Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Homemade apple cider donuts are cakey, dense, intensely flavored, and baked not fried. These donuts come together quickly and easily– a convenient recipe for crisp fall mornings.

Baked apple cider donuts coated in buttery apple cinnamon spice! Easy and quick baked donuts recipe on

Years ago, I published my favorite recipe for baked apple cider donuts on my blog. I’ve made the donuts at least once every fall season since then, but I updated the recipe for even more apple spice flavor. I also added apple spice to the cinnamon sugar topping– and had a heavy hand while coating them. No complaints here!

Break out your donut pan and let’s do this. 🙂

Apple Cider Donuts Video Tutorial

Baked apple cider donuts coated in buttery apple cinnamon spice! Easy and quick baked donuts recipe on

What Do They Taste Like?

Have you ever tried my chai spice donuts, pumpkin donuts, or cinnamon sugar donuts? All three are somewhat dense and very muffin-like. Today’s baked apple cider donuts are a little heavier with a more substantial and moister crumb. Flavor-wise, they’re APPLE and CINNAMON and SPICE all over. They taste like they’re straight from a bakery. (More bakery-style favorites: these muffins and these cookies!)

Baked apple cider donuts coated in buttery apple cinnamon spice! Easy and quick baked donuts recipe on

This Trick Changes Everything

Let me quickly explain the recipe before you get started. The trick to apple cider donuts is to flavor them with concentrated apple cider. Apple cider that’s been reduced down on the stove is thick and potent, adding big flavor without excess liquid. Apple cider, homemade or store-bought, is certainly delicious to drink but it won’t add enough flavor to baked goods. Taking 20 minutes to reduce the apple cider down turns regular donuts into apple cider donuts. You can even do this the night before, which is what I do because the cider must cool down for a few minutes before you add it to the batter. Pour apple cider in a saucepan, place it on low heat, set a timer, give it a stir a few times, and it’ll be reduced down before you know it.

Reduce apple cider for apple cider donuts on

We’re reducing 1 and 1/2 cups of apple cider down to 1/2 cup. It’ll be darker and thicker with heavily concentrated flavor. Here’s my reduced down apple cider:

Ingredients for apple cider donuts on

How to Make Baked Apple Cider Donuts

In less than an hour, you’ll have an entire plate stacked high with homemade apple cider donuts. These couldn’t be easier to make– no mixer required! Leave yourself enough time to reduce down the apple cider before beginning– I like to do this step the night before so it’s ready to go in the morning.

  1. Reduce the apple cider. In a small saucepan over low heat, simmer the apple cider until you’re left with about 1/2 cup. Begin checking at 10 minutes, then every 3-5 minutes after that until you have 1/2 cup of cider reduction. Mine takes about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes (or complete this step ahead of time).
  2. Combine the dry ingredients together.
  3. Combine all wet ingredients except for the apple cider together.
  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Add the apple cider. Whisk everything together until smooth and combined. You’ll notice the batter will be slightly thick. We want thick batter for cakey and dense donuts!
  5. Fill the donut pan. Fill each donut cup about halfway. My trick for this? Use a zipped-top bag. Add the batter, cut off a corner, and pipe it into the donut pan filling only about halfway. This trick makes transferring the batter easy, neat, and quick.
  6. Bake. Only about 10 minutes of bake time– told you they’re quick! To test doneness, poke your finger into the top of the donut. If the donut bounces back, they’re done. Once the donuts are out of the oven, let them cool for 2 minutes, invert the pan to release the donuts, then re-grease the donut pan and bake the remaining donut batter. (If you don’t own 2 donut pans! I only have 1.)
  7. Coat the donuts. Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together in a medium bowl. Once cool enough to handle, dunk both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the apple spice topping.
  8. Enjoy!

Look at this beautiful caramel colored batter! So much apple flavor hiding in here:

Batter for apple cider donuts on

No need for a rolling pin or donut cutter, simply add the batter to a donut pan. Don’t have a donut pan? Make donut muffins in your muffin pan. For about 10-12 apple cider donut muffins, fill each muffin cup 3/4 full, then bake for about 18-20 minutes.

Donut pan for apple cider donuts on

Coat the Apple Cider Donuts

The crown jewel of the donuts! A dip in melted butter, then a dunk in granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice. If you don’t have access to store-bought apple pie spice, you can make your own with cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. The melted butter, while adding flavor, also helps the apple spice coating stick.

Topping for apple cider donuts on

What to Make with Leftover Apple Cider

If you have leftover apple cider, use it in my honeycrisp apple sangria or apple cider sangria— or drink it plain!

Baked apple cider donuts coated in buttery apple cinnamon spice! Easy and quick baked donuts recipe on

This recipe produces the best apple cider donuts I’ve ever had. I have a feeling this fall treat will become your new favorite too.

