To celebrate the start of fall and the promise of cooler weather, we’ve created the ultimate fall menu, from breakfast to dessert and everything in between. Check back often for new recipes to celebrate the autumn season. Up first: breakfast!
For me, fall really kicks off when I first spot apple cider in stores. Whether it’s 90 degrees and sunny or 55 and rainy (and it’s been both in St. Louis in the last 2 weeks), finding gallons of the good stuff in my grocery cart means it’s finally my favorite season. And while I love to drink it ice cold straight from the fridge, putting it in all my favorite foods is an even better idea.
Fried donuts are one of my ultimate morning indulgences, but I feel guilty if I make them at home too often. Enter the doughnut pan, easily one of the top 5 impulse buys to ever grace my kitchen. You can make the doughnut batter and bake it in a muffin tin if you don’t have a doughnut pan, but the finished product will be way less fun to eat.
The batter for these donuts whips up quickly and is loaded with cinnamon and shredded apples. A heavy dose of cider in the glaze and the donuts themselves gives these guys a ton of flavor and a super moist texture. They’re perfect in the morning with a cup of coffee or as an afternoon snack.
For even more fun, make a day of it and head to a local orchard to pick your own apples and buy fresh-made cider, then come home and throw together a batch of these delicious donuts as a reward for all your hard work. Since I only have one donut pan, I split the batter into two batches and made 6 donuts and 12 “donut holes” baked in mini muffin tins from each half. If you have more patience (or an extra pan or two), feel free to bake it all in the traditional donut shape. And yes, regular muffin tins will also work just fine, but you may need to adjust the baking time a bit.
Apple Cider Donuts
Adapted from The Candid Appetite
Makes 1 dozen donuts + 2 dozen donut holes
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup apple cider
3 cups shredded apple, from about 4 medium apples
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons apple cider
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a donut pan and a 12-cup mini muffin pan with no-stick spray. Set aside. In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk to combine and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla. Mix again. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the apple cider, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in the apples.
Using a disposable piping bag or a spoon, fill the donut pan and mini muffin wells 3/4 full with batter. You will have to bake in batches unless you have multiples of each pan. Bake the donuts for 9-10 minutes and the donut holes for 7-8 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely before icing. Repeat with the remaining batter.
To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar and apple cider until smooth. Glaze the donuts and donut holes as desired. (You can either drizzle the glaze over the donuts or dunk them for complete coverage.) Donuts should keep for 3-4 days in a sealed container.
Jessica Lampe is a foodie, photographer, writer and DIY’er extraordinare from St. Louis, Missouri where she lives with her boyfriend and their incessantly adorable German Shepherd. When she isn’t serving up cupcakes to friends and strangers (baked goods don’t discriminate) she loves getting caught up in a good book and playing/coaching volleyball. Jessica has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English from Bradley University, is obsessed with all things Harry Potter and lives and dies by the St. Louis Cardinals. Find her on Twitter@lampeshade12.