These apple cider doughnuts with a maple glaze are so addictive. Seasonal apple cider is reduced down, added to a batter containing cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves and baked until it is a yummy golden brown. Then a maple syrup-apple cider glaze tops this already yummy doughnut and takes it to the next level. These doughnuts are moist and tender the way a cake doughnut should be.
Read on to learn how to make this easy and very tasty treat. And while you're here take a moment to follow me on Pinterest so you can see all my other tasty recipes.
The Doughnut Ingredient List
I love baked doughnuts. They are so easy to make and the base recipe can be easily modified. Here are the ingredients for the doughnuts:
- All-Purpose Flour. The flour provides the structure for the doughnut.
- Baking Powder. The baking powder is the leavening agent and causes the doughnut to rise in the pan.
- Light Brown Sugar. The sugar adds moisture, sweetness and slight molasses flavor.
- Apple Cider. These are apple cider doughnuts, so reduced apple cider is used to bump up the flavor.
- Unsalted Butter. Adds flavor and richness to the batter.
- Buttermilk. Helps tenderize the final baked doughnut.
How to Make Baked Doughnuts from Scratch
As I said earlier baked doughnuts, no matter the flavor, are relatively easy and quick to make. The base recipe takes 45 minutes from start to finish including allowing the doughnuts to cool before glazing them.
The recipe for apple cider doughnuts starts with reducing the apple cider from 2 cups to 1/2 cup. This step takes about 10 minutes (longer if doubling the recipe) and then time to allow the reduced cider to cool to room temperature. I often perform this step the night before.
Prep your doughnut pans by lightly brushing them with a little melted butter. You will need about 1 teaspoon in total for this step. Even if they doughnut pans are described as nonstick I still butter them to ensure that the doughnuts come out clean. I don't use nonstick spray because I like the taste of butter and overtime the nonstick spray can leave a residue.
Combine the flour, spices, baking powder and salt in a bowl and whisk for 30 seconds. In a second bowl whisk one egg. Then add the brown sugar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add the buttermilk, whisk to combine, and then whisk as you add the melted butter.
Add the dry ingredients all at once and use a spatula to mix in the dry ingredients. Only mix until the there are no visible bits of the flour mixture. The batter will still be a little lumpy which is okay.
Tip for Success
Don't overmix the batter. It should only take a few turns to incorporate the flour and the batter will still be lumpy.
Baking the Doughnuts
Once the doughnuts are placed in the oven they bake in 10-12 minutes. The easiest and neatest way to fill the wells in the doughnut pan is to place the batter in an 18-inch pastry bag or large sealable Ziploc bag, cut off the tip and pipe the batter into the pan.
This recipe is designed to fill the doughnut wells up to the edge. The doughnuts are done when you press one with your fingertip and it bounces back. Remove the doughnuts from the oven and immediately turn them out onto a cooling rack. Toss the doughnuts immediately into the sugar-cinnamon mixture.
How to Glaze the Doughnuts
The maple-apple cider glaze for these doughnuts is so good. It has the richness of maple syrup with the sharp tang from apple cider.
Tip for Success
For this glaze (or any glaze) sift your powdered sugar with a fine-mesh strainer to ensure that your glaze will be smooth and lump free.
Once the doughnuts are cooled, make the glaze. The recipe calls for a specific amount of maple syrup, however, you made use less or more depending on your desired thickness. Take each doughnut and dip it into the glaze halfway up the sides of the doughnut. If you want a really thick glaze, it will be easier to use a spoon or offset spatula to spread the glaze over the doughnuts.
Your doughnuts are now ready for eating.
I hope you try these doughnuts because they are so good and you deserve a delicious treat. If you've never made baked doughnuts before I think you'll be surprised at how easy it is. Please let me know if you have more questions. If you make these doughnuts and post to Instagram please tag me @bakesbybrown. I would love to see your bake.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can these doughnuts be made dairy-free?
Yes, the doughnuts can be made dairy-free. Replace the butter with an equal amount of vegetable oil. You can also make it a little special and use a nut oil, like hazelnut oil. Replace the buttermilk with almond milk. Omit the butter from the glaze.
Can these doughnuts be made gluten-free?
Yes, the doughnuts can be made gluten-free. Replace the all-purpose flour with Bob's Red Mill gluten-free baking flour.
Can this recipe be doubled?
Yes, this recipe is for 6 doughnuts and is very easy to scale up to 12 or 18 doughnuts. Everything should be doubled or tripled except the amount of apple cider. If making 12 doughnuts start with 3 cups of apple cider and reduce it to 3/4 cup. For 18 doughnuts, reduce 4 cups of cider to 1-1/4 cups.
Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts
Apple Pie Spice
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
Apple Cider Doughnuts
- 2 cups apple cider reduced to 1/2 cup
- 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple spice
- 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter melted, plus additional to butter pan
- 1 (50 grams) large egg, room temperature
- 1/3 cup (63 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
Maple Syrup Glaze
- 1 cup (115 grams) powdered sugar sifted
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 2-3 tablespoons apple cider
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Apple Pie Spice
- This is the recipe for the apple pie spice called for in the recipe. Place all the ground spices in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. It should smell heavenly. This recipe for apple pie spice makes 2-1/2 tablespoons. The leftover can be used for other desserts and recipes.
- Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Use your fingers to break up any clumps of brown sugar.
Apple Cider Doughnuts
- Place the apple cider in a 2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil the cider until it is reduced to 1/2 cup. As the cider reduces the bubbles will get larger. Once it is reduced pour it into a heatproof measuring cup and cool to room temperature.
- Once the cider is cool preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter the wells of a doughnut pan with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Set aside.
- Melt 4 tablespoons of butter (for the batter) in a small saucepan until it is just melted. Don’t let it get too hot. You want it just barely warm for this recipe.
- Put the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of the apple pie into a small bowl and whisk for 30 seconds to thoroughly combine. Place the egg in a medium sized bowl and whisk. Add he brown sugar and whisk until the brown sugar is dissolved. Make sure there are no lumps. Add the buttermilk, whisk to incorporate and then whisk as you slowly pour in the melted butter.
- Add the dry ingredients and use a silicon spatula to gently combine by stirring from the bottom until no bits of flour remain. The batter will be lumpy, which is a good thing.
- Spoon the batter into an 18-inch pastry bag. Twist the top to close it and cut an 1/2-inch opening in the other end. Pipe the batter into the 6 doughnut wells of the doughnut pan.
- Bake the doughnuts for 10-12 minutes. Rotating the pan halfway through the baking. The doughnuts are done when the you press them with your finger, and they spring back. Turn the doughnuts out on a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the doughnuts are still warm toss in the bowl with the sugar cinnamon mixture and allow the doughnuts to cool.
Maple Syrup Glaze
- Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. Add the tablespoon of butter and use a spatula to work the butter into the powdered sugar by using the spatula to press and smear the butter. Add 2 tablespoons of the remaining reduced apple cider and 4 tablespoons of maple syrup and stir with a tablespoon. Continue to add maple syrup 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze is at the desired consistency.
- Dip the doughnuts in the glaze by holding it on the side and dipping the doughnuts in the glaze until the glaze goes halfway up the side of the doughnut.