Baked Apple Cider Donuts Recipe

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These homemade apple cider donuts have the same consistency as fried donuts and are jam-packed with fall’s flavors – just like the ones sold at apple orchards alongside caramel apples. They are baked rather than fried and can be made as standard donuts, donut holes, or apple cider donut muffins!

Apple Cider Donuts with apples in the background
Make these baked apple cider doughnuts as a classic circular treat, turn them into donut holes, or even use this recipe to make muffins!

My aunt says that these baked donuts might be the best dessert she’s ever had. I don’t really play favorites, but this is a winner for sure. They smell SO good coming out of the oven!

Best of all, these are no yeast donuts that require very little fuss!

What Makes These Apple Cider Donuts Special

Apple Cider Donuts
Perfect for October and November, these delicious autumnal donuts are coated in a classic and nostalgic cinnamon sugar.

Reduced Apple Cider

I cook the apple cider down on the stovetop until it’s reduced by half. This makes it more of a concentrate and gives it a stronger apple flavor.

Fall Spices

Not only do these no yeast donuts have apple cider in the recipe, but they are loaded with fall spices:

  • ginger
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • allspice
  • clove
Apple pie spice blend
This classic combination of autumnal spices gives your baked donuts a delicious and familiar flavor you won’t be able to get enough of!

I use the spices in two ways in this recipe:

  1. There are spices mixed into the batter.
  2. The donuts are dusted in a blend of the spices and brown sugar instead of powdered sugar.
Dipping baked donuts into spices
Rolled in a spiced cinnamon sugar, baked donuts are packed with the sweet and comforting flavors of fall.

What Tools Do You Need to Make Baked Donuts?

Oven baked donuts never excited me in the past. “A donut isn’t a donut unless it is fried,” I thought. 

Well, I’m officially a baked donut convert! Don’t get me wrong, I still love the fried version, but these taste just as good as the fried ones and you don’t need to mess with a deep fryer! This recipe is also great if you want to make no yeast donuts, as yeast can be a bit of a pain to deal with.

To make these apple cider doughnuts, you’ll need a donut pan [paid link] or a donut hole pan [paid link].

A donut pan is the perfect way to make these baked donuts without added fuss.

I love how both of these pans make really small treats! I’ve even used donuts made in the donut pan to top my coffee cupcakes.

a group of coffee cupcakes with donuts on top of them
Baked donuts are great to serve on their own or use as a garnish for other desserts!

Wouldn’t these apple donuts be really cute on top of apple cupcakes?

Once you have these pans, they can come in handy for all kinds of donuts!

Like the pans you use for making madeleines, and specialty bundt cake pans, donut pans are not essential baking tools and you may not want to invest in them. You could use a mini muffin pan [paid link] in a pinch.

Donuts made in a mini muffin pan are technically called apple cider donut muffins. They end up less round than they would in a donut hole pan when using a mini muffin pan – that’s the only difference.

Tips for Baking Apple Cider Donuts

  • Make sure to grease the pan well so that the donuts easily pop out. You can use a non-stick cooking spray or melted butter or oil.
  • Roll the donuts in the spices while they are still hot. The spices stick better to warm donuts.
Can You Use Apple Juice Instead of Apple Cider?

You may wonder if you can use apple juice in an apple cider donut. Apple cider is raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process to remove coarse particles of pulp or sediment. Because of this, it generally has a stronger apple taste than apple juice.

Raw unfiltered apple juice is a good substitution as it is essentially the same thing as cider.

You could also make these with frozen apple juice concentrate. Let the concentrate come to room temperature before using it, just use 1/2 cup, and skip the step of reducing it.

Are baked donuts healthier than fried ones?

Yes, as there’s a much smaller amount of oil used to make them! When made correctly, they still have that classic donut feel with a slightly cakier texture, and aren’t as unhealthy as donuts deep fried in oil.

What’s so special about apple cider donuts?

