My apple cider doughnut recipe is the result of me doing too many things at one time and not paying attention. So the story goes, I was trying to figure out if anyone had created a copycat recipe for the apple cider doughnuts from SkyTop Orchard in Flat Rock, NC. My research came up empty, though I did watch a local reporter make the doughnuts for a feature.
Devastated, I started flipping through recipes and googling “authentic apple cider doughnuts”. Sidenote: I am one of those people who has 57 tabs open on every single device I own. After much hand-wringing, I settled on the recipe from Jo Cooks because she used buttermilk in the dough, which made sense for the pillowy soft doughnuts. Before I decided on that recipe, I also read one from Damn Delicious, but remembered clicking out of it because it didn’t have buttermilk, or so I thought I clicked out of it.
Halfway through simmering apple cider I realized something was wrong. My brain was yelling at me-- if you have 1 cup of apple cider AND a ½ cup of buttermilk, that’s a LOT of liquid.
Somehow, I measured out dry ingredients from Jo Cooks and the wet ingredients from Damn Delicious. More backstory: I always measure out dry ingredients first even if the recipe puts them last (or god forbid doesn’t tell you to whisk the salt/baking powder/baking soda with the flour). This is how I ensure that I always get all of the leavening agents into the recipe. I started doing this after I forgot to put salt in a pound cake and felt nothing but sheer devastation at the loss of that poundcake.
Time to Problem Solve
So then I looked at the Jo Cook’s recipe again, and low and behold, that recipe only called for 1 cup of apple cider. Then I looked at the 3 cups of apple cider simmering on the stove. It was decision time, folks. I grabbed a sheet of paper and did a side by side comparison of the ingredients and quantities, and came up with a plan.
I kept the dry measurements from Jo Cooks, then I added a half cup of flour, because everything seemed too wet. The addition of the brown sugar from Damn Delicious, seemed like a good call, so it stayed. Finally, I had to let the buttermilk go. The whole reason I picked the Jo Cooks recipe to begin with, but I knew the batter would be way too wet to keep it and all of the cider.
The resulting dough was SO sticky. I ended up kneading extra flour into dough and then dividing the dough in half and freezing it for 15-20 minutes just to be able to cut them out. In summary, this was a hot mess up until the point when I started frying them.
Are they as good as the SkyTop version? Hell No. We are lucky they came out at all! I honestly had the lowest expectations-- but then my daughter, who only eats doughnuts with chocolate icing and sprinkles, inhaled a whole doughnut and gave me a thumbs up! This is a low bar, but in many ways still a triumph.Print
Apple Cider Donuts
Homemade apple cider doughnuts filled with cinnamon, spice and everything nice.
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
- Category: Doughnuts
- 3 cups apple cider
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 ½ tsp cinnamon, divided
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 5tbs melted butter
- 2 eggs
- Vegetable oil
- In a medium saucepan bring apple cider to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cider reduce down to 1 cup, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a medium bowl stir together 1 cup of granulated sugar and 2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and nutmeg.
- With the mixer running on low speed, pour in the apple cider, melted butter and 2 eggs. Mix until completely combined. The dough will be very sticky.
- Scrape the dough into a smaller container with a lid and refrigerate for at least one hour. The longer the better.
- Spray your work surface with cooking spray and heavily dust the work surface with flour. Turn out half the dough on the counter top. Put the remaining dough back in the refrigerator. If the dough still feels very sticky sprinkle the top with flour and knead it a couple of times to incorporate the flour. If that doesn't work, pat the dough into a disk and wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Fix a heavy bottom pot with a candy thermometer and fill with 2-3 inches of oil. Heat the oil to 375ºF.
- Gently roll the dough out into ¾ inch thickness and cut out using a 2 1/2 inch doughnut cutter.
- Carefully drop the doughnuts into the oil. They will initially sink to the bottom of the pot, but will float to the top after a few seconds. Allow the doughnuts to cook on each side for 75 seconds, before flipping for another 75 seconds. Remove from the oil and place briefly on a wire rack. While the doughnut is still warm, dip it in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the entire doughnut.
- Serve warm.
Keywords: Apple Cider Doughnuts
So next time, I’ll try to follow one recipe. Maybe I will close all of those tabs. Yeah, probably not.