In New England, warm apple cider donuts are a tradition. A delicious, delicious tradition. With a cake-like, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth texture, rolled directly in cinnamon sugar right after they come out of the fryer, they are simply one of the best things you could ever eat. I had my first of the season last weekend after apple picking (the farm we visited makes their own fresh donuts- amazing!) and I decided I needed to figure out how to make something like this on my own.
Side note- I also need to figure out how to use up about 20 deliciously crisp and juicy apples. Any ideas? Leave them in the comments below!
I adapted Yankee Magazine’s recipe to make a whole wheat (yet still amazingly fluffy!) apple cider donut muffin. These muffins have the same cake-like texture as the donuts, and are brushed with melted butter right out of the oven and rolled in cinnamon sugar. How can you resist? Answer: you can’t.
The secret to making these super flavorful and fluffy: reducing the apple cider with spices on the stovetop to create a concentrated, flavor-packed liquid to add to the batter. The whole wheat flour is added gradually, alternating with the addition of the reduced cider, in order to combine with wet and dry ingredients as minimally as possible until just combined. (The secret to making non-dense whole wheat baked goods is to handle the batter as little as possible- the less stirring you do, the less dense the final product will be. If you do this correctly, you can barely tell the difference between whole wheat and white flour, making it easier to enjoy these treats with a little less guilt.)
These are best served warm. After taking out of the oven, allow to cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes, then brush with butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar. Eat immediately, or if eating later, just pop in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. This is the perfect fall treat to have with your morning coffee, and it will make your house smell amazing while you are cooking them.