This New England fall classic treat takes the classic buttermilk doughnut and adds a twist of autumnal flavor by adding apple cider. These baked donuts have a notably apple-y flavor, and are often coated in a mixture of granulated sugar/light brown sugar and cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices.

Freezing Apple Cider Donuts

If you aren’t eating your no yeast donuts right away, loosely cover them and eat them within 24 hours.

Baked donuts freeze SO well! I pop a huge pile of them into my freezer in an airtight container and take them out whenever I want a taste of fall – just microwave them in 10 second bursts to heat them up!

Other Must-Try Apple Desserts

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
Apple Cider Donuts
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4.67 from 6 votes

Apple Cider Donuts

These spiced apple cider donuts made with brown sugar have the same consistency as fried donuts and are jam-packed with fall’s flavors – just like the ones sold at apple orchards. They are baked rather than fried and can be made as standard donuts, donut holes, or apple cider donut muffins! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 30 mini donuts
Calories 113kcal
Author Stefani


Apple Cider Spice Mix Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Donut Ingredients

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon spice mix from above
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Donut Topping Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • remaining spice mix from above
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted


Apple Cider Spice Mix Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Donut Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 F.
  • In a small saucepan on high heat, bring apple cider to a boil and reduce by half. It's OK to cheat and pour the apple cider out into a heat resistant liquid measuring cup periodically to see if the cider is down to a half cup; you could also use a pot with internal markings.
  • Remove cider from heat and cool until warm to the touch.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture from above.
  • In another medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla extract, and the reduced cider.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, mixing until just combined.
  • Grease wells of a mini donut or donut hole pan with non-stick baking spray. Fill wells 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until the donuts bounce back when lightly touched.
  • Remove donuts from pan.

Donut Topping Instructions

  • Mix brown sugar into the remaining apple cider spice blend from above.
  • Dip each donut hole into melted butter and roll in spice blend to coat.
  • Serve warm.


If you don’t have a donut or donut hole pan, you can make these in a mini-muffin pan. They just won’t be as round.
If not eating right away, loosely cover and eat within 24 hours or freeze for months and microwave in 10 second bursts until warm.


Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. Bonjour Brooklyn Bakerysays:

    3 stars
    Apple cider doughnuts with honey glaze? Count me in! The idea of combining the cozy flavors of apple cider with the irresistible allure of doughnuts sounds absolutely heavenly. And that honey glaze adds the perfect touch of sweetness to complement the tartness of the cider. I can almost smell the warm spices and envision the tender, moist texture of these doughnuts, all topped with that glossy honey glaze. It’s like the essence of autumn captured in a single treat! The best part? The aroma that must fill the kitchen while these beauties are baking or frying.

  2. Anonymoussays:

    When baked instead of fried, this dough qualifies as a muffin or cake. Revisionist history cannot change the FACT that doughnuts are fried. Oliekoek (Dutch original reference to what we call a doughnut) anyone?

  3. Kristisays:

    MMM…. I love cupcakes and thinking of new ways to make them unique! Plus donuts+cupcakes= heaven! And since they’re baked you don’t have to worry about all the grease and extra calories (not that a few hundred more will make a difference while coupled with cupcakes haha) that come with frying.

  4. Bethiesays:

    Looks wonderfully delicious.

  5. Anonymoussays:

    Looks incredibly tasty. If you have any leftover after the holiday can I have one?


    (ps: shanah tovah!)

  6. Ivysays:

    You’re a crazy lady/driven to the cupckae extreme super woman. Didn’t you just have a baby!

  7. rekhas kitchensays:

    they looks too good and love the combination.nice presentation

  8. Elianasays:

    5 stars
    These donuts look incredible. I love that they are baked and not fried.

  9. Amandasays:

    5 stars
    I am very against frying things myself, so I am delighted that these are baked doughnuts!

    One of my new GA friends just mentioned readying herself for Rosh Hashana, so I’m going to send her this link. :)

  10. Vicki Bensingersays:

    5 stars
    Ooh these sound delicious. I love your mini doughnut pan. I’ll definitely have to try these. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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