One of my favorite things about living in Virginia is being so close to the mountains. At this time of year, all the leaves are starting to change colors, and the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. Recently, Eric and I took a drive to Charlottesville to spend the day with our friends and attend an apple festival at Carter Mountain Orchard. It was unseasonably hot that day, but we all enjoyed being outside and picked quite a bit of apples. One thing that several of my friends raved about were the apple cider doughnuts there. We each had a doughnut after lunch. I liked mine, but I didn’t love it. I think I expected it to have a stronger apple cider taste. Since we already had apple cider at home (from a different orchard), Eric and I decided to try making our own apple cider doughnuts.
The dough for these comes together pretty quickly. It does need some time to chill before cutting and again before frying, but neither one is too long. Since these are cake doughnuts, there’s no need for rising. The apple cider is reduced before being added to the dough, which I think gives these doughnuts a more concentrated cider flavor. These were much lighter than other cake doughnuts I’ve tried, and I liked that they weren’t heavy or dense. The dough is sticky, so make sure to flour your surfaces and hands when working with it. Chilling it helps make it more manageable. Lightly spiced, these doughnuts taste delicious on their own. Top them with cinnamon sugar or apple cider glaze, and you’re in for a real treat. We made both toppings and had some cinnamon sugar left over, so you can make less if you’re not planning on using it on all the doughnuts.