This Baked Apple Cider Donut recipe couldn’t be easier to make! There’s no frying needed and boxed spice cake mix means you don’t even have to measure out flour and sugar. Dip the donuts in cinnamon sugar and enjoy them warm out of the oven for the perfect fall breakfast.
Deep-frying isn’t exactly hard, but it is a hassle. You have to keep an eye on the oil temperature because if it’s too hot, your donuts will be raw in the middle, but if it’s too cool, your donuts will be a greasy mess. You have to drain the donuts on layers of paper towels, then when you’re done with it all, you have a pot full of oil to discard, which kind of feels like a waste. This is why I love making baked apple cider donuts instead. No muss, no fuss!
Thanks to the baking and my secret of using spice cake mix as a base, this apple cider donut recipe is so stinkin’ easy. You’ll get the same apple cider flavor you expect from an apple cider donut, but you’ll also get the bonus of being able to eat them fresh out of the oven, when they taste the best! Pair them with pumpkin spice cold brew and get ready for cozy season!
Easy Apple Cider Donut Recipe
If you haven’t tried making your own donuts before, this is a great recipe to start with. You don’t even need a donut pan! You can pipe donut shapes onto a baking sheet instead.
I think you’ll find that baked donuts really aren’t lacking anything that fried donuts have, except some extra calories. They’re softer on the outside when you bake them, but I like them better that way!
For the entire recipe and ingredient amounts – see the recipe card below.
For the apple cider donuts:
- Spice Cake Mix – I’m pretty partial to Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker – but use your favorite brand here.
- Apple Cider – For the best flavor, grab a gallon from your local orchard or farmer’s market. Trust me!
- Butter – Real butter. Always.
- Whole milk – The fat in the milk really helps the flavor and texture of the cake.
- Eggs – Take the eggs out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for about an hour before you start the recipe. This gives baked goods like these apple cider donuts a fluffier texture.
For the topping:
- Granulated sugar
- Melted butter
How to Make Baked Apple Cider Donuts
Preheat your oven to 325ºF and grease a donut pan or baking sheet.
2. Make Batter
Use an electric hand mixer or whisk to combine the cake mix, butter, milk, eggs, and apple cider, beating for about 2 minutes, or until the batter is light and all the ingredients are well-combined.
3. Form the Donuts
Transfer the batter to a large piping bag or place it in a zip-top bag and snip off one corner. Pipe the batter into the prepared donut pan or pipe circles onto the baking sheet.
Bake the apple cider donuts for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the donuts spring back when you gently poke them.
5. Cool and Garnish
Cool the donuts on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then dip them into melted butter and cinnamon sugar. Tap off the excess and let the donuts finish cooling on the wire rack.
Hint: Place a baking sheet under your wire rack to catch any excess cinnamon sugar.
If you don’t have a donut pan and you’re piping the donuts onto a baking sheet, you can create different shapes for fun. Make donut holes or hearts instead of circles!
Do apple cider donuts taste like apple cider?
You’ll taste the apple cider, but you also taste the spices from the cake mix and cinnamon sugar. Basically, this baked apple cider donut recipe tastes like apples and warming fall spices.
Can you use apple juice instead of apple cider for donuts?
No, don’t use apple juice instead of apple cider. It doesn’t have the same intense apple flavor as cider, so it will be overpowered by the spices in the cake mix.
Do you need to refrigerate apple cider donuts?
No, you can keep apple cider donuts on the countertop in an airtight container for up to 2 days. They can also be frozen and thawed in the fridge overnight or microwaved until warm.
Use fresh apple cider from your favorite orchard or the kind that’s sold in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Shelf-stable apple ciders, which are sold next to apple juice, don’t have the same flavor as fresh.
If you’re looking for more easy Apple + Fall Recipes….try these recipes next!
Apple Cider Donuts
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1/3 cup milk whole milk
- 2/3 cup apple cider
- 3 eggs
- 1 box Spice Cake Mix
- 1/4 cup sugar granulated
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- In a large bowl combine the cake mix, butter, milk, eggs, and apple cider.
- Using a hand mixer (or whisk by hand) beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides halfway through, until batter is light and thoroughly combined.
- Add the mixture to a large piping bag. Clip off the end of the bag where you have a larger opening for the thick batter to come out. (Alternatively, you could just spoon the mixture into your donut pan instead of piping) A Ziploc bag works well if you don’t have a piping bag.
- Pipe the donut batter into a greased donut pan. If you don’t have a donut pan, you can just make little circles onto a greased cookie sheet. That will work, too!
- Bake for 10-12 minutes in a 325-degree oven – when the dough springs back when touched, they are done.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. and then dip the entire donut into melted butter and then into cinnamon and sugar mixture. Tap off excess and add to the wire rack.
The topping for the Apple Cider DOnuts does not mention butter.
How much butter do you need to dip the donuts in?
Updated — 1/2 cup of melted butter for the topping. Hope this helps!