasionally, simmer the apple cider in a small saucepan over low heat until you’re left with about 3/4 cup. Start checking at 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, etc until you have 3/4 cup. (Mine takes about 20 minutes.) Add the butter to the reduced cider and stir until melted. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk the granulated sugar, egg, sour cream, vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup of the reduced cider/butter mixture until well combined. (Save the rest of the reduced mixture!) Pour into the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. The batter will be slightly thick.
- Spoon the batter into a large ziplock bag or pastry bag and pipe it into the donut cavities, filling about halfway.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of the donut. If the donut bounces back, they’re done. Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.
- Coat the donuts: Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together in a medium bowl. Once cool enough to handle, dunk both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the apple spice topping.
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