Caramel Apple Cider Donuts

Caramel Apple Cider Donuts Recipe

I just saw the first leaf fall from the trees in Atlanta and I am officially declaring today the start of the fall season! Ok, maybe it was from Hurricane Sally ripping them from the trees, but still. I need an excuse to start this season early because it’s the greatest, most joyful time of year. From here until the end of the year it’s cozy and festive. This is MY season! What the playoff season is to the NFL, the fall/holiday season is to me. It’s my prime. It’s BAKING SEASON, PEOPLE!! And today we are kicking it off (football pun intended) with a recipe for Caramel Apple Cider Donuts!

Caramel Apple Cider Donuts Recipe

 

What is a caramel apple cider donut?

An apple cider donut is a baked or fried super moist cake-based donut made with fresh apple cider in the batter. These are most common in the fall season (Sept-Nov) when farm stands and squeezing fresh-picked apples and turning out delicious tangy cider.  The warm donut is then dipped into melted butter and coated in a mixture of cinnamon, apple spice, and sugar.  To make the apple cider flavor stand out even more, in this recipe we will be reducing our apple cider to yield a more concentrated flavor while boiling out the access water in the cider.

For these caramel apple cider donuts, before tossing to coat them in butter and spiced sugar, they are injected with sea salt caramel in four different areas of the donut so you get a little caramel in each bite!

The donuts are best served warm immediately after baking!

Caramel Apple Cider Donuts Recipe

What does a caramel apple cider donut taste like?

Apple cider donuts taste like a cross between warm and buttery cinnamon toast and a tangy swig of apple cider, with just enough caramel to keep the donut super moist without adding too much sweetness.

Caramel Apple Cider Donuts Recipe

The Trick: Apple Cider Reduction

In this recipe, we are going to boil down or “reduce” the apple cider. Reduction is the process of thickening and intensifying the flavor of a liquid mixture such as a soup, sauce, wine, or juice by simmering or boiling. You are left with an extraordinary flavor that is much less diluted by water.

According to Wiki: Reduction is performed by simmering or boiling a liquid such as a stock, fruit or vegetable juices, wine, vinegar, or a sauce until the desired concentration is reached by evaporation. This is done without a lid, enabling the vapor to escape from the mixture.

Caramel Apple Cider Donuts

How to make Caramel Apple Cider Donuts:

For the Donuts:

  • In a small saucepan over medium low heat, add the three cups of fresh apple cider. Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice. Whisk to incorporate. Bring to a low boil then reduce to low heat and all the cider to reduce until you yield just 1 cup of concentrated cider. Set aside to cool while you prepare donut batter.
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Use butter to generously grease two 6-cavity donut pans and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 2 teaspoons apple pie spice and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla extract together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the concentrated apple cider and whisk gently until just combined and smooth. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Using a piping bag (or ziplock bag with one corner cut) pipe the batter into each cavity, about 3/4 of the way up the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until it’s just set. They can overbake very quickly so be sure to check on them at 9 minutes.
  • Allow donuts to cool for a few minutes before placing them on a cooling rack. Cool donuts for at least 10 minutes before filling with caramel.

Caramel Filling and Buttery Coating

  • Fill a second piping bag with an angled metal filling tip (or similar). Inject caramel into the side of the donuts in four different spots; top, bottom, left and right. Insert tip into the donut and squeeze for about 3-4 seconds. Repeat with remaining donuts.
  • Melt 1 stick of butter in a small bowl. In a second bowl add your 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cinnamon and 1 tablespoon apple pie spice. Mix well. Dunk each donut in the melted butter, flipping over to fully saturate both sides. Place into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and coat with the mixture on all sides. Serve warm

Caramel Apple Cider Donuts Recipe

Looking for more dessert copycat recipes? Try these:

Entenmann’s Devil’s Food Donuts Recipe

Tagalong Girl Scout Cookie Copycat Recipe

Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar Copycat Recipe

Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait Copycat Recipe

Hostess Suzy Q’s Copycat Recipe

Caramel Apple Cider Donuts Recipe

If you give these a try, I would love to know what you think of them! Be sure to tag @BadBatchBaking and use #badbatchbaking on IG so I can be sure to share it in my story. I look forward to your questions/comments below.

Caramel Apple Cider Donuts

Dunked in melted butter and rolled in apple-spiced cinnamon sugar, these baked Caramel Apple Cider Donuts are my favorite fall tradition. Super moist, cakey, caramel injected and full of seasonal flavors.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Resting Time10 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Dessert
Servings: 24 donuts
Author: Mallory Austin

Equipment

  • Donut pan is ideal but DIY donut pan instructions included

Ingredients

Donuts

  • Butter for oiling pan
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon divided
  • 3 tsp apple pie spice divided
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar light brown can also work
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups fresh apple cider

Caramel Filling & Buttery Coating

  • 1 jar of good quality caramel sauce i used Stonewall Kitchen Sea Salt Caramel Sauce
  • 1 stick butter melted
  • 1 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon apple pie spice

Instructions

Donuts

  • In a small saucepan over medium low heat, add the three cups of fresh apple cider. Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice. Whisk to incorporate. Bring to a low boil then reduce to low heat and all the cider to reduce until you yield just 1 cup of concentrated cider. Set aside to cool while you prepare donut batter.
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Use butter to generously grease two 6-cavity donut pans and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 2 teaspoons apple pie spice and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla extract together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the concentrated apple cider and whisk gently until just combined and smooth. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Using a piping bag (or ziplock bag with one corner cut) pipe the batter into each cavity, about 3/4 of the way up the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until it’s just set. They can overbake very quickly so be sure to check on them at 9 minutes.
  • Allow donuts to cool for a few minutes before placing them on a cooling rack. Cool donuts for at least 10 minutes before filling with caramel.

Caramel Filling and Buttery Coating

  • Fill a second piping bag with an angled metal filling tip (or similar). Inject caramel into the side of the donuts in four different spots; top, bottom, left and right. Insert tip into the donut and squeeze for about 3-4 seconds. Repeat with remaining donuts.
  • Melt 1 stick of butter in a small bowl. In a second bowl add your 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cinnamon and 1 tablespoon apple pie spice. Mix well. Dunk each donut in the melted butter, flipping over to fully saturate both sides. Place into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and coat with the mixture on all sides. Serve warm

Notes

Adapted from NYT Cooking, Damn Delicious and Sally's Baking Addiction

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