Turn up the autumn flavors with my Apple Donuts – crispy on the outside, gooey apple pie goodness inside. An irresistible twist on a classic!

It costs approximately $10.87 to make this recipe. The recipe costs about $0.49 to make twenty-two servings. 

A platted full of fresh homemade apple donuts.

What could be better than apple pie? A donut with apple pie filling! This recipe will blow your mind. It is everything a Fall recipe should be. You’ll bite into a fresh, fluffy donut and enjoy the warm, comforting taste of apple pie. 

Making donuts from scratch exceeds what you can buy from your local bakery. You can control the recipe by using quality ingredients and enjoy fresh donuts in the comfort of your own home. 

Make them for a sweet breakfast indulgence over the weekend, an after-school treat for the kiddos, or as an after-dinner dessert. Make apple filled donuts this Fall for a true fall-inspired treat that will provide cozy enjoyment around the kitchen table. 

What You’ll Love About Apple Donuts

  • The Filling: The spiced apple filling is made with diced apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a touch of lemon. It is the perfect balance of sweetness and tang. 
  • Fall Flavors: When Autumn comes, sometimes pumpkin takes center stage, but apples are the star of this recipe with classic Fall themed spices. 
  • Sweet Indulgence: Fluffy donuts, covered in a cinnamon-sugar coating and filled with a homemade apple pie filling, is the perfect sweet indulgence.
An apple donut on a white plate.

Apple Donut Ingredients and Estimated Cost

Per Serving Cost: $0.49

Recipe Cost: $10.87

  • ¾ cup + 1 teaspoon apple cider – $0.28
  • ⅓ cup milk – $0.05
  • 1 ¾ cup + 4 tablespoons granulated sugar – $0.49
  • 3 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast – $0.56
  • 2 large eggs – $0.86
  • 2 large egg yolks – $0.42
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract – $0.92
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour – $0.48
  • 9 teaspoons ground cinnamon – $0.54
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt – $0.02
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg – $0.08
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves – $0.04
  • ½ cup + 3 tablespoons butter – $1.54
  • 4 cups vegetable oil – $2.60
  • 3 cups diced Granny Smith apples – $1.66
  • ½ cup light brown sugar – $0.28
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice – $0.02
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch – $0.03

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in August 2023.

All of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

How To Make Apple Donuts

***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.

  1. First, combine the warm apple cider, warm milk, two tablespoons of sugar, and the yeast in the stand mixer bowl. 
  2. Whisk the ingredients together and let proof for five minutes until frothy. 
  3. Mix in the remaining sugar, eggs, and vanilla once the mixture is done proofing. 
  4. Then, add the flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves and knead until the dough starts to come together. 
  5. Add the butter and knead for an additional five minutes. 
  6. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise for an hour.
  7. Next, make the filling by mixing together the diced apples, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, lemon juice, apple cider, and salt.
  8. Mix until the apples are coated and then transfer the mixture into a saucepan and place it on the stove over medium-low heat. 
  9. Cook down for ten minutes, add the cornstarch, and cook for three more minutes until the mixture thickens. 
  10. Remove from the heat and let it cool. 
  11. Next, turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll the dough out to ½-inch thickness. 
  12. Cut out the donuts with a biscuit cutter and place them on a baking sheet to let rise for forty-five minutes. 
  13. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
  14. Then, preheat the oil in a large stockpot to 375 degrees F. 
  15. Place two to three donuts in the oil to fry for 1 ½ minutes, then flip and fry for 1 ½ minutes or until golden brown. 
  16. Carefully remove the donuts from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath it. 
  17. Next, fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip with the filling mixture, place the piping tip into the side of the donut, and fill until the piping tip is pushed back. 
  18. Roll each filled donut into the topping mixture before serving. 

A picture collage showing how to make this recipe.

Apple Donut Recipe Variations and Substitutions

  • Glazed Apple Donuts: After frying them, dip them in a simple glaze made of powdered sugar, a splash of milk, and a touch of vanilla extract. Allow the glaze to set before serving.
  • Whole Wheat Donuts: Swap out some or all of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour for a nuttier and slightly healthier version.
  • Vegan Donuts: For a vegan version, use plant-based milk, egg substitutes (such as flax eggs), and vegan butter. Make sure to use vegan-friendly frying oil.
  • Gluten-Free Donuts: Use a gluten-free flour blend instead of all-purpose flour to make the donuts gluten-free. Ensure that all other ingredients are also gluten-free.
  • Cream Cheese Filling: Mix softened cream cheese with a touch of powdered sugar and vanilla extract for a creamy and tangy filling.
  • Caramel Apple Donuts: Drizzle caramel sauce over the finished donuts for a decadent caramel apple flavor.
  • Maple Glaze: Replace the cinnamon-sugar topping with a maple glaze made from maple syrup and powdered sugar.

