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Apple Pie Doughnuts

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Welcoming in the weekend with Apple Pie Doughnuts! A sweet dough flavored with apple cider and apple pie spice, is fried to golden perfection, rolled in a spiced sugar, and filled with the easiest homemade apple pie filling. There’s just so much to love about these sweet Fall spiced doughnuts. The secret? Using fresh apple cider in the dough and the filling! Every bite is hinted with sweet apple, followed by subtle spice, and rich buttery dough. It’s the perfect recipe to use up all of the gorgeous in-season Fall apples!

close up of apple pie doughnut on top of other doughnuts in white casserole.

About The Recipe

Anyone else excited for the weekend? It’s the first Friday of October and I feel like this weekend is reserved for watching Halloween movies, visiting pumpkin patches, picking apples and making these apple pie doughnuts!

At least, those are our weekend plans. After making these doughnuts earlier this week, we just knew we had to make them again ASAP!

They’re not only super easy to make, but every bite is like eating your favorite slice of warm apple pie. Which, if you didn’t know, is mine and my mom’s favorite flavor of pie!

We’ve been sharing these doughnuts with friends and family these past few days and, let me tell you, they have gone QUICK. Everyone has absolutely loved them!

And, between you and me, I think I’ve eaten two or three of these myself.

It’s a light, fluffy, and buttery sweet dough, flavored with fresh apple cider and apple pie spice…I mean, what could be better?! The doughnuts themselves are delicious as-is.

But, once you fill them with our easy apple pie filling – oh, man.

overhead close up of apple pie doughnuts all standing vertically with white flowers around.

They’re rich, buttery, gooey, apple-y, perfectly spiced, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

The best part about these doughnuts might actually be getting to use up all the fresh in-season apples from going apple picking (or from the farmer’s market!). It really makes a difference in this recipe and it makes these doughnuts the perfect way to start your day.

Fried vs Baked Doughnuts – What’s The Difference?

While both are called doughnuts, or donuts, they are vastly different recipes! So, let’s get into it, shall we?

A baked doughnut (or donut) is also known as a cake doughnut. It is made from a batter (just like cake!) rather than a dough and baked in a doughnut pan.

So, let’s talk fried doughnuts. They are a totally different thing! The recipes are vastly different. Instead of a batter, fried doughnuts are made from a yeast-risen sweet dough that’s rolled, cut, and – well, fried!

Reasons You Will Love These Apple Pie Doughnuts

  • Tastes SO much better than anything you could buy.
  • Every bite is reminiscent of apple pie.
  • Easier to make than you might think!
  • A great make-ahead treat for Fall weekends or special occasions!
  • The perfect breakfast treat for apple lovers.
overhead image of twelve apple pie doughnuts in casserole with white flowers tucked in.

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

For The Filling:

  • Granny Smith Apples – give this filling a bright apple flavor, and also keep it from being too sweet.
  • Powdered Sugar – adds just the right amount of sweetness.
  • All-Purpose Flour – thickens the filling.
  • Fresh Apple Cider – is our secret to an utterly delicious apple pie filling.
  • Salted Butter – gives a buttery undertone to this filling.
  • Vanilla Extract – balances and enhances the flavor of this filling.
  • Apple Pie Spice – is the perfect blend of spices to give this filling the flavor of Fall!
  • Salt – enhances the flavor.
chopped apples, powdered sugar, cider, butter, flour, spice, and salt on marble surface.

For The Doughnuts:

  • All-Purpose Flour – has just the right amount of protein to add strength to the dough by absorbing moisture and forming gluten.
  • Granulated Sugar – sweetens the dough slightly, feeds the yeast, and helps the doughnuts to brown.
  • Instant Yeast – is the leavening agent that creates lift and gives this dough its beautiful structure. And as a bonus, it can be mixed in with the dry ingredients.
  • Apple Pie Spice – adds a delicious spiced flavor to the dough.
  • Salt – cuts some of the sweetness while enhancing the flavor.
  • Fresh Apple Cider – gives the dough a subtle apple flavor to compliment the filling.
  • Large Eggs – are a binder that also adds moisture and structure.
  • Salted Butter – adds fat, flavor, and moisture to make these doughnuts oh-so soft and delicious.
  • Vanilla Extract – enhances the flavor of the dough.
flour, eggs, yeast, butter, apple cider, apple pie spice, sugar, vanilla, and salt on marble surface.

