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Baked Apple Cider Donuts



...And now back to everyone complaining about how cold it is. Yup, it's officially Fall as of yesterday but I for one, am definitely not mad about it. As long as I'm not having to drive through slushy snow, temperature changes are irrelevant to me. I'm just happy for Fall baking to commence. Clearly, I got a head start on the pumpkin this year, but now it's time to bring out the apples!


Apples are my favorite thing ever and I've probably mentioned that a few hundred times on here. Last year or maybe even two years ago, I went to a Fall farm festival and they had these mini apple cider donuts that were too delicious for words. I knew right away I had to recreate them at home and yesterday, I finally got a chance to.


Now, these aren't an exact replica since they're baked and not fried, but they come pretty darn close to the real thing! The apple cider is reduced for a deeper, more concentrated flavor and the buttermilk in the recipe keeps them so light and moist! And of course, the crunchy cinnamon sugar topping is the best part. Not sure if my dentist would approve of these, but hey, it's the first day of Fall, I get to live a little!

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Yield: 14 donuts
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Ingredients:

1 and 1/4 cups apple cider
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

For the cinnamon sugar topping:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

In a saucepan, over medium-low heat, simmer apple cider for 15-20 minutes until it reduces to 1/2 cup. Transfer to refrigerator to cool down while you prepare donut batter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a donut pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together egg, melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth and well-combined. Whisk in buttermilk, vanilla, and apple cider.

Pour in dry ingredients and gently whisk together, just until incorporated. Small lumps may remain.

Transfer batter to a Ziploc bag or a piping bag with the tip cut off. Squeeze the batter into each mold, filling it about 2/3 full. Bake for 8 minutes in preheated oven.

Remove donuts from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Prepare the topping by mixing together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Once donuts are completely cool, brush them with some of the melted butter. Then, dip them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, rotating and flipping until completely coated.

Serve immediately, as donuts taste best on the same day they are made.

Slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

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