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Bake a batch of irresistible Apple Cider Donuts at home! Enjoy 6 cakey, spice-infused donuts ready in under 30 minutes with our easy recipe.

Nothing screams fall quite like the taste of warm, cakey Apple Cider Donuts. These melt-in-your-mouth delights are everything you crave during the cooler months. But what if you could enjoy this seasonal treat right at home in a small batch, yielding six perfect donuts? In less than 30 minutes, this simple recipe brings you the joy of bakery-fresh donuts without any fuss.

If you’re in the mood for some delightful small batch treats that are great for breakfast or as snacks, you’ve got to try our Butter Swim Biscuits, incredibly buttery and soft, especially when topped with homemade jam. Our Morning Glory Muffins are packed with fruits and nuts, bursting with flavor. The Apple Fritters are crispy and sweet, a real treat, and the Red Velvet Donuts are just the right mix of decadent and delicious. Perfect for when you want something special!

Why You’ll Love This Apple Cider Donuts Recipe

  • Simplicity: No complex techniques or specialized equipment needed.
  • Quick: Ready in under 30 minutes for that sudden donut craving.
  • Homemade Taste: Experience the flavor of freshly baked donuts.
  • Perfect Size: Makes six donuts, ideal for sharing or enjoying alone.

Ingredients

apple cider, flour, sugars, milk, spices, egg and butter on a wooden chopping board.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Apple Cider: This ingredient gives the donuts their signature apple flavor. Although apple cider works best in this recipe, if you can’t find it you can use unfiltered apple juice instead. Just be sure not to buy the clear or sparkling apple juice. Do not use apple cider vinegar as it is NOT the same thing as apple cider.
  • Spices: Use a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger for the perfect amount of fall flavor.
  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour. This recipe has not been tested with any other type of flour.
  • Sugars: Use brown sugar and granulated sugar. Brown sugar adds depth and moisture. If you don’t have brown sugar, use this small batch brown sugar recipe to make your own.
  • Egg yolk: This is a small batch recipe and we recommend using only the egg yolk. If you use the entire egg, the texture of the donuts will be affected. Save the egg white to use in one of our egg white recipes like a Mini Texas Sheet Cake or Two Vanilla Cupcakes.
  • Vanilla extract and salt: For wonderful flavor.
  • Milk: We use a small amount of milk in this recipe. Milk improves the texture of baked goods. The protein in milk gives the donuts a soft crumb and provides structure. Feel free to use almond or oat milk for a dairy-free version.
  • Butter: Melted butter is used in the donut batter and also in the topping. I use unsalted butter in this recipe. If you would like to use salted butter, leave out the salt in the batter. Use coconut oil or margarine for dairy-free.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

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How To Reduce Apple Cider For Donuts

Creating the perfect apple cider flavor in your donuts requires concentrated apple cider. Concentrating the apple cider enhances the apple taste, making your donuts irresistibly flavorful.

Here’s how to easily reduce apple cider:

  1. Pour: Measure 1 1/4 cups of apple cider into a small saucepan, aiming to reduce it to 1/4 cup.
  2. Boil: Heat over medium-high heat until it reaches a boil.
  3. Simmer: Lower the heat to medium-low, letting it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Keep an eye on it – if you reduce it too much, simply add enough water to reach 1/4 cup.
  4. Cool: Remove from heat and allow it to cool before incorporating into your donut batter.

This reduction process can be done a day or two in advance or right before you bake. It adds only 20 minutes to your preparation but elevates the flavor incredibly.

four photos showing how to make an apple cider reduction.

How To Make Apple Cider Donuts

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make a small batch of apple cider donuts. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Reduce the apple cider: See the section above for photos of the simple process.
    • Pour 1 1/4 cups apple cider into a small saucepan.
    • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then simmer on medium-low for 15-20 minutes until reduced to 1/4 cup.
    • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 15-20 minutes.
    • Cool for 10 minutes or prepare ahead.

Pro Tip: This step can be done ahead of time to streamline your baking process. Simply store the reduced cider in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

By reducing the apple cider, you’re unlocking a robust apple flavor that will make your Small Batch Apple Cider Donuts the talk of the season.