For The Spiced Sugar:

  • Granulated Sugar – adds extra sweetness and a little bit of crunch to every bite.
  • Apple Pie Spice – enhances the flavors of the doughnuts.
sugar and spice separate in glass bowls.

How To Make Apple Pie Doughnuts

Step 1: Make filling

Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy duty saucepan. Bring to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low. Continue to cook and stir until apples are softened, about 7-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Step 2: Prepare dough

Combine flour, sugar, yeast, spice, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Turn on low to mix ingredients.

Add apple cider, egg, egg yolk, butter, and vanilla. Mix ingredients on low speed until combined. Knead 8-10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and cleans the bowl (no longer sticks to the bowl).

Step 3: Proof

Turn dough into prepared container. Let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 – 1½ hours

Step 4: Make spiced sugar

While dough is proofing, whisk sugar and spice together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Step 5: Roll and fry

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle top with flour. Roll to ⅜ inch thick.

Use a 3 inch round cutter to cut dough, re-rolling scraps as necessary. Place on prepared pans. Cover with plastic wrap that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Set aside to proof for 15-20 minutes.

Fry doughnuts in preheated oil 2 or 3 at a time, for 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through.

Drain.

fried doughnuts on paper lined sheet pan.

Step 6: Coat and fill

Roll still warm doughnuts in spiced sugar.

Fill piping bag with apple pie filling. Insert into each doughnut. Gently squeeze desired amount into doughnut.

overhead close up of apple pie doughnuts with white flowers tucked beside.

FAQ’s and Troubleshooting

I don’t have a mixer. Can I make this by hand?

This dough really needs to be made in a mixer! While it’s doable, it takes twice as long to knead and it’s a whole lot of work. It’s always best to use a stand mixer.

The butter won’t mix into the dough!

The most important thing you need to make sure of is that all your ingredients are room temperature. If anything is cold, it won’t mix like it’s supposed to.

Why is my dough sticky and wet?

If you followed the amounts in the recipe below, it has probably not been kneaded long enough.

How can I tell when my dough is kneaded properly?

A properly kneaded dough should be smooth and shiny. The bowl of the mixer should also be VERY clean and the dough should lift out of the mixer in one piece, rather than ripping into two pieces.

My dough didn’t rise at all.

Is your yeast in date and active? If not, then you need to get new yeast and try again. If that isn’t the problem, the gluten may not be developed enough.

Why are my doughnuts browned but raw in the middle?

This sounds like the oil was much too hot. Doughnuts should be cooked at (roughly) 355-360 degrees F. If it’s hotter than that, it will cause the outside of the doughnuts to brown/burn and not cook in the middle.

Why did my doughnuts not puff when frying?

If your oil is too hot or too cool, or you’re cooking too many at a time, this will keep the doughnuts from puffing like they should when they hit the oil.

Why are my doughnuts greasy after frying and draining?

It may be that your oil temperature is too low and, instead of cooking properly, they’re absorbing the oil. It’s always best to use a thermometer when frying!

cropped image of apple pie filled doughnuts in white casserole on marble surface with apple slices and a glass of cider beside.

What Type of Yeast To Use

You need to use an instant yeast. In this recipe, we used SAF Gold!

How To Store

Once these doughnuts are assembled, they only keep for a few days in the refrigerator. Honestly, they’re best eaten fresh, the day you make them!

front image of apple pie filled doughnut on top of more doughnuts in white casserole.

