apple cider doughnuts

I have never met a variety of deep-fried dough I didn’t like. Yet, given that most doughy fried items out there are rather mediocre* — say, the chain donut shop steps from my apartment — I don’t find myself indulging this habit as often as I’d like. The exception to this rule is apple cider doughnuts, which I am absolutely weak in the face of. Despite the fact that even the loveliest looking ones at the farm stands tend to disappoint, I eat them anyway. Because it’s fall and crunching through ochre-tinted leaves, wrapping your fingers around a paper cup of mulled cider and eating even lackluster apple cider doughnuts is the right and proper thing to do.

rings and holes, ready to fry

Or it was. Although I am sure my timing couldn’t have been worse — you know, with a four week old to take care of, no biggie — I got a hankering something fierce last week for the kind of apple cider doughnut I almost never find around here — save this piping hot and off-the-chart perfect ones Alex and I shared at Hearth this past Valentines Day. When I realized that recipe was readily available on the Web, it was a short and slippery path to posing my infant son to a 3-pound tub of trans fats… er, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

apple cider doughnut holes


Okay, fine. We’ll get to that now. Here’s the deal with the shortening, an ingredient I haven’t made any bones about my dislike of (at least in pie crusts and cookies or in any place where it is intended to replace sweet, delicious butter). I had heard a rumor that shortening makes for a fantastic deep-frying agent. Theory has it that because shortening, unlike oil, is solid at room temperature, once the fried item has cooled, it “seeps” less oil into the stuff around it (think telltale greasy napkins and paper plates) and generally tastes less greasy on the tongue. I had to find out. Which also meant that I had to set out to buy a large quantity of shortening, which meant that I had to pack my son into his stroller for one of our first solo errands together to buy an egregious quantity of trans fats (the store didn’t carry the trans-fat free stuff — the horror! — though it’d be hard to argue that “healthfulness” was my preoccupation). He won’t remember this, will he?

Or maybe he will. Sorry baby, mama couldn’t resist.

jacob and the criscojacob and the crisco

Back to the doughnuts. You’ll be pleased to know that despite requiring chilling and cutting and deep-frying — something I’m anything but skilled in, which I blame on my Yankee, Jewish upbringing; seriously, my people did not deep fry things — these were not hard to make. The dough comes together quickly and the cooking takes less than 15 minutes, beginning to end. And the eating… well, faintly spiced, lightly apple scented, perfectly light and crisped at the edges (I do believe the shortening has converted me), oh these are so very worth it, all of it.

apple cider doughnuts

* My Favorite New York Doughnuts: People often ask me for local eating recommendations but I always dodge these questions because restaurant reviewing, dissecting and generally telling people where to spend their hard-earned money is so not my bag. But I’m going to do something uncharacteristic today and just outright admit my five favorite local places to indulge my doughnut habit because it would be a shame to have done as much hip-padding research as I have on the subject and not allow you to share in my doughy discoveries: 1. The doughnut holes at Tabla’s Bread Bar. 2. The crème brûlée (like, brûléed and everything!) at the Doughnut Plant on Essex Street. 3. The barely-sweetened petite pistachio doughnut from Balthazar’s bakery. 4. The made-to-order, airy yeast doughnuts available at brunch at Back Forty, served with a rotation of dessert sauces (last time was concord grape, swoon). 5. The apple cider doughnuts at Hearth, but look below! You can now get them in your own kitchen.

One year ago: Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Two years ago: Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Three years ago: Wild Mushroom and Stilton Galette

Apple Cider Doughnuts
Adapted from Lauren Dawson at Hearth Restaurant

Makes 18 doughnuts + 18 doughnut holes (suggested yield for a 3-inch cutter; my larger one yielded fewer)

Most apple cider doughnuts, despite their name, are kind of a bummer because they don’t taste very apple-y. One of the many things that appealed to me about this recipe was the way the apple cider was reduced and concentrated to hopefully give it more presence. And despite the fact that these are cake doughnuts, which have always played second fiddle to yeast doughnuts in my experience (likely because cake are more likely to get stale sooner, or you know, by the time you buy them), I think this is all the more reason to make them at home.

Personally, I don’t think a sweetened doughnut needs any kind of topping, but I went with a cinnamon-sugar coating anyway. Hearth dips theirs in an apple cider glaze, and serves them with applesauce and barely-sweetened whipped cream. We had ours with a dark beer.

1 cup apple cider
3 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
Vegetable oil or shortening (see my explanation in the post) for frying

Toppings (optional)
Glaze (1 cup confectioners’ sugar + 2 tablespoons apple cider)
Cinnamon sugar (1 cup granulated sugar + 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon)

Make the doughnuts: In a saucepan over medium or medium-low heat, gently reduce the apple cider to about 1/4 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed (with the paddle attachment, if using a standing mixer) beat the butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat until the eggs are completely incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the reduced apple cider and the buttermilk, mixing just until combined. Add the flour mixture and continue to mix just until the dough comes together.

Line two baking sheets with parchment or wax paper and sprinkle them generously with flour. Turn the dough onto one of the sheets and sprinkle the top with flour. Flatten the dough with your hands until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use more flour if the dough is still wet. Transfer the dough to the freezer until it is slightly hardened, about 20 minutes. Pull the dough out of the freezer. Using a 3-inch or 3 1/2-inch doughnut cutter — or a 3 1/2-inch round cutter for the outer shape and a 1-inch round cutter for the hole from a set like this, as I did — cut out doughnut shapes. Place the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto the second sheet pan. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes. (You may re-roll the scraps of dough, refrigerate them briefly and cut additional doughnuts from the dough.)

Add enough oil or shortening to a deep-sided pan to measure a depth of about 3 inches. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 350°F*. Have ready a plate lined with several thicknesses of paper towels.

Make your toppings (if using): While the cut doughnut shapes are in the refrigerator, make the glaze by whisking together the confectioners’ sugar and the cider until the mixture is smooth; make the cinnamon sugar by mixing the two together. Set aside.

Fry and top the doughnuts: Carefully add a few doughnuts to the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan, and fry until golden brown, about 60 seconds. Turn the doughnuts over and fry until the other side is golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Drain on paper towels for a minute after the doughnuts are fried. Dip the top of the warm doughnuts into the glaze or cinnamon sugar mixture (if using) and serve immediately.

* Tip: Here’s an easy way to find out if your thermometer’s readings are accurate.

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497 comments on apple cider doughnuts

  1. avis

    The doughnuts look amazing. I actually do not like cake doughnuts but apple ones almost make me want to try them.

    If you can find fresh lard or render your own you can avoid those nasty trans fats. I know lard has a bad rap but it’s better than Crisco.

  2. Binka

    Despite a deep fear of deep frying, I WILL try these. Amazingly easy looking ingredient list and methodology, plus I have a tub of shortening that I bought some time ago and never got to that I’m hoping to use up!

    Oh, and the tiniest of argyle socks on your little son? ADORABLE.

  3. AmberGale

    Your son looks absolutely adorable next to his jug o’ trans fat. I’m sure he won’t remember :) Thanks for a new peek at him!

  4. kookie in london

    They look beautiful Deb, I hope my one year old will give a little time off to make them some day….

    Please make sure you keep posting pics of the little man. We cannot get enough. The only reason I’ll be contemplating carrying a watermelon in my womb for 10 months AGAIN is the 50% chance of it being a boy. Boys are yum yum yummy. And they love their mommies forever. You are so lucky!

    Also, a propos of absolutely nothing except maybe autumn, can I urge, beg, implore you to make the Scandinavian Sour Cream Apple Pie from the FXCuisine website? I used yr pie crust classes and it turned out to be the perfect apple pie, with a rich custardy filling and tender sweet apples, and a crispy, butter topping to cap the whole thing off. It needs absolutely no accompaniment. Just a person with a spoon. Please make it.

  5. Emily

    OH these look so incredibly delicious!

    I live in the UK though, and I’m pretty sure what you mean by cider is not what we mean by cider (in the UK Cider is always alcoholic), could you give me some guidelines what you mean?

  6. Seriously??? I can’t even tell you how perfect this is…my best friend Courtney and I have been trying to find the perfect apple cider doughnut recipe because her husband grew up eating these on Halloween night post-trick-or-treating.

    It’s one of his favorite memories and we’ve so been wanting to re-create! thank you, Deb. and big sugar kisses to the nom-able SK baby boy!

  7. I was just walking around the magnificent local orchards over the past week, interviewing the orchard keeper for an article coming later this week, and sipping cider. There is nothing, nothing as wonderful as hot cider on a cold day – except, a cider donut DUNKED in hot cider on a cold day. I grew up around orchards, and I have never outgrown my love of cider donuts. But, I have never tried to make them myself. Now, I have a recipe from a trusted source. Thank you Deb, and trusty Crisco-assistant. I am going for it. ;)
    All the best, Michaela

  8. I have only gone to Hearth for the sole purpose of eating these donuts. (They gave us a table as long as it was 10pm and we promised not to order anything else.) And they were truly awesome.

  9. Laura

    I never heard of frying in crisco, but it makes sense. Will have to try that if I ever fry at home again. I still can’t agree with you about the butter pie crust though, I actually made your apple pie recipe this weekend and tried the butter crust you recommend, but it just doesn’t do it for me like a shortening crust. Maybe its what you grow up with.

  10. Apple cider donuts are an addiction. And here I thought I could only get them at orchards!

    Also, the pictures of your son with the Crisco are too adorable. Another reason to love reading Smitten Kitchen!

  11. Eighmey

    Holy Cow those look/sound amazing! It doesn’t help that I’m pregnant and craving yummy fried things like this. Definitely going to have to make these this weekend.

  12. Bri

    I mean, those look good and all, but check out the head of hair on that baby! He’s got more hair than most middle aged men. And he’s so tiny!!! You cooked up something delicious there. :)

  13. I actually made these a few months ago in college at the department’s end-of-year party. The faculty loved them and were impressed on how I could do them as a college student. I cheated and used those Pillsbury Biscuits. Just take those, punch a hole out the middle with the top of a soda bottle (or vodka bottle, if you’re in college) and fry them all in a pot of oil. We did the apple glaze, too. Now that I’ve graduated, I’ll try to actually make them from scratch. ;)

  14. JC


    We apple/pumpkin pick every year at an orchard that sells hot apple cider donuts from a little window. They sell them plain, powdered, and in cinnamon sugar. Imagine the cheers from my family if I can reproduce them at home! This weekend sounds like a good time as any to try.

    I know nothing of deep frying — can I use my biggest le crueset? Or is there another better suited vessel?

    1. deb

      JC — Of course. I usually go for whichever pot I have that has the widest base, in this case I used this 6-quart one. But using your cast-iron Dutch oven is an even better idea as it will delightfully reseason it for you.

      Grace — This was my first time making doughnuts, so I can’t say for sure. However, I freeze other baked goods unbaked, so I’d say to do the same for these.

      Kimberly — And funny enough, I’ve never used a deep fryer! Without one, you just use a deep-fry/candy thermometer and the heat settings on your stove to get the oil temperature to where you need it, turning it up and down as you need to. I won’t lie, I’m pretty sure a deep-fryer makes this easier (esp. if it keeps the temperature even for you) but it is in no way a prerequisite to fry at home.

  15. These look delicious, I have never had cider flavoured doughnuts! I shall try to make them, perhaps to have with mulled cider and ice cream.

    Can I just say though, that your son is more delicious than all of those doughnuts! He is a wee cutie!

  16. Sally R

    Oh this looks great. I recently made your recipe for pumpkin bread pudding and it was a knock-out. Thanks so much for these awesome fall treats!

  17. Wow, these look delicious! I can’t wait to make them. (Kitchen ignorance revelation: I had no idea you could deep fry something without a deep fryer. I’m from Texas; I thought deep fryer and deep frying were synonymous. Happy to find I can make these despite also having a deep fryer-free kitchen.)

  18. Erica

    I used to work at a bakery in an orchard farm store (Russell Orchard in Ipswich, MA shoutout!) that was pretty well-known for their yummy cider donuts. (They’re on the cover of Edible Boston this month, as it turns out! As an ex-donut girl, I can’t give away the secret recipe but it was pretty darn close to this one here. And they’re wonderful!
    Thanks for posting Deb! I look at your photos and I can practically smell the fall leaves…

    1. This comment is from 8 years ago, but I had to holler back at Russell Orchard’s cider donuts!!! I grew up in Beverly and never knew a cider donut other than theirs until later — every one since hasn’t come close. I’ll be trying this recipe next weekend and we’ll see!

  19. Grace

    Perfect! I need to use up some buttermilk, apple cider and shortening myself. Thank you! This is a dumb question, but I’m VERY new to baking… is it possible to freeze these? If yes, at what stage is it best to freeze? After it is done? After they are shaped and before they hit the pan? Thanks in advance, if you get the chance to respond! :)

  20. deb, you must be a mind reader! i’ve been craving apple cider donuts for weeks. people in italy look at me like i’ve got three heads.

    i may have to make my own cider, even if apples are over $3.50US/kilo here. and these donuts to go with it.


  21. I absolutely can’t wait to make these! I know of so many places in New Jersey that sell amazing cider donuts, but I haven’t found anything like it here in San Diego.
    The other grad students are going to love me when I bring these in — assuming they ever make it out of my house.

  22. Deb, have you tried frying things in coconut oil? I know it sounds ridiculously decadent, but like shortening, coconut oil is also solid at room temperature, so I wonder if the results would be similar (in terms of the greasiness-factor). The thing about coconut oil is that it’s also supposed to be really good for you. There are tons of health benefits to it (great skin, protects against cancer & diabetes, and promotes weight loss (!!!). I’m not a scientist so I don’t know if any of that is true, but my mom (who is a total health nut) swears by it. And I kind of love the idea of being able to deep fry virtuously. Also the oils smells SO good!

