Weekend mornings, particularly in fall, were made for baking. To me, there is not much better than wandering around still in cozy pajamas able to open the windows just a crack to let in the crisp fall air while making something delicious in the kitchen. There is an excellent chance cinnamon will be involved. Doughnuts often seem like a huge ordeal because of the frying involved (ugh, frying), but really, they don’t require much more effort than other baked goods. There are several little breaks throughout the process making them an ideal weekend project. And in the end, the frying is totally worth it, because doughnuts! Apple cider doughnuts…with cinnamon sugar coating. Let’s make them already, okay?!

Though I generally prefer yeasted doughnuts, these are incredibly good cake doughnuts. I was very pleased with the texture and flavor, and they didn’t go stale nearly as quickly as I would have expected. Overall these were fun to make and even more fun to eat. I would love to hear how well you fare against that little unassuming bowl of doughnut holes because as it turns out, I was powerless to its presence. I wandered past that bowl so many times for so many “reasons”, and suddenly it turned up empty and me with cinnamon sugar all over my lips. I know nothing, I swear! Make some doughnuts this weekend, loves. You won’t be sorry.

Note: I learned from experience, this recipe halves beautifully. However, upon tasting the doughnuts, we all instantly regretted the decision to halve the recipe. Do so at your own peril.

  • Yield about 18 doughnuts + holes


  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil or shortening, for frying

For coating:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon


  • 01

    Add the cider to a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a brisk simmer and cook until the volume is reduced to ¼ cup. Set aside to cool briefly.

  • 02

    In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

  • 03

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing each just until blended in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low, add in the reduced cider and the buttermilk. With the mixer still on low, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated and the dough comes together.

  • 04

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust generously with flour. Turn the dough out onto the baking sheet, sprinkle the top with flour, and use your hands to flatten the dough into a slab about ½-inch thick. Use a second sheet of parchment on top if needed to help with this process. Transfer to the freezer and chill so the dough is firm, about 20 minutes. Remove the dough from the freezer and use a 3- or 3½-inch round cutter to cut rounds out of the dough and about a 1-inch cutter to cut out the doughnut holes. Reroll remaining dough scraps and cut more rounds as needed. Return the shaped doughnuts to the refrigerator to chill for 20-30 minutes.

  • 05

    Add enough vegetable oil or shortening to a deep pot to give a depth of 3 inches. Attach a thermometer to the side of the pot to monitor the temperature. Heat the oil to 350˚ F. While the oil is heating, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the coating in a bowl and mix to blend evenly. Have a baking sheet lined with a double layer of paper towels and a slotted spoon or skimmer ready. When the oil reaches the appropriate temperature, add a few of the doughnuts to the pot, being careful not to overcrowd them. Let fry about 60 seconds, then flip and fry on the second side about 30-60 seconds more or until golden brown. Use the skimmer to remove the finished doughnuts from the oil and transfer to the lined baking sheet. Let cool just a few moments, then carefully dip to coat in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts and doughnut holes.