These baked apple cider donuts are easy doughnut shaped cakes. They’re infused with fresh apple cider and coated with cinnamon sugar and apple pie spices. Don’t have a donut pan? Make muffins instead!

Baked Apple Cider Donuts stacked on top of a wooden cutting board with a cup of cider, fresh apples, and cinnamon sticks on the side.

What are apple cider donuts?

Apple cider donuts are cake-like donuts flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and of course, apple cider — after its namesake.

These sweet donuts are soft and cakey with a hint of apple flavor and spices.

Apple cider donuts are incredibly popular in locations with apple orchards and cider mills, but can be found seasonally during the autumn months in most grocery stores.

Apple cider donuts cooling on a wire rack.

Baked vs. Fried

The apple cider donuts that you purchase from stores are almost always fried.

Bakery fried donuts use a donut machine that easily shapes the batter into rings as it is dropped straight into the fryer. (It’s pretty fun to watch actually — a fond memory from my days as a donut decorator.)

Frying donuts at home with a soft cake batter is much harder. You would first need to pipe the dough onto parchment paper and let it chill in the refrigerator. Then you would cut around each donut and drop them individually into the fry oil.

Baked donuts are easy to make with donut pans. No mixer, rolling pin, or donut cutter required! Plus they are much healthier, as you won’t be dealing with any extra fat from the frying oil when you bake.

Close up view of cinnamon-sugar coating on the outside of baked donuts.

Why are apple cider donuts so good?

Apple cider donuts are apple, spice, and everything nice. Fall flavors at their finest. The secret is to use reduced apple cider to really bring out the flavor.

Apple cider infused cake donuts coated in cinnamon-sugar, what’s not to love?!

The best apple cider donuts are eaten warm and often paired with a mug of hot apple cider. Cozy fall vibes right there.

Side view of apple cider donuts on a cutting board.

Are cider donuts made with cider?

As mentioned before, cider donuts are made with real apple cider that is typically boiled down into an almost a syrup-like consistency so the flavor is more concentrated.

Apple Cider vs. Apple Juice

Is there a difference between apple cider and apple juice? Not by much, but yes! According to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources:

Fresh cider is raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process to remove coarse particles of pulp or sediment.

Apple juice is juice that has been filtered to remove solids and pasteurized so that it will stay fresh longer.

Gallon jug of fresh apple cider with apples and cinnamon sticks surrounding it.

Where do you find apple cider in the grocery store?

Now that you know the difference between apple cider and apple juice, where do you find it in the store? Apple cider may be shelf-stable or refrigerated.

The best apple cider to use for these donuts is fresh apple cider. You’ll find fresh apple cider in milk-type jugs in the refrigerated section of the store near the other juices.

NOTE: Refrigerated apple cider is typically only sold seasonally in the autumn months.

If it’s off-season you can still find shelf-stable apple cider in the juice aisle. It may be near the apple juice or in the organic and natural section of the store.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts Recipe

After you’ve got your apple cider, it’s time to bake these donuts!

This baked apple cider donuts recipe is divided into three parts: reduced apple cider, dry ingredients, and wet ingredients. It’s super simple to make.

Ingredients for baked apple cider donuts: Dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, apple pie spice, cinnamon), wet ingredients (white sugar, brown sugar, milk, butter, vanilla, egg) and reduced apple cider.
  • Reduced Apple Cider – Simply boil 2 cups of apple cider down to 1/2 cup. This takes about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Dry ingredients – Whisk together in a bowl.
    • All-purpose flour
    • Baking Powder
    • Baking Soda
    • Salt
    • Apple Pie Spice – Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Allspice
    • Ground Cinnamon
  • Wet Ingredients – Whisk together in a bowl.
    • Granulated Sugar
    • Brown Sugar
    • Warm Milk (110˚F – about 15-20 seconds in the microwave)
    • Melted Butter
    • Vanilla
    • Egg

(Full printable recipe card is at bottom of post.)

Mix Cake Batter and Pipe into Pans

  • Mix all three elements together until just combined.
  • Fill a gallon size bag with the apple cider cake batter and cut off the corner.
  • Pipe batter into two, 6-count donut pans that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Fill donut cavities 2/3 – 3/4 full.

NOTE: Do not over-fill donuts. If you have extra batter, bake it into cupcakes for about 14 minutes.

Piping apple cider cake batter into donut pans.

Bake and Coat with Cinnamon-Sugar

  • Bake donuts at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 9-12 minutes, until donuts spring back slightly to the touch.
  • Let cool slightly for 3-5 minutes, then remove donuts onto a silicone lined baking sheet. Cut out any donut holes as necessary.
  • While still warm, brush the donuts lightly with melted butter.
  • Combine granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice into a bowl. Coat donuts in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Baked donuts being brushed with butter, then coated in cinnamon-sugar.

Serving and Storing

These baked apple cider donuts are best served warm.

You can store them at room temperature in an airtight container up to 3 days. Feel free to nuke them in the microwave for 10 seconds if you want to re-heat them.

Cinnamon-sugar coated baked apple cider donuts on a cooling rack.

More Apple Recipes

If You Make This Recipe, Please Rate and Review it in the Comments Below. THANKS!

Baked Apple Cider Donuts stacked on top of a wooden cutting board with a cup of cider, fresh apples, and cinnamon sticks on the side.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 12

Cake-like donuts flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and of course, apple cider.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh apple cider
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp apple pie spice*
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup milk, warm (110˚F)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 large egg

For Coating:

  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp apple pie spice*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two 6-count donut pans with cooking spray.
  2. Pour apple cider into a saucepan. Simmer/gently boil until cider is reduced to 1/2 cup. This takes approximately 30 minutes. If it reduces too much, add extra cider to make 1/2 cup. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, apple pie spice, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, milk*, butter, and egg.
  5. Add the apple cider reduction and the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients. Whisk until just incorporated. Do not over-mix.
  6. Spoon or pipe the batter into the prepared donut pans, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 full. TIP: Put batter into a gallon size zip-top bag and cut off the corner for piping.
  7. Bake at 375˚F for 9-12 minutes until the tops are lightly browned and the cake springs back slightly to the touch. Let donuts cool slightly for 3-5 minutes, then remove donuts onto a silicone lined baking sheet. Cut out any donut holes as necessary.
  8. Combine granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice into a large shallow bowl or square baking dish. While still warm, brush the donuts lightly with melted butter. Coat donuts in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Enjoy warm.

Notes

  • Apple Pie Spice - Mix together 2 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp ground allspice to have enough apple pie spice for the cake batter and coating.
  • Nuke milk for 15-20 seconds in the microwave to warm it up. Aim for 100-110˚F.
  • If you have leftover batter, bake it into muffins at 375˚F for about 14 minutes.
  • Store donuts at room temperature in an airtight container up to 3 days. Feel free to nuke them in the microwave for 10 seconds if you want to re-heat them.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 donut
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 220mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix, and is an estimation only.