    Oh and I do not represent the coconut oil industry in any way, shape, or form, despite my obvious enthusiasm for their product. ;)

    1. deb

      David — Jacob ate them. He’s trying to fill out his French sailor shirt.

      Alejandra — I have not tried coconut oil shortening (but I do like it as a replacement for shortening in certain cookie recipes that really benefit from shortening). I have to be honest, I’m not thinking one eensy bit about healthfulness when making doughnuts, even in “good” oil it is still, you know, a doughnut. When deep frying, I’m actually looking for a fat that leaves the least behind, so they don’t taste slick. For fried chicken, I liked peanut oil, but I do believe I’ll try shortening next time, for comparison. All that said, if you try it with the coconut oil shortening, please let us know how it went. I am sure others would like to be spared the purchase of a mega-tub of Crisco!

  23. Apple cider donuts are one of the things I miss most about my four years of living in New England. Oh the cakey, sugary heaven… and then licking the residual cinnamon off of your fingers. Thanks for the blast from the past, Deb!

  24. I have to admit, I’ve never made them myself, but had a sinfully delicious batch of apple cider doughnuts upstate at Ochs Orchards last weekend. They were so good–made right there in front of us as we were waiting!

    These look amazing though, and I will definitely try my hand at some one day.

  25. I have discovered your beautiful blog only a month or so ago and the pictures/text combination is so yummy that i keep coming back and try more recipes…i’m french and although i like to think of myself as creative and enthousiast in the kitchen i have to say you inspire me a lot !! so far i’ve tried:
    – the stuffed aubergines ( i messed up the cooking and the meat was a little overcooked, nice enough though)
    – the wonderful onion/mustard tart (a complete success, despite the slightly undercooked center)
    -the quiche lorraine, i’m usually very at ease with quiche, but the addition of leeks to this recipe was a v good idea, and again a lovely lovely dish

    and today’s post makes me wanna do beignet!
    i’m not confident enough to try the doughnut recipe, but it’s giving me the idea to make what my mother use to make us when my sister and i were younger….beignets with aubergines and courgettes and apple or bananas for desserts…mmmmymmy.

  26. Emily

    I love all of your recipes and everything always looks so yummy. When are you going to publish them all in a book so I can keep them all together instead of on individual print out, scattered about my kitchen??

    Also, your son is so unbelievably adorable!

  27. kristen

    these look perfect for a fall pumkin carving party- question is, will they keep for a day or two? I won’t have time to fry them up the day of the party. What would you do?

    1. deb

      Kristen — Doughnuts are best the first day, first hour even. Our second-day leftovers weren’t bad at all, but I’d say make the dough, keep it cut and chilled in the fridge or freezer and fry them right before the party. The frying takes no time at all.

  28. My new hubby and I just got back from our honeymoon in NYC yesterday. The reason we went, and I’m not all that ashamed to admit it, was because of The Doughnut Plant. We saw it on The Food Network and got a whim to just GO. So glad we did! The Creme Brulee` donut was a thing of beauty! Great city, great people, great food! Thanks for sharing!

  29. Deb – you are my hero! I’ve been wanting to try my hand at apple cider doughnuts but wasn’t sure what recipe to use. I know exactly what I’m doing this weekend now. Thank you!

  30. Tom

    I believe ALL Crisco is now trans-fat free. The green jars of “trans free” stuff was their experimental test of the line, and it was popular enough they simply converted their production.

    1. Yes, they went trans-fat-free years ago. Mucked up the flavor, imho. I’ve searched high & low for the old kind, but it just doesn’t exist any more.

  31. Tom

    “According to the product information label, one 12 g serving of Crisco contains 3 g of saturated fat, 0g of trans fat, 6 g of polyunsaturated fat, and 2.5 g of monounsaturated fat. [2] It is claimed that this reformulated Crisco has the same cooking properties and flavor as the original version of the product.”

    1. deb

      Tom — I did check my can just now and it does not say it is trans-fat free however if you’d seen the grocery store where I’d bought it, you’d know why it would be no surprise that they have ancient stock on the shelves. But I also don’t see anything on their site indicating that they’ve gone entirely trans-fat free.

      That said, as I’ve indicated in the post, I’m the last person who would get in a tizzy over the latest health scare. I rarely cook with shortening, with or without trans fats, but am more than willing to for an occasional superior doughnut.

  32. Elizabeth

    So could the dough be in the fridge overnight instead of 20-30 minutes so I could make them in the morning to take to the office?

  33. YUM! I sneaked a peek at your Flickr a few days ago and saw these pics, so I was hoping the recipe was forthcoming. And I concur with the Crisco-frying.. as much as it skeeves me out mentally, it really is the best for frying pastries. And it produces a kick-tush Monte Crisco sandwich, too (cleaning up the language because, you know, there’s a baby around).

  34. Rhonda

    Donuts…why can’t we ever say that word without sounding like Homer? And I laughed out loud when I read that you had them with dark beer, you are so after my husband’s heart. I miss the shop that use to sell apple spice donuts when I was a kid and nothing has lived up to that expectation either. Was going to try to find a pumpkin version (Krispie Kreme has left our city) as my kid liked them but this will work better. If I could only get Homer out of head now.

    It’s going to be fun watching Jacob grow compared to fruits, vegetables and now Crisco, a Texas home staple.

  35. Sasa

    Perfect, I was just feeling the need to do mah bad self some deep frying, thank you. And great pic of the bebe! Hilarious idea, wish I’d thought of it first.

  36. I walked around the Union Square Farmers Market for like 20 minutes searching for Apple Cider Doughnuts last Monday to no avail. Perhaps it is time to stop relying on those apple vendors…

    1. deb

      Epicurette — Me too! Though I was able to get one late in the summer, confusingly enough. I had been looking to get one for comparison, since I already had it in my head that I wanted to make them at home. Oh well.

  37. Okay there must be a million people trying to read about these doughnuts because it took me about 10 tries to load your website…and now i’m smiling with my mouth and my stomach. I’ve been attempting to cut down on fried foods and this post is so not helping Deb. Must you torture me with photos of things I cannot resist?

  38. Interesting observation about using shortening to fry. I’ve never used it much myself, and like you my people don’t fry much more than latkes, but it’s good to know. And adorable photo of Jacob, he probably weighs the same as the Crisco.

    1. deb

      Site issues — Yes, sorry, we’ve been up and down since I posted this. We had the same issue on Friday with the scones and a week before that with another new recipe which means… da-da-da-dum, it’s time for another server upgrade! This will hopefully be completed with just minutes of downtime overnight tonight. Site loading might still be a little spotty for the next couple hours.

  39. Bob

    Stunning. I can’t get enough apple cider doughnuts, but I have to agree, most aren’t as thrilling as the idea. Maybe I should make some myself…

  40. I’m not a big doughnut/deep fry kind of person, but I am a fan of apples and apple cider. May have to try this one on one of those stormy fall days….

    Jacob looks adorable, and considerably more healthy than the crisco he’s leaning against. :)

  41. I’m such a fan of doughnuts but, frankly, crisco is scary as all hell. But these look so incredible that they’re tempting me to the dark side. And really, if we do all of this in moderation it’s okay, right? RIGHT? Please say yes!

    Awesome post!

  42. My husband was just saying that he missed the doughnuts from the apple cider place we used to live next to. Plus, I bought a tub of shortening so I could prove to myself that snickerdoodles are better with butter, and I didn’t know what to do with the rest of it. Now I do!

  43. Caley

    Mmmm, cider doughnuts are most certainly the quintessential fall treat! If, for some strange reason, you are ever in Toronto there is a small town about 1 hr east called Tyrone. In the fall the Tyrone Mill cranks out cider and doughnuts at an alarming pace! If you go on the weekend you can get hot ones that NEVER disappoint.

    I can’t wait to try and make them at home! Thanks!

  44. Fantastic and completely drool worthy! (baby and donuts alike!) Deep-fried anything is delicious and worth the wait, especially deep fried fall – getinmybellynow, thank you. I recently made brioche donuts (seriously awesome. seriously bad for any sort of losing-weight-resolve) and also discovered how FUN it is to deep fry. Part of me wants to make these just because I know how fun it’ll be to watch them poof up. If you are interested in pursuing your new found love for all things deep-fried in shortening, you can check out the brioche donuts. It’s a recipe from one of my favorite bakeries in Chicago (

  45. I have the fondest memories of watching the “doughnut maker” at the Milk Pail, an orchard near my country house. Perfect circles of dough would plop into hot oil, glide along, get flipped over and then pop out golden, HOT, and ready to eat. I must make this recipe, if only to get a taste of those moments back.

  46. Chris

    I grew up in upstate NY, which is to say I grew up eating apple cider donuts. They’re the greatest with a glass of apple cider.. especially if you can go to a cider mill and get the real, unpasteurized stuff. I’m going to have to make these!

  47. Good lord, I just fainted and fell off my chair at this post! I NEED THESE DONUTS TO LIVE-ONLY my clothes are begging me to STOP the madness of my OVER EATING! I just love this post, pictures and words! IT’S FAN-DAMN-TASTICK! Also, your bitsy bitsy baby is so so cute! That outfit is too much, onsie with socks! Just adorable!

  48. Ooo…how exciting! These must be the epitome of fall, bar none (well, except for pumpkin pie and caramel apples!). I’ve never had one, and because they require shortening and (eek) that is the cardinal sin in my house (and red food dye as well as corn syrup will probably never cross our threshold, either…sigh…and yet we live on…), I probably never will. But geeze, these look delicious! And Jacob will NEVER remember…as long as you don’t tell! :-) HA!

  49. Jess

    OMG are you stalking me? I had apple cider doughnuts the other day when I was visiting Solebury Orchards in Pennsylvania. Those doughnuts are crazy delicious.

  50. jen

    love that boy’s hair! what a heart breaker. i want one of those doughnuts. now.
    actually they remind me of apple hill in CA, they have these there. but i’ve never actually had one. good thing i can make them at home now!

  51. Jacob is sooooo adorable! So tiny and perfect :)

    Those donuts are pretty adorable too lol My friend and I were just talking about them yesterday so it’s funny you’d do a post on them today! Yum!!

  52. your babe is so cute my ovaries hurt. the socks! seriously.
    these donuts look fantastic, although i doubt i will ever try to deep fry anything in my kitchen. i will have to get my fill at the farmer’s market. (i think that mon is the ‘smallest’ market day at union sq. perhaps there are more cider/ donut opportunities wed, fri and sat)

  53. Oh my goodness, his little socks are seriously the cutest thing I have ever seen! And the doughnuts…I’ve had trouble finding a good and proper tasting apple doughnut myself, but these sound fantastic!

  54. Rose

    The expression on Jacob’s face in the 2nd pic… “what the heck is my mom doing to me?!”….it’s priceless!

    Wonderful looking donuts too!

    1. deb

      The socks! — I’m so sorry. I was going to provide the link to those impossible-to-resist infant argyle socks, they were something like a buck and a quarter from Old Navy, but they’re gone now! I’m so crushed. These are also cute, but it’s just not the same thing.

  55. Jen

    Hi Deb! Thank you for this wonderful coincidence! On the weekend we were at a local pumpkin/apple farm/apple cidery house and they we’re “getting ready” to make apple cider doughnuts. But the “getting ready” took too long, so my wonderful spouse had to go without. Not anymore. As soon as we get some serious fat, we will have doughnuts!!!

  56. Gale

    Doughnuts look lovely and all, but…. ARGYLE BABY SOCKS? How could I care about doughnuts with photos of argyle baby socks in front of me? Jacob (and all of his hair!) continues to be the world’s cutest newborn.

    PS – Made the breakfast apple cobbler thing. YUM!

  57. OMG. You would not believe that I just bought apple cider this week so I could do this very thing! Glad I have one more place to reference when making them. They look delicious.

  58. These look delicious but alas… I don’t like donuts. I had to do a science experiment in 8th grade that involved burning different foods to figure out the calories. I happened to be eating a bag of donut holes at the time and decided to see what would happen. Thankfully, I still like churros so maybe I could make these or modify them into an apple cider churro for my upcoming pumpkin carving party.

  59. Sarah

    Your donuts look awesome! My family is in the donut business, so I can attest that at-home donuts can be tricky, you’ve got to make sure the fryer is at just the right temp. We always do apple cider donuts and pumpkin spiced donuts for the fall. I prefer mine with glaze (keeps them fresher longer too) but powdered sugar or a cinnamon-sugar dusting is always yummy too. Or you could always drizzle a little caramel on top for a caramel apple donut, yum!

  60. 5280Mommy

    Oh my gosh, Jacob’s hair KILLS me with its adorableness. I have a 9 month old son, Evan, who until very recently was totally bald. Which is cute in its own way…but I’m still going to covet that cinnamon swirl hair on your little pumpkin. Evan has some wispy dark blond curls starting to come in, so I’m anxiously waiting to see how he turns out! But the reason for this post is not hair, nor is it apple cider doughnuts (which look amazing, by the way), but SOCKS. I just saw some at Janie and Jack. They have argyle under the “Truly Timeless” and “Holiday Express” collections, and FAIR ISLE under the “Fall Frontier” collection (with matching sweater vest and hat!). Anyone who thinks shopping for boys’ clothes isn’t fun is sadly misguided.

  61. Symphonic Chef

    Aw Deb, Jacob has clearly won all of our hearts. Before he was born I couldn’t imagine how your blog could possibly improve… but now I’m equally smitten with the food and the little munchkin!

    Also, I want to thank you, because today is my 24th birthday and my man (who NEVER cooks) surprised me with the Chocolate Stout cake from your site. It is sublime and he said it was easy to make! (He knew that getting a recipe from anywhere other than SK would be a crime!) Thanks so much and enjoy those doughnuts!

