Easy baked donuts made at home! Use this recipe to make donut holes or donuts. Super-moist, soft, and perfectly apple cider flavored for cozy fall mornings!
- 1 and 1/4 cups (300ml) apple cider
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, room temperature*
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, room temperature*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 60g) unsalted butter, melted
- Simmer apple cider over low-medium heat in a small saucepan on the stove for 15-20 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, spices, and/or orange slices for flavor if desired. In this step you are reducing the apple cider for a stronger flavor. You will need 1/2 cup from this reduced cider. Allow it to cool in the refrigerator as you prepare the other ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a mini muffin pan or donut pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until smooth. Whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, and 1/2 cup of concentrated apple cider.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and very gently mix together with a whisk. Be very gentle as overmixing will develop the gluten and result in a tough textured donut. Whisk until all ingredients are *just combined.* Some small lumps may remain, but not many.
- Pour the batter into the mini muffin pan, filling 3/4 full. You’ll only need a couple teaspoons of batter for each. Or, if making donuts, follow my instructions in the post above about filling the donut pan. Bake the donut holes for 9-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The donuts will take the same amount of time.
- Make the topping by mixing the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Dip the top of the donut holes or donuts lightly into the melted butter. Then dunk them all the way into the cinnamon sugar, using your hands to mix it around so the entire donut hole (or donut) is coated generously. Repeat with all the donuts. You may need more cinnamon-sugar. Donuts taste best on the same day, though they may be covered tightly and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Freezing Instructions: Prepared donuts freeze well up to 2-3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up in the microwave if desired.
- Egg: Room temperature egg is best so it mixes evenly with the warm melted butter. Bring an egg to room temperature quickly by letting it sit in warm water for 5 minutes.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1/2 cup. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the donut holes won’t taste as moist or rich.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
Keywords: apple cider donut holes, apple cider donuts