Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes

Last Updated on August 12, 2022 by Kayla Berman

Apple Cider Donut Holes are a true fall favorite! Made with fresh apple cider and a buttery cinnamon sugar coating … these oven baked mini treats are soft, light, tender, golden brown, and full of apple flavor. They’re perfectly poppable, bring the classic orchard treat to your own kitchen, and are great for a lazy fall morning. Everyone will absolutely love!

baked apple cider doughnut holes

The Perfect Fall Treat

One of my favorite activities of fall is going to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard and grabbing some freshly baked apple cider donuts.

They are the true taste of fall to me! The season is simply not complete until I get to enjoy one. Or five. Lol!

However, last fall it was actually a struggle for me to get my hands on one of these delicious donuts. I went apple picking multiple times and the orchards were always out of the delicious, warm donuts!

This season to avoid that problem I have made my own, with a little twist .. Apple Cider Donut Holes. These little munchkins are pillowy soft, full of delicious apple flavors, and truly the perfect fall treat!

If you’re looking for more delicious donut recipes check out my simple healthy baked donuts, pumpkin donuts with cream cheese frosting, or chocolate donuts.

Ingredients

This easy recipe calls for all your classic cake ingredients – butter, sugar, flour, etc. With a scrumptious fall twist from the fresh apple cider and lots and lots of cinnamon!

Ingredient Notes

  • Apple Cider: The key ingredient is right in the name of this recipe … apple cider! You will ned 1 1/2 cups reduced to 1/2 cup.
  • Sugar: This recipe calls for both white granulated sugar and light brown sugar. Add 1/4 cup light brown sugar and white sugar each to the batter and 2/3 cup white sugar to the cinnamon sugar coating.
  • Flour: Add 2 cups of all purpose flour to the donut batter.
  • Butter: These donuts call for 1 cup of salted butter total and it make for such a rich and delicious treat. You’ll need half for the batter and half for the coating!
  • Eggs: Add 2 eggs for binding and moisture.
  • Milk: Along with the apple cider, the liquid used in this donut batter is milk. I used 2%, but I’m sure whatever you have on hand will work. 1/2 cup is the perfect amount!
  • Cinnamon: This recipe calls for lots and lots of cinnamon. As any good apple cider donut should! 6 tsp to be exact.
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 tsp of vanilla extract gives these donut holes that classic taste.
  • Baking Powder: Use 2 tsp of baking powder to bake this recipe to perfection.
apple cider donut holes in a bowl on a white background

Substitutions & Additions

I always recommend being very careful with making ingredient swaps for baked goods because baking is a science! When changes are made I can’t guarantee the final product will be the same.

But here are a few substitution and addition ideas you can make to meet your preferences, tastes, or needs!

Flour: All purpose flour can typically be swapped 1:1 with whole wheat pastry flour! This is a great whole wheat flour to up the nutrition in this recipe, but still keep the donuts perfectly light and fluffy.

Sugar Coating: I absolutely love the butter, cinnamon, and sugar coating here – but powdered sugar is another coating option that would provide great flavor!

Spice: One of my favorite things about fall treats are all the warm spices! You could add some here for extra flavor – like apple pie spice, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves, or even more cinnamon!

apple cider donut holes in a bowl

Kitchen Tools

The most important kitchen tool needed for this recipe is a donut hole pan! They are pretty affordable and once you buy one you can make tons of other delicious and fun recipes.

Here is the exact pan I have!

Other tools you’ll need:

  • Electric or stand mixer
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Rubber spatula
  • Medium / smaller sized bowls
  • Optional: Small cookie scoop (for evenly sized donuts!)
apple cider donut holes coated with cinnamon sugar

How To Make This Recipe

Making these donut holes is as simple as can be! Just mix up your donut batter, bake, and then dunk in the cinnamon sugar coating. It’s finger-licking, melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

Step By Step Instructions

Step 1: Set the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Next add the apple cider to a small saucepan.  Heat on the stove over medium-high heat until the 1 1/2 cups reduces to 1/2 cup.  The cider should be simmering slightly and will take about 20 minutes.  Measure a couple times throughout to make sure you do not reduce past 1/2 cup.  Then let cool before adding to the donut batter.

Step 3: Add the softened butter, light brown sugar, and white sugar to a large bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer until light & fluffy.