  62. See, you were deprived of deep-frieds in your childhood – may I one-up you with a fact that I thought doughnuts only came with cinnamon sugar and were long-lasting until well into adulthood – and am still to visit a city that actually has names attached to doughnuts other than “jam-filled” or “glazed”?


  63. You know, I never really thought about it, but apple cider doughnuts at the farmer’s market generally disappoint. I’m going to have to try this recipe (minus the baby). :)

  64. Stephanie

    Deb, do I have to use apple cider? I don’t have any in the house but I do have plenty of unfiltered apply juice. I would rather spare myself the trip to the market for cider, but I wonder if using the juice instead of cider will affect the flavor? Any thoughts regarding this? Thanks again for the wonderful and delicious ideas!!! Reading your posts always make my day.

  65. Kimberly

    Keep the cute baby pictures coming. These sound too delicious to pass up, I will be trying them this weekend and cursing you for any extra weight they may add. Thank you so much Deb for keeping up with the posts, it’s the highlight of my afternoons.

  66. Kim

    Love cider doughnuts, they bake delicious cider doughnuts at a farm bakery in my home town. You can pick out your pumpkin and devour half a dozen at the same time. And I love the argyle socks, too!

  67. Sarah

    made this just last weekend. kinda a lot of rigmarole, but so totally worth it. i daydream about eating them! definitely worth using a thermometer though, we had a few come out raw in the middle cuz the oil wasn’t hot enough. also, we used straight veggie oil, not crisco, and they were yummy.

  68. Andrea

    Oh crikey! Why, oh why must you do this to me?! There is an orchard near the small town my husband grew up in that serves cider donuts. The type of cider donuts that have you convinced that heroin is a significant ingredient…but these look even better.

    My tastebuds want to thank you. My waistline wants to curse you.

    Wonderful as per usual, Deb.

  69. amy

    oh, you made me long for the north like I haven’t in a long time. There was this place, Nettie Och’s near my old apartment in West Orange. Or it might have been Livingston, NJ (those towns all run together) it was an honest to goodness cider mill, and they had apples, cheese, pies and CIDER DOUGHNUTS for sale there. You could watch them press the cider! If my morning was going well, I often stopped there on my way to work for a hot cider and a doughnut. I haven’t had one since (I moved to texas and then on to florida 7 years ago) and I hear that they sold the property and closed up shop several years ago. sigh.

  70. Bekah

    Seriously, Deb. I never though a baby in argyle socks next to a canister of crisco could be that stinkin’ cute, but that’s a classic. What a beautiful head of hair, too. I have just a little leftover cider from my orchard weekend, and it’s just found its calling after this post. Yum Yum.

  71. Your doughnuts look so perfect. I made this recently (slightly different recipe that uses apples too) and had trouble getting perfect rings. But they were still so tasty! Apple cider doughnuts are one of those key fall necessities!

  72. Peg

    Although I like reading your recipes – I love seeing the pictures of your little boy. He is just darling and handsome with that gorgeous hair and face.

  73. victoria

    Um. Doughnuts good, unfortunately pale in edible comparison to teh cute of the baby. Must eat chubby thighs. Love the second pic, he looks like a beatnik getting ready for his poetry slam.

  74. Mer

    These look delicious. I have never heard about frying things in Crisco before… I am curious if that would work in my deep fryer. It would just firm up again as it cooled, I guess? Hmmm…

  75. Oh, Deb! You are a woman after my own heart! How many apple cider doughnuts have I relished in the crisp fall air at Terhune’s orchard in Princeton, NJ! I doubt the West Coast has anything that comes close.

  76. JC

    Oh em gee, those donuts look amazing. And your son should be the Gerber baby of shortening! Imagine the honor and prestige and neverending free tubs of Crisco!

  77. I’m sure you hear so much of this, but my GOSH your baby is cute! He and my baby are near the same age, and I just love that your guy has so much hair! My boy is pretty much totally bald and a lot fatter than yours, so pictures of such an opposite baby are fun to look at. And I salute you for being in the kitchen already!

  78. Nadia

    Even with no cider around I’m going to have to make these doughnuts! And many thanks to kookie in London for recommending the Scandinavian sour cream apple cake. I’ve bookmarked that too.

  79. erin

    Having conquered my fear of pie crust (thanks to you), I think it might finally be time for me to take on my fear of the doughnut, specifically the deep frying part. I am cracking up at the picture of Jacob giving the Crisco the stink eye.

  80. Oh heavens…I was on a beignet cake, and now these have caught my eye. I too have a fear of deep-frying at home (and am part Jewish…hmm, connection) but I may make an exception for these. Look really lovely.

  81. Vicki

    Not too far away from my town is Apple Hill near the site where gold was discovered. One of the farms made baked apple donuts on the spot, the recipe belonging to the family matriarch. People came from far and wide for those donuts and begged for the recipe. She refused to give it to anyone, family included. Long passed away, no one gets baked apple donuts anymore. And it causes me much sadness!

  82. Vidya

    I’ve more or less given up on doughnuts, mostly because a good lot of them are chock full of animal fats, which as a vegetarian, kind of freaks me out. I can somehow also taste the fat, even if it is just vegetable fat, in most doughnuts too, which is just gross. Kind of like my aversion to super buttery/oily goods which always make me feel like I’ve done something wrong. But I do love homemade doughnuts…have you tried making bombolini? They’re awesome fresh. I don’t have any qualms about deep frying, fortunately, as long as the batter itself isn’t too fatty…I’m Indian, it’s in the blood.

  83. Louise

    Noooooooo, I wasn’t going to make donuts at home again cos there are only 2 of us and we usually eat the whole batch. It’s bad enough that a local store does rather yummy and ridiculously light cinnamon donuts and we keep running low on staples that we simply have to get from there. And Jacob is looking very cute, must be itsy little socks.

  84. Judy

    I have never bought Crisco before in my life…..but if thats what comes with it I am running out now to stock up! He is adorable!
    I am an american living in england and desperately hungry for all the fall treats….like cider donuts. I may even try and make them, you make it seem so simple. Love your website. keep up the great work.

  85. Matthew

    So, I made these last night. I had a few friends over, and we thought it’d be a fun time. We were right, the prep was fun to share with others, the dough came out spectacularly, and deep frying wasn’t as bad as I imagined. We used a le crueset stock pot to fry them in and they were marvelous.

    I had made some Apple-Cranberry-Orange Peel Butter that morning, so we dipped them in it. Yum.

    The one thing I would say was that there was a slightly greasy post-indulgence feel to them. I think this might be a result of my lack of deep fat frying experience. I’m guessing they took on more Crisco than they should have, possibly due to the temperature dropping and not returning to an optimal state.

  86. Marcia

    King Arthur Flour sells boiled cider for cooking.

    I have not made donuts since my children were little, but I always deep fried items in a small electric skillet so I did not worry about temperature. I used Crisco for baking; the new trans fat free does not bake the same way without adjustments. You could also use canola oil. Of couse, you could always bake them.

    I’m wondering how the donut machine would work that King Arthur sells. The donuts are baked. Personally, I like chocolate cake donuts the best.

  87. Deb I’m going to have to try these even though I’m trying to cut down a bit in the run up to Christmas (ha!) Glad someone clarified the difference between cider and apple juice for UK followers, thanks (ie cider for us is alcoholic and apple juice is what you guys call cider). Your baby is a star.

  88. aecummings2

    Sorry Deb,
    I couldn’t even get finished reading this post before I had to comment…Please don”t stop including Little Babycake, Jacob in your postings. He makes everything look better and smell better and taste better. Clearly you are enjoying this little guy!! For about the 3,000th time, congrats on your new family! Well,I’d better get back to these autumn doughnuts…

  89. Melissa

    These look really tasty! I have a feeling that I won’t be able to find apple cider where I’m at (Egypt!) but I know I can find apple juice. I’m sure it wouldn’t taste quite the same, but do you think it’s worth making with plain juice instead of cider?

  90. Sarah

    I just keep coming back to look at these…I don’t usually fry so I would have no clue what I was doing. But good golly, these look YUMMY!

    (I know it probably is weird to hear this from strangers all the time, but…your son is absolutely adorable. Thanks for sharing photos of him with food…they make me smile!)

  91. I have never tried an apple cider doughnut before, shame on all the Massachusetts farmers at the market not forcing them upon me! I hate that shortening has gotten such a bad rap, it cooks beautifully whether for deep frying or pies. These look lovely.

  92. jeannie

    I haven’t had homemade donuts in years. My Mom always made them at New Years and fried them in lard. I don’t remember them as being greasy in any way . I think the temperature at which you fry things and keeping the fat temperature high enough by not frying too may donuts at once goes a long way in keeping them from oozing grease.
    Anyway, I am sorely tempted to make these donuts because they look delicious.
    Your baby looks delicious as well!

    Take care,


  93. Ginny

    You officially are my recipe hero! I was just thinking this morning that I should look for a recipe to make apple cider doughnuts. I grew up in western Massachusetts and there is a great little apple orchard with a store that makes the most delicious cider doughnuts. I can’t wait to make these. Thanks Deb!

  94. Natalie

    Deb, you are melting my Texan heart. I spent a lot of my childhood living up in the Northeast. My brother worked at Delicious Orchards food market and brought home the left-over baked goods each night. I will never forget those cider doughnuts. I still dream about them! I may have to surprise my family with your recipe. Thank you!

  95. Dee….why do you do this to me so early in the morning. I don’t even like doughnuts that much, but I’m about to get dressed, go to the store, purchase the ingredients, and try not to eat them all before the kids get back from school.

  96. Debbie

    Ahh the foods of Fall.
    In Portland Oregon the best doughnuts are at Delicious Doughnuts (they often sell out before 11 AM, Helen Bernhardts are great too. I haven’t tried Stacatto Gelato’s yet but I know someone who had them at their wedding instead of cake!

  97. OK – OK! You talked me into it and finally have given me a two great reasons reason to make these… sweet little baby & incredible recipe. Can’t wait to gobble these up.

  98. Tracy

    So CUTE Jacob is in his little pose with the crisco. I just love it. These doughnuts are incredibly delicious looking and so much easier than you would think. Do you think the brand of apple cider matters?

  99. Deb, you have a knack for hitting cravings right on the head! I have absolutely been wanting warm apple cider doughnuts for about a week now, so it appears I have no excuse! Having made the doughnuts, what are your thoughts about adding diced apple to the dough before frying for a little more apple flavor? Do you think it would hold up?

  100. Lisa

    Can’t wait to try the doughnut recipe–sounds scrumptious! Please keep the baby photos coming. Your adorable son is too cute for words! I have a 3 mo old little midwest girl who “helps” me in the kitchen. I am enjoying your website immensely! A friend brought over the blueberry boy bait when my baby was born and it was devoured almost instantaneously. We are hooked!

  101. Janet

    Hee hee…. you know, you have to make one of those Crisco and Baby photos available as a print! Too cute.

    Oh yeah — and the donuts sound grand, too!

  102. The socks! My god, the SOCKS! That picture of him with the Crisco – too adorable. The donuts look good, too – I’ve never attempted anything like that before, and now I really need a donut.

  103. I have been wanting to make doughnuts for months. In fact, I found that my mom has a doughnut cutter (family heirloom) stored in her garage. I think I’ll be digging it out this weekend.

    Love the baby pics.

  104. After a trip to the orchard with apples, cider and donuts (after some crafty maneuvering on our part) in tow, I decided I needed to find a way to make these at home. Just over a week later, you put this up! I think it’s fate.

  105. cyndiok

    Yay, You’ve got my favorite kind of doughnut recipe!!! I absolutely love ACD’s. There is a place called Delicious Orchards in Colts Neck, NJ that also has phenominal ACD’s and I had to stop buying them because I could eat the whole bag in the car ride back to my house!!! Oh and the Donut plant. don’t even get me started on that taste adventure. I will try these asap. thanks. p.s. the baby is adorable!!!

  106. Kara

    I know this has been mentioned already, but deep frying with lard (not the kind you get in at Walmart–that is super processed and trans-fatty), but real lard (I get mine from the same place I get my local pork) is totally where deep frying is at. I love it! And so much healthier (if deep frying can be so)!

  107. Polina

    I recently discovered your blog and for the past three days, I have been making dinner from recipes on your website. My husband is in heaven. The only thing that did not turn out was the brownies, but that was completely my fault since I did not follow the recipe at key junctures. Anyway, thank you for doing such a great job!

    By the way, how do you manage to cook with such a young (and cute) baby???

  108. How did you know?! How did you know??!!! I’ve been scouring the internet looking for a GREAT donut recipe. Of course, I’ve had NO luck whatsoever! I’ve found plenty of recipes, but none of them have turned out worth a darn. Leave it to you, Deb, you always come through for me. You know, of course, you’re the first place I go when I’m looking for a KILLER recipe for absolutely anything! Now I can’t wait to get home and try these donuts!!

  109. Shan

    I’m glad I’m not the only mom who can’t find time to, say, do the laundry, but can always squeeze baking (or deep frying) delicious treats into the schedule. With three month old twins and an almost two year old toddler, friends always ask how I have time to cook. The real questions is: How would I keep my sanity without regularly consuming freshly baked goodies???

  110. cybercita

    oooh, i’m such a sucker for apple cider donuts. i love even the bad, greasy stale ones at the greenmarket. where did you buy your donut cutter?

    i always have crisco on hand. i keep it in the refrigerator, because i can take a couple of years to go through a small can. i like to put a couple of tablespoons into my pie crusts, otherwise they taste too greasy to me — and i use it to grease cake pans, for which it it superb.

  111. Ginny

    Deb- do you know how this dough will turn out if you freeze it and then use it at a later date (so the doughnuts are freshly made)? I don’t know much about dough in general, so I thought I would ask. Thanks.