  1. Make the donuts: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
  1. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, reduced apple cider, and milk. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk everything together until smooth and combined.
wet ingredients mixed into dry ingredients in a clear mixing bowl.
  1. Fill the donut pan:
    • Option 1: Using a spoon, fill a lightly greased donut pan with batter, about 2/3 of the way in each cup.
    • Option 2: If you have a piping or pastry bag, it can be used for an even and smooth distribution.
    • Option 3: No pastry bag? No problem! Just use a medium-sized zip-top bag. Place the bag in a tall glass, folding the top edge over the rim, making it easy to fill. Spoon the batter into the bag, squeeze out excess air, then cut off a corner at the bottom. Now, you can pipe the batter into each donut cup just like a pro.
four photos showing how to fill a zip top bag with donut batter and filling six donut cavities.
  1. Bake: Bake in a 350 F, preheated oven for 15-17 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned.

Pro Tip: To test to see if the donuts are ready, press your finger into the top of the donut. If the donut bounces back, they’re done.

six baked apple cider donuts in a donut pan.
  1. Let the donuts cool: Cool the donuts for 5 minutes.
  2. Make the topping: Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together granulated sugar and cinnamon. When the donuts are cool enough to handle, dip both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the cinnamon sugar topping.
dipping apple cider donuts in cinnamon sugar.
  1. These apple cider donuts are best enjoyed immediately.
four apple cider doughnuts stacked on top of one another.

Expert Tips

  • Avoid Vinegar: Do NOT use apple cider vinegar. It’s not interchangeable with apple cider, which gives the donuts their characteristic taste.
  • Topping Choice: Authentic apple cider donuts feature a cinnamon sugar topping. You can omit this if reducing sugar, but the classic taste will be altered.
  • Mixing Caution: Do not overmix the batter. Doing so leads to dense and gummy donuts, which is not the desired texture.
  • Flour Measurement: Don’t scoop the flour with a measuring cup directly. Stir to loosen, then spoon into a dry measuring cup, leveling with a flat knife edge.
  • Oven Accuracy: Check your oven’s temperature. Ovens may heat differently than set, affecting your donuts. Investing in an oven thermometer ensures accurate baking.

Serving Suggestions

Savor the incredible taste of Apple Cider Donuts with these delightful serving ideas. Whether enjoying them with friends or sipping a warm beverage alone, these suggestions will enhance your donut experience.

  • With Coffee: Pair with your favorite morning brew.
  • Dessert Platter: Add to a selection of seasonal fruits and desserts.
  • Warm With Ice Cream: Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Other Ways To Enjoy Apple Cider Donut Batter

Versatility of the Batter: Donuts, Muffins, and Mini Cake

Have you got apple cider donut batter but no donut pan? No worries, this fabulous apple cider donut batter is incredibly versatile, allowing you to experiment with different forms of baked goods, like muffins and cake. Though created for donuts, you can still enjoy the apple cider flavor in these variations. Just note that the texture may change slightly due to the longer baking time.

  • Apple Cider Muffins: Transform the batter into muffins by pouring it into lightly greased muffin tins (or use liners) and filling them 3/4 full. Bake at 350 F (177 C) for about 18-20 minutes. You’ll have enough for 4-5 scrumptious muffins.
  • Mini Apple Cider Cake: Use a 5×5-inch baking dish and bake at 350 F (177 C) for 25-27 minutes. Small 10-ounce ramekins or mini loaf pans are also suitable.
  • Cinnamon Sugar Topping (Highly Recommended): For that extra touch, brush melted butter over the muffins or cake, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. It enhances the flavor and adds a delightful crunch.

While the batter is ideally suited for donuts, these options provide great alternatives if you want to explore different apple cider delights. Enjoy the flexibility and savor the delicious flavors in various forms!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze apple cider donuts?

Yes, cider donuts can be frozen, coated, or not coated with the topping. Store in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 4 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm them in the microwave.

How do I store leftover apple cider donuts?

Store the donuts in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature. You can also store the donuts in the refrigerator, they will keep for up to 5 days.

Do I have to reduce the cider when making apple cider donuts?

Yes! Reducing the cider cooks out some of the water which helps to provide a more concentrated apple cider flavor in the donuts.

Can I double this recipe to make a dozen apple cider donuts?

Want to share the love with a dozen apple cider donuts? You certainly can! Simply double the quantities of all the ingredients in this Small Batch Apple Cider Donuts recipe, and you’ll have twice the delightful treats. Perfect for gatherings or satisfying a serious donut craving!

A stack of apple cider donuts on a baking sheet next to one donut cut in half.

