Apple Cider Doughnuts (Cake and Yeast)

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.

Every year we go to Terhune Orchards for some apple picking. When they have their apple festival, the tantalizing scent of freshly pressed apple cider and just fried apple cider doughnuts is in the air.

One Sunday after the challenge was announced, we were feeling a bit glum. Time to make the apple cider doughnuts!I took a look at the pumpkin cake doughnuts on Epicurious and noticed that is was quite similar to a popular recipe for apple cider doughnuts. The main difference was the lack of pumpkin puree (obviously) and the inclusion of reduced apple cider (also obviously). The apple cider doughnut recipe also had less spices and less baking powder. In terms of spices, I upped the cinnamon to the amount in the pumpkin doughnuts, and added the other spices in that recipe, but in much smaller amounts. I didn’t have buttermilk, so I used YoBaby peach yogurt. I would have used the apple yogurt flavor, but I can’t find it lately.

Reducing the cider was a pain, and the doughnuts really only sang with cider flavor when I drank some cider with them. If I would make them again, I would (a) bake them, and (b) skip the reducing step and just use regular cider and apple yogurt combined together as my liquid for the recipe. The spices in the doughnuts also could have been increased even more, although the cinnamon sugar dredging gave plenty of spiciness,

This experience confirmed my dislike of deep frying. I had a deep frying thermometer, but I had a hard time controlling the temperature of the oil. The oil went from too hot to not hot enough.

Also, I really don’t like cake doughnuts. I am more of a (plain cinnamon sugar dusted) yeast doughnut person. But, it was fun to try making cake doughnuts, and freshly made doughnuts definitely brightened up a rainy, glum Sunday.

A few days later, I couldn’t resist trying the yeast doughnut recipe by Alton Brown, but I couldn’t face another vat of oil. I baked the doughnuts for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees, convection mode. Before baking, I generously sprayed the dough with oil. After baking and before dredging with cinnamon sugar, I sprayed them again with more oil.

The results were very much like regular fried doughnuts. The crust did not look or taste the same, but the interior looked and tasted exactly the same. If I had dipped the doughnuts in chocolate glaze (which obscures the color and texture of the crust), it would have been impossible to tell that they weren’t fried.

It was also nearly impossible to tell that I used cider instead of milk in the dough. The taste was so subtle it would have been the same if I had used water. I used Crisco in the dough, but oil would have been fine, too, I think.

If I were inclined to fry, this is the perfect recipe for making doughnuts. I would make baked doughnuts again in a heartbeat, and I might use this recipe to make sufganiyot come Chanukah.

Here is one more thing: Pizza Doughnuts. Our DB host suggested savory doughnuts, and I filled a few doughnuts with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese:

I think these would be awesome fried with a whole stick of mozzarella inside, kind of a cross between mozzarella sticks and doughnuts.

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23 Responses to “Apple Cider Doughnuts (Cake and Yeast)”

  1. Simone Says:

    O your doughnuts do look lovely and you didn’t even fry them?? Now that is amazing and a great tip too as I am not a huge fan of deep frying (but I do love doughnuts!)

  2. Jeanne Says:

    Yes, I think adding apple yogurt would have helped boost the apple flavor! But you are right that the best way to get them to taste like cider is to eat them with a glass of cider. Next time I’ll be dunking my doughnuts in cider.

  3. marymaryculinary Says:

    I have never made apple cider doughnuts, but now I want to. But first, I think I need a pizza doughnut–great idea!

  4. shoshana Says:

    Mmm, cider doughnuts sound great. I agree with you about deep frying, so I am glad to hear that they came out so well baked. Sounds delicious!

  5. Aparna Says:

    Your doughnuts are lovely. I’ve never baked my doughnuts yet. I shall next time and they’re certainly healthier. 🙂

  6. bake in paris Says:

    Love the mozarella cheese and tomato filling…. I have always wanted to try savoury doughnuts…. Looks so yummy ..

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  7. Anita Says:

    Yum. I would love to try some apple cider flavoured doughnuts! I don’t think we have that flavour here in Australia. I’ll need to make them for myself.

  8. Jacque Says:

    Wow, you did a great job trying different variations. Bravo! All of your donuts look terrific!

  9. Audax Artifex Says:

    I love how much effort you put into this challenge and that pizza doughnut is so cute and I bet very tasty. Lovely photos also well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  10. Mia Says:

    Absolutely delicious do-nuts u have here!

  11. Julie M. Says:

    Well, despite not enjoying frying, I think your results look delicious! Apple cider doughnuts sound amazing and I like the idea of putting pizza ingredients inside as well. congrats on a successful challenge!

  12. lisamichele Says:

    Yummy yummy yummy and beautiful! How about some diced apples in them to up the apple flavor? Love the idea of making them into sticks with cheese in the center. I would love to try these with cheddar or brie! Beautifully done as always!!

  13. Rosa Says:

    Great doughnuts! So delicious looking and sounding. A wonderful version.



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