  112. Linda May

    WOW…originally from MI and cider & donuts ARE autumn!!!!My friends in CA just do not quite get that! The recipe is a must try…and OMG…your son is perfectly darling! (I also admit to Crisco in the fridge).

  113. deb

    Pre-freezing questions — I noted in comment #37 that I hadn’t tried pre-freezing a doughnut dough before. However, my hunch is that it should work (as it does with scones, biscuits, etc.). Freeze it before you cook it; doughnuts are always best freshly cooked.

  114. NicM

    I love Colorado, but when fall rolls around I sure do miss trips to the cider mill in Michigan complete with warm donuts and a hay ride. I have Crisco sticks in my baking cupboard at all times just in case!

  115. whitney

    i have to say…i’m a tiny bit intimidated by deep frying. though, why should i be? you have inspired me to bake my own bread for the first tim AND make my own pizza crust for the first time and both of these virgin events went swimmingly. looks like its time for another first. thanks!

    jacob+argyle+crisco=perfection in every way!

    1. deb

      I’d defrost the doughnuts first. Since you’re only frying them for a minute, there’s a good chance if they went into the fryer frozen the centers still would be when the edges were brown. Also, you’d risk lowering your frying oil temperature a lot more than you’d want to (which would lead to heavier, greasier doughnuts). Good question!

  116. Kelly

    Oh my god! You totally read my mind! I have been looking at recipes for cider doughnuts for the past week after had it on Tastespotting. Now I have to try it! Ans by the way, Jacob is adorable. He is so cute with his full head of hair!

  117. Vanessa

    Adorable photo of your son and the donuts look sooo delicious! Hmm… I may be heading to the store for a giant tub of shortening myself!

  118. I know what you mean about restaurant recommendations. I have favorite places, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be someone else’s favorites.

    However, I am about to make my first trip ever to NYC, and I live in Seattle, quite a doughnut-obsessed city. I hope I get to try some of these.

    Hilarious Crisco photo.

  119. Boot C

    YUM! applesauce cake donuts are the flavor of the day on mondays & thursdays @ my local donut shop, & they are my fave. This makes me want to make some @ home! I love the fact that the baby is about the same size as the crisco too!(we swear by our crisco here in the south, btw)

  120. Rebeca

    Yum! I work at an organic veggie farm and our boss has been bringing us cider donuts to snack on during these cool fall days. We have become quite the picky connoisseurs. Anyhoo, I fried some orange flavored donuts in lard a while back and they came out terrific, crisp on the outside and not greasy at all. It looks like despite your Jewish heritage you cook pork, so I’m guessing lard might be an OK alternative to Crisco? Also, what about using schmaltz? I know it’s great for latkes and imagine it may have been used for sufganiyot (not sure though). They look delish!

  121. Those look seriously yummy. I just ventured over here from Eve’s blog Oh My Word! I love your blog, so many recipes I’m going to have to try. I’ve never tried frying in Crisco. We always use peanut oil and are very happy with the results, and worth the cost. Not alot of grease seeping into your containment of choice (paper towel, napkin, etc.) if you make sure A) your oil is hot enough, as too cool oil makes food uber greasy, and B) set food on a cooling rack above a cookie sheet or some such oil drip catcher.

    hehe, I see you left those “tiny little chicken legs” alone. Unless… you didn’t deep fry those, too and make buffalo wings?? ;) lol Don’t you just love how those tiny little socks seem to swallow up itty bitty baby legs? *sighs* Ok, feeling some bitty baby blues now.

  122. S

    The baby is adorable and tiny! I haven’t had a doughnut in a while, and I’m not sure yet if I want to indulge in buying (and ingesting) large amounts of crisco! :P But the doughnuts looks good! Thanks for the bakery recommendations! If I ever go that way, I’ll try to stop by one of those places.

  123. Mels

    My boyfriend’s birthday is next week…and he LOVES apple cider donuts…I am thinking about getting up before he does and making them for bkfst…but I’ve never done this before and am highly intimidated. Nonetheless, I think I will forge ahead with the donut making! Oh and just fyi, I am also considering which of your delicious cakes to make for his bday…considered the almond raspberry one…and the yellow one…and…and…and… :)

  124. Oh thank you so much for this post!! I am originally from Illinois and one of my fall traditions is to go to the apple orchard to gorge myself on apple cider doughnuts and apple cider slushies. Right now, though, I am cycling around the world with my fiancee, and it is not the least bit “autumny” here in southern Italy. It is beautiful so I cant really complain, but I sure do miss crunching acorns, pumpkin displays, fiery colored leaves, and of course, apple cider doughnuts. Thanks so much for reminding me of home!

  125. Abby

    Oh me, oh my. Righto – off to find me some of that. I may have to search Brussels high and low to find the Crisco, but I will, oh yes I will have my doughnut!

  126. Jennifer

    Yum! Made these last night, refrigerated overnight, and fried up for my kids this morning. I used corn oil for frying because I had a big Costco tank o’ corn oil from my last frying adventure, and I fried at 375 because I’ve had better luck with hotter oil. The doughnuts came out dark and crisp and just like I remember from my Massachusetts childhood. Thank you so much for the inspiration and recipe!

  127. Erik

    @rutila #28 – yes!! not really the same but i love the apple filled donuts there (applesauce filling w/ 1 inch of crumb topping…) plus does anyone remember schutz’s cider mill in armonk?

  128. Emily

    In general something to remember about deep-frying: almost all of the oil/shortening/fat of choice stays in the pot. You are eating a little, but the vast majority serves purely as a cooking medium and will never find its way into your body.

    That said, Deb, how did you dispose of the used shortening? Did you let it re-solidify then throw it out?

  129. You inspired me to make some tasty doughnuts yesterday. I actually used a recipe from Alex G. on foodnetwork, which turned out big, fluffy and definitely supreme to Dunkin Donuts. Thanks for the inspiration.

  130. I absolutely love cake doughnuts! Whenever I make them, I seem to inhale at least 6 before they even have a chance to cool! Great pics of your son. He is irresistable!

  131. Lauren

    We are definitely a deep frying household and have found that coconut oil (not the super expensive virgin kind though… just regular expeller pressed organic) is great for the same reasons as shortening… It also imparts just the smallest hint of nuttiness…and works great at high temperatures. we usually get a gallon at a time from wilderness family naturals (definitely the cheapest I’ve found!)

  132. Amy

    Didn’t deep fry, what about for Hanukkah? These would be great at that time of year, well anytime of year for that matter but to justify and not have the Jewish guilt let’s wrap it into the holiday.

  133. Em

    I’m a scientist that does research in the field of obesity and even I say, “Everything in moderation!” So, have your trans-fats, eat a doughnut or two and be happy. Love the photo of the Crisco and bubs.

  134. I just want to let you know, now that you’ve unveiled your love for donuts, you have officially moved up on my admiration scale. I LOVE donuts! And I was just telling my husband last week how I was feeling sorry for myself because we moved away from my favorite apple cider doughnut shop in Chicago. But alas, even in Portland I can enjoy the scrumptious little guys! Happy day! Thank you!

    I’ve truly enjoyed reading your blog for the last year. It’s not every day I find someone who revolves their life around food the way I do. (Do you think about it as you’re drifting off to sleep?) I’m pretty sure we’d be bff’s if we were neighbors. Thanks for sharing your talents! I’ve had a blast trying to mimic your recipes!

    PS – You little man is so darn cute!

  135. Yes…Tice Farms…Bergen County…I have that memory too. Just made some delish Pot de Creme to get ready for my practical exam at the French Culinary Institute, NYC. Check out my recipe and my journey through culinary school at age 52!

  136. PS…I love the pics of your boy! I had my son 20 years ago (next week he’ll be 21, OY VEY!) and he’s a sophmore at The Culinary Institute of America. He’s doing his externship at Le Bernardin for the next 4 months. I’m so proud and was so inspired I decided to go to school myself. When they are so small and precious and delicious it’s so hard to imagine them being anything other than that. My Max is 6’5″ 215 lbs now, and he’s the best thing I ever made without a recipe! Enjoy your boy’s journey…and all the ways he will change you.

  137. Adam

    Ok, so I just tried this recipe and it came out super wet and sticky. I tried adding more flour but by the time it was remotely workable, it was too floury. I like the chilling idea – definitely would make it easier to cut. But how do I get to a less soggy dough in the first place? Thanks.

    1. deb

      Hi Adam — It’s a sticky, kinda soft dough. Use a well-floured board, well-floured baking sheets and chill it well — it will then be easy to work with.

  138. Boy do you have a lot of people commenting on these. Your pictures are great and they make the foughnuts look healty…there are apples in them too right? So they are somewhat healthy right?! I can eat more than 5 if I make them ;)

  139. Owen

    Excited to try my first SK recipe! I love the site. My cousins kids are coming for an afternoon visit and love donuts. Is there any part of this I can make an hour or two ahead? That way I can get it ready, feed them dinner and have dessert ready to go. Thanks!

  140. Sarah

    I made these yesterday (my first time deep frying anything!) and they were so delicious. I didn’t have any shortening, though, so I just used oil; next time I will go for the shortening and see which I like better. Also, I only used about half of the dough, so we’ll see what happens when I get the other half out from the fridge tomorrow morning.

  141. Gail

    OMG, your son is just too adorable!!! and that hair, i want to eat him up!! and the donuts look yummy too. i especially lke donut holes.

  142. Stoich91

    Yum, Deb! :-) I just can’t decide which I love more: the scrumptious doughnuts, the incredible and ‘edible’ baby socks for a buck 50 (serious steal!), or your meticulous comment moderation. :-) Hee hee. Inside joke, of course. :-)

  143. Anne

    Thank you for this! I have been so homesick for apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, the fall colors, and pumpkin patches. I love the Bay Area, but apple cider doughnuts are the real mark of fall (and impossible to find here). You’ve saved me a trip to Michigan!

  144. Maggie

    I made apple dougnuts a couple of weeks ago. Rather than drive 20 miles out of my way to go to the BEST donut place in the area for apple cider ‘nuts, I picked up some cider, oil (Now I have to try shortening) and apples. I also bought half a dozen caramel apples. Let fall begin!

  145. First off, Jacob is just sooooo cute! personally, while i think the argyle socks are very debonaire, there’s nothing i like better than bare little baby toes…nibble nibble nibble.

    And then this doughnut recipe! I have been reminiscing with a friend about the wonderful freshly made cinnamon-sugar sprinkled apple cider doughnuts that were available each Fall at Geiger’s, an actual cider mill near my parents’ home in NJ that eventually grew to be a full-sized farm stand and bakery. Even though i really don’t eat fried foods anymore, i’m still nostalgic over how good those still warm doughnuts tasted, especially with a glass of unpasteurized, freshly pressed cider on a frosty cold Fall morning. And now to read your wonderful blogpost and realize that i could make those doughnuts myself…i am soooo tempted!

  146. OMG, the little one has so much lovely hair!! Too cute for words. Thanks for the recipe. Have seen several on the internets of late, but yours is the one to tip the scale.

  147. I made this the dau you posted it! But..the next day, the few we had left (ha!) seemed to be undone in the center. Dark, sort of chunky in the middle. Too low temp on the oil? We used 350-365. Hmm. Canola Oil, too. Would that make a difference?

  148. lauren

    do you mind telling me what kind of candy thermometer you use? i’ve been looking on websites, but everything seems to have such mixed reviews that i’m not sure what to get…thanks!

  149. neige

    baby and donuts are equally delish looking!
    omg what a cutie!
    those socks; please share where they are from (I would love to dress my lil guy up in them!)

  150. Apple cider donut recipe looks terrific, may make it tomorrow, but the loud Hawaiianesque music is enough to make me think twice about visiting your site again.

  151. marijean

    I don’t have round cooking cutters – but I do have some ghost shaped cookie cutters (which are quite fitting of course). Do you think its necessary to have the hole cut out of the middle? ie. will it affect the frying at all?

  152. deb

    Ooh, people — Check out this recent post from Joe Pastry about the history of apple cider, and why everywhere else in the English-speaking world it is an alcoholic drink. Bonus: You can find out how the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” came along!

    marijean — I think you’ll have a harder time getting them to cook through in a minute or two if you don’t remove the centers. Basically, the doughnut will be bigger, with much less surface area.

  153. Those doughnuts look delicious!! I have to try this recipe SOON! :) Jacob is also adorable! Those cheeks must be hard to resist! And if you’re looking for another great doughnut, try the Bomboloni at A Voce, if you’re ever there. They’re not the apple cider doughnut, but they are delicious and decadent! Thanks!!

  154. Jasmine

    I saw this this morning and HAD to make them ASAP. I only had apple juice, so that’s what I used. It was still awesome. Also, for the Celiacs, I adapted this by swapping the flour for: 1.5cps rice flour + 1/2cp potato starch + 1/4cp tapioca starch + 1tsp xanthum gum. They turned out AWESOME! No one could tell they were gluten free.

  155. A

    Oh these look delicious! I’m not sure if I have the guts to deep fry anything myself, but these tempt me for sure.

    What about sufganiot at Hannukah? Aren’t those deep fried? Ok, maybe just pan fried, but in a great deal of oil. Close, yes?

  156. Margaret

    Long time reader, first time commenter. Love your site!

    I tried these last night…and they just didn’t turn out! What was I doing wrong? It seemed like they should have needed a lot more flour. I am fairly certain I measured accurately. Is it just a REALLY wet dough? Did I need to freeze them for a lot longer? Help!

  157. Terra

    Yummy! I replaced the reduced apple cider with apple juice concentrate since I had it on hand (and it sped up the recipe) with fine results. Next time I’m going to make all doughnut holes or doughnut sticks to make it a little easier to fry. We also doubled the cinnamon and added cinnamon to the glaze, per the 10 year old assistant chef’s instructions! Thanks for the yummy recipes and clear instructions.

