Apple Cider Donuts

These Apple Cider Donuts are perfect for crisp, Fall mornings. Soft on the inside, sugary on the outside, and bursting with Apple Cider flavor.Apple Cider Donuts

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time trying to keep the baby alive, despite his sister’s best efforts to thwart me. Oh, she doesn’t mean any harm. She’s just naturally, obnoxiously, curiously, and sometimes sneakily destructive.

In the past 72 hours alone, I’ve caught her pinching his nose closed (while he had a pacifier in his mouth), poking a lollipop stick in the back of his mouth while in the car, full on laying on top of him (covering all airways), pushing his face into the floor during tummy time, and picking him up by his feet.

I know. Are you having a heart attack too? I feel like I haven’t been able to breathe for 3 days.

I swear, I keep the baby near me at all times. I watch him, I hold him, I try to keep her busy… but somehow she still finds these moments. Kindergarten may literally be saving his life this year. And mine. Because omg. That girl is going to be the death of me for sure!

Apple Cider Donuts

And that’s why I make donuts. Soft on the inside, crispy and sugary on the outside, cake-y Apple Cider donuts.

It’s completely necessary.

These donuts are fried, not baked, which will produce the softest and moistest cake donut on the inside while crisping up the outsides perfectly. Don’t let that scare you– I promise, nothing could be simpler than frying donuts. All you need is a big soup pot and some vegetable oil. You could even use a smaller sauce pot, I have plenty of times. You just add less oil and only fry one donut at a time. No big deal.

The key to frying on the stove top is not to get trigger happy with the heat. Don’t crank it all the way up in an attempt to heat your oil faster. Turn it to medium, and let the oil heat through slowly while you’re preparing the dough. Overly heated oil will bring about disastrous results, burning the donuts on the outside but leaving them doughy on the insides. And overly hot oil is kind of hard to recover from; it’s really difficult to find the sweet spot in temperature again after it’s become too hot. So be patient and heat it slowly.

Apple Cider Donuts

Also not scary? This dough.

There’s no yeast and no rising. Just a simple batter dough that is not intimidating in the least!

You’ll need both all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour (the whole wheat flour gives the donuts a really hearty flavor and texture, yum!), brown sugar (which helps keep these super soft), eggs, melted butter, and apple cider. After you mix up the dough, you need to chill it for a little while, because it will be quite sticky due to the melted butter. The butter firms up during chilling which makes the dough easier to press out and cut.

The recipe I was working off of calls for an hour in the refrigerator. I’m impatient (and I had a 5-year old all up in my space asking ARE THE DONUTS DONE YET??? every 5 seconds…) so I stuck my dough in the freezer for about 10 minutes and called it all good. The dough was still a little soft and sticky, but I just floured my hands and the work surface really well and didn’t have any trouble at all.

Apple Cider Donuts

I was a little afraid that the apple cider flavor wouldn’t really come through, but it totally does! It’s really a perfect Fall flavor for donuts– not too strong, but not too subtle either, and full of beautiful aromatic spices that warm up your house.

Also amazing? The cinnamon sugar on the outside. As much as I love frosting and sprinkles and cream filled donuts… nothing quite compares with a warm, fresh donut coated in cinnamon sugar. It’s unparallelled in the breakfast universe, in my humble opinion.

Apple Cider Donuts

I think these donuts are very best hot and fresh, but they will stay soft for days if you store them in an airtight container at room temperature. My family went nuts over these, and I hope you will too!!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag #somethingswanky so I can see all the Something Swanky recipes you make!

Apple Cider Donuts

These Apple Cider Donuts are perfect for crisp, Fall mornings. Soft on the inside, sugary on the outside, and bursting with Apple Cider flavor.


3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup apple cider

6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

vegetable oil for deep fat frying

cinnamon sugar for coating


In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Mix together the wet ingredients; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.*

Heat oil over medium heat on the stove or in a deep fat fryer (375ºF). Oil should bubble and "spit" when you drop water droplets into it.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and press flat  to approximately 1/2-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-in. doughnut cutter.

Fry doughnuts, a few at a time until a little darker than golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels for a moment, and then toss in cinnamon sugar immediately to coat.

Serve warm if possible!


*see post for my chilling shortcut

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After you make these, try more donut recipes:

Baked Chocolate Cake Donuts

Baked Chocolate Cake Donuts


Strawberry Shortcake Donuts

Strawberry Shortcake Donuts


Heavenly Hash Donuts

Heavenly Hash Donuts

Bacon Fried Chicken and Donuts

Bacon Fried Chicken and Donuts

Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.