Serving and Storage Tips

SERVE: Donuts are best eaten within a few hours of making them.

STORE: Donuts will stay fresh for up to 2 days, but they’re best eaten the same day they’re made. Wrap them loosely in plastic wrap and then place them in a plastic bag.

FREEZE: Gently wrap unfilled and unsugared donuts with foil and place them in a freezer-safe bag. They will stay fresh for 2-3 months.

DEFROST: Defrost donuts at room temperature. Once defrosted, proceed with filling and rolling them in cinnamon sugar.

Three Apple Filled Donuts stacked on top of each other.

Apple Donuts Recipe FAQs

How long do apple-filled donuts last?

I recommend eating these within twelve hours, but they can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days.

Can you reheat filled donuts?

You will want to heat the donuts in the microwave for ten seconds to restore their freshness before eating. 

More Desserts

An apple donut that's been bitten into so you can se the apple filling.
5 from 5 votes

Apple Donuts

Recipe Cost $ $10.87
Serving Cost $ $0.49
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
22 people
Turn up the autumn flavors with my Apple Donuts – crispy on the outside, gooey apple pie goodness inside. An irresistible twist on a classic!

Equipment

  • stand mixer
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • mixing bowl
  • Medium-sized Saucepan
  • mixing spoon
  • rolling pin
  • Biscuit cutter
  • Large stockpot
  • piping bag
  • baking sheet
  • wire rack

Ingredients
 
 

DOUGH:

  • ¾ cup warm apple cider
  • cup warm milk
  • cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup butter room temperature
  • 4 cups vegetable oil for frying

FILLING:

  • 3 cups diced granny smith apples
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

TOPPING:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

MAKE DONUT DOUGH:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine warm apple cider, warm milk, 2 Tbsp of sugar, and the yeast.
  • Whisk on low speed until just incorporated.
  • Let proof for 5 minutes, until frothy.
  • Once the proofing time is up, add the remaining sugar, eggs, and vanilla and mix to combine.
  • Swap the mixer attachment to a dough hook.
  • Add the flour and cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves.
  • Knead until the dough starts to come together.
  • Add the butter and knead for an additional 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky at this point.
  • Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
  • Let rise for 1 hour. While the dough is rising, make the filling.

MAKE FILLING:

  • Combine diced apples, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, lemon juice, apple cider, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix until the apples are coated.
  • Transfer the mixture into a medium-sized saucepan and place on the stove over medium-low heat.
  • Cook down for 10 minutes, then add the cornstarch and cook for 3 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool.

SHAPE DONUTS:

  • Once the dough has risen, turn out onto a clean, floured surface.
  • Roll the dough out to ½-inch thickness.
  • Then use a biscuit cutter or a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out donuts until all the dough has been used.
  • You may have to re-roll the dough several times to use it all up. Just be sure not to overwork the dough.
  • Once the dough has been used, place the cut donuts onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with at least ½-inch between them.
  • Let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

MAKE TOPPING:

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.

FRY DONUTS:

  • Towards the end of the donut’s rise time, preheat oil in a large stockpot to 375°F.
  • Once the donuts have finished rising and the oil is heated, place 2-3 donuts into the oil.
  • Fry for 1 ½ minutes, then flip and fry for an additional 1 ½ minutes or until golden brown.
  • Carefully remove the donuts from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them onto a cooling rack with paper towels underneath it.
  • Repeat the frying process with the remaining donuts.

FILL AND TOP DONUTS:

  • In between frying donuts, fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip with the filling mixture.
  • While the donuts are still warm, place the piping tip into the side of the donut and fill until the piping tip is pushed back.
  • Repeat until all of the donuts are filled.
  • Roll each filled donut into the topping mixture.

SERVE:

  • Serve and enjoy.

Notes

  • With yeast-based recipes such as this, your liquids must be at the correct temperature to ensure the dough rises properly. If the apple cider/milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If too cold, the yeast won’t activate, and the dough won’t properly rise. The correct temperature is between 105°-110°.
  • If your donuts aren’t warm when you fill them, you will have to cut a small hole in the side of the donuts for the piping tip.
  • These donuts are best consumed within 12 hours, but they may be heated the next day in the microwave for 10 seconds to restore freshness.

Nutrition

Serving: 1donut | Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

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5 Comments

  1. Gina Abernathy says:

    An inexpensive and delicious dessert for the family. Enjoyed these as a treat while we had game night. Everyone loved them.

  2. I am always so afraid of frying things, but I might make an exception for these donuts because they look amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe 🙂

  3. The donuts were perfectly crispy on the outside and filled with a gooey apple pie goodness inside. I highly recommend trying this recipe!

  4. These donuts turned out great! They were fluffy and cooked perfectly, and tasted like apple pie in donut form!

  5. This looks really delicious and fairly simple to make! Can’t wait to try it out! thanks for the recipe