  158. LaJuana

    I’ve never had an apple cider donut and these look wonderful but the star here is your precious baby. He HAS the be the most handsome baby EVER! I’ve been around a long time, seen a lot of babies but he takes the cake, uh, even in the form of a most delicious looking donut!

    Thanks for sharing, all of the recipes AND the photos of your young prince!

  159. Maia

    Baby! Oh he’s adorable! And I’m trying very hard not to run into the kitchen and make some of these right now because I do not need to be making and eating doughnuts at 11:30 in the evening when I should be sleeping. But I have everything except shortening and I’d sacrifice superior doughnut for doughnut right now…

  160. Kristin

    The doughnuts were a flop for me. They came out very crispy (which could be user error) and barely tasting like apple cider. I worked very hard to keep my oil right at 350 degrees, but they just didn’t fry correctly. I was so disappointed with the end result, I ended up throwing out the entire batch.

    I’m sticking with your absolutely fabulous pear and bittersweet chocolate cake for a fall treat!

  161. Krista

    Just made these ever so YUMMY doughnuts!! My family couldn’t decide whether they liked the glaze or cinnamon sugar topping best.. so I did both! Dip them in the glaze and then sprinkle with the sugar mix. Yum!! Thanks for posting the recipe.. for a perfect autumn day!

  162. Fran

    I also had super crispy super greasy results last night. Crisco not hot enough? Stopped after four hole attempts.

    I “latked” a few holes in a frying pan with a little corn oil this afternoon. Them was yum.

  163. Alice

    Ohhh I so agree about the donut holes at Tabla! I’m not sure I’ve had a better dessert in my life and I’m not even a huge donut person :)

  164. Melissa in CA

    I try so hard not to surf for hours on the internet, but WOW! Everytime I come to your site you have something delightful like this to entice me back. Now I just need to come up with a good reason to need to make these! Thanks!

    And, what a gorgeous boy you have! Enjoy every single moment of him. When he’s a touch bigger, you might look into a Kitchen Helper, so he can cook with you! My 3-yr-old loves his. :) Best of everything to you! :)

  165. Well. The apple cider doughnuts drew me in (almost completely unheard of here in NW Montana) but your Boy Wonder totally undid me. Thank you for sharing and showing. You’ve made my day…

  166. Apples Cider Doughnuts? I have never heard of such a thing. I’m intrigued. Doughnuts have been on the must try list for my cooking club for sometime now so I’m going to bookmark this one.

    Crisco. I buy Crisco exactly once a year to make my grandmother’s Christmas cookies. I made them with my Grandma and now I make them with Mom. That ice cream bucket full of copper and steel cookie cutters is my most cherished heirloom. So, yeah, I can do Crisco once a year.

    I’ve only just found your blog this weekend, and it is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  167. Robin

    After weeks of mind-numbing classes, the only thing keeping me going was the promise of my childhood favorite apple cider donuts at Apple Hill in the northern California foothills. They were amazing, but I miss them already. Then lo and behold! Your post! I can’t wait to have a chance to try it!

    However, my husband and I determined that we wanted to try these with chunks of apple in them (for flavor and texture). Is this possible? How would you do it?

  168. Kai

    If you are always disappointed by the cider doughnuts you get at farms, you have clearly not been to the right places! Try Terhune Orchards in Princeton. They are probably the second best I’ve had.

  169. Ha! The only reason I’m here is because I was googling for something like the Terhune Orchards Cider Doughnuts, LOL! Kai’s comment got me reeled me in. Otherwise, I can barely stand doughnuts, but the Terhune Orchards ones are dreamy. There’s nothing like joining in on one of their events, then indulging in doughnuts and hot apple cider at the end. All the samel, if I can’t come up with a Terhune Orchards recipe, I’ll be trying this recipe. Your doughnuts and doughnut holes look absolutely delicious!

    (Who just finished making the baked, vegan, French Toast doughnuts from Vegetarian Times. Will post them later tonight.)

  170. Julie

    Made these last night with friends. We fried them in peanut oil and they turned out great. Everyone loved them, though none of us had ever had an Apple Cider Donut before. Nice and light for a cake donut.
    As far as freezing goes, I would freeze them at the point that you put it in the freezer anyway, before you cut them. After it is solid, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put it in a zippered freezer bag. Then you could take it out, let it thaw, and continue with the recipe.

  171. Hayley

    Tried this recipe last week and absolutely loved it!!!! Great job Miss Smitten, I love your blog, and your baby is the cutest ever!!

  172. Makenna

    These were soo good and easy. I love that your little boy is ALMOSTas big as that little crisco jar! I have 3, the youngest 9 months today – They get too big too fast! You could sell that picture and get rich! So sweet!

  173. Tried them yesterday and they turned out (mostly) great. I need to buy a candy thermometer, which turned out to be more important than originally thought. ;) Wish I had thought to freeze a few and try frying again later. Grrr.

  174. Lindsay

    It’s a gift from kitchen heaven that you appear high on the list every time I google something delicious, and I’ve been lurking on your posts for ages. I halved this recipe and am confused as to where I went wrong. Only changes were powdered buttermilk, where you add the powder to your dry and the water to your wet, and I have always had consistent results.

    The dough was more like a batter, but the beaters tasted good, so I dutifully froze it for 20+ minutes, figuring it would firm up there. No, not so much; it was still super-sticky, wet, and batter-y. I was planning to cut them and bake them anyway, so I scraped it onto my Silpat, thinking it might make a scone instead. Too wet and spready. I scraped it into a 9×9 and baked it for ~18 minutes at 375. It tastes delicious, just like it is supposed to (although I might top up the cinn+nutmeg), and is about the right density. Any thoughts as to where I went wrong?

    1. deb

      Hi Lindsay — Your freezer might have just taken a little longer to firm them up — I’d give it a little more time next time, get them first, no matter how long it takes. It is indeed a stickyish batter, but it makes for a more moist doughnut. Hope that helps.

  175. These were incredibly delicious–and much easier than I’d expected, despite our having to improvise cutters out of different-sized jars–but I still kind of wanted more apple cider taste. Maybe I just have to accept that apple cider doughnuts evoke fall more than actually tasting of fall? Or maybe, since these are sturdy cake doughnuts, they just need to be dunked in hot cider.

  176. Ok, right off the bat I’m confessing that I will never personally make these. Those days are over. I will admit that they sound fantastic and will pass along the recipe to anyone that I find that is more energetic than I. May I add that dark beer with anythings sounds like a winner to me!
    PS Little Shortnin’ will be begging for you to deep fry him some french fries sooner than you think!

  177. I tried this recipe today and ran into some problems (which I totally attribute to user error!) Everything was going perfectly (when you flour and pat out the dough, it’s dreamy! nice and soft, and tastes delicious) UNTIL it was time to fry. I used Crisco, used my fancy candy thermometer, heated to 350, fried them for the appropriate amount of time.. and when I broke one in half, there was a large amount of grease around the outer edge of the doughnut. I tried increasing the heat and frying them for less time, but no luck – they were all super-greasy. I rarely fry foods so I’m pretty inept at this, haha.. Do you have any pointers? I know it’s hard to answer unless you’re here in the kitchen with me watching, but any thoughts would be great. Thanks so much, Deb!

  178. Inga

    Agree with Lisa. Thought these would turn out delicious. They look great in your pix, followed recipe to a tee, batter was yummy, but finished product was greasy and insubstantial – not at all like I like my cake donuts! Giving up on frying, next time I’ll just go to the donut store.

    1. deb

      For those of you having difficulties with uneven cooking or greasy doughnuts, here’s a tip I forgot to share weeks ago: The thermometer is almost always to blame, something I’ve learned from experience as I’ve burnt fried chicken and overcooked caramel countless times*. Here’s an easy way to find out if your thermometer’s readings are accurate.

      * I used to refused to spend more than $3 on a candy thermometer, reasoning that the technology was the same no matter what the price-point was. True enough, but remarkably, when I upped my budget by a whole $9, I stopped having these problems!

  179. lientje

    Dear Deb

    We just spent a week in NY and I tried to squeeze in as much bakeries as possible – unfortunately however, Tabla’s bread bar doesn’t exist any more – but the Crème brulée doughnut from Doughnut Plant and Sullivan Street Bakery made it all good :)

    Thank you for the tips!!

    Your most faithful Belgian reader



  180. Angela

    I just made these the night before I was throwing a brunch. They rewarmed perfectly in the oven, and the glaze was to-die-for. Thanks again for the great recipe!

  181. Carlye

    I have been trying your recipes for about 6 months now. My husband just laughs because he now just assumes anything that he puts in his mouth has been “Smitten Approved”!

    I have never posted before, but I made these this morning and HAD to post…finally. I made these to surprise my husband and the guys that he works with as a fun Friday treat. They LOVED them. My husband is in the National Guard and works full time at the headquarters here in Missouri’s capital. So, you have successfully and completely hooked these Army guys! I believe that qualifies as serving your country, don’t you? :)

    Enjoy your little one by the way, he’s cute enough to wrap in a crepe!

  182. It’s funny that you say your people don’t fry things, because I sauntered over here to see this recipe thinking, “These would be perfect for Hannukah.”

    Can’t wait to try them!

  183. My recipe is similiar to yours, but I think it has been simplified over the years to exclude the buttermilk. I agree with the logic of using crisco to oil – I think it makes all the difference in the world. The only thing better than a dusting of cinnamon and sugar is a glaze made from maple syrup frosting (maple syrup and confectioners suga).

    I have never detected much of an apple taste – more like funnel cakes – but they sure taste good!

    Thanks for the post and MAN WHAT A TINY BABY WITH A SWEET HEAD OF HAIR!


  184. SO…I’m relatively new to your site and saw these doughnuts and just had to make them. After bragging to all my friends that I was going to make these doughnuts, I made them today. It was pretty disappointing, actually! I have since figured out what I did wrong–I need an electric skillet to better control the temperature, in addition to a better candy thermometer, but I also needed to do a better job of measuring out the flour. I used the last of my cake flour and then some regular flour and the dough was pretty sticky. Anyway, I’m not a new baker by any means, but I am new to doughnuts and frying things in general (I’ve only fried chicken once and I’m from the South!), but these didn’t work for me this time, but I do think I will try again soon. I’m going to bake the rest of the dough that I have left and see what I can do with it. The glaze was awesome though!! And your baby is precious!

  185. Angela


    I made these doughnuts this afternoon and it seemed like the flour amount was off. The 3.5 cups made more of a batter than a dough. Did you have this experience?

    I see you mentioned flouring the parchment paper liberally….
    I ended up adding more flour and while my doughnuts were yummy, they did taste like i put too much flour in the mix.

    I’d like to try this again, but would love some more details so I can perfect this process. Thanks so much! This is the first recipe I’ve tried on your site that went awry.

    1. deb

      Angela — The dough is supposed to be very sticky. That’s why you keep it very cold and flour everything well as you use it. It keeps them from being too heavy or dense once cooked. The recipe as it is posted really does work wonderfully.

  186. Well, I made the dough for these, cut them out, and they’re in the freezer waiting for Thursday morning when I fry them for my art class. I’m verrrryy excited! And I have the chanukah excuse, so there’s NO guilt! Just have to keep my mum from going loopy about me deep-frying something.
    Save the bears, fry, and be happy!

  187. These were kind of dry, I thought. Tasty, but not addictive. The Cook’s Illustrated Holiday Baking Magazine this year has ‘drop doughnuts’ in it, which sound good. Maybe you could try and post them?

  188. Christine

    Deb, these were an amazing addition to our christmas morning brunch…just have one question. I didn’t have a donut cutter and used a water glass and spice jar lid for the cutters. The sizes appeared to be pretty right on, my issue was when I was trying to flip the donuts (or lightly shake off excess oil as I removed them to the plate of paper towels), I had trouble with them breaking. Any thoughts on why this would happen, or how to avoid it? Thanks! (PS, also had the spinach and cheese strata, also fabulous!!!)

  189. Jasmine

    Made these again today and they came out awesome as usual. I subbed 1 can of mango nectar for the apple cider, which I reduced for about 15min. They came out awesome. I also halved the sugar.

  190. Hi. I’ve not posted to your blog before, but I must confess: I really love your site! It is a treat for me, checking in and finding a fabulous new recipe, with great photos and writing to boot. You are talented, and I am a bit envious of your life (though I’m sure you work yourself silly making it all work; there’s loads more in your life than your blog, yes?).

    ok, so it’s even more of a treat when i have time to try out your recipes. i made these donuts for thanksgiving a couple of months ago. growing up in my family, we always made “homemade” donuts on thanksgiving morning, watching the macy’s parade on tv. my mom, bless her heart, is not much of a cook and our homemade donuts were made out of pillsbury bisquit dough (yikes! i admit, though, that the pop! of opening a pillsbury container is a sweet sound to me even now). but really, i’m living in new york now. it was perfect to make a batch of your delicious cider donuts, eat a few with coffee at our apartment, then eat the rest while walking TO the macy’s parade. what a perfect thanksgiving for our first year in new york.

    thank you!

  191. Jules

    I loved these! The apple cider glaze was tart and delicious. I did some in powdered sugar as well. Thank you so much for the recipe and pics!!!

  192. Sara

    I have recently discovered this site and I am obsessed!!! I hardly get any work done any more, you have rocked my world. Here is my problem though: I have already attemped 3 batches of these donuts (that’s right, I said 3) and EVERY time, the dough was terribly sticky and soft and did not hold it’s shape for more than mere seconds before going limp and becoming all wet and heavy. I followed your recipe to the TEE but can’t seem to make it right! Help!!!!

  193. Jodi

    Hi Deb!
    I too just discovered your site and am obsessed. I made the chocolate caramel crackers last night with bittersweet chocolate and they are to die for.
    Question-would you happen to have a recipe for making pumpkin donuts. I am obsessed with them in the fall and cannot find them anywhere in Chicago besides the pumpkin patch. I would love to make them this fall.


