The secret to a great doughnut is to use the best ingredients. Use real butter, not margarine and real buttermilk, not powder. This recipe also asks for apple butter. If you aren’t familiar with this delicious concoction, you can generally find a jar at the farmers market, road side stand or your local grocer. We also happen to have an apple butter recipe here in our archives.
Eat them plain, dusted in confectioners sugar, rolled in cinnamon and sugar, glazed or drizzled with caramel.
Note: Dough can be prepared one day ahead, covered and chilled.
Cinnamon Apple Cider Doughnuts
About 18 doughnuts
3 cups apple cider
½ cup apple butter
½ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
3½ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for flour board
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 cups Vegetable oil for frying
Bring apple cider to a boil in a medium pan over med-high heat and cook until thick, syrupy and has reduced to about 1/3 cup. About 20 to 30 minutes. Scrape into a medium bowl and whisk in apple butter, buttermilk and vanilla until well combined. Set aside.
Using a hand sifter, sift baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, 3-1/2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon into medium bowl.
Using an electric mixer on med-high, beat butter brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. About 4 mins. Add eggs one at a time beating until well blended after each addition.
Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients, alternating with cider. Dough will be soft and sticky.
Scrape dough onto flour board or parchment that has been dusted with flour. Dust hands and top of dough with a bit more flour. Pat dough to 3/4″, dust with a bit more flour and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 3 hours minimum.
*If you are dipping doughnuts in cinnamon and sugar, whisk 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon into a small bowl. Set aside
Working on your flour board or baking sheet, punch doughnut rounds with a 3-1/4″ cutter and a 1-1/4″ cutter for each center. Using your scraps and reserved “holes”, reincorporate into the dough. Be careful not to overwork dough. Repeat until all dough has been used. ( Reincorporate into to dough or reserve your holes for deep-frying separately)
Using a large pot, fit with a deep-fry thermometer and add 3″ of oil. Heat until thermometer reaches 350, on medium-high heat.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and set a wire rack inside the baking sheet.
Working in batches, fry doughnuts until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes, gently turn over and fry an additional 3 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool slightly. If you are frying doughnut holes, fry about 2 mins per side, until deep golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack and cool slightly. Toss while still warm in cinnamon and sugar mixture.