More Doughnuts Please
This apple cider doughnut recipe is my first donut recipe for my new blog. I love donuts, but for a long time I didn't like filled donuts. The filling was either too sweet, too much or had a weird taste - the "raspberry" filling did not taste like raspberries. In 2015, my husband and I went to London and I had the most amazing filled donut. It was filled with a crème diplomat (a combination of pastry cream and whipped cream) and it was over the top yummy and luscious. It was also crazy expensive, but what the heck I was on vacation. I came home determined to learn how to make filled donuts now that I knew how delicious they could be. I found the perfect recipe online from the Flour cookbook. It turned out wonderful and started my quest to perfect my donut making. In the meantime if you're in the Boston area check out Flour Bakery and if you're in London check out Bread Ahead at the Borough Market where I had the most amazing caramel cream-filled donut ever.
How to Make Apple Cider Doughnuts
Onto making these delicious apple cider doughnuts. I boiled 4-1/2 cups of apple cider down to 1-1/4 cups. The cider becomes thicker or more syrupy but it will depend on what brand of cider you use. I noticed that the fresh-squeezed cider with a lot of pulp was thicker than another brand I tried. My recommendation is to use a cider that you like to drink. To bump up the cider flavor I use 1/2 cup for the dough and I brush the donuts with the remaining cider after frying them. The tart apple taste hits your tongue as you bite through the cinnamon-sugar crust and into the donut.
The spices are about what I like and think will taste good for others. I encourage you to try your own combination of spices. Add to or decrease what is listed in the recipe or try a spice that you really like. There is no wrong way to spice up your donut.
This dough is really sticky, so I sprinkle about 1/3 cup flour on my cutting board and then more flour on top of the dough to keep the rolling pin from sticking.
How to Fry Doughnuts
I use either my Le Creuset or my 4-quart saucepan for frying. Both do a good job of maintaining the correct temperature once I start frying the donuts. Place the donuts in the hot oil. Don't drop the donuts in the oil. You risk splashing hot oil on your hand which is not a pleasant experience. The oil needs to be hot enough to create a crust on the outer layers and prevent oil from soaking into the donut. If the oil is too cool the donut will end up greasy. If the oil is too hot, remove the pot from the burner and allow it too cool below 360 degrees F before returning to the burner.
I use two chopsticks or two wooden skewers to turn the doughnuts over. They work every time and who doesn't have a pair of chopsticks hanging out in their kitchen drawer. I use a spider wire strainer to remove the donuts from the pot and place them on paper towels and immediately brush them with apple cider. Roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture while they are still warm.
The total amount of time to fry the doughnuts will depend on the size of your pot and the size of your donuts. Do not overcrowd the pot. It will be harder to keep track of the donuts and properly fry them.
I use toasted sugar for the cinnamon sugar mixture. You can find the recipe at Serious Eats, one of my favorite food sites. I tried both regular sugar and the toasted sugar and the toasted sugar adds a caramel taste to the donut. If you don't have toasted sugar you can use regular granulated sugar.
If you are making the donuts for breakfast or want them for the next day, you can fry them the night before and with this recipe they are still good the next day. Place the cooled donuts in an airtight container and they will be still be moist and tender the next day.
Apple Cider Donuts
- 4-1/2 cups cider (boiled down to 1-1/4 cup)
- 3-1/2 cups (455 grams) all-purpose unbleached flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (96 grams) dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup (200 grams) toasted sugar or regular granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Place the apple cider in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium high heat and boil until reduced to 1-1/4 cup, about 20-25 minutes. For the cider into a glass jar and put it into the refrigerator until it is completely cooled.
- In a small bowl, combine the white sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cardamom and 1-1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
- In a glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the apple cider and the buttermilk.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the dark brown sugar and the butter on medium speed until the mixture is pebbly. Add the eggs then beat the mixture on medium speed for about 1 minute until the mixture is lighter in color. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Add one-half of the cider-buttermilk mixture and mix on low speed until well combined. Add the remaining flour mixture in two additions alternating with the liquids and combine on low speed each time. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix on low speed for another 10 seconds.
- The dough will be very sticky, like cookie dough. Transfer the dough to another bowl, cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (or up to 24 hours).
- Generously flour a cutting board (I use about 1/3 cup of flour) and place dough on cutting board. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and roll the dough to 1/2 inch.
- Cut out 2-1/2-inch donuts. Fold the dough and re-roll it and out remaining donuts. I don't have a donut cutter so, I use a combination of a regular 2-1/2 inch cutter to cut out the donut and a 1/2-inch cutter to cut the donut hole.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the donuts on the parchment paper.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360 degrees F. Line a baking tray with paper towels and place near the pot of oil. Place the bowl of cinnamon-sugar topping close to the baking tray.
- Brush the excess flour from the donuts and carefully add them to the hot oil one at a time. Once the donut rises to the top of the oil, fry for about 60 seconds on each side or until deep brown on each side. Working in batches, add donuts to the pot and cook until evenly golden and crispy, Transfer to a paper towels and brush them with the remaining apple cider; then roll the warm donuts in cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.
- Serve warm. If these are for the next day, allow the donuts to completely cool and place them in an air-tight container.