Coated in cinnamon sugar and filled with warm spices, these hard apple cider donuts are easy to bake for your next brunch.
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Hard Apple Cider Donuts
Do you ever just get a craving for donuts? Not just any store-bought one – Ones that are fresh, soft, and flavorful. The kind that just sort of melt in your mouth. I crave the donuts I see at farmer’s markets and the ones spotted on Instagram. So, when I saw a set of donut pans for sale, I knew I had to get them so I could make cake donuts in my own oven (and then it happened again when I found a donut hole pan. No, I don’t have a problem….) .
These baked cake donuts are made with local hard cider, but you can use any hard cider you love. I recommend something on the semi-dry side, but honestly? I’ve tried some weird ciders and they all came out as delicious donuts. With this super easy recipe in hand, you really can’t go wrong.
Types of Hard Apple Cider
There are a lot of hard ciders out there. Some are bone-dry, like a white wine; others are almost sickly sweet. Normally I’m a sweet girl, but when it comes to ciders, I’ve gotten pretty picky with my preferences. For drinking, I like something semi-sweet and preferably dark, with an emphasis on natural apple flavors.
Luckily, this donut recipe is far more forgiving than my palate. I like it best with a semi-dry apple cider, but a sweet black cherry apple cider just gave the flavors an interesting twist. The donut as a whole is a pretty forgiving vehicle for all sorts of flavors in that way. As long as you like the flavor profile of the cider you use, I’m sure if will be delicious with the warm cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg spices of this recipe.
Baked Hard Apple Cider Donuts
- 2 cups hard apple cider
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 ¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two donut trays with non-stick spray.
- In a small sauce pan, reduce the hard cider over medium heat by about half a cup (for about 20 minutes). Meanwhile, melt the butter and set aside to cool.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate measuring cup, whisk together the reduced hard cider, brown sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and single egg until combined. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, and stir together with a wooden spoon.
- Transfer the dough to the baking trays, and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. The donuts are done when you press into the cake and the sponge bounces back immediately. Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.
- When the donuts are finished and cool enough to handle, whisk together the granulated sugar with the remaining ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Roll the donuts in the mixture until fully coated. Store the donuts in an airtight container at room temperature, and enjoy within 3-4 days. To make ahead, allow the donuts to cool completely, and then freeze. Thaw in the fridge the evening before you wish to eat the frozen donuts so that they have a chance to thaw.
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