Hard Apple Cider Donuts

Hard Apple Cider Donuts

Makes 18-20 donuts + 18-20 donut holes (suggested yield for a 3-inch cutter)


With Thanksgiving just a couple short weeks away, we wanted to share this delicious recipe on how to use our cider in a fun new way! You can easily reduce down our Kinda Dry or Sorta Sweet apple cider to make these apple forward cake donuts.


-1 cup hard apple cider [We suggest Kinda Dry or Sorta Sweet, but we think one of our seasonals like Winter Spice or Cranberry would be amazing as well!]
-3 1/2 cups flour + 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 butter / room temperature
-1 cup granulated sugar
-2 large eggs
-1/2 cup buttermilk
-Vegetable oil for frying

Toppings (optional):
Cinnamon sugar (1 cup granulated sugar + 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon)


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

2. While waiting for cider to reduce, combine the following in a bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. 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.

4. 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 donut cutter — or a 3 1/2-inch round cutter for the outer shape and a 1-inch round cutter for the hole — cut out donut shapes. Place the cut donuts and donut holes onto the second sheet pan. Refrigerate the donuts for 20 to 30 minutes. (You may re-roll the scraps of dough, refrigerate them briefly and cut additional donuts from the dough.)

5. Add enough oil to a deep-sided pot [we used a Dutch Oven] to measure a depth of about 3 inches. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 350°F. Have ready a plate lined with several paper towels.

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