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Apple Cider Donuts and Donut Holes are an essential element of fall! Infused with real apple cider and oven-baked then rolled in an apple cider cinnamon sugar coating, they are irresistible and a delicious fall treat.
As a child growing up in what would probably be considered rural Illinois, there were several apple orchards near me that sold all kinds of old-fashioned apple cider donut treats. They quickly became a favorite, and something we looked forward to having every year.
The great news is that you do not need an apple orchard selling apple cider donuts near you because these Apple Cider Donut Holes are simple to make, and SO good! It will be hard to eat just one (thankfully they are baked so a bit less guilt involved).
One of the most important steps in this recipe is to simmer the apple cider in a saucepan so that it can reduce to about 1/2 cup. A good quality apple cider is best. Simmering the apple cider and reducing it intensifies the apple cider flavor and is really key to making these donut holes super flavorful and delicious.
If you don’t have cloves, it’s not a big deal. Cloves are one ingredient that you could leave out and these donut holes would still be delicious, however, it does add a unique flavor that I just love.
You will be using a mini-muffin pan to bake the donut holes. If your muffin pan has a dark coating, be sure to check the muffins for doneness around the 8-9 minute mark. They will cook a bit faster.
My favorite part is the cinnamon sugar coating. You’ll combine melted butter and a little bit of apple cider to dip each donut hole in before rolling it in cinnamon sugar. SO good!
Apple Cider Donut Holes are incredible year round whether it’s apple picking season or not. And thanks to this simple recipe, you can make them at home whenever the craving hits.
*This recipe makes 48 donut holes. Use either 2 – 24 count mini muffin pans or 1- 48 count mini muffin pan
Happy fall! Enjoy.
If you are looking for other delicious fall apple treats, these are all fantastic options:
- Instant Pot Apple Crisp
- Apple Sauce Pancakes
- Mini Apple Pies with Streusel Topping
- Easy Stovetop Apple Butter
- Spiced Applesauce Cake
DONUT HOLE INGREDIENTS
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 cloves (whole)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
CINNAMON SUGAR COATING INGREDIENTS
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons apple cider
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
DONUT HOLE DIRECTIONS
- Pour 2 cups of apple cider into a small saucepan with 2 whole cloves.
- Simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the apple cider reduces. You should end up with about 1/2 cup of liquid. Remove cloves and pour the remaining cider mixture into a container. Let it cool in the refrigerator while you prepare the batter.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 (24 count) mini muffin pans or 1 large (48 count) mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, combine: egg, melted butter, and brown sugar. Using a fork or whisk, mix until smooth. Add in buttermilk, applesauce, vanilla extract, and the cooled apple cider concentrate.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is just combined. Do not over mix.
- Using a teaspoon, spoon the batter into the prepared mini muffin pan (fill about 3/4 of the way full). Do not overfill. Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack for about 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Yields 48 Apple Cider Donut Holes
CINNAMON SUGAR COATING DIRECTIONS
- In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar and ground cinnamon.
- Melt the butter and add the apple cider to the melted butter.
- Dip the donut hole in the melted butter/apple cider mixture, then roll it around in the cinnamon sugar mixture until lightly coated. Repeat for each donut hole.
- Enjoy immediately or store up to 2 days if kept in an air tight container at room temperature.
Recipe Credit: Brittany Jenkins