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apple cider donuts

Apple Cider Donuts

Homemade cider donuts made with brown butter, apple butter and apple pie spice.
Prep Time 36 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Servings 20 donuts


  • digital thermometer


Apple Pie Spice

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice

Donut Dough

  • 6tablespoons or 85g unsalted butter
  • ½cup or 140g apple butter
  • ½cup or 115g sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons boiled or reduced cider* see ingredient notes above
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼cup or 50g granulated sugar
  • ½cup or 105g brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice from above
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 450g or 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • granulated sugar for coating


First, brown the butter:

  • In a frying pan set the butter over medium low heat. Cook as it melts, then sputters and bubbles until little brown bits appear at the bottom. Stir while it browns fully - but don't let the brown bits turn black. Transfer to a heatproof bowl.

Make the dough

  • Whisk together the cooled brown butter, apple butter, sugars, sour cream, eggs, salt, boiled or reduced cider, apple pie spice and vanilla.
  • Separately, whisk together the flour and baking powder and soda. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until you have a thick dough.
  • Line a greased cookie sheet with parchment paper. Dust it with a thin layer of flour all over. Spread the donut dough over the parchment and use floured hands or a roller to get it into an even layer of about half an inch. Setting another sheet of parchment on top, after dusting with flour will help smooth it out. Set in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes or in the fridge for an hour.

Fry the donuts

  • Whisk together about 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tsp apple pie spice. Fill a large, deep skillet with oil until it is about 2-3 inches deep. Set it over medium high heat and keep a thermometer nearby as well as another cookie sheet lined with paper towels.
  • Using a donut cutter (or a round biscuit cutter and a piping tip) to punch out donut shapes. You can re-roll this dough to keep cutting out donuts. The dough is sticky so use flour as needed.
  • When the temperature of the oil reaches about 360 F, you can begin frying the donuts. Don’t do more than four at a time, they cook quickly. Once they are fully browned on the bottom - after about 2-3 minutes, turn them to cook on the other side. Once browned all over, use a spider strainer to remove them and set them on the paper towels.
  • While they are still hot but you’re able to handle them, dip them in the sugar mix to coat on both sides. It’s important to do this before the oil cools so that the sugar will stick to the donut.
  • Donuts are best the day of (while warm!) but store fine in an airtight container kept at room temperature.