Step 4: Next add the eggs in one by one, beating until just combined after each egg.

Step 5: In a separate medium bowl combine the dry ingredients – flour, cinnamon, and baking powder.

Step 6: Then add the flour mixture and wet ingredients (milk and reduced apple cider) alternately to the batter until all is combined, beating after each addition.  Begin and end with the flour for the best results.

Step 7: Next stir in the vanilla extract.

Step 8: Grease the donut hole pan.  Fill each donut hole about 3/4 of the way.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Step 9: While the donut holes are baking, prepare your cinnamon sugar coating.  Melt the butter. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a separate small bowl.

Step 10: Remove the donut holes from the oven and let cool to the touch.  Then dip each donut hole in the melted butter and then the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Ensure the entire donut is coated evenly. Enjoy!

baked apple cider doughnut holes

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the apple cider need to be reduced?

Reducing the apple cider creates a stronger, more concentrated flavor for this recipe. If you used 1/2 cup of apple cider straight from the bottle, you would barely be able to taste it in these donut holes.

The reduced 1/2 cup allows for that apple cider flavor to really shine through!

Can I use a mini muffin pan instead?

Yes, absolutely! The mini doughnuts will just be a little less round and more muffin shaped.

Can I make this recipe into apple cider doughnuts?

Yes, you can totally make this recipe into regular donuts! All you’ll need is a donut pan.

The rest of the process is the exact same. Make the batter as instructed, fill the donut pan as you would fill the donut hole pan, and dunk both sides in the cinnamon sugar coating.

The donut version of this recipe also requires the same baking time, 10 minutes!

How to store this recipe?

This recipe is best when freshly baked!

But do not worry they’re pretty much just as good any time after that. Simply store leftover donut holes in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.

I recommend moving to the refrigerator for longer storage!

Can I freeze apple cider doughnut holes?

Yes, totally! Simply transfer to a freezer bag or container and place in the freezer. They will last a couple of months.

apple cider donut holes

Love this recipe? Check out some more fall favorites…

Connect with me!

If you make these delicious treats or any of my other recipes I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram, so I can see and share your recreation.

baked apple cider mini doughnuts

Love this recipe? Leave a comment and a rating! I love to see and it helps me continue to develop delicious recipes for this blog.

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Apple Cider Donut Holes

Apple Cider Donut Holes are a true fall favorite! Made with fresh apple cider and a buttery cinnamon sugar coating … these oven baked mini treats are soft, light, tender, golden brown, and full of apple flavor. They’re perfectly poppable, bring the classic orchard treat to your own kitchen, and are great for a lazy fall morning. Everyone will absolutely love!

  • Author: Kayla Berman
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 40 Donut Holes 1x
  • Category: Breakfast/Dessert
  • Method: Baked

Ingredients

Scale

Donut Holes

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

Instructions

  1. Set the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Next add the apple cider to a small saucepan.  Heat on the stove over medium heat until the 1 1/2 cups reduces to 1/2 cup.  The cider should be simmering slightly and will take about 20 minutes.  Measure a couple times throughout to make sure you do not reduce past 1/2 cup.  Then let cool before adding to the donut batter.
  3. Add the softened butter, light brown sugar, and white sugar to a large mixing bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer until light an fluffy.
  4. Next add the eggs in one by one, beating until just combined after each egg.
  5. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients – flour, cinnamon, and baking powder.
  6. Then add the flour mixture, milk, and apple cider alternately to the batter until all is combined, beating after each addition.  Begin and end with the flour for the best results. Dry-Wet-Dry-Wet-Dry
  7. Next stir in the vanilla extract.
  8. Grease the donut hole pan.  Fill each donut hole about 3/4 of the way.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  9. While the donut holes are baking, prepare your cinnamon sugar coating.  Melt the butter.  Combine the cinnamon and sugar.
  10. Remove the donut holes from the oven and let cool to the touch.  Then dip each donut hole in the melted butter and then the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Ensure the entire donut is coated evenly.
  11. Enjoy!

Keywords: Apple Cider Donut Holes, Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes, Apple Cider Donut Recipe, Baked Apple Cider Donuts, Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

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2 Comments

  1. What if I don’t have a donut pan (donut hole or regular) do you think this batter would work as muffins?

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