Expert Tips

  • Check your yeast and make sure it’s in-date and active.
  • Make sure the butter, milk, and eggs are all at room temperature before beginning this recipe.
  • Don’t have a big enough lidded container to allow the dough to rise? You can put the dough in a glass bowl and cover it with plastic wrap!
  • You can actually re-roll the dough scraps. Just don’t add any extra flour! The doughnuts from the dough scraps won’t be quite as pretty and may be a little tougher.
  • If dough is difficult to work with when re-rolling, cover it, and let it rest for 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
  • This recipe makes 11 doughnuts if you don’t re-roll scraps. If you do re-roll the scraps, it’ll make 14!
  • Use a thermometer to keep oil at a steady temperature.
  • If oil is lower than 355℉, doughnuts won’t puff as well. But, if the oil temperature is higher than 360℉, they’ll get too brown before they have a chance to puff fully.
  • If doughnuts are too cool, sugar won’t stick.
  • Be careful to not over-fill the doughnuts!

When you make these Apple Pie Doughnuts, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

close up of apple pie doughnut on top of other doughnuts in white casserole.
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Apple Pie Doughnuts

The perfect way to start your mornings this Fall! These Apple Pie Doughnuts are tender, flavorful, and so much easier to make than you might think. The best part? Every bite tastes just like apple pie! SO. GOOD.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Proofing Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 14

Ingredients
 

Filling

  • 4 pounds Granny Smith Apples
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 6 Tablespoons fresh apple cider
  • 3 Tablespoons salted butter
  • Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • teaspoons apple pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Doughnuts

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup fresh apple cider
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 Tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon apple pie spice

Instructions

Filling

  • Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy duty saucepan.
  • Bring to a bubble over medium heat.
  • Reduce heat to medium low.
  • Continue to cook and stir until apples are softened, about 7-8 minutes.
  • Set aside to cool.

Doughnuts

  • Spray a lidded container, or large glass bowl, with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Combine flour, sugar, yeast, spice, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  • Turn on low to mix ingredients.
  • Add apple cider, egg, egg yolk, butter, and vanilla.
  • Mix ingredients on low speed until combined.
  • Increase speed to medium.
  • Knead 8-10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and cleans the bowl (no longer sticks to the bowl).
  • Turn dough into prepared container.
  • Cover with lid or plastic wrap.
  • Let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 – 1½ hours. (If using a proofing box, leave bowl uncovered, fill water tray, and set temperature to 78℉.)

Topping

  • While dough is proofing, whisk sugar and spice together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Doughnuts

  • Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • Spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Sprinkle top with flour.
  • Roll to ⅜ inch thick.
  • Use a 3 inch round cutter to cut dough, re-rolling scraps as necessary.
  • Place on prepared pans.
  • Cover with plastic wrap that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Set aside to proof for 15-20 minutes.
  • After 15-20 minutes, pour 2 inches of oil into a heavy duty pot.
  • Heat oil to 356℉ – 360℉. (This should give doughnuts a total proof time of 30-45 minutes.)
  • Fry doughnuts 2 or 3 at a time, for 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Drain.

Assembly

  • Roll still warm doughnuts in spiced sugar.
  • Snip the end off of a large piping bag, or gallon size zip top bag.
  • Fit with a large round tip, such as a 1A.
  • Fill bag with apple pie filling.
  • Insert tip into each doughnut.
  • Gently squeeze desired amount into doughnut, being careful not to overfill and pop the doughnut.

Notes

  • Check your yeast and make sure it’s in-date and active.
  • Make sure the butter, milk, and eggs are all at room temperature before beginning this recipe.
  • Don’t have a big enough lidded container to allow the dough to rise? You can put the dough in a glass bowl and cover it with plastic wrap!
  • You can actually re-roll the dough scraps. Just don’t add any extra flour! The doughnuts from the dough scraps won’t be quite as pretty and may be a little tougher.
  • If dough is difficult to work with when re-rolling, cover it, and let it rest for 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
  • This recipe makes 11 doughnuts if you don’t re-roll scraps. If you do re-roll the scraps, it’ll make 14!
  • Use a thermometer to keep oil at a steady temperature.
  • If oil is lower than 355℉, doughnuts won’t puff as well. But, if the oil temperature is higher than 360℉, they’ll get too brown before they have a chance to puff fully.
  • If doughnuts are too cool, sugar won’t stick.
  • Be careful to not over-fill the doughnuts!

Nutrition

Serving: 1doughnut | Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 246IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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