Explore More Single Serving and Small Batch Apple Recipes

If the taste of apple has your taste buds tingling and you’re longing for more single serving or small batch apple delights, explore these irresistible recipes. From flaky pastries to comforting breakfasts, these dishes will fill your kitchen with the enticing aroma of apples:

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you would like additional information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this small batch of apple cider donuts or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

If you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Small Batch Apple Cider Donuts

5 from 12 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Homemade apple cider donuts with an intense apple cider flavor and dipped in cinnamon sugar. Ready in less than 30 minutes! This small batch donut recipe yields 6 buttery, cakey donuts.

Ingredients 
 

  • cup apple cider
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter , melted
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

For the topping

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions 

  • Reduce the apple cider: Pour 1 ¼ cups apple cider into a small saucepan.
    Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then simmer on medium-low for 15-20 minutes until reduced to ¼ cup.
    Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally until reduced to ¼ cup, about 15-20 minutes.
    Cool for 10 minutes.
    Pro Tip: This step can be done ahead of time to streamline your baking process. Simply store the reduced cider in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • Make the donuts: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
  • In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, reduced apple cider, and milk.
    Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk everything together until smooth and combined.
  • Fill the donut pan:
    Option 1: Using a spoon, fill a lightly greased donut pan with batter, about ⅔ of the way in each cup.
    Option 2: If you have a piping or pastry bag, it can be used for an even and smooth distribution.
    Option 3: No pastry bag? No problem! Just use a medium-sized zip-top bag. Place the bag in a tall glass, folding the top edge over the rim, making it easy to fill. Spoon the batter into the bag, squeeze out excess air, then cut off a corner at the bottom. Now, you can pipe the batter into each donut cup just like a pro.
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned.
    Pro Tip: To test to see if the donuts are ready, press your finger into the top of the donut. If the donut bounces back, they're done.
  • Cool the donuts for 5 minutes.
  • Make the topping: Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together granulated sugar and cinnamon. When the donuts are cool enough to handle, dip both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the cinnamon sugar topping.
  • These apple cider donuts are best enjoyed immediately.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Avoid Vinegar: Do NOT use apple cider vinegar. It’s not interchangeable with apple cider, which gives the donuts their characteristic taste.
  • Topping Choice: Authentic apple cider donuts feature a cinnamon sugar topping. You can omit this if reducing sugar, but the classic taste will be altered.
  • Mixing Caution: Do not overmix the batter. Doing so leads to dense and gummy donuts, which is not the desired texture.
  • Flour Measurement: Don’t scoop the flour with a measuring cup directly. Stir to loosen, then spoon into a dry measuring cup, leveling with a flat knife edge.
  • Oven Accuracy: Check your oven’s temperature. Ovens may heat differently than set, affecting your donuts. Investing in an oven thermometer ensures accurate baking.
Other Ways To Enjoy Apple Cider Donut Batter
Have you got apple cider donut batter but no donut pan? No worries, this fabulous apple cider donut batter is incredibly versatile, allowing you to experiment with different forms of baked goods, like muffins and cake. Though created for donuts, you can still enjoy the apple cider flavor in these variations. Just note that the texture may change slightly due to the longer baking time.
  • Apple Cider Muffins: Transform the batter into muffins by pouring it into lightly greased muffin tins (or use liners) and filling them ¾ full. Bake at 350 F (177 C) for about 18-20 minutes. You’ll have enough for 4-5 scrumptious muffins.
  • Mini Apple Cider Cake: Use a 5×5-inch baking dish and bake at 350 F (177 C) for 25-27 minutes. Small 10-ounce ramekins or mini loaf pans are also suitable.
  • Cinnamon Sugar Topping (Highly Recommended): For that extra touch, brush melted butter over the muffins or cake, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. It enhances the flavor and adds a delightful crunch.
While the batter is ideally suited for donuts, these options provide great alternatives if you want to explore different apple cider delights. Enjoy the flexibility and savor the delicious flavors in various forms!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 218kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 138mg, Potassium: 91mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 283IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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10 Comments

  1. Just made your small batch. Came out perfect. I love your small batch recipes. Shared with a neighbor, my son and wife and my husband and I.

    1. Hi Sharon, I’ve tested several of our recipes with King Arthur brand Gluten Free 1:1 flour with success. Although I have not tested this donut recipe with GF flour, based on my other tests with our baked goods recipes, I believe you can substitute here too.

  2. Made 15 mini muffins. They were delightful! Thank you so much, Joanie, for all these wonderful recipes! You are making me into a cook!

    1. I love apple cider donuts! Followed your instructions and tips to a T except used a (15) mini muffin tin. They were perfect!! Having had limited experience cooking, I find that using your website is a great way to build my confidence.(w/o wasting a lot) Thank you so much, Joanie!!