The Little Epicurean

Oct 22 2014

Brown Butter Apple Cider Donuts with Cider Glaze

Brown Butter Apple Cider Donuts

I’ve hidden my running shoes long enough.  It’s time I lace them back up and start training for my next half marathon.  Not only does that mean waking up at the crack of dawn to log my miles, but sadly, it means cutting back on my beloved donuts.

If I can’t have fried donuts, you bet I’m eating baked donuts!  Brown butter apple cider baked donuts with cider glaze, to be exact.

Oak Glen Cider Donuts

Every fall, I try to visit Oak Glen to go apple picking.  Before I leave the orchards I stock up on fresh cider and stuff my face with mini cider donuts.

Snow-Line Orchards makes my favorite cider donuts.  They have this nifty machine that pumps out the freshly made treats.  Too bad that I don’t have one of those fancy machines.  Because if I did, man oh man, I would eat donuts every single day.

Brown Butter Apple Cider Donuts

Using the apples I picked and the cider we bought, I sought out to make the best apple cider donuts.  I failed…TWICE.  First time, I put way too much cider and the batter was too runny.  Second time, I forgot to add the egg and the batter was gummy and dense.  And then, I looked to my favorite baker in the blogging world, Joy the Baker.  I adapted her apple cinnamon baked donuts recipe.  I swapped out the buttermilk with apple cider.  Once the donuts were finished baking, I knew I had hit the apple cider donut jackpot.

Brown Butter Apple Cider Donuts

Brown Butter Apple Cider Donuts

The great thing about this recipe, it only makes 6 donuts.  That’s just the perfect amount to have tempting me in the kitchen.

Another great thing, you don’t need a mixer.  A sturdy spatula is all you need.  (Note: The pink spatula photographed above is my favorite! GIR makes the best one piece spatulas.  For the month of October, GIR is donating $1 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for every pink spatula sold.)

Unlike the mini donuts I’ve made in the past, this larger donut pan doesn’t require the use of a pastry bag.  You can easily use a spoon to fill the donut cavities with batter.

Brown Butter Apple Cider Donuts

I love everything about this donut.  It smells like the apple orchards.  It tastes like autumn.  It’s perfect with a cup of coffee or a mug of cider.  Plus, it’s a motivating factor during my long runs knowing something sweet and tasty is waiting for me back home!

Print Recipe

Brown Butter Apple Cider Donuts with Cider Glaze

Yield: 6 donuts


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, browned and slightly cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup peeled and shredded apples

Apple Cider Glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly coat donut pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar.
  3. In a small saucepot, melt butter over medium heat.  Continue to cook until butter until butter smells nutty and fragrant.  The milk solids in the butter will turn rich brown in color.  Remove from heat and allow to cool in small bowl.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together egg, apple cider, and milk. Add wet mixture to dry flour mixture.  Pour in cooled butter.  Follow with grated apples.  Stir to combine but until there are no more dry streaks of flour.  Do not overmix.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared donut pan.  Fill molds almost to the top with batter.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until donuts have puffed.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in donut pan for 3 minutes before inverting and unmolding.  Allow donuts to cool to room temperature on wire rack.
  6. To make cider glaze: whisk together confectioners' sugar, ground cinnamon, milk, and apple cider until smooth.  Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes to thicken.  Stir before using.  Dip cooled donuts into glaze.  Place glazed donuts on wire rack to allow glaze to set.

brown butter donuts adapted from Joy the Baker

The Little Epicurean

I used this 6-count nonstick donut pan.


10 Responses to “Brown Butter Apple Cider Donuts with Cider Glaze”

  1. October 22, 2014
    6:33 am

    Best of luck with your training. It takes a ton of motivation.
    Baked donuts are just as good as the fried ones. I am a huge apple cider donut fan and these look incredible. Pinning!

    • Maryanne Cabrera replied...

      Thanks Jen! These are booming with apple flavors. I can’t wait to make them again :)

  2. October 22, 2014
    12:18 pm

    I’m also lucky I don’t have one of those machines, or I’d eat donuts all day (and subsequently have a headache all day). Now you’re convincing me to add donut pan to my shopping list though!

    • Maryanne Cabrera replied...

      What are you waiting for?! Get a donut pan! I prefer the mini donut pan because they’re much cuter ;)

  3. October 23, 2014
    2:14 am

    Wow these apple cider donuts look and sound delicious – I have to shamefully admit though I have never made donuts before.. this definitely has to change!

  4. October 23, 2014
    9:02 am

    What a wonder recipe for donuts. I love Apple Cider and lately, I am substituting it for Lemon juice. This will be a fun recipe to make

  5. October 23, 2014
    9:07 am
    Anne Marie says...

    One of my very favorite memories about apple picking as a kid were the apple cider donuts we’d eat afterwards, as a reward for all of our “hard work!” So I am overly excited to make these. And as a fellow runner, the fact that they’re baked means that they are perfectly acceptable as pre-and post-run fuel. :) Love your blog!

    • Maryanne Cabrera replied...

      Thanks Anne Marie! Happy baking! I hope you like them! :)

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