Baked apple cider donuts coated in buttery apple cinnamon spice! Easy and quick baked donuts recipe on

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 donuts
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Baked, cakey, and delicious apple cider donuts are made with apple cider reduction to intensify its flavor. Warm and dipped in cinnamon sugar and apple pie spices, this fall treat will become your new favorite too.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) apple cider
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, at room temperature*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice*
  • 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted


  1. Reduce the apple cider: Stirring occasionally, simmer the apple cider in a small saucepan over low heat until you’re left with about 1/2 cup. Start checking at 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, etc until you have 1/2 cup (120ml). Mine takes about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Whisk the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together. Pour into the dry ingredients, add the reduced apple cider, and whisk everything together until smooth and combined. Batter will be slightly thick.
  5. Spoon the batter into the donut cavities—for ease, I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling about halfway.
  6. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of the donut. If the donut bounces back, they’re done. Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.
  7. Coat the donuts: Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together in a medium bowl. Once cool enough to handle, dunk both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the apple spice topping.
  8. Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can freeze the donuts, coated or not coated in the toppings, for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up to your liking in the microwave. I usually just zap ’em for a couple seconds.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Glass Mixing Bowls | Measuring Cups | Whisk | Heart Spatula | Donut Pan
  3. Apple Pie Spice: Do you have apple pie spice where you live? It’s pretty standard here in the US. If you don’t have access to store-bought apple pie spice, you can make your own with cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg.
  4. Milk: I usually use buttermilk, but I’ve found that any milk (dairy or nondairy) works pretty well. For a denser crumb, you can use 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream instead.
  5. No Donut Pan? Make donut muffins in your standard 12-cup muffin pan. Grease your pan or use muffin liners, fill each 3/4 full, then bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes about 10-12 apple cider donut muffins.
  6. Minis: Want to make mini donuts or mini donut holes in a mini muffin pan? Grease your pan, add the batter to the pan only about 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 8-9 minutes.


  1. Can you please link your donut pan? Where did you get it from?

    1. Hi Sangita! See recipe notes for products.

  2. Russell Tanenbaum says:

    These look awesome! I’m going to make these next week for my daughter’s class Halloween party (4 yr old). Any reason why a mini doughnut maker machine wouldn’t work? Thanks!!

    1. I don’t have a mini donut machine but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! I hope her class loves them!

  3. Could I use a mini donut pan to bake these? I’m sure the bake time will be altered but would it possibly affect the texture?

    1. Yes, you can certainly make mini donuts with a decreased bake time. Enjoy!

  4. I just cooked the apple cider for at least 45 minutes & it is finally down to 1/2 cup but mine does not look thick and syrupy like your picture. Mine is still very liquidy. I will not
    make the donuts until Saturday morning so a day and a half from now. Will the reduced cider firm up in the fridge or get looser? Not sure why it is not getting thick. Also, do you have to re-warm it before adding it to the recipe if it has been refrigerated?

    1. Hi Debbie! No worries if it’s not thickening– taste it and see if it is very flavor concentrated. You can use it right from the refrigerator or bring it to room temperature first.

  5. Awesome donuts! Made them today.

    1. In the Phoenix, AZ area is rather difficult to find apple cider, so I used Target’s organic Honeycrisp apple juice (just under a half a cup). I did a powder sugar glaze vs the sugar coating and this is a terrific recipe you gave us.

  6. My family’s favorite new recipe! The donuts themselves are moist & delicious, with a great apple cider flavor. I’m only giving this recipe four stars because I don’t like the sugar topping. It taste like they are coated in sand. My husband loved them plain with no topping. For aesthetic purposes I decided to try a powdered sugar glaze instead, using reduced apple cider in place of the milk or water to make the glaze. I liked the glaze much better than the sugar topping. I can see this being a recipe we will look forward to making every season from now on!

  7. So delish. The reduced apple cider does make a big difference

  8. These were fabulous. Apple cider doughnuts were a regular part of the move into fall and apple picking season when we lived on the East Coast. When we moved to WasHi from State, it is harder to find them and they just never had that apple cider flavor. These were amazing. I added an extra two table spoons flour and 1/2 cup of apple sauce and they are a little lighter. Yummy!

  9. Made the apple cider donuts. Excellent highly recommend

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

  10. Debbie McLain says:

    These donuts turned out great. My reduced apple cider never thickened up but I finally got it down to one-half cup after a good 45 minutes or more. I refrigerated it for 2 nights because of time constraints. I got 22 donuts out of the recipe possibly because my cider never thickened up? Any how, they tasted and looked fantastic. My 91-year old father absolutely loved them and said, “they just melt in your mouth”. My husband took the majority of them to his office like 3 days after I baked them and his co-workers still went crazy over them. I want to let you know that instead of using a snipped plastic bag to fill the donut pans, I used my Tovolo Cupcake Scoop and it worked fantastically! No mess and oh so easy. That little scoop is sold by Sur La Table and it only costs $8.95 and it is wonderful for cupcakes, muffins, these donut pans and any small cake pans to fill. I have given one to every one of my friends who like to bake and they love it as well. It filled the donut pans with ease and no mess whatsoever. Check it out – you will love it. Sally – thanks for another delicious and fun recipe to bake- you are the best!