  194. sharon

    Look forward to trying these. Last year I bought 3 boxes of donuts at the apple ranches 1 hour away and froze 2 boxes to save for later rather than eating all 3 at once. Weeks later I made 3 different recipes for donuts, non of which had any flavor appeal at all. I considered making up my own version with apple cider but just didn’t want to put the effort and great apple cider into another recipe that might night turn out. This recipe sounds like what I am looking for. There is a flavor I couldn’t quite place with my apple ranch donuts and I think it was nutmeg which you include. I keep forgetting to add that to my apple muffin recipe.

    Thanks for sharing.

  195. I had to laugh about your comment about the Yankee Jewish upbringing and not frying. It’s so true! When I was growing up, nobody in my Jewish family ever fried anything. Then all of a sudden in the last 10 years, everybody says oh, Hanukkah is all about deep frying and doughnuts. Huh? I think it took awhile for the US Jews to get that message!

    Seriously, though, those look amazing!

  196. katiepea

    i don’t see how you can make dough with a paddle attachment on a stand mixer, in fact i’ve tried this several times and failed. is a paddle recommended for this? i don’t seem to see it anywhere in the recipe, but how can dough come together with a paddle and not a hook?

  197. Dale

    My grandmother used to make cider doughnuts, add a bit of chopped apple to the dough, then (after they were fried) dribble a bit of caramel over them and a few chopped salted peanuts, sort of like a carmel apple. I may have to do just that!

  198. Deb – THANK YOU for posting this recipe! Last year we stood in line at the apple orchard for over an hour, to buy SIX cider doughnuts (they limited all customers to six because they couldn’t make them fast enough!) My 4-year-old daughter and I have a cooking/baking project, and we tackled this recipe today. I was scared to DEATH because I have never made doughnuts before, but they were really easy!

    I posted our version of the recipe and our step-by-step process at my site and gave you credit: My photography skills aren’t nearly as good as yours, but we just roll with it. :)

    Thank you again, now that I found your site, I’m sure I will be back again and again!

  199. I just made these and they were a huge hit! My husband always talks about these incredible cider doughnuts he used to get at the orchard where he lived in Saratoga Springs and I think this is the closest we’ll get to that recipe. He is giddy as a schoolgirl.
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  200. Deborah

    Just made these….I doubled the nutmeg and cinnamon because I like a spicier flavor. I didn’t find the dough difficult to handle at all. I grew up in a town with a big apple farm and I loved the fresh cider donuts they made every Fall. There were a close second. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  201. Emily

    I just made these too! They were easy to make and taste fabulous. The recipe directions are very clear — thank you! I substituted a half-cup of whole wheat flour (so 3 cups white, 1/2 cup ww) just for the flavor; cooking time was the same.

  202. Kathy in St. Louis

    Number three for Doughnut Sunday here — what a delicious, satisfying recipe this is, Deb. I grew up making doughnuts (both yeast and cake) for 4-H, but it had been years since I’d bothered. So, I made apple cider doughnuts once about five years ago from a recipe I copied off the internet; it may have even been this one, because the pat-out-and-chill method is the same. This time around, I actually finished the batch (think I eventually threw out part of that previous batch, which makes me choke now) and ate way too many freshly fried doughnuts, so irresistable they are. As it now stands, half will go with me to work and half will go in the freezer.

    In your big crumb coffee cake recipe, Deb, you mentioned that the bakery in which you once worked used a doughnut batter for their inverted coffee cake. I’m thinking of doing the same with this batter, but with a filling of sauteed, tart apples and double the spice (I like the way #341 Deborah thinks!). It would be nothing but the best kind of trouble.

  203. Kathy in St. Louis

    I would like to add that I flung two large bits of shortening on my face while scraping the can clean. That was lovely.

    1. deb

      Kathy — I’d love to know how it goes. Also, I was back at Hearth this weekend and we ordered the doughnuts and they’re absolutely as amazing as I remember — pure fall bliss. Oh, and, I was at a farmer’s market two weekend’s ago and they had cider doughnuts and I asked if they’d been made that day. They told me they leave for NYC at 3 a.m. so, no, they have to make them the day before. Given that I bet most of the farmers start at least that early to get set up by 7 or 8 a.m., I’m not surprised that those poor doughnuts are always stale. I look at them with more empathy now.

      1. K

        Deb, I JUST NOW saw your response! Let me try that coffee cake idea in a week or so and get back to you. I ended up having my hometown-ish apple cider donuts last weekend (first time in many years) and remembered my attempt at your recipe. When life calms down soon, I’ll take another stab.

  204. Rosa

    These are delicious! I followed the recipe and did not have any trouble with the consistency of the dough (like a sugar cookie) or the final product (ideal cake doughnut texture). Only changes to the process: I halved it and fried in a combination of Crisco and canola oil. Thanks, Deb!

  205. Guess what? I’m going to make these, but fry them in my own rendered lard. I get lard from a local farmer and I bring it home and render it myself. Take that TRANS FAT! ;)

  206. Gaye

    We made these for a Friday night FUN night.I worked the fryer and the girls made toppings to top the donuts and they cut them out and put them on the parchment paper.We had so much fun and a lot of laughs.They tasted great too.

  207. jenniegirl

    When my baby is born, I will make sure to put him in a onesie and argyle socks. TOO TOO cute! Would make the doughnuts but deep frying remains a phobia.

  208. chrissy

    I made these with friends. We all loved the version with melted milk chocolate frosting. We were surprised how well it went with the spice cake flavor of the doughnuts.

  209. I just made these and they were wonderful with my morning coffee! I doubled all the spices and doubled the cider (but still reduced it down to a 1/4 cup) for a more striking flavor. Wonderful!

  210. Thanks for the tips on wonderful doughnuts in NYC! My husband and I made a trip up to NYC last weekend and we visited Balthazar’s bakery for breakfast. I had their sugar doughnut and it was by far the best “cake” doughnut I’ve ever had! Since I’m from the South, I will have to say that the best doughnut out there is a warm, hot out of the oven, melt in your mouth, Krispy Kreme. :)

  211. Rob

    Just finished making a batch of these donuts. Pictured here:

    Came out very nice after a few sacrificial donuts were burnt in the oil (we worked without a thermometer with shortening in a wok). Overall the recipe was pretty close to what I was hoping to make. I’m going to modify the recipe next time with more spice and try to use either a better grade of cider or reduce more of it down to 1/4 cup to try and infuse more apple taste into it. The donuts are great but only have a hint of apple taste.

    Thanks for the recipe. It was our first attempt at any type of homemade donut and it worked out great!

  212. Linda

    I tried the recipe for the apple cider doughnuts today and all I got was deep fried dough particles. I followed the recipe to the point of freezing the dough before frying it. Nothing but mess. Can someone help me out here? The comments all sounded like this would be one of those top notch recipes, but we are really disappointed here and will throw out the rest of the dough.

  213. Kevin

    Linda, I had almost the same experience. As they were cooking, they dough would continue to fall apart. I managed to get a few whole ones, but they still crumble a lot while being eaten.

    To be honest, I’m dissapointed… I followed the recipe to a tee, but I’m sick to the stomach with these donuts! Perhaps I’ve just been around them too much… but me and my sister just did not find them all that great. They weren’t all that bad, but it was hard to find them very delicious. The pictures you posted look very delicious, but what I ended up with ended up looking like batterfried fish and chicken nuggets! I had no idea that they were going to expand as much as they did in the oil, which made things a lot more difficult to work with.

    Bah.. I was really hoping for them to come out better. :(

    I’m going to try the extra ones tomorrow morning and hope they taste better with a fresh pallete.

  214. Emily

    I just made these. They are definitely not pretty (bumpy), but still taste pretty good. Might try reducing more cider for more apple flavor and/or going heavier on the spices. Honestly, unless you are a pro with low-tech frying, I wouldn’t do this without a deep fryer. It was hard to regulate temperature and I definitely burnt a few (and undercooked a few!), and I’m sure a deep fryer would just make it easier. Overall, it was fun to try!

  215. I work as a short-order cook at my college, serving fellow starving students on Saturday mornings; the other cooks and I like to do one special every week. I made a batch of about 60 of these this morning, and really didn’t even find that terribly hard. I can confirm that they work wonderfully for a crowd (granted, this was the sort of crowd that would eat just about anything, but still), and that the final chilling before frying can easily be extended to freezing overnight. They fried up wonderfully for me, and even though this was my first time deep-frying anything, I was rather impressed with out easy candy thermometers make it. My first three came out burnt and under-baked, but after that it was smooth sailing. Looking forward to making these for my family in a few weeks, potentially with even more apple cider.

  216. Amy

    I made these donuts this morning and just finished eating them for breakfast! YUM!! The recipe worked perfectly for me. I used the cinnamon sugar rather than the glaze. I followed the recipe exactly, except that rather than re-refrigerating the scraps, I just worked quickly and cut the scraps at the same time as the original donuts and then put them all in the fridge for 20 minutes while the oil heated. That worked fine. I also used vegetable oil rather than Crisco and thought they were great. Thanks so much for a wonderful recipe!

  217. Anna

    Hi Deb-
    I am planning to make these for a kids cooking class for the community meal they are making. The kids really wanted to do carrot and apple doughnuts… any suggestions for adding carrot and apple to the mix?
    Thanks for your help and for the delicious idea!

  218. Heather

    If cider doughnuts are your weakness, plan a trip to Waterbury, Vermont, home of Cold Hollow Cider Mill. They make them fresh daily, and we make the 30-minute drive over there often – with a cup of their fresh cider, it’s heaven! And you could visit Ben & Jerry’s at the same time. I’d call that a win-win.

  219. Mary

    So I know this recipe was posted long ago, but I just had to make these and comment! MAN these are good and I am not a cake donut fan but I LOVED these! Great job! One thing I did differently for the glaze was to use granulated sugar. I didn’t have confectioners sugar, so I used 1 cup sugar and 1/4 apple cider, boiled it and reduced it a bit to get my glaze. Just long enough that all the sugar was melted and glossy. OH MY GOODNESS!!! Thanks again for the recipe!

  220. absolutely incredible recipe. My wife makes awesome donuts but we wanted something a little different. I happened upon this recipe,so she tried them and they were REAL cider donuts. These will be an autumn staple in our home.

  221. Paula B

    WOW! Thank you! Linking to FB to share with my friends. My 9,7 and 3 y.o. Daughters absolutely loved making and eating these with me. I heard 3y.o in the other room saying over and over, “aren’t these good?”

  222. Flo

    I will definitely try this recipe! Have you ever tried palm shortening? It does not contain transfats. I use that (Spectrum brand) or lard. Great for frying!

  223. Belinda

    What a hit these were!
    I live in New England, surrounded by orchards with fresh apple cider donuts, and I made these for our extended family this weekend and people were thrilled. Said they were even better than from the farms! Thank you so much for this great recipe. I used EnerG brand egg replacer instead of the eggs because of my son’s food allergy, and that didn’t seem to cause any issues with texture and the dough was easy to handle. Having your recipe was great, and these were also the first cider donuts my son has ever been able to eat cause the usual ones have egg (he’s 8). He was so happy :-)
    Fried them in canola oil at 350 deg.
    The cider glaze was a huge hit, but so was the traditional cinnamon sugar.
    I can’t wait to discover what else is on your blog!
    Thank you!!!!!!!

  224. I could not help feeling envious when I saw your sweet little one next to the Crisco. How I would love to have a second. My son is 15 months and trust me when I say it goes by TOO quick. Where does the time go…

    I adore this recipe. I hope you don’t mind me posting it on my blog this week. Love your website. You always come through with incredible recipes. =)

  225. amanda

    the first time i made these they came out wonderful! i’d like to do them again but am wondering, would it be okay to make the dough a day in advance, refrigerate and then deep fry the next day???

  226. D

    “deep-frying — something I’m anything but skilled in, which I blame on my Yankee, Jewish upbringing; seriously, my people did not deep fry things”

    Really? What about Hannukah?

    1. deb

      Someone always brings up Hanukah but I swear, I had NEVER heard of jelly-filled doughnuts as a Hanukah treat until I was in college. And I went to Hebrew school my whole life! It’s an Israeli thing, right?

  227. Caitlin

    I made these and they were to die for. I found that the freezing/refrigerating was essential, so don’t try to skip that step. Next time, I might reduce 2 cups (instead of 1) of apple cider into 1/4 cup — for more flavor. Another great thing was that they stayed fresh for 3 or 4 days. My only problem was that I needed to fry them until they were very dark in order to fully cook the interior. My oil was the correct temperature, so I am not sure why this happened. This is the same problem that I ALWAYS encounter when making fried doughnuts, fritters, zeppole, etc. It is driving me crazy! Do you have advice?

  228. These were so good that I’m making them again for a Hanukah party tonight. It might be an Israeli thing cause my mother, and her Sephardic jewish mother, used to fry everything in sight for Hanukah – in olive oil always! I will try Caitlin’s idea super reduction to get mega-apple flavor.

  229. Cris

    You might not have used shorteníng b/c it comes from pigs and yoú’re jewish. Though I guess it now comes from anywhere. Mostly in your country, not in iberico ham country, mine!!

    1. deb

      Shortening is solid vegetable fat, at least as it is sold here. It is sometimes made from coconut oil. Lard is the name for solid pig fat. I am not, in fact, Kosher and have no quibble with pork products.

  230. Thanks for this recipe! Apple picking, along with the cider & donuts that go along with it is wonderful childhood memory we have, and I’m excited to pass on this tradition to my own!

  231. Melissa M

    I missed apple picking this year. I’m originally from Colorado and a new convert to the apple festivals-I make it very easy on my family because they know every year I want to go apple picking for my birthday. After several years and different orchards I tried my first apple cider donut. Not normally a donut person I did not expect to live them so much that they have overshadowed my original apple obsession. Your recipe was so simple and worked beautifully for me the first try. I used a 3 inch cookie cutter and 1 inch melon baller to make the donut holes as one commenter suggested. I divided the dough into 2 batches and froze one in a flat uncut sheet. I cut the rest but ended up freezing 1/2 the cut donuts to make the following week because I CANNOT have 2 dozen donuts sitting in my house. The first batch was perfect, light and soft but cooked through. Delicious! The second batch a week later was just as divine. Thanks for my new homemade fall obsession!

  232. B

    My 9 year olds loved to make these. All we had to do was fry. Thank you for being such an inspiration. We all plan to make it to your book signing at Powells

  233. Kathy in St. Louis

    Hi, Deb — I bought cider this week, and that always means your apple cider doughnuts. Reading through comments, I saw that I’d expressed interest in turning this dough into a coffee cake of sorts, so I did. I threw two beat-up Jonathans and some cranberries into a processor to get a rough chop, then sauteed them in butter; I sandwiched that between two layers of batter in an 8×4 loaf pan. I’m pretty sure I baked it at about 350 — when I have the kitchen windows open, the oven thermometer always measures low and I have to jack up the oven temp — until the top was golden. (A butter-sugar-flour crumble topping is a logical addition, but I opted out this time.) I’m happy to report that it worked! I would guess that the whole batch of batter would work in a 9×13, with about six chopped apples and a bag of cranberries to fill it. I think the crumble from your big crumb coffee cake would gild the lily just right. (I only made two changes to the ingredients: full-fat yogurt instead of buttermilk and a slight increase of spices. I’ll use all white whole wheat flour next time, too.)

  234. Kathy in St. Louis

    Forgot to mention that the coffee cake is for my sweetie and I, and the finished doughnuts are for a food swap tomorrow night. I think they’ll be a hit.

  235. tirzah

    I tried cooking these three ways to try to avoid frying them. They were terribly dense cooked in a babycakes mini donut maker. They did not rise very well in the oven & seemed dry. I also fried them in vege oil since that is what I had. They are terribly greasy fairly deep into the donut. IF I ever made them again, I would try the Crisco. But I dont taste or smell the cider-it would have been faster, cleaner, tastier to travel to the orchard.

  236. Rick

    Look – I rarely would call someone out with the following words, but either you can’t add or you were just hopped up on sugar/cider doughnuts when you sat down to write this blog entry. Where I come from we measure “cooking time” in a recipe from the time you measure & mix the ingredients together until the product is finished. Your statement in the last paragraph of your blog entry is absolutely OFF – “The dough comes together quickly and the cooking takes less than 15 minutes, beginning to end.”

    Let’s analyze this from your own recipe:
    1. In a saucepan over medium or medium-low heat, gently reduce the apple cider to about 1/4 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. SET ASIDE TO COOL.

    2. Mix dry ingredients – about 2 minutes. Mix butter & sugar until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Mix wet & dry together – about ANOTHER 2-4 minutes.

    3. Transfer to freezer for 20 MINUTES

    4. Cut doughnuts – about 3 minutes

    5. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes.

    6. Heat oil (when your firm refridgerated doughnuts are FINALLY ready) and fry for about a minute or so.

    Wow – I seriously cannot believe this OVER SIMPLIFICATION of this recipe. I’m still in the process of freezing my dough as I write this so I can’t comment on how they’ll taste when done. I’m sure they’ll be fantastic as all the comments on here have raved about it, however you need to be more realistic in your recipe timing – especially when the recipe obviously calls for so much more.

  237. Gale

    Just made these and I had no trouble with the dough. Some thoughts – make sure you reduce the cider to 1/4 c. That could be where some trouble occurs with too wet dough. Next time, I will increase the spices a bit. I really would like these to be a bit more apple-y in flavor but am not sure how to achieve that other than up the cinnamon and nutmeg. I used fresh nutmeg which was nice. I also lightly rolled my dough before freezing which imo made for a smoother doughnut than if I had pressed them out with my hands.
    Used lard to fry – I am on a lard, not Crisco, kick these days due to the unhealthy transfats in Crisco. Very tasty, not greasy at all.
    My doughnuts cooked FAST. I admit I am not an experienced deep fryer, but did make sure my thermometer was calibrated and at the right temp before frying. I think the next batch, I will get the oil hot, then reduce the heat while frying each batch. They really burn easily otherwise. More experimentation ahead!
    Regarding the cook/prep timing – I found these really easy to put together. The dough went together easily. I rolled it out without any trouble either (a miracle for me). I like things that have steps which allow me to make part of the recipe, step away to do something else, and then return for the rest. I especially like this recipe because I plan to freeze the doughnuts ahead and pull out just what I want when ready to fry.

  238. kate

    I just attempted these, and they were a disaster. I would plop one into the deep fryer, and they would start to expand and break apart until they became a soggy mass of crunchy dough. I had the fryer at to correct temp, I refrigerated the dough, I’m not sure what I did wrong? I used coconut oil. Is that the problem?

    1. deb

      Hi kate — I have never tried to deep-fry in coconut oil but I believe it has a much much lower burning point than the oils intended for deep-frying so it might be the cake. Did they burn quickly?

  239. Ken

    Made these per my wife’s request for Thanksgiving morning. Came out fantastic, wife said they were the best doughnuts of any kind she’d ever had. I was pleased as they’re the first donuts I’ve ever made! Added a bit more cinnamon and nutmeg than called for, also tossed in a small bit of ground allspice. Made the glaze, but instead of plain cider, we had some that had been simmering with mulling spices for a couple hours, and used that for the liquid. Not a drop of the glaze survived anywhere, completely licked the pan and plates clean :-). Fabulous!

  240. Carrie

    Nothing like ringing in the new year with fried donuts! Any time I see apple cider donuts at the orchard or market, I bring one home to my bf… for our new years breakfast this year, he requested apple cider donuts and settled on your recipe! It came together simply–I didn’t find it to be sticky like others have mentioned–and the dough tasted great! Frying them was a different story. I hate deep-frying, so I make my bf do it since he’s good at it. We always start by testing one donut to get the timing right. Your timing is right on for getting the donuts done… they just ended up crispier than I would’ve liked. Since the apple flavor rarely comes through (as you mentioned), I decided to add a little apple pie spice to the cinn-sugar mixture and THAT did the trick for adding a light apple flavor! Overall, it was fun to try but I don’t think I’d make them again. I received your cookbook for Christmas so I look forward to trying those recipes too!

  241. I tried to make this without much success. I followed the recipe explicitly, but the dough was actually a batter and when I tried to use the cutter I couldn’t pick up the doughnuts, they just squished together. After adding more flour to make a doughier consistency and still having to scrape them off with a candy scraper I chilled as directed. I fried them in oil as recommended and they got very brown. After leaving them in for the recommended time (they were quite dark) I sugared them. When we went to eat them they were not cooked inside although I fried them 4-5 minutes. I was really very disappointed.

    1. deb

      Nancy — Usually when they get too brown on the outside before the inside is cooked, it’s because the oil is too hot. I hope you have more luck next time!

  242. Lisa

    Just finished making these. They came out great but were a lot of work. Two hours later I am still doing the dishes! We used to have a great cafe nearby that made these but sadly they’re closed. It’s a lot easy to drive over and pick up a half dozen! Ha!

  243. Sashy

    Hi :)
    It is Fall season again and Apples, Peaches, Pears so much baking to do… :-)
    Was wondering if you have found any new apple cider donut recipes that you’ve tried and like aside from this one :-)


    1. deb

      Annie — You can try it but it might be better to freeze and defrost them already rolled out because the baking soda and baking powder will start to work as soon as the dough is mixed and that will slow down (but not stop) this from happening.

  244. Monica

    Thank you, as always! Dough was a breeze to make. The frying just takes practice. They get browner even after they come out, so if you’re oil really is a consistent 350, one minute one each side really is just enough. Any longer they get too dark and a little too much crunch on the outside. I’m fighting a stove in a new house that I’m not used to yet, so I’m having a hard time keeping my oil a steady temp, but after the first few it gets easier. The glaze is good, but I prefer the cinnamon sugar – classic and not overpowering.

  245. Jenny L.

    I made these donuts last night! They tasted great but did not look at all like yours. It was my first time making cake donuts, I’ve only made yeast donuts before. They fell apart while I was frying them and looked a little funky. They were much heavier than I expected. Any suggestions? (Even with their odd appearance they were a hit at the BBQ). Thanks for the great recipes!

  246. Hello! I love your blog…it is full of amazing and inspiring recipes! I stumbled upon this one, and I wanted to give you the scoop on the whole crisco…”thing”.

    A few things I wanted to clarify on the topic of shortening, of which I have learned while studying food science and researching for my masters in food science:

    -The reason why shortening is preferred over butter or lard is because the fatty acids present on the fat molecules (glycerol) are consistent; that is, they are the same. In addition, through a serious of reactions involving catalysts and enzymes, the type of fatty acid can be changed at a desired location within the molecule. Long story short: Crisco knows what they are doing, and manipulate the fatty acid profile for optimal performance, consistency and quality. What does this mean for your baking? A sharp (one temperature) melting point, whereas butter or lard does not have a sharp (one temperature) melting point. Rather, it is a range, since dairy fats are among the most complicated in nature. You will see this if you bake cookies, side-by-side with butter and shortening. The shortening cookies will be puffy, and spread less. The butter cookies will be flatter, and spread more. There is also ~15-20% water in butter, whereas shortening has very little.

    -The topic of trans fats (trans isomer fatty acids) is interesting, however, I want to dispel the rumor that FULLY hydrogenated fats do NOT contain trans fats. Why? When you saturate a molecule, in this case a fatty acid with hydrogens, there is only one conformation that molecule can take on (i.e. a saturated fatty acid). However, if you PARTIALLY hydrogenate (look for partially hydrogenated oils on ingredient lists-these are the badies!) a previously unsaturated fatty acid, you will get trans fatty acids in the mixture, since you are still leaving some of the molecule with bonds that allow rotation and conformation changes (either cis or trans, but in the case of shortening, we aim for trans because this allows fatty acids to stack, just like naturally saturated fatty acids do, resulting in interactions that solidify the fat at lower temperatures).

    -Trans fatty acids are also found in nature. There are trans fats in butter, lard, etc…and, take note: products listed as 0g trans fat PER SERVING may contain up to .5g PER SERVING, and still be labeled “trans fat free”. Scary stuff…I know!

    -Frying: frying is a dry cooking method when done correctly, therefore should result in very little fat or grease on the food. When a food is fried, the steam produced right at the surface evaporates, creating air and steam pockets that provide a barrier for oil to enter (water is polar, oil is not; they typically do not mix, however, some intermingling will occur). That being said, regardless of the oil that you use, I am willing to bet that if you fry at the proper temperature and maintain that temperature, the same amount of oil will result on the final product. But, that is nothing to be said for the flash point of the oil used: butter is not used because the flash point is very low, likewise with smoking point and flash points of olive oil.

    So, never fear: you did not feed your darling trans-fatty acids.

  247. Omar

    Hey Deb. I’m sure it was me (I never blame recipes from trusted sources) but I had the same experience as Jenny L. The outside got very crumby when frying and they picked up a lot of oil. I tried to bake some of them with a brush of oil on top but those were even worse. Not sure what happened but this was the only miss in the many recipes I have made from your site. Oh well. Just sharing what happened in the “real” world.

  248. Prism

    I’d like to say that these doughnuts came out nicely, but sadly, they did not.
    For some odd reason, I could not for the life of me keep the temperature from either sky rocketing past 380, or plummeting past 310. Most of the time it was lower than 350. I just could not keep it at a consistent temperature, and when it came time to bake, the doughnuts came out overly crispy, oil-soaked, and looking like fried chicken tenders(because they fell apart in the pan).
    Any help in figuring out what I did wrong would be nice, because I want to make these for a party coming up….

    1. deb

      Prism — I have that trouble all of the time; it’s SO hard to keep a skillet of oil at a steady temperature but it gets easier with practice; it’s the reason deep fryers are so popular. First, make sure your thermometer is correct. If you’re at sea level, if you dip it in water as it comes to a boil, it should read 100 degrees C or 212 F. If they’re burning before they’re cooked in the middle, you should aim for a lower temperature. Next, it helps to just add one doughnut at a time and not crowd them, because each will lower the temperature. As you take one out, you can add another. I am not sure what you mean by baking…

  249. Jess

    Chiming in! I HAD to have a cider doughnut this weekend, and found this recipe. As a semi health-nut, I needed to reconcile the delicious crunchy outside of a deep fried doughnut with the nutrition aspect. My biggest issue with Crisco is the trans-fat. I used coconut oil to fry these doughnuts and they are AMAZING! Took them to a party and everyone loved them. The coconut added that “special ingredient” element! :) I highly recommend experimenting with this method. (I think the frying temp had to be slightly lower than 350). (ps – I experimented with baking half of the batter… errr.. not what I was hoping for. I actually deep fried them after they came out of the oven to semi-salvage them. )

  250. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. This was perfect for our Halloween office party. We had fresh out-of-the-oil Apple Cider Donuts (courtesy of Smitten Kitchen) and spiked apple cider (really spiked, more “spike” than cider :-). Thank for the recipe and tutorial. This was my first attempt at making homemade donuts. Everyone in the office loved them. I made them at home, mixed, rolled, cut out, and brought the un-fried rings and holes into work along with my electric fryer. I also brought in 1 container each of apple-cider glaze, powdered sugar and cinnamon-sugar. After frying the dough, everyone chose their own toppings. Big hit. Since Halloween fell on a Friday this year, I refrigerated the unused dough and we had more on Monday – yep the dough kept very well. This was quite a treat and a great precursor to a night of trick-or-treating with our 14 month old little-red-riding-hood. ps. I’ll be making more when the family is in town for Christmas! Thanks again!

