Apple Cider Donuts on a plate.

Apple Cider Donuts

Unlike other cider donut recipes, I use apple juice concentrate (the kind you find in the freezer section of a grocery store) as well as apple butter to give these donuts a double boost of apple flavor. Using the apple juice concentrate means you don’t have to spend extra time reducing the cider down on the stove, or bother with mail ordering boiled cider. Look for apple butter at well-stocked grocery stores near the jams and jellies section.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, cider, donuts, frying
Prep Time 25 minutes
Servings 18
Calories 257 kcal
Author Irvin



  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature 85 g
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 55 g
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar 50 g
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend or ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 630 g
  • 1/2 cup apple butter 165 g
  • 2/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate (straight from the freezer still frozen) 160 g
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk 75 g

Cinnamon sugar coating

  • 1 1/2 cup white granulated sugar 300 g
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon sugar

Oil for frying


  1. Place the butter, both sugars, vanilla, baking powder, kosher salt, pumpkin spice blend, and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the ingredients start to blend. Increase the speed to medium and beat together until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes
    Place butter, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, salt, pumpkin spice, baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until fluffy and light in color.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing and scraping down the side of the bowl between additions. Don’t worry if the batter looks “broken” after you add the eggs. It’ll come together when you add the dry ingredients.
    Beat in two eggs, one at at time.
  3. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix to incorporate. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the apple butter, mixing to incorporate.
    Add the flour, mix in, then add the apple butter and mix in.
  4. Add 2 more cups of the flour, then add the frozen apple juice and buttermilk together, mixing until the liquid is absorbed into the mixture. It’ll slosh around a bit, but will eventually mix in. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and mix until it is absorbed. The dough will be very sticky.
    Mix in more flour then the apple juice concentrate and buttermilk.
  5. Scrape the dough out onto a clean surface dusted generously with flour. Pat the dough down until it is about 1/2 inch-thick. Dust the top of the dough and your hands with flour occasionally as the dough gets too sticky to work with.
    Pat the dough on a generously floured surface until 1/2-inch thick.
  6. Dip a 3-inch round donut cutter into flour, then cut out donut rings. You can also use a 3-inch round biscuits cutter and a 1 to 1 1/4-inch round cutter to cut out the center hole. Gather remaining dough scraps, knead gently to bind the dough together, and press back down into 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out more donuts. Repeat until all the dough is used up. Cover with plastic wrap.
    Cut out the donuts from the dough.
  7. Pour enough oil in a large deep skillet to bring it up to about 1-inch deep. I like to use a cast iron skillet, but you can use any deep wide skillet or Dutch oven if you want. Heat the oil to 350°F. If you don’t have a deep frying/candy thermometer drop a cube of fresh bread into the oil. If it turns golden brown in about 60 seconds you’re at the right temperature.
  8. While the oil is heating up, mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a large shallow bowl or pan (a pie tin is for this). Set aside. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
    Combine sugar and cinnamon together to make coating.
  9. Once the oil is heated up, pick up one of the donuts and place half of it in the oil, then let go. The donut should slide into the oil with minimal splashing, which will minimize risk of burns. Repeat with two or three more donuts, but don’t overcrowd the pan. Fry the donuts for 90 seconds, or until the bottom of the donut is golden brown. Then flip over using tongs, long chopsticks or a mesh ladle spoon. Fry for an additional 60 to 90 seconds until that side of golden brown too.
    Fry the donuts
  10. Remove donuts from oil, and move to the wire rack. Once the donuts are removed from the oil let rest on the wire rack for about a minute, then dip each donut in the cinnamon sugar. Move back to the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining donuts and donut holes, frying them first, then coating in the cinnamon sugar. Keep an eye on the donut holes as they may fry faster. Let cool slightly but serve warm!

    Dip the fried donuts in the cinnamon sugar.

Recipe Notes

I use pumpkin pie spice blend in this recipe because it has a mix of spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg that really play up the apple flavor. You can use my recipe for homemade pumpkin spice blend to make some yourself or just use a store bought mix. Or just use the same amount of plain ground cinnamon instead!