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Apple Cider Donut Holes Recipe

Country of Origin: USA
Preparation Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Main Ingredient: Apple CIder
Additional Features:


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp apple butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • Vegetable oil for frying (make sure you have enough on hand)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  1. Start by reducing the cider in a sauce pan over medium heat. Be careful not to really let it boil or it will reduce down too much. You want to end up with about 1/4 cup of cider, and it will have a more concentrated flavor this way. This should take about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat the butter, apple butter and sugars together in a separate, large bowl. If you don’t have apple butter, you can use regular butter instead – you just may want to use a bit more sugar to make up for the sweetness you’re losing.
  4. Add in the eggs and vanilla until well combined. Then, incorporate in the slightly cooled cider, and then the buttermilk.
  5. Gradually incorporate the dry mixture in until it is thoroughly combined.
  6. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface. Add a bit more flour to the top, and flatten into a disk.
  7. Refrigerate or freeze for 20-40 minutes. Using a small, round cookie cutter, cut out small round disks for the donut holes. They should be very small because they will expand when cooking. Note: you do not roll these out because they will puff up when you fry them.
  8. Pour a few cups of oil into a deep saute pan, and turn on to medium heat. Some people think your oil needs to be bubbling to fry, but it should not be this hot or the donuts will burn. If you have a candy thermometer, it should reach 350 degrees F for frying. If not, slowly test out a few donuts to find the right temperature. They should fry in about 20-30 seconds. If they fry too fast and start to burn, they will be raw on the inside. If they take too long to fry, then they will become dry on the inside. Tasting as you go is the best solution.
  9. Turn the donuts after about 10-15 seconds so both sides are evenly fried. You can add multiple donuts at once, but know that this will increase the time it takes to fry them.
  10. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove the donuts from the pan. Let them rest on a large plate lined with plenty of paper towels.
  11. Immediately drop donuts into the cinnamon sugar mixture and coat evenly.

Eat right away, or store in an airtight container for 1-2 days.