This Easy Baked Apple Cider Donut Hole Recipe Tastes Like Fall

Tis the season for apple cider donuts, and these intensely cider-flavored holes have got you covered. Not only do they actually taste like apples, due to 1) reducing kind-of-a lot of cider on the stovetop, down to a pretty tiny, extremely concentrated amount and 2) a secret ingredient - apple cider (shhh, don’t tell). But these cuties are baked, not fried. Assembly is therefore a breeze, as well as cleanup (you’re welcome), and due to a dunk in melted butter post-bake and a roll in some spicy/sweet cinnamon sugar, most peeps won’t have a clue as to how easy-peasy these are to assemble. A bowl and a whisk (and a spatula) is all you need and that mini-muffin pan, that maybe you don’t use all that often, is going to become your #1 baking tool, once you start churning these cuties out on the regular. Finally, donuts aren’t just for breakfast anymore, FYI, if they ever were, as nothing quite says “fantastic dinner party dessert,” like a big ole plate of holes.

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Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes

Tis the season for apple cider donuts, and these intensely cider-flavored holes have got you covered. Not only do they actually taste like apples, due to 1) reducing kind-of-a lot of cider on the stovetop, down to a pretty tiny, extremely concentrated amount and 2) a secret ingredient – apple cider (shhh, don’t tell). But these cuties are baked, not fried. Assembly is therefore a breeze, as well as cleanup (you’re welcome), and due to a dunk in melted butter post-bake and a roll in some spicy/sweet cinnamon sugar, most peeps won’t have a clue as to how easy-peasy these are to assemble. A bowl and a whisk (and a spatula) is all you need and that mini-muffin pan, that maybe you don’t use all that often, is going to become your #1 baking tool, once you start churning these cuties out on the regular. Finally, donuts aren’t just for breakfast anymore, FYI, if they ever were, as nothing quite says “fantastic dinner party dessert,” like a big ole plate of holes.
Recipe Author Jessie Sheehan
Servings 24 holes

Ingredients

For the donuts:

  • 1 1/4 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk room temp
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter melted
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg room temp
  • 1 large egg yolk room temp

For the cinnamon sugar coating:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter melted

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray or softened butter.
  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, boil the cider until it reduces to 1/4 cup, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before using. Once cool, add the buttermilk and vinegar.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices into a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugars, butter and vanilla to combine. Add the egg and yolk, one at a time, whisking after each. Add the cider mixture and whisk a final time.
  • Add the dry ingredients all at once, and gently fold with a rubber spatula, until only a few streaks of flour remain in the batter. 
  • Evenly fill each cavity in the mini muffin tin with a generous tablespoon of dough. 
  • Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway mark, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the donuts in the center of the pan comes out clean. 
  • While the donuts bake, make the cinnamon sugar coating. Whisk the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl with some depth. Place the melted butter in another small bowl.
  • Once the donut holes have cooled enough to handle, but are still quite warm, remove them from the pan and begin dipping them one at a time in the bowl of butter and then rolling them in the cinnamon sugar.
  • Transfer the coated holes to a wire rack. Serve immediately with glasses of cold cider or milky cups of tea. 
  • The donuts are best eaten the day they are made, but will last a day, or so, on the counter wrapped in plastic wrap. They also freeze beautifully: once they are at room temperature, place them into the freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to zippered plastic bag and keep in the freeze for up to a month. Let them come to room temp before serving. 

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