Baked Apple Cider Donuts

I remember that the only time I was able to get Apple Cider Donuts was when I would go apple picking in upstate NY. I used to look forward to that 2-hour car trip, not only for the apples, but because I knew on the 2+ – hour (thanks to the inevitable traffic) car ride home I would be enjoying some freshly made warm donuts. Nowadays, it seems like you can get Apple Cider Donuts just about anywhere. Practically every apple orchard and farm I have visited sells them. Thankfully there are two places not terribly far from me that sell them year-round and both are quite delicious. There are some other places that sell them and they are, well, to be kind, I will say not so delicious.

While the Apple Cider Donuts I have had are deep-fried, I have attempted to make my own baked Apple Cider Donuts at home and until recently haven’t been that successful. The recipes I tried usually involved reducing the apple cider and I am not sure if I wasn’t reducing it enough or what, but, they were always a fail. Recently though I came across a recipe that didn’t involve reducing the apple cider and included olive oil that produced a delicious donut that actually stayed fresh & moist for a few days – thanks to said olive oil. I wouldn’t say that these are a perfect substitution to the delicious ones I get upstate, but, they are pretty close.

If you are looking for something bite-sized so you don’t feel as guilty (granted, they are fried though!), check out these Apple Cider Fritters I posted last year.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

  • Servings: 18-21 Donuts
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Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg*

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice*

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup apple cider

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Topping:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar**

2 tablespoons cinnamon**

 

*If you have apple spice, use 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon & 1 teaspoon of apple pie spice and omit the nutmeg & allspice.

**If you have cinnamon sugar you can use that in place of mixing together cinnamon & sugar

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray donut pans with baking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a second large bowl whisk together the sugar, apple cider, olive oil, applesauce, vanilla and eggs. Once well combined, add in the flour mixture and stir to combine.

Transfer the batter to the prepared donut pan, filling each cavity three-quarters full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Let the donuts cool for a few minutes in the pan and then invert onto a wire rack.

In a small bowl whisk together the sugar & cinnamon. Brush each donut with the melted butter and the sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on to the donut.

Store the donuts in an air tight container.

Recipe from Inspired By Charm

Slow Cooker Sunday: Maple Cinnamon Pear-Applesauce

I have an abundance of apples from my recent apple picking outing and while I have been enjoying eating them, I decided to use some of them to make a homemade pear-applesauce. Making homemade applesauce is quicker and easier than you may think. And healthier since you can control the level of sweetness. You could also customize the flavors by adding in different fruits (i.e. peaches, mangoes, cranberries) or different spices.

I began by peeling, coring and chopping 2 lbs. each apples (I used red delicious and granny smith) and pears (I used Bartlett). I added the apples along with pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, a cinnamon stick, lemon juice and water to the inset of a slow cooker.

I set it took on low for 4 hours and was left with apples and pears that were perfectly tender for the next step.

I removed the cinnamon stick and using a slotted spoon transferred the apples and pears to the bowl of a food processor. To prevent the sauce from becoming too watery I didn’t add too much of the juices. I then pulsed the mixture to my desired consistency, making sure no large apple or pear chunks remained.

I transferred the pear-applesauce to a container to let it cool and then covered and refrigerated it.

 

Slow Cooker Maple Cinnamon Pear-Applesauce

Ingredients:

2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and chopped

2 pounds pears, peeled, cored and chopped

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

3/4 cup water

Juice from 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker (at least 6 quarts) and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low until the apples and pears are tender, about 4 hours.

Remove the cinnamon stick and transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse until desired consistency. You could also transfer to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher for a chunkier sauce.

Let cool and then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.

Recipe from Real Simple

If you would prefer to make this on the stove, increase the water amount to a cup and combine all of the ingredients in large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 25 minutes.

For both versions (slow cooker or stove top) you could substitute apple juice for the water.

 

 

 

 

Apple Cider Fritters

I love Apple Cider Donuts! I first had them years ago when I went apple picking in upstate NY and now you can find them anywhere and everywhere. The best one’s I’ve had are from Wilklow Orchards in upstate NY and from Wooside Orchards out on the North Fork- their hard cider is good as well. I’ve also had some bad ones, but, we won’t get into that.  I did try to recreate them at home last year, but, it was a fail. I tried again this year, but, instead of donuts I made fritters and they were DELISH! The only problem… It’s easier to mindlessly eat a ridiculous amount of fritters than it is donuts.

Apple Cider Fritters

  • Servings: 24 Fritters
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Ingredients:

Fritters:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg*

1/8 teaspoon cardamom*

1/8 teaspoon all spice*

3/4 cup apple cider

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled**

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons ground cinnamon

*Instead of all 4 spices, you could sub 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice for them

**Can use salted or unsalted, I used unsalted

Directions:

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and all spice in a large bowl. In another bowl stir together the apple cider, eggs, butter and vanilla. Add the apple cider mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the coating in a shallow bowl.