  251. Tariqata

    I’ve been waiting for the perfect excuse to make these since the day the recipe was posted, and today I finally had the opportunity! They came out fabulously – I added a dash of cloves to the batter but otherwise followed the recipe exactly, and didn’t have any issues with too-wet dough or undercooked doughnuts. Just delicious crispy little cakes. I’ve never made doughnuts before, but now I’m excited to try a yeasted type as well.

  252. Amber

    Hi i was wondering do i have to use the nutmeg? I don’t like the taste of nutmeg and i was wondering if i had to use it. Any help would be great! Thank you! :)

  253. Lisa

    I got a baked donut pan for mother’s day, which was obviously a gift to benefit the entire household (but I also a gift certificate for a massage!). I’ve tried a few recipes, and they are tasty. But I’m not finding many out there. Any thoughts on adapting fried donut recipes for the oven? (I realize this may be deep-fry heresy, but I’m a boat rocker.)

    1. deb

      Lisa — I think most fried doughnut recipes can be made in the baking pans. I’d use whatever temperatures and techniques they recommend in any recipes they include, though, for guidance.

  254. Diana

    Help!!!! Is the dough supposed to be incredibly sticky, more like a cookie dough than a bread dough? I would have to add cups and cups of flour to get it to bread dough consistency.

    1. deb

      Diana — It’s a sticky dough so it’s best to work with it cold. These are cake doughnuts, not yeast, so they’re not going to have a bread-like dough. If the dough has gotten too soft, return it to the freezer to firm up again.

  255. Karen

    So excited to find these. Was looking for a recipe for my son’s schools bake sale. No proofing time necessary?

  256. Ash

    I tried this recipe, deep fried in local beef tallow…Holy cow! Recommend tallow if you can get your hands on it (yay for a fabulous local butcher)! Was the missing ingredient to a childhood memory of cider donuts on rainy days in a small town in IL. Thanks for posting this! Quickly turning into an autumn tradition. :)

  257. michelle

    i read through the comments and didn’t see this, so i apologize if you already addressed it. wondering why you wouldn’t fry in lard or tallow if you aren’t a fan of shortening?

  258. Rachel

    My local farm stand sells amazing cider donuts. They also sell amazing cider donut bread pudding. Just throwing that out there for you to think about.

  259. Helen in California

    I’ve a totally novice question from someone who’s never deep-fried anything (left it to trained professionals, as in kids? Do not try this at home). What do you do with the fat afterwards? Can you re-use? Must yoy throw it out? And where? and how? Cause I want to make these donuts…..but I’m clueless.

    1. deb

      Some people keep it and you can definitely can — I am not an expert on this but mostly you’ll want to strain it and store it in a jar in a cool place — but I tend not to deep-fry more than a couple times a year and don’t find the extra oil stays good that long. With this, keep the oil and use it as an excuse to make these doughnuts again at least once more in the next couple weeks. Nobody will mind.

  260. Jeannette

    Is it possible to bake these? Not for health conscious reasons, mostly just because I hate the mess of deep frying (and also dot own a candy thermometer). The dough kind of seems like a biscuit dough, so maybe cook at a temperature higher than 350?

  261. vicki travis

    Thank you for the apple cider clarification. In Canada, too, cider is alcoholic. Another great recipe from you. And your wee son is adorable.

    1. deb

      I don’t usually buy a specific brand, just whatever is at the farmer’s market. Not sure how widely Red Jacket is distributed, but theirs is perfectly good.

  262. Deanne

    I am so excited to make these! Do you think it is possible to cut these out and freeze the dough ahead of time and then thaw and fry?

    Thanks in advance! As always, thank you for another great recipe!

  263. From previous comments I tried upping the apple cider to 2 cups and boiling it down to 1/4 cup, even with that I could barely taste the apple flavor. They just tasted like doughnuts – still good but not as fallish as I was hoping.

    1. Maro Sevastopoulos

      thanks — i was debating taking the time/frying effort to make these and i think i will just buy an apple fritter instead from the local doughnut shop that does them perfectly (and enormously).

  264. Becky

    I am very excited to make these for the first night of Hannukah. But my mother’s kitchen is tiny and there is not going to be room for any simultaneous cooking/prepping. Can I make them up to the last refrigeration before deep frying and just keep them in the fridge for four hours instead of 20-30 mins?

  265. Iva

    These sound really good and I wanna Give them a try but I am wondering if I could bake them in the oven, do you have an idea how they’d turn out? Thanks!

  266. I think I’m going to need to invest in a new thermometer. It said it was up to temp, but it still managed to absorb an entire tub of palm shortening. And they are so greasy. I don’t think it’s the recipes fault, I just really stink at frying things! I would make them again if I could keep them from soaking up the grease so much.

  267. daviamrg

    I’m wondering how far in advance I can make and refrigerate the dough – does it work to make it up to 3 days in advance? What about just the day before?


  268. Brittany

    Needed a cider doughnut but just couldn’t convince myself to deep fry so…these turned into fabulous waffles! I reduced 2 cups cider, held out 1 cup of flour and swapped half the sugar for turbinado and they are now going to be a tradition. My husband said they were the best waffles he’s had in a long time. The glaze just makes it!!

  269. Steffi

    In Germany we have an apple donut variety called “Apfelkücherl” that actually has apple in it. You peel the apple, cut it in circles, remove the seeds by making a hole in the middle (creating a donut shape) and submerging it in a runny dough. It’s fried afterwards and puffs up quite a bit so it looks similar to your apple cider donuts. If you take a bite however you will discover sweet and soft, cooked apple in there! I love them.

  270. Hcm

    In 2007, Crisco was reformulated so that its trans fat level is low enough to be considered “no trans fat” by the Food and Drug Administration. I didn’t know this either. Read the label!

  271. susan

    HMMM, not so apple-y to me. I made these hoping they would be similar to the yummy apple cider donuts my family loves to get when we go apple picking. I would not take the time to make these again. They were ok, but not even tasty for a cinnamon sugar donut. I usually love all of Smitten’s recipes, but sadly this one just didn’t work out.

  272. Stefanie Friedland

    Making these with a friend who is eats a gluten-free diet. Can you substitute the flour with a GF flour (like King Arthur Flour) without issue or adaptions? Another poster said that she used “1.5cps rice flour + 1/2cp potato starch + 1/4cp tapioca starch + 1tsp xanthum gum” without issue.

  273. Love these. Made them both in an electric deep fryer (FryDaddy) and grandma-style (in a wok, using a wooden chopstick + my intuition to adjust the temperature), and the second version worked waaaay better.

    Because I was making them Captain America-themed (and wanted to gild the lily), I added a barely-sweetened cream cheese glaze and red, white, and blue crystal sprinkles.

  274. Alex Lee

    This was my first try at making donuts and it was a success. I fried them in a cast iron pot and had to eyeball the temperature of the oil.

    My donut cutter was smaller, like donette-sized, so the donuts cooked up very quickly – like 20 seconds per side. I was surprised how they puffed up during the cooking.

    The kosher salt and the buttermilk along with the concentrated apple cider all worked great together.

    Thank you for another brilliant recipe!

  275. akismet-8ac2dedba2e7a5fa8c17d73a3aa6f101

    Loved making this! A few things I learned:
    – I amped up the apple flavor by doubling the original amount of cider and also ground in some dried apple peel into the cinnamon sugar mix (can also grind up freeze dried apples)
    – the dough keeps in the fridge pretty well, I let it warm up for about 10 min on the counter before frying and it tastes great (if it goes in super cold the doughnuts start flaking in the oil)
    – I scored the top and bottom of the doughnut dough with a knife in the shape of a circle, it helped to control where the donut eventually splits when frying
    – I found the shortening frying temp to be better around 380F. It will be a bit darker but 350 left me with a slightly underdone interior

    This recipe is a keeper, thanks for sharing!

  276. Rachel

    I love your recipes. So much. I’ve been reading your blog since I was in college in 2008. You’re a former vegetarian, right? With a platform as large as yours, could you occasionally experiment with offering a vegan option as well? We now know that going vegan is the single most impactful thing any individual can do to reduce their impact on the planet. Doughnuts are one of those things that, with a good recipe, literally don’t taste any different without the dairy or eggs. I never thought I’d be one of *those* vegans but this is the small voice I have to share what I learned during quarantine. Thanks for having this space to share!

  277. Judy

    These doughnuts were an absolute win…so delicious and perfect for a late night fall bonfire! I made the recipe as written, and found that the doughnuts with the apple cider glaze had the most apple flavor, but the cinnamon sugar ones were quite tasty too. I was worried that only having the doughnuts 1/2 an inch think would result in a sad, thin little doughnut, but they puffed up nicely once they hit the oil. No surprise here, but they also were great this morning with coffee!

  278. Abby

    Made these for my kiddo with an egg allergy, so can report that subbing in flaxseed works fine. 2 tbsp ground flaxseed, 6 tbsp of water, stir them together aggressively with a fork, let it sit while you measure out the dry ingredients and cream the butter and sugar. It doesn’t look quite right at the wet ingredients stage but the dough came together fine and cooked up perfectly.

  279. Ashley

    When I beat the room temp butter and sugar together for a while, I added the eggs and it looked smooth, and as soon as I added the buttermilk the whole thing curdled. How can I prevent this from happening?

  280. Chelsea

    Just made these – delicious! Some comments:
    – As apparently experienced by other commenters, they don’t taste apple-y, but I didn’t double the cider
    – Used a 2.75 in wine glass to cut the outer doughnut ring, and a knife for the inside ring, and that worked just fine! Did indeed make 18+ doughnuts
    – Refrigerated overnight before cutting (no freezing step), and only ~5 mins refrigeration in between cutting and frying while the oil got hot – this seems to have worked just fine.
    – Fried at 350 according to my (admittedly, untested) thermometer, and they were quite dark but certainly not burnt, and cooked through in ~1 minute per side.
    – I did the cinnamon sugar dip and found that I liked the additional sweetness – the base doughnuts weren’t quite sweet enough without it. (I mean, they were still good, but I preferred the dipped ones.)

  281. Ronnie

    I am a fairly good baker and breadmaker, but was soooo disappointed at how difficult these were to handle. I kept adding more flour, but they were still very soft and sticky even after freezing for 45 minutes . I will stick to things made with yeast, I think.
    Enjoy your blog, though and usually have great results with your recipes. Enjoy your writing style, also. Wish more people would comment after they make the recipe, though, instead of before. Just sayin……..😊

  282. Patrice Costa

    Deb, Smitten Kitchen is ALWAYS my first stop when my chef decides to give me a Top Chef dessert challenge (this week it’s donuts). This post from 2009 with pics of your baby son and a donut recipe from Hearth just made me smile from ear to ear. Recipe is now on my testing list. Thanks for being such a great resource … your recipes are always consistent, well-written, easy to follow, and most importantly DELICIOUS!

  283. Shoshana Pursley

    Is there any reason i can’t substitute 1/4 cup of KAF boiled cider and skip the reducing part? Can’t wait to try these!!!

  284. Christine

    Deb, so you did use Crisco to fry them in? Can I substitute another healthy oil, like avocado oil? I’d like to make these as I grew up in Connecticut and know the kind of cider doughnut you are referring to, which is nonexistent in Arkansas – except in my kitchen when I make them :)

    1. deb

      You can use any oil you like to fry in. I prefer Crisco because it’s solid at room temperature, and thus the doughnuts feel/taste less greasy to me.

  285. sadie stehlik

    I’m not sure where I went wrong with these donuts…. the texture was unlike any doughnut dough I’ve ever worked with. They were very fragile during frying despite being totally chilled, etc. They practically fell apart and were rather spongy, they really soaked up the fat (not in a good way). I won’t make these again, and would instead look for a doughnut leavened with yeast. Love everything else on this site but I would not make these.

  286. Paige Kirstien

    YUM! Loved these so so much. Will be a Hanukkah staple for us moving forward (of course along with Deb’s also amazing sufganiyot recipe) Writing to share about some dietary and timing things for those looking for a do ahead option.

    I made one regular batch, and one batch dairy free and gluten free (more on that below). For both batches, I made the donuts on Friday up until when they go in the freezer, and then left them in the freezer overnight. In the morning, I defrosted them on the counter for an hour or so and then fried them. Results were amazing! They fried like a dream. While they were obviously best day of, I can also confess that I just ate the last one today, 5 days after frying them. I kept them in a tupperware on the counter and can say they are still delicious.

    For the dairy free, I subbed mykonos vegan butter (heavenly vegan butter, though I’m sure others would work) and instead of buttermilk I used a little bit of vegan oatmilk yogurt + a splash of water to get it to consistency. (probably should’ve been a splash of dairy free milk but I didn’t have any open and it was so little I just went with water). For the flour, I used Bob’s Redmill 1:1 baking blend. I made the DF/GF donuts a little smaller since I was worried about them crumbling (which I think was helpful) and they fried up no problem. While I must say they weren’t *as* good as the regular one’s, I still enjoyed them, and my DF/GF best friend was totally obsessed and couldn’t stop eating them.

  287. Polly

    I’ve made these 3 times now, because we think they’re pretty delicious! I’ve tried using more cider, but I don’t think it helps. They are only faintly cider-flavoured either way, but we think they’re fantastic cinnamon sugar doughnuts even lacking the cider (I haven’t tried the glaze because all we want are cinnamon sugar doughnuts in this house, and we rarely get them). I tried Crisco and 150 degrees, but I think canola oil with a touch of olive oil and almost 200 degrees is better. They come out much lighter in texture and faster that way. They are very sticky, but quite doable with flour and regular cooling, I find. And as I say, we love them a lot!