Baked Chai Apple Cider Donuts

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Is there any other activity that is more quintessentially “Fall” than picking apples, having an apple cider donut, and a tall glass of apple cider?

Maybe carving a pumpkin, but that’s it!

Since we won’t be going apple picking this Fall, I decided I should make my own apple cider donuts at home! But with a twist!

My twist to the classic is a little bit of added chai spice! Chai spices are very similar to the spices you would find in a normal apple cider, with just a hint more cardamom. It’s the perfect spice blend to literally and figuratively spice up these baked chai apple cider donuts.

How to Make Them

What I love about this particular baked donut recipe is that it’s not just a converted muffin recipe. Have you noticed that a lot of baked donuts taste an awful lot like a muffin in a different shape?

This baked chai apple cider donut recipe can actually be both fried and baked! However, I have never fried a donut before, so I will leave that part up to you to figure out.

But what that means for the baked version is that is has a very similar taste and texture to a fried donut without the added fried-ness.

Start by combining the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Then give it a good whisk to make sure that everything is combined and there are no more lumps.

Then pour in the melted butter, egg, and apple cider that you have already reduced by simmering it on the stove for a few minutes.

The resulting dough should be pretty thick.

To transfer the dough to the baking pan, I recommend using a piping bag or a large plastic zip top bag. Spoon the dough into the bag, snip the tip, and pipe directly into the donut pan.

Any left over dough can be made into donut holes!

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Let them bake for about 15 minutes, or until they are slightly golden brown.

Next, dredge them in some spiced sugar!

To help the sugar stick to the donut, give each donut a light brushing of melted butter before rolling the pastry around in the sugar.

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If you would rather have a light coating of sugar, then skip the butter and just put directly into the sugar while the donut is still warm.

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But it’s that spiced sugar coating is what really makes these donuts taste like you are back at the apple orchard after a long day of picking apples.


Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes

Makes 6 donuts and 6 donut holes


  • 1 cup apple cider (un-spiced)

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp cardamom

  • 1/4 tsp ginger

  • 1/4 tsp clove

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/8 tsp all spice

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • 1 egg


  • 4 tbsp butter, melted

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp cardamom

  • 1/4 tsp ginger

  • 1/4 tsp clove

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/8 tsp all spice


  1. Pour the apple cider into a small sauce pan and turn heat to medium high. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, until it is reduced by half. Measure remaining apple cider to ensure you have 1/2 cup. If the cider is over concentrated (less than 1/2 cup) add additional cider until you reach 1/2 cup.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Mix in the apple cider, butter, and egg until everything is completely combined.

  3. Transfer the batter to a large zip-top bag or piping bag and cut a 1” opening in the tip. Pipe the batter into the donut pan or muffin pan.

  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are a light golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, mix together the sugar and spices. Brush the donuts with the melted butter and then sprinkle and roll the donuts in the sugar.

  6. Serve warm or store in a zip top bag until ready to eat.