Pour the oil in a Dutch oven or another heavy bottom deep pot and heat over medium heat to 360 to 370 F. Using a cookie scoop, drop the batter in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

While still warm roll the fritters in the cinnamon sugar and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from My Recipes

Quick & Easy Apple Tarts

Do you sometimes want an apple pie, but, you don’t really want to go through all the trouble to make one? Even if you are using a store-bought crust – I have no qualms in saying that’s usually my go-to way of “making” pie crust – it can still be a bit time and labor consuming. So, if you are ever feeling like that or you are feeling like that right now I have the remedy for you. A pair of Apple Tarts that take just about an hour to make – that includes prep and bake time – and only requires six ingredients!

To begin thaw out a puff pastry sheet for about 20-30 minutes. You don’t want it to become warm and mushy, but, you also don’t want it to be partially frozen. Once you are able to unfold it, it’s ready to be used. Slice it in half – a pizza cutter works best – and place both pieces on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

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While the puff pastry is defrosting make your apple filling. Core three apples…

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Then thinly slice them. It’s important to slice the apples as thin as possible this way they will cook (i.e. soften) during the short baking time.

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Next add in lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Let the apples sit until the puff pastry is ready to be filled.

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Once the puff pastry is ready and you have sliced it in half arrange the apples in a single line.

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Bake in a 415 F preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the pastry has puffed and is lightly golden.

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Remove the tarts from the pan and transfer them to a cutting board to cool.

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Or, immediately cut off a piece and enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. There’s nothing like a warm apple treat with a scoop of ice cream on top of it.

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Overall these were incredibly easy to make and wonderfully delicious, but, there’s one thing I think I would change when I make these again… I’ll peel the apples this way it’ll be easier to take a bit out of them. The peel holds you back a little from taking clean bites… At least it does for me.

Baked Apple Tarts

Ingredients:

1 puff pastry sheet, thawed and cut in half

3 apples, cored and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of lemon juice (approximately juice from half a lemon)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 415 F.

While the puff pastry is thawing prepare the apple filling by coring and slicing the apples then tossing them with the lemon juice, sugar, salt and cinnamon.

Once the puff pastry has thawed slice it half and place it on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

Arrange the apples on the puff pastry in a thin overlapping line.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden and puffed. Transfer the tarts to a cutting board or serving platter immediately.

Recipe slightly modified from The Pioneer Woman

A Quintessential Fall Birthday Cake

A good friend recently celebrated a birthday and a few days prior to it I asked her what kind of cake she would like me to bake for her and she responded with an apple cake. The only apple cake I could recall making was an Apple Walnut Cake that really wasn’t what I would consider to be a birthday cake. So, after a few texts back and forth we settled on an apple cake with walnuts with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. While her birthday technically falls in the summer according to the calendar it’s unofficially in the fall since it is after Labor Day, hence this cake being the quintessential fall birthday cake. Since I haven’t mastered creating my own recipes I did a few internet searches to find a recipe for the cake and frosting. After coming up empty handed I decided to follow the recipe for my favorite carrot cake and substitute grated apples in lieu of the carrots and for the frosting, I made my favorite cream cheese frosting and added in ground cinnamon in small increments until I reached my desired flavor.

To begin I prepped my Granny Smith Apples…

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First I peeled them…

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Then cored and sliced them using an apple divider…

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And finally grated them using a food processor.

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I started the batter by combining the dry ingredients and setting it aside.

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I then creamed butter and sugar together.

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Once the butter and sugar were mixed together well I added in the eggs and dry ingredients by alternating between the two.

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And them some vanilla extract.

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It was then time to add in the grated apples.

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And finally I folded in some chopped walnuts.

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Once the walnuts were incorporated well into the batter it was time to divvy it up among my prepared pans.

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Once divided I popped them into a 350 degrees oven.

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After baking for 25 minutes the cakes were done.

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I let them cool for a bit in the pans and then inverted them onto cooling racks to let them cool completely.

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After the cakes cooled completely I made the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting by combing cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and of course cinnamon.

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I spread frosting between each of the layers…

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And then crumb coated the cake and refrigerated it for a bit while I made another batch of frosting to finish covering the cake and for decorating.

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After about twenty minutes in the fridge I finished frosting it…

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And then I added some decorations and scattered some walnuts along the sides of the cake prior to writing a birthday message on it.

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Final verdict: It was a hit… Definitely something I’ll make again!

Apple Walnut Cake
(Adapted from Gigi’s Carrot Cake)
Ingredients
3 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups grated apples (I used Granny Smith apples)
1 cup chopped walnuts
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray 3 (9-inch) cake pans with baking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer. Add the sugar, and beat. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Add the apples and beat on medium speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Fold in the walnuts. Divide the batter between the 3 cake pans and bake until set and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest in the cake pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, remove from the pans, and let cool.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
In a medium bowl cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add in the vanilla extract and then gradually add in the confectioners sugar. And finally mix in the ground cinnamon.