Part of Thanksgiving

How to Make Bourbon Apple Cider Donuts

Learn how to take donuts to the next level by infusing them with warm, fall flavors.

To me, Apple Cider Donuts scream Autumn. In this recipe, they’re laced with the flavor of sautéed apples, brown butter and bourbon. Once you master these, you can play with the flavors and make your own signature donuts.

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1 Prepare the Apples

Peel and core the apples, cut into fourths and then into a small dice. You should have a generous cup and a half of apples.

2 Brown the Butter & Sauté the Apples

Place the butter in a small skillet, and cook over medium heat until the butter is golden brown. Pour the butter into a small dish and reserve for later. Add the apples to the sauté pan without cleaning or wiping it. There will be little brown flecks from the butter — you want these. Add the lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally until the apples are soft. Scrape the apples out of the pan onto a plate and let cool.

3 Make the Dough

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices. In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar and and eggs. Slowly stream in the reserved brown butter, then add the vanilla, sour cream and cider.

Toss the cooked and cooled apples in with the dry ingredients to coat. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until a smooth dough forms. 

4 Cut the Dough

On a lightly floured work surface, press out the dough to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut the dough using a small donut cutter and place on two well-floured baking sheets.

Knead the scraps back into a ball and re-roll for more donuts!

5 Fry the Dough

Line two baking sheets with paper towels. Pour oil into a large, deep skillet to a depth of 2-inches. Attach a deep-fry thermometer and heat the oil to 365 degrees F to 370 degrees F. Fry the donuts until deep golden brown, about 45 seconds on each side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the paper towels to drain.

6 Make the Glaze

Whisk together the bourbon, honey, lemon juice and powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add more bourbon. If it is too thin, add more sugar. 

If you don't want to include alcohol, try orange juice, apple juice, apple cider or cranberry juice.

7 Glaze the Donuts

Dip the freshly fried donuts in the glaze and serve warm!

About Zac Young

Contributing Host of Cooking Channel's "Unique Sweets" and Executive Pastry Chef of David Burke Group.