Apple Cider Doughnuts (Daring Bakers' Challenge)

October 26, 2010

Everyone has a weakness, something that has the power to break them in half like a #2 pencil. I don't eat fried foods very often, and I rarely ever prepare something for the sake of frying it. The reason behind this has less to do with health and more to do with the fact that I turn into a Hoover vacuum cleaner whenever it's within my radar. Put a plate of ganache filled cookies in front of me and I'm happy with just one. Place an entire sweet and salty cake on the table and I'll stop after a sliver. But bring me a grease-stained, brown bag of fresh doughnuts and I can inhale the entire batch in a matter of minutes. Seriously, you won't even know what just happened. This challenge made it feel so good to be bad. :~)

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori, of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious. The recipe I used is closest to Alton Brown's. The water was replaced with apple cider, and I used butter instead of shortening.

One of the many reasons why I love being a member of the Daring Kitchen is that it forces me to step outside my comfort zone (something I take odd pleasure in doing.) Yeast and I normally don't get along very well. Too many times it has left me with half-risen breads and hockey puck biscuits. But I extended the olive branch, and we managed to work together beautifully on this recipe! Thank you, yeast. Perhaps we shall meet again someday soon.

This month's challenge was a lot of fun! I think Lori made an excellent choice for this time of year. I don't know very many people who can resist a warm doughnut and glass of fresh apple cider. The only drawback is the lingering smell. Even now, weeks later, I think I can still smell a faint fragrance of oil. It serves as a reminder to myself-"Fry not, want not." And as long as I was frying anyway, I had to drench a few doughnuts in some ganache. *Mwhahaha*

Apple Cider Doughnuts
recipe adapted from Coconut and Lime Print

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup apple cider, at room temperature
1/4 cup warm apple cider (about 110 degrees)
3 1/4 cups flour
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt

1 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm cider in the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add the flour, remaining cider, milk, butter, egg yolks, sugar, and salt until you have a soft, elastic dough that comes together easily into a ball.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Flour a clean work surface. Place the dough on the surface and roll it out. Roll until it is about 1/2 thick. Cut out as many rounds as possible using a 3-inch cookie cutter, then cut a 1-inch hole in the center of each doughnut ( I used the wide side of a frosting tip.) Do not re-roll to dough.

Place them on a parchment or silipat lined cookie sheet, cover again with the tea towel and let them rise 15-30 minutes. They should look puffy but don't need to have doubled.

Place the 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon into a large, shallow bowl. Stir together until well mixed. Set the bowl nearby.

Meanwhile, heat (to 350) about 3 inches of oil in a heavy pot. Fry the doughnuts (2 or 3 at a time works well) flipping at least once to insure that they are golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes.

Drain on paper towel lined plates or baking pans. Wait a few seconds, then roll the doughnut through the sugar/cinnamon mixture until thoroughly coated. Repeat for remaining doughnuts.

Makes about 12 doughnuts, Best enjoyed as soon as possible.


  1. I love apple cider doughnuts! They remind me of the apple orchard that we visit every fall who has a fantastic bakery. Your doughnuts, both with the sugar and the chocolate, look yummy! Does the Northwestern know what they are missing? Nice job on the challenge!

  2. Wow, these look delicious! That chocolate glaze looks amazingly rich and thick, and I love the idea of Apple Cider donuts. Great job!

  3. Beautiful doughnuts! Every single one of them looks droolworthy.



  4. Ooh, great idea turning them into Apple Cider Doughnuts! I'm curious, was just replacing the water with cider enough to give them a strong flavor, or would you say they could use more next time?

  5. Hi, Katie

    Luckily the cider I used was slightly past it's expiration date, making the flavour more assertive. I don't think the cider would be as noticeable with a fresh carton. :-)

  6. Your doughnuts look gorgeous. I like the way you described them as "inhaling", because I'm pretty good at that with doughnuts too. :)

  7. I think I have put on 5lbs just reading this post!!!!!!!

    I cannot tell you how much I want one of those fantastic donuts right now!!!!

  8. Those doughnuts are gorgeous! I love apple cider and haven't had any yet this year. I still have my oil, but I am trying to resist, because I have no willpower against any sweet things.
    Now, deepfrying on a fishing vessel would be a challenge, but I think you're up to it!

  9. Wow, these look fantastic!! I didn't make the apple cider ones though I admit I was tempted. DB is so great for making us tackle the things that are a little outside our comfort zone.

  10. Oh my goodness, those apple cider donuts look so delicious especially with the chocolate ganache--I'm craving right now, at 2 in the morning!! Great job and beautiful pictures!

  11. Hey Valerie, you know, I love frying food, and I recently read that it's really not that bad if one uses a good oil at the proper temperature.
    Anyway, these are beautiful. I would love the one with ganache on it with a big cup of coffee. Chocolate and coffee tear up my stomach, but I'm a glutton for delicious punishment (smile).

  12. Oh - they look really perfect and that chocolate icing looks just divine! Yum!

  13. Absolutely gorgeous Valerie. I know what you mean by the bag of greasy donuts...addictive! Love how light and airy yours look! I did some Apple Cider ones from Lara Ferroni's book for recipe testing, and they were FAB! Well done on the challenge!

  14. I've seen that some of the DBs made apple cider doughnuts, these are totally new to me, but they sound so delicious! Your doughnuts are perfectly done! I wish I could try one! :o)

  15. Delicious doughtnuts! I have never tried apple cider doughtnuts, maybe it is time to fry some, thanks for sharing the recipe :-)

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  16. An absolutely delicious blog , loving all ur wonderful recipes!

  17. I thought I was done with my donut making, but apple cider donuts sound irresistible.


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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