Mini Apple Cider Donuts
In our humble opinion, there just aren’t enough apple cider donuts in the world. Even in the peak of apple season, you have to hunt them down. If you’re willing to brave the Saint Paul Farmers’ Market in the cold, small hours of a fall or winter weekend, you can sometimes find very good, very warm cider donuts at certain apple stands. Otherwise, it’s a road trip out to an apple orchard, a pleasant endeavor — but a bit far-flung for daily donut eaters like us.
What to do, but make our own? We love these mini donuts for their light, fluffy and super tender crumb, as they say on the baking shows — think buttery cupcake meets baked donut. They’re full of apple cider, brown sugar, cinnamon and pie spice, all of which gives them a warm fall flavor and a deep, molasses sweetness. They taste terrific dunked in a cup of coffee.
Mini cider donuts are ridiculously cute, and they look so cheerful in a tidy little stack — they’re perfect for fall entertaining. Make them for brunch with your best friend, afternoon coffee with your dad or Friday night with the kiddos and Netflix. Go ahead and make a double batch: the best thing about mini donuts is that you can eat five of them before you’ve even come close to one full-size donut.
Yields: 48 donuts
For the donuts:
1 ½ cups apple cider
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon L&B Apple Pie Spice
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon L&B Apple Pie Spice
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- To make the donuts: In a small saucepan, simmer the apple cider, stirring occasionally, until you’re left with about ½ cup, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Heat oven to 350F. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, apple pie spice and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk and vanilla extract.
- Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients, add the reduced apple cider and whisk everything together until smooth and combined. Batter will be slightly thick.
- Pipe the batter into the donut cups, filling them just under halfway.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of a donut. If the donut bounces back, they’re done.
- Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Regrease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.
- To finish the donuts: Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon and apple pie spice together in a medium bowl.
- Once cool enough to handle, dunk one side of each donut in the melted butter, then coat generously in the apple spice topping — and serve immediately. Leftovers will keep for two days covered tightly at room temperature.
Recipe source: Sally’s Baking Addiction