An apple cider reduction and plenty of warming spices transform a batch of cake donuts into everyone's favorite fall treat. They're rolled in cinnamon sugar for good measure.

Martha Stewart Living, October 2018


Credit: Bryan Gardner

Recipe Summary

40 mins
2 hrs 50 mins
Makes 12 to 14, plus holes


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat cider in a pot over medium-high until reduced to 1/3 cup, 10 minutes.

  • Dust a baking sheet with flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and ginger. Beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and yolk, then reduced cider. Scrape down bowl, then beat in dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Turn out dough onto baking sheet; use floured hands to flatten to a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight (if longer than 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap).

  • Pour oil into a large, deep, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, until it reaches 2 inches up side, leaving about 2 1/2 inches headroom. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to pot and heat oil over medium to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, using a floured 2 1/2-inch round donut cutter, cut out donuts (or use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, then cut out holes with a 1- to 1 1/2-inch round cutter). Pat together scraps; cut out more donuts (these will not be quite as tender). Working in batches of 3 so as not to crowd pot, carefully drop donuts into hot oil and cook, flipping a few times, until deep golden brown all over, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes for holes), maintaining oil temperature between 340 degrees and 350 degrees at all times. Transfer donuts and holes to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet; let cool 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, stir together remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 cup sugar. While still slightly warm, roll each donut in cinnamon sugar. Let stand until donuts are cool, about 1 hour. Donuts are best eaten the day they are made.

Cook's Notes

If you want to make all donut holes, flatten dough to 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Use a floured 1 1/2-inch cutter to cut out about 42 rounds. Cook, flipping a few times, until deep golden brown all over, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes total.