Apple Cider Donuts for All the Fall Feels
These donuts are absolutely made to be paired with a cup of coffee. Maybe fireside. On a cool autumn night, with a cozy flannel shirt wrapped around your shoulders. Yep, all the fall feels are about to be yours.
Apples. All September long I want apples.
It’s not quite pumpkin-spice-everything season yet. And that’s ok! The farm-fresh experience of apple-picking and then baking your spoils is just as fun! If you’re looking to try something a bit different from your normal apple repertoire, grab your apron and let’s get frying! (I’m serious about the apron. That oil likes to pop! Save your shirt!)
For this recipe we’re making a yeasted brioche-style dough with a spiced glaze. Now don’t be intimidated by the amount of steps! Each step is very simple! Any yeasted dough requires a process, and this one is definitely worth it.
A few essentials that make the process easy.
From hiking to home renovations, everything goes more smoothly with the right tool. Gear up correctly and you’re stacking the odds in your favor for having a good time. Donut-making is no different! Pick up some good tools (if you don’t already have them) and have fun frying up your fall treats!
- a good rolling pin
- a 3 inch donut cutter (or anything with a large and small circle to cut the dough. Full disclosure: I used a pudding dish and a piece of pipe my husband cut for me!)
- a candy thermometer
Some apple cider donuts are dusted with cinnamon sugar, and you can certainly do that if you’re partial, but I’m in love with this spiced glaze! It is exceptionally delicious! It would also be amazing on cinnamon rolls… muffins… French toast, maybe….the possibilities are limitless. If you want a knockout recipe for your own apple pie spice (and trust me, you do), check out my Fall Spice Blends post!
Spend a fun Saturday frying up the fall treats and then let me know in the comments how yours turned out! And check out my September post for more fun fallish things to do!
Apple Cider Donuts
- Candy/Fry Thermometer
- Donut Cutter (or mason jar/small circle cutter)
- Rolling Pin
- 4 cups All Purpose Flour, divided (plus more for dusting surfaces)
- 14 grams Active Dry Yeast (2 envelopes)
- 1 1/2 tsp Apple Pie Spice
- 1 large Apple, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Apple Cider
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 cup Half & Half (milk can be substituted)
- 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2/3 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 large Eggs
- 72 oz Vegetable Oil for Frying (about a bottle and a half)
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp Apple Pie Spice
- 4 Tbsp Half & Half (or milk)
- 1/4 tsp Rum Extract or Brandy Extract
- In a large bowl stir together 2 cups of flour, yeast, and apple pie spice. In a medium saucepan stir together butter, half & half, cider, vanilla, granulated sugar, and salt. Heat until butter is just melted (about 130 degrees F)
- Stir apple mixture into flour mixture. Add eggs and combine. Add remaining 2 cups of flour to bowl and stir to fully incorporate.
- Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead dough about 5 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic, but still soft and slightly sticky. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Let rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
- Punch dough down and turn out onto lightly floured surface. Divide in half, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with parchment paper and dust them lightly with flour.
- Using a rolling pin, roll one dough ball out to 1/2 inch in thickness. Cut dough with floured donut cutter and transfer donuts and holes to prepared baking sheets. Repeat with second dough ball, re-rolling scraps as necessary. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- About 20 minutes before rise time is finished pour oil into heavy 3-qt saucepan. Attach candy thermometer and heat oil to 330 degrees F.
- Fry donuts in batches of three, until golden brown (no longer than two minutes). Flip once during that time. Remove donuts with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Maintain oil temperature of 330 degrees to prevent donuts from absorbing too much oil.
- Once cooled, dip each donut in glaze. Glaze will be set in about twenty minutes after dipping.
- In a small bowl stir together powdered sugar and apple pie spice. Add 4 Tbsp half & half and whisk until glaze is lump-free.
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