Apple Cider Donuts: An Autumn Treat
November 5, 2018
I have never liked donuts. That really is true. Before you jump all over me in disbelief, I’ll explain. It has nothing to do with being holier-than-thou because trust me, I love sweets, and I am not so picky about where my sugar fix comes from. (I have even been known to partake happily in a super-market birthday cake, the more frosting the better.) But I have never liked the greasy feeling that donuts leave behind in your mouth. Then I discovered these “donuts “ which are really nothing more than muffins baked in a donut pan. They are a game-changer. I can now enjoy the old-fashioned, mildly-spicy flavor of apple cider donuts without the greasy taste.
The original recipe is baked in a muffin tin but by switching the pan you get a simple take on a cake-like donut. In addition, the new slim shape gives a higher topping/cake ratio with even more crunchy sweet topping per bite. Perfect for the “sweet teeth” among you. Delicious served hot from the oven but if you manage to keep some around, you will be rewarded: they are even tastier the next day. In case you are worried that they don’t taste like the real thing, they are soccer team tested and approved!
Secrets to Success:
Melting butter in the microwave is so simple, but I always cook it at 50% power in increments of 30 seconds to avoid splattering.
Much of the spicy delicate flavor of these donuts comes from the nutmeg. Please use freshly grated. (Whole nutmeg is grated on a nutmeg grater.)
If using pre-ground, go with 1 ¼ teaspoon.
I replaced the buttermilk from the original recipe with milk and Greek yogurt, both of which I always have in my fridge. If you prefer, use ½ cup low-fat buttermilk instead.
Be careful not to over mix these donuts. When adding the flour, fold it in and stir lightly until the batter is just combined.
Allow the batter to sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes before baking. It will firm up slightly and be easier to put in the pan with a combination of a spoon and a spatula.
If the cider/butter glaze mixture thickens too much, place the bowl it is in over a bowl of hot water and it will re-liquefy.
I glazed only one side of these donuts, but feel free to do both.
Apple Cider Donuts
Adapted from Foster’s Market Favorites
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1½ cups apple cider, divided
¼ cup whole milk
¼ cup 2 % Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375º. Pour 1 cup of the cider into a saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to ¼ cup, about 6-10 minutes. Set the cider aside to cool while you prepare the donuts.
Butter a 12-piece donut pan (click here to buy one.) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, sugar and eggs. In a measuring cup, stir together the remaining ½ cup cider, the milk, yogurt, 1 tablespoon of the reduced cider, and the vanilla, and then whisk into the egg mixture.
Finally add the egg/buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until the dry ingredients are incorporated: don’t over mix.
Carefully spoon the batter into the prepared donut pan and bake for 13-15 minutes, turning half-way through baking, until the donut tops spring back lightly when touched. Transfer the warm donuts to a rack and let.
While the donuts are baking, make the topping: In a wide bowl, combine the melted butter and the remaining 3 tablespoons of apple. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Once donuts are cool enough to handle, dip the top in the cider mixture and then dip into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Makes 12 donuts.