    1. I’m so glad you were able to make them work and that they were such a hit! I will definitely check out the cupcake scoop – thanks so much for the tip!

  11. These are excellent. I didn’t have apple pie spice or cardamom, so I used pumpkin pie spice instead. Perfection!

  12. I usually am terrible at baking but these were so easy and came out DELICIOUS. maybe even tasted better the next morning? can’t wait to make these again!

    1. One of my favorite breakfast recipes of yours! We make on repeat in the fall. Can’t wait to try your new pumpkin ones.

  13. I love donuts and have never tried apple cider before but I am a huge fan of Sally so I thought what the heck. I accidentally used to much butter because I read the topping part as the actual recipe. They still turned out so delicious just a little bit more crumbly! My husband even enjoyed them. Can’t wait to make these again.

  14. Made these 5 or 6 times already, THE BEST EVER!!!!

  15. This recipe is pure perfection! The donuts are easy to make and the taste is incredible! Thank you Sally for all of your incredible recipes 🙂 I first fell in love with your Christmas cookie recipes and now your website is my go to!!

  16. I also made this with the sugar, stevia blend, the best ever!!!!
    Thank you Sally for sharing the recipe

  17. The flavor of the donuts was great. Similar to another post, it took closer to 40 minutes to reduce the Apple cider down to half a cup. The question I have is about the texture of the donuts. The day after baking the outside of the donuts were sticky both the ones with the sugar coating and ones without. What did I do wrong? Why did they sticky?

    1. Hi Jillian– glad you enjoyed the donuts. The outsides may be extra sticky if you’re storing them in a humid environment. (They’re also going to be a little sticky regardless since they’re so moist.)

  18. Do you think the donuts can be frozen after they are made?

  19. These came out fantastic! I made them today but would like to serve on Thanksgiving (which is 2 days away) what’s the best way to store so they will still be good? Would love to reheat them too if possible? Any suggestions?

  20. I usually have a bottle of “Vermont Boiled Cider” in my pantry. Not knowing the “strength” of your reduced cider I am not sure if this would be an even trade. Have you ever used the well known Vermont brand in your cooking? If not, perhaps you would be interested as it is available at King Arthur.

    1. Hi Carolyn, I’m not familiar with that particular product. If it’s thick like syrup then it should work. Let me know if you try it!

  21. This is a fabulous recipe! I made the mini donuts and followed the recipe exactly. So moist and delicious. I have never made a recipe from your blog that I didn’t love!

  22. Patricia Neff says:

    I made these as mini-donuts today. The donuts are delicious without any coating. I dipped 6 in melted butter and the sugar/spice mixture, then decided it was too much. As another commenter noted, the texture was sandy. The donuts are very moist, so I eliminated the butter and simply rolled them in sugar/spice – that ended up being just right. I had tons of the sugar mixture left, so I’m saving it for the next batch.

  23. Hello, is the apple cider containing alcohol? Shall I just get the booze and boil it for a while? Thanks in advance:)

    1. No need to use hard cider with alcohol– just regular apple cider, similar to juice.

  24. The cider reduction definitely takes way longer than 20 minutes on low. Are you using gas rather than electric. Is that why the time is doubled when I tried. I set it medium and let it boil and I get 1 1/2 cups down to 1/2 in 20 minutes.

    1. Hi Sheryl, It could be many different factors, such as the thickness of your pan, the heat of your stove, or even the water content of your cider! As long as you got it down to the 1/2 cup reduction you did it right. Enjoy the donuts!

  25. They are truly delicious and easy to make however I had a bit of difficulty getting the batter into the donut pan as it was thick. They ended up looking like mini muffins! What did I do wrong ?

    1. Nothing! This is a thick batter. If desired, use the bag trick I describe to easily transfer the batter.

  26. I made them and my family LOVED them!
    I have already made them for every family reunion!
    people keep asking for your recipe!

  27. Question, when you put them in butter, it doesn’t cause a change in texture or the coating? I did this with the powered sugar donut hole recipe and it made the powdered sugar get gummy instead of staying powdery. Thanks!

    1. Hi Devon, Since we are using granulated sugar here for the coating it will stay nice and sparkly and crunchy!

  28. Bake these donuts any time of the year! You won’t be disappointed. Sally’s right, they’re very moist. Pretty easy too. The coating is the best part.

  29. Since we are all locked down, decided to make these for Easter. I used white whole wheat flour, freshly milled, so it only made 13 donuts, (which is fine). With the heavier batter it needed more baking time, (about 14-16mins), but they are amazing. Nutty and delish. No need for topping/coating at all.

  30. Tried irst batch today – TASTY! But they were nowhere near done after 11 minutes, and never did quite bake through as I put them in and pulled them out a couple of times. I’m using silicone muffin pans which may make a difference?
    Just caught your note that for muffins bake 18-20 minutes and will try that next time around. Perhaps 16. I’m new at baking.

1 2 3 4 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

’ ’

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love



Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally