Oct 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Apple Cider Doughnuts

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The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

I decided to try my hand at a recipe I’ve been dying to make forever – apple cider doughnuts from Smitten Kitchen.  And this this is the perfect time of year to make these – so the choice was easy.  

I’m actually not a huge fan of doughnuts – although they are delicious – I really try to not eat them (mostly because they are so not good for you) – and if I do – there are really only two kinds that I like the chocolate glazed and the peanut.  And of course if I’m out somewhere in the fall and there are fresh apple cider doughnuts – I may be tempted to try one.

First - I cut out the dough using a 3 1/2 inch round circle cutter and a 1 inch round cutter for the holes.

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The oil – I used a mix of canola oil and Crisco – must be 350 degrees F for this to work properly.

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One minute on each side – and they are done!

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Well, not done until coated win cinnamon sugar….

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And the best part (for taste testing purposes) are the doughnut holes!

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They were perfectly soft and crisp – with a faint hint of apple cider. 

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They were the best when freshly made – perfectly cooked.

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  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 3/4 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil or shortening, for frying

Toppings (optional)

  • Glaze (1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar + 1 tablespoons apple cider)
  • Cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup granulated sugar + 2 tsp. cinnamon)


1. In a saucepan over medium or medium-low heat, gently reduce the apple cider to about 2 tablespoons, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed  with the paddle attachment beat the butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is smooth.

4. Add the egg and continue to beat until completely incorporated.

5. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the reduced apple cider and the buttermilk, mixing just until combined.

6. Add the flour mixture and continue to mix just until the dough comes together.

7. Line two baking sheets with parchment or wax paper and sprinkle them generously with flour. Turn the dough onto one of the sheets and sprinkle the top with flour. Flatten the dough with your hands until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use more flour if the dough is still wet. Transfer the dough to the freezer until it is slightly hardened, about 20 minutes.

8. Pull the dough out of the freezer. Using a 3-inch or 3 1/2-inch doughnut cutter — or a 3 1/2-inch round cutter for the outer shape and a 1-inch round cutter for the hole — cut out doughnut shapes.

9. Place the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto the second sheet pan. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes.

10. Add enough oil or shortening to a deep-sided pan to measure a depth of about 3 inches. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 350° F. Have ready a plate lined with several thicknesses of paper towels.

11. Make your toppings (if using): Make the glaze by whisking together the confectioners’ sugar and the cider until the mixture is smooth; make the cinnamon sugar by mixing the two together. Set aside.

12. To fry and top the doughnuts: Carefully add a few doughnuts to the oil and fry until golden brown, about 60 seconds. Turn the doughnuts over and fry until the other side is golden, 30 to 60 seconds.

13. Drain on paper towels for a minute after the doughnuts are fried. Dip the top of the warm doughnuts into the glaze or cinnamon sugar mixture (if using) and serve immediately.

Source: Smitten Kitchen

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  1. Love these doughnuts! Great photos! I can't wait to try them!

  2. Those look great! I am amazed at how much they puffed up. Nice job on the challenge!

  3. Great job! Those doughnuts look great.

  4. amazing photos, you have fried the doughnut to perfection.

  5. Stunning work on this challenge those photos are marvellous well done and the recipe look so delicious. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.