Apple Cider Doughnuts

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts | In Jennie's Kitchen

We live less than 20 minutes from some of the best apple cider doughnuts, ever (Davenport’s farm stand in Stone Ridge, in case you’re curious), so it almost seems silly to have contemplated making them at home. The thing with most apple cider doughnuts is that they’re fried. I love a good doughnut, so don’t get me wrong here.

While thinking about recipes on my bucket, my mind drifted to apple cider doughnuts. I’ve always wanted to make them but the first step, reducing the cider by about two thirds, was always a sticking point. When it comes to baking for the sheer joy, and not work, I like to be spontaneous. I want my apple cider doughnuts in 10 minutes, not 40. Add in the frying part, and well the odds were not in apple cider doughnuts’ favor. 

There’s a little work around to this—reduce the cider in advance. Make the most of the time while you’re doing dishes, folding laundry, prepping dinner, basically anything that keeps you around the house so you can keep a watchful on eye on the cider while it’s cooking down on the stove.

It’s going to feel like forever, or at least it did to me, but pay close attention as it gets towards the end of the reducing process. The apple cider will quickly go from concentrated to a crusted burnt on mess in your pot in those last few minutes (gee, wonder how I know that?!). Once it’s reduced, you can store it in the fridge for up to a week (maybe more, but I haven’t tested keeping it longer than that).

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts | In Jennie's Kitchen

Reducing apple cider on the stove top is an important step in making apple cider doughnuts. This step can be done up to a week in advance. | In Jennie’s Kitchen

I decided to add my spices to the cider while it was reducing to save a few seconds on the next step, which is making the batter. I’ve also chosen to fool myself into thinking these are a better treat for the kids since they’re baked and use whole wheat pastry flour. I mean, that pretty much makes them a health food, right?

Why make apple cider doughnuts when we can easily buy them at the local farm stand? Simple, because they’re much easier than I realized.

I had very stiff competition, and was a bit nervous to let the kids taste test. Isabella loves apple cider doughnuts. She also isn’t shy about telling me when she doesn’t like something. Virginia isn’t a fan of them at all, so I wasn’t expecting much from her.

The girls kept coming into the kitchen while the apple cider was reducing, asking “Mommy, what are you making that smells so good?,” so that gave me some hope. When the first batch was done, I put them on the table and let them have at ’em. Squeals of joy were heard after the first bite, from both kids, and my genius, best mommy ever status was intact. They didn’t even care that they were baked, and not fried. They tasted amazing, and that was all that mattered. I’ve since made this recipe a half dozen times, and their love for them is still going strong.

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts | In Jennie's Kitchen

All the flavor, with less fat since these Apple Cider Doughnuts are baked not fried. | In Jennie’s Kitchen

Favorite Recipes from Years Past

Seven Years Ago: Apple Cranberry Crumb Cake

Six Years Ago: Spice Scented Cranberry Sauce

Five Years Ago: Chocolate Chess Pie

Four Years Ago: Coconut Custard Pie

Three Years Ago:Homemade Pumpkin Syrup

Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Slab Pie

One Year Ago: No-Roll Pie Crust

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts | In Jennie's Kitchen

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Using a pastry bag to pipe the batter into the pans yields even, uniform sized doughnuts. Alternatively, you can use a zip top bag. Fill the bag with the batter, and snip off one corner to use as a piping bag. The key to baked doughnuts is keeping a careful eye. I find they go from perfectly tender to dry and overdone quickly, so try not to multitask while they’re baking. In my oven, 8 minutes was perfect. The doughnuts should look dry and set on top, and spring back when tapped with your finger. For a Dairy Free Alternative, substitute shortening for the butter. Coconut oil will work, too, but keep in mind that it imparts a coconut flavor to the finished doughnuts.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Servings 6


  • For the Batter
  • 1 cup apple cider not apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Scant cup 130 grams whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup 50 grams granulated natural cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon 5 grams baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon 2 grams sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons 28 grams butter, melted
  • To Finish
  • Granulated natural cane sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons 28 grams butter, melted


  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºF). Spray a 6-count doughnut pan with cooking spray, or grease with butter (cooking spray really works best).
  • Add the cider, cinnamon, and cloves to a small pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce flame to medium. Cook until the cider has reduced to 3 ounces (little more than 1/3 cup), about 20 minutes. Let cool a few minutes while you prepare the batter.
  • In a medium bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to blend.
  • Add the egg, reduced cider, and melted butter. Using a wooden spoon, stir until it forms a thick batter, and there are no visible signs of flour. Spoon the doughnut batter into a pastry bag. Pipe into the prepared doughnut pan.
  • Bake for 8 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, and let the doughnuts sit in the pan for 2 minutes. Turn the doughnuts out onto a wire rack to finish cooling for a few minutes.
  • In a small bowl, one wide enough to fit the doughnuts for dipping, add some sugar and cinnamon. Brush melted butter on top of one doughnut, then dip it into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on a wire rack to set. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.



  • Rachel

    These look great! King Arthur Co. sells boiled cider – they’ve done all the hard work on that front! It’s good in cider doughnuts, of course, but also in roasts, oatmeal, pulled pork, etc. A very useful kitchen staple!

  • Jennie

    Good to know. It’s not hard at all, you just need to plan in advance. Now that I’m in a groove, it’s all good. xo-Jennie

  • Stephanie O

    I am so excited to try these! We just got back from being on an apple orchard for a week last Saturday and I am missing the NE’s beautiful scenery. We even made our own apple cider with apples we picked. Looking forward to bringing some fall flavors to California-thank you for this recipe!! 🙂

  • Leigh

    I just made these. They are amazing!!
    So excited to have a taste of New England in sunny South Carolina. Thank you!

  • Jennie

    No, it’s regular apple cider, not hard cider. You can find it in the refrigerated section of grocery stores, next to the orange juice.-Jennie

  • Carol L

    5 stars
    I was looking for a whole grain cider donut, and found your recipe. I have a vintage Kenmore-branded Dazey donut maker, that I wanted to try these in. I didn’t have the WW pastry flour, I used White Whole Wheat. I followed your recipe to the letter, but was concerned about the thickness of the batter, as I found that thick batter doesn’t do well in the Dazey. I ended up adding an additional 1/4 cup of apple cider (not boiled down, just straight out of the bottle). It worked well, the donuts came out with a nice cakey texture.

    Because the Dazey uses oil to coat the wells, I skipped the melted butter. I just did what I do with any Dazey donut, remove and place on paper towel, wait a minute, and dunk in cinnamon-sugar mix. So, for anybody using a donut maker, instead of a donut pan in the oven, add more cider to thin the batter down a bit. I found 1/4 cup worked well for me. I use a #12 disher scoop to measure the batter, it’s the same scoop I use for muffins and drop biscuits. It holds about 1/3 cup. Scoop and drop.

  • Amy

    Hi Jennie,

    I made these for my family today. I was a little worried that I’d get some complaints because of the whole wheat taste but not a word from the kiddos! 🙂 Everyone enjoyed them and hopes I make them again soon. Thanks for the recipe.