Apple Cider Doughnuts

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup apple cider, at room temperature
1/4 cup warm apple cider (about 110 degrees)
3 1/4 cups flour
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt

apple cider frosting
3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup apple cider

canola oil for frying


for the frosting:
Beat all ingredients together until a spreadable icing forms.

For the doughnuts:
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm cider in the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add the flour, remaining cider, milk, butter, egg yolks, sugar, and salt until you have a soft, elastic dough that comes together easily into a ball.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.


Flour a clean work surface. Place the dough on the surface and roll it out. Roll until it is about 1/2 thick. Cut out doughnut shapes. Do not reroll to dough.


Place them on a parchment or silipat lined cookie sheet, cover again with the tea towel and let them rise 15-30 minutes. They should look puffy but don’t need to have doubled.


Meanwhile, heat (to 350) about 3 inchs of oil in a heavy pot. Fry the doughnuts (2 or 3 at a time works well) flipping at least once to insure that they are golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes.


Drain on paper towel lined plates or baking pans. Repeat for remaining doughnuts. Frost cooled doughnuts if desired. Eat the same day they are made.

Yield: about 12 doughnuts


My thoughts:

Cider doughnuts are an Autumn classic found at apple orchards and farmers markets all over the US. Traditionally cider doughnuts are cake doughnuts (doughnuts made with baking powder rather than yeast) but I vastly prefer the texture of yeast raised doughnuts. For that reason I came up with this recipe that has the subtle sweetness of the traditional cider doughnut but instead of being dense and cakey, they are light and fluffy.

Doughnut making is so rewarding, hardly anyone makes doughnuts at home anymore so it seems like an especially special treat. The dough is very easy to work with and it is almost magical how they transform from cut up dough to doughnuts in just a couple of minutes in the pan.

The flavor of these doughnuts is wonderful, the doughnut itself is just barely sweet but full of cider flavor and the sweet icing complements them perfectly. You could also dip them in granulated or confectioners sugar if you want to skip making icing but you’d be missing out.


  1. Your doughnuts look fabulous! They must taste wonderful!



  2. Mmmm they look and sound delicious.
    I especially adore the heart center!!
    Very cute 🙂

    Can’t wait to try making donuts.


  3. I have to give these a try. I also love apple cider donuts with cinnamon sugar on them.

  4. Your doughnuts look fabulous!

  5. me oh my! I *love* apple cider doughnuts!!!

  6. I’ve never tried cider donuts, but my husband has requesting homemade donuts lately. I remember my mom making them at home when I was a kid but haven’t yet attempted it myself. Yours look great!

  7. Any suggestions on baking instead of frying?

  8. They won’t be as good baked but you could try 20 mins @ 350

  9. Man oh man those look goooooooood!

  10. Yum, yum, those look delicious. Thanks for posting!

  11. I’ve never tried these but I’m a doughnut fiend so I’m pretty sure I’ll be giving these a try ASAP.

  12. What an awesome recipe! I am definitely bookmarking to try~ I’ve never made doughnuts before, and this is definately a good recipe to start with. Thank you for the pictures as well!

  13. Judy's Nutrition

    Ooooh those look so good – you are a cruel person to post this when I am trying to lose some weight!

  14. Hi Rachel,
    What scrumptious looking doughnuts. Perfect for National Apple Month.

    Thanks for sharing…

  15. Those look absolutely delicious. I’ll have to give these a try with my niece this weekend.

  16. I have been looking for a raised cider doughnut recipe for years! you are a god-send! thanks thanks thanks.. they look so good i’m putting them on tomorrows agenda!

  17. amazing…bravo!

  18. Michelle {lovely little things}

    Sounds delish!

  19. Oh my gosh, these are calling my name. I’m coming over for cider doughnuts!

  20. I used to love going to the apple orchard for apple doughnuts! Thanks for teaching me how to make them at home – love the heart shaped centers too.

  21. Looks great. Love the apple cider frosting!

  22. Ohh my goodness, I LOVE apple cider doughnuts!!! We had some fantastic ones in Gatlinburg last fall at the Apple Barn, and I totally got hooked. Thanks for the recipe- I’m excited to make them!!

    I love the hearts, too- so cute!

  23. Yum! I’ve never had an apple cider doughnut. Given my love of apple cider and doughnuts, I can’t imagine how the combo could be anything less than extraordinary.

  24. Can you use whole wheat flour for these? trying to think of ways to make them fit into my diet a little better….have you tried whole wheat doughnuts?

  25. Amy-I haven’t tried it but I think that if you replaced 1/2 of the regular flour with whole wheat they would be okay. I wouldn’t use 100% whole wheat though-I think it would be on the heavy side for a yeast doughnut.

  26. Rachel,
    Can I nominate you for a the Culinary Genius of the Year? (No, not a real contest but still…) There’s nothing I can’t stand more than cake doughnuts. Something about the chalky texture and how it just mushes up in my mouth… bleh. Making these as raised doughnuts just totally brightened up my day – finally – a cider doughnut I can enjoy! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  27. I wouldn’t recommend 110 degrees; that’s a little high. Yeast will die at about 120. An ideal temperature is around 80-90 degrees–lukewarm.

  28. Ryan-I measured the temperature accurately and clearly 110 worked just fine.I certianally wouldn’t recommend warmer but 110 is perfect.

  29. These donuts look fantastic! I was just at an apple orchard yesterday and of course had to buy the cider donuts. They were so greasy, I could literally squeeze the oil out of them. Yuck. I think I will try your recipe instead.

  30. i made these but addded apple chunks and cinnamon. they tasted AWESOME!

  31. My family loves this recipe. It is hard to wait for apple cider season, just thinking about these lovely doughnuts. It is somewhat rare to find a great apple cider doughnut yeast dough recipe. This recipe does not fail to bring everyone to the kitchen for taste testing. The only thing I do different is I reduce one cup of apple cider to one half cup(what the recipe calls for) for a more pronounced apple flavor.

  32. Perfect – I just read a piece about cider & donuts that made me crazy to have some (; now I can. Thanks!!

  33. These were really great! They puffed up and browned perfectly, and the hints of apple cider were just right. However, I found it to be a very wet, sticky dough, and it required more like an additional cup of flour! I tend to "lightly spoon" my flour into measuring cups, so perhaps my technique is different. Nonetheless, these were fantastic, and I'd definitely make them again!