Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes are pillowy soft and packed with the flavors of warm apple cider, cinnamon and nutmeg. Popular at harvest festivals and cider mills, these sweet homemade donuts are a tempting snack or dessert and the ultimate fall treat.
Homemade donuts always seemed intimidating to me but I was surprised at how easy they are to make. They are similar to muffins, and even baked in a mini muffin pan, but are lighter and fluffier in texture. They come out rounded on the top and when you roll them in the sugar while they are still warm, it helps to round out the bottom a little bit. Because they’re baked apple cider donuts instead of fried, they are so light you can eat almost as many as you want!
These apple cider donut holes take that method and and add some sweet apple cider and spices to make the ultimate fall snack. You only need a little bit of apple cider to pack a big punch because it’s reduced to a syrup. Use the rest of the bottle of cider to make some delicious Apple Cider Ginger Punch to go with your donut holes!
What Are Apple Cider Donuts?
If you’ve ever gone apple picking, you’ve probably seen them make fresh pressed apple cider. It’s a fun process that yields some of the best cider you’ve ever tasted. Where there is fresh cider, apple cider donuts are sure to follow!
Apple Cider donuts are a fall tradition in the US, popular at harvest festivals and apple farms. They are baked (more cake-like in texture, not fried) that get their flavor from apple cider, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.
How to Make Apple Cider Donut Holes
Reduce apple cider by simmering it on the stove. This takes about 10 minutes and will result in a thicker cider, more like a syrup.
Make the batter. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix just enough to incorporate. Don’t overmix; you want to combine just until you can no longer see the flour.
Fill a mini muffin pan with the batter and bake donut holes about 15-18 minutes. You could also make them in a donut hole pan if you want to be really fancy, but the muffin pan does the job just fine.
Toss warm donut holes in cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg. Rolling them gently while they’re still warm will actually help to round out the bottom slightly, making them more fully round in appearance.
Can You Bake These in a Donut Pan?
If you’d rather make full-size donuts, spoon the batter into greased donut pans, filling to about 1/4″ shy of the rim. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool several minutes then dip in cinnamon sugar.
Apple Cider Donut Recipe Tips
The spices in the donuts, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, are traditionally found in apple cider. If you aren’t a fan of one of the other you could omit it. Just add a little extra cinnamon.
Store baked apple cider donuts in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature. They can also be stored in the fridge.
Instead of the cinnamon sugar dust, dip the donut holes in a powdered sugar glaze.
1cupapple cider* reduced to ½ cup and cooled (see notes below)
1 1/3cupall-purpose flour
1 ¾teaspoonsbaking powder
Cinnamon Sugar Dust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and baking powder together.
In a separate bowl, stir apple cider, brown sugar, egg, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and sour cream together until smooth in a separate bowl.
Stir the wet and dry mixture together, just until combined. Place a towel over the bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Spray 2 mini muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray and fill each cup ¾ of the way. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the donuts. Let them cool in the pan until you can easily handle them.
Whisk the cinnamon sugar dust together in the bowl. Remove the donuts from the muffin pan and toss them in the cinnamon sugar.
Serve immediately or store them for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
To reduce the apple cider, heat it in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, or until it reduces down to ½ cup. Cool completely before using.Nutritional information is approximate and per donut hole.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.