Baked Apple Cider Donuts

I cannot think of a better treat for the holidays than these baked apple cider donuts. When the weather gets cold and cozy, and it’s time to get alllll the good warm spices out of the pantry, these are what you need. How come I never made them until now? From now on, they will be a fall staple in our house for sure.



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  • Author: Melina Thompson
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 42 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x




  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice (or cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger)
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • 1/4 stick salted Challenge butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar (substitute with regular sugar)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (substitute with greek yogurt, milk or cream)
  • 1 vanilla bean (substitute with 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)



  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 stick unsalted butter, melted


  1. Reduce the apple cider by simmering in a small saucepan over low heat for about 30 mins, until you have 1/2 cup left. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a donut pan. Set aside.
  3. Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and spices together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Mix the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, lemon zest, sour cream or milk, and vanilla together. Add the reduced apple cider and pour into the dry ingredients.
  5. Whisk everything together until smooth and combined, do not overmix.
  6. Spoon the batter into the donut pan, or use a piping bag with a large tip, if possible to make it easier. Fill each donut about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
  9. Coat the donuts: Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. In a another bowl, melt the butter.
  10. Once cool enough to handle, dunk each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the sugar spice topping.


Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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