Last weekend we went to Apple Hill in Camino, California. It is about an hour and a half away from our home and is a fun place to visit in the fall. There are many apple/fruit orchards to visit as well as Christmas tree farms. Each with their own trademark reason to make a stop. The Rainbow Orchard makes THE BEST Hot Apple Cider Donuts. Ever. They are so light in texture and you have no problem paying $1 each for them. The kids and I downed a dozen of those little suckers in 2 seconds flat.
Aaron asked if we could bring some cider home with us, so we grabbed a quart and I decided to use some of it to make our own Hot Apple Cider Donuts. The verdict? These are pretty dang good! The spices and the cinnamon sugar coating are the perfect balance. The texture isn't as fall-apart light as the ones from Rainbow Orchard, but my kids found these to be easier to eat and they are still a nice soft texture which I love. When I came home that night I scoured the Internet looking for a recipe that would come close. I didn't want anything with add ins like raisins, etc. or a glaze or caramel icing, etc. I'm sure those would be good, but I loved how simple these ones were. I was excited to find a recipe that I think came pretty close.
Apple Cider Donuts
courtesy of Homemade Simple
1 cup of apple cider
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Vegetable oil or shortening for frying
- Boil 1 cup of apple cider in a small saucepan for 8 to 10 minutes or until cider is reduced to 1/4 cup; let cool.
- In a large bowl, beat sugar with shortening until smooth. Add eggs and mix well, then add buttermilk and cooled cider.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add to liquid ingredients and stir just enough to combine.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and pat to 1/2” thickness. Cut with a 3” donut cutter; re-roll the excess dough scraps and continue to cut until dough is gone.
- Refrigerate donuts on parchment-paper lined baking sheets for 20 minutes to help firm the dough before frying.
- Add enough oil or shortening to fill a 3” deep pan, and heat to approximately 375°F** (see my note below) or until oil is bubbling.
- Fry several donuts at a time, turning once or twice until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool.
- Place 3 teaspoons of cinnamon and 2 cups of sugar in a plastic bag, place the cooled donuts inside and shake to coat.