Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Salted Caramel Apple Cider Baked Donuts

Baked Caramel Apple Cider Donuts

I am finally bumping up against my quota for pumpkin spice and ready for some new fall flavors.

Baked Caramel Apple Cider Doughnuts

And it just so happened that while we were strolling through the farmer's market, I spotted a large ice bucket filled with chilled containers of fresh, unfiltered apple cider. Big, pregnant drops of cool condensation dripping down the sides of each one...

I plan to consume nothing else for the next week.

Homemade Caramel Icing

And I found a way to get that rich, wonderful taste into a tender baked donut.

How to make salted caramel icing
Salted Caramel Topping

Making fresh caramel was surprisingly easy too. Just boil sugar and water, stir in heavy cream and combine it with plain white icing. That's it. But if the cooler weather is making you feel sluggish and not in the mood for extra effort, these are also fantastic plain or with just a quick roll in cinnamon-sugar.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts
See that golden crust? That was caramelized apple cider and sugar. (Swooooon)

I ate one donut naked, one donut rolled in cinnamon-sugar and devoured an unadmit-able number of them with the salted caramel icing. I wish I could convey to you how delicious they were.

Salted Caramel Apple Cider Baked Doughnuts

Either way you chose to dress these baked apple cider donuts, they are a wonderful fall treat. I had a fantastic morning after slipping a few of these on my fingers, grabbing a napkin, a cup of something steamy and heading out for a stroll in the crisp fall air.

How to make really tender apple cider donuts

p.s. If you are interested in fried apple cider donuts, check out these ones that I made a few months ago!

Makes two and a half dozen donuts

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 cup unfiltered apple cider

Caramel Icing
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp dark corn syrup
pinch of kosher salt
2-4 tbsp boiling water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
kosher salt to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F coat your Donut Pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt. Whisk to combine and aerate and set aside while you do the next couple of steps.
  3. Cream together the 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups butter.
  4. Stir in the 3 large eggs, 3 egg yolks until well-blended.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients and the apple cider. Do not overmix to ensure tender donuts.
  6. Spoon or pipe the cake batter into the cavities of your donut pan.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. I recommend cooling the donuts in the pan to avoid breaking them while unmolding.
  8. While donuts are cooling, make the base for the caramel icing. Whisk powdered sugar, corn syrup and salt and then whisk in boiling water, a tablespoon at a time until the icing comes together.
  9. In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar and water and bring to a full boil. Leave it alone to cook over high heat for about 7-8 minutes or until a nice amber color develops. Then remove from heat and pour in the heavy cream slowly, whisking constantly.
  10. Stir caramel into the icing, dip the top of each donut in and sprinkle immediately with kosher salt.

How to make salted caramel apple cider donuts


  1. Salted caramel--need I say anything more?
    Num num num.

    1. Num num, indeed! I wish it hadn't taken me so long to get over my fear of making caramel, because I should have been dousing everything in it for years. :)

  2. Do you think it would be possible to pipe the batter into hot oil to fry? I know your fried recipe is here too but these look lighter and have a lot more cider in them so hoping the flavor would be stronger? Just a thought! Thanks!

    1. That's a great idea. I haven't tried it. Maybe these might also be good as drop donuts (so you don't have to pipe them into rings).

  3. These look like the perfect Fall donuts. Yum!!

    1. They are. They were. Two batches are long gone now!

  4. I don't have a donut pan... do you think this would work as muffins? Any ideas how it would change the baking time?

    1. These will be fantastic, with or without the donut pan. They'll come out more like cupcakes than muffins, but I think that 10-12mins baking time should do it. At 10 minutes, test if a toothpick poke comes out clean. Let me know how yours turn out! :)

  5. OMG these look amazing. I will be making these this weekend! I hope they survive until Monday so I can bring some to work.

  6. We are having a hard time finding unfiltered apple cider. Can I use regular apple cider?

    1. Hi Shannon, Yeah! That will be fine. I've made them with both unfiltered and regular and both batches were great.

  7. I just made these and followed directions to a tea and they were so beautifully moist that they wouldn't come out of the pan . They fell out in pieces. I even cooked them much longer then required. HELP... What did I do wrong. I bake all the time.

  8. I also didn't have much luck with this recipe. I added flour for the second batch, but they didn't brown up like the photo and the caramel glaze was also light and not nearly as thick.

  9. Possible to use wheat flour instead of all purpose white?

  10. Possible to use wheat flour instead of all purpose white?