you can never eat too much

Apple Cider Donuts

Can it always be apple cider season? Yes? Ok.

I knew I made the right decision to move to L.A. when I found out that people here take donuts seriously. New York is famous for their bagels, while L.A. has got the market covered when it comes to donuts. I live just a mile from a famous 24-hour donut spot that makes these adorable panda donuts, and while my first donut attempt isn’t as cute as those I don’t think they turned out half bad 🙂

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making homemade donuts forever, and I’m so glad I finally tried it. I will say, these donuts were a tad bit more labor intensive than I first thought, but I love labor intensive Pinterest-worthy recipes. I get such delight from conquering them, so my readers out there who are looking for an easy go-to dessert may want to skip this one. But if you’re like me and like to be challenged in the kitchen, try out this apple cider donut recipe. It’s worth it!

My main pain point with this recipe is the dough – it’s quite sticky and even though it requires freezing in order to harden up, the dough reaches room temperature after just a few minutes, and at that point any attempt to pick it up makes it completely fall apart. So I had to freeze my dough repeatedly in order to work with it. That being said, these apple cider donuts are so fluffy and indulgent I would gladly go through this process again (and next time add more flour than the recipe calls for)!

But what can I say – how can anyone ever get frustrated with a dessert that ends up covered in cinnamon sugar? Impossible. It’s hard to beat a warm, apple cider donut on a cold fall day. All is forgiven.

Do you have any recipes that you love to make despite their intensity? Would love to hear what it is, so perhaps I could try and make it myself one day when I’m up for the challenge!

Apple Cider Donuts Recipe


  • Total Time: 1h 30m


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • Canola oil (for frying)
  • Cinnamon sugar (1-1/2 cups sugar mixed with 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon)


  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held or standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, 4-6 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating a minute after each.
  2. In a separate medium-size bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside.
  3. Pour buttermilk, boiled cider, and vanilla into sugar/butter/egg mixture. Mix well, and don't worry if the mixture looks a bit curdled; it\'ll smooth itself out. Add flour mixture and combine gently just until fully moistened.
  4. Line two baking sheets with waxed paper or parchment paper and dust generously with flour. Turn dough out onto one baking sheet and pat gently into 3/4-inch-thickness. Sprinkle dough with additional flour, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up. Remove dough from the freezer; use a lightly floured 3-inch doughnut cutter if you have one (I just used the rim of a glass and a bottle cap) to cut out about 18 doughnuts with holes. Work quickly, because as the dough warms it will be harder to peel off the parchment paper.
  5. Place cut doughnuts on the other baking sheet as you go; then transfer to the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up again. Do not remove until completely hard, because if the dough is too soft it will break apart.
  6. Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels and set it nearby. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat 3 inches of oil to 370°. Drop 3 or 4 doughnuts into the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook until browned on one side, about 1 minute; then flip and cook until browned on the other side, about 1 minute longer.
  7. Repeat with the remaining dough (I recommend keeping remaining dough in the freezer so it does not reach room temperature). When fried doughnuts are cool enough to handle but still warm, sprinkle all over with cinnamon sugar or confectioners sugar. Serve immediately.

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