There is nothing like going apple picking in the Fall and treating yourself to a nice, warm apple cider doughnut afterwards… that was always my favorite part of the outing. I was lucky enough to grow up near a really wonderful apple picking farm. Not only did they have rows and rows of apple varieties to choose from, but they had the greatest little country store. It offered lots of things, but I remember most vividly the maple treats, honey sticks, and apple cider doughnuts. They’re doughnuts were spectacular. I’ve never had anything like them. Freshly fried and tossed in cinnamon-sugar. Warm and fluffy. Just amazing.
I’ve tried numerous times since moving out of the area to replicate the treat, but I always fall very short (I usually use this one). And this year I finally decided to make a grand effort. I came upon the realization that the problem with all the recipes I was using was that they were for cakey doughnuts. I can’t say for sure whether the one that I remember was cakey or yeasted, but I do know that it was far from dense. It was always super light and fluffy, which lead me to the decision to try a yeasted recipe. Finding a yeasted recipe for apple cider doughnuts was more difficult than I had imagined. It’s almost an insisted fact that apple cider doughnuts are cakey in nature. I refused to believe that. I finally stumbled upon this one here that I am sharing with you and WOW, what a difference in texture!!
Unfortunately I didn’t have any apple cider over here to work with so I simply took apple juice and reduced it down, while simmering it with a cinnamon stick. Not quite an equivalent substitute…. so I can’t give you a true review of this recipe based on taste, since mine ended up slightly tangy from the juice (cider is generally sweeter and spiced). BUT! I still thought that they were 100 times better than all my other attempts! They came out delightfully fluffy and light! Exactly what I wanted and one day when I can make them with real apple cider they will be just perfect.
Personally I recommend coating them in cinnamon-sugar, but you can always use the icing recipe shown here and ice them instead. I take problem with the icing though because it only works well on a completely cool doughnut… I can’t wait that long to eat my doughnuts. I want them fresh and warm, and putting icing on one of those doughnuts only turns it into soup.
To get the recipe, go to this link. I followed it as written except that I added 1 tsp cinnamon. I also highly suggest using cinnamon-sugar rather than frosting.