Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

by Adam Sobel

Absolutely perfect donut shop-style cider donuts made entirely plant-based! Check out the complete step-by-step guide to making these Vegan Apple Cider Donuts, along with information about modifying it to suit different dietary needs. This recipe was contributed by Chef Adam Sobel from The Cinnamon Snail, a vegan and kosher caterer located in New Jersey.


2 cups apple cider, reduced down to one cup

1 medium size Honeycrisp apple (145 grams), peeled and diced

6 tablespoons vegan butter

2 tablespoons egg replacer powder

1 ½ cups sugar (I use evaporated cane juice)

3 cups unsweetened soy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

8 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar (for the cinnamon sugar coating)

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (for the cinnamon sugar coating)

  1. Place 2 cups of apple cider into a saucepan and cook it uncovered over a high flame for about 15 minutes, or until reduced to 1 cup.
  2. Place the hot apple cider reduction into a blender along with the peeled diced apple. I recommend using a tart apple such as a honeycrisp or granny smith which will brighten the flavor of the donuts, and balance and freshen up the heavily cooked mellow cider flavor. Blend on high speed for 60-90 seconds until smoothly pureed. Allow the contents of the blender to cool for 20 minutes.
  3. Place the softened, room-temperature vegan butter (aka margarine), egg replacer, and sugar (evaporated cane juice) into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the content of the mixer together for 2 minutes on low speed.
  4. When thoroughly creamed, add the contents of the blender, along with the soy milk, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar to the mixer and continue to mix for 3 minutes on low speed until well combined.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Mix for 90 seconds on medium speed until just thoroughly combined. Over-mixing will cause the batter to be stringy and the donuts will have a harder time forming perfectly.
  6. *If you do not have a stand mixer, cream the margarine, sugar and egg replacer together using a hand mixer or whisk. Whisk in the remaining liquid ingredients and then switch to a rubber spatula to mix in the dry ingredients
  7. For the best results, use a donut dropper to form and fry these donuts. I recommend using a plastic bowl scraper to transfer the contents of the mixing bowl into the hopper of the donut dropper. Doing this before heating the oil will give the gluten in the batter a little time to relax and will result in more perfectly shaped donuts. When using a donut dropper, always press out a couple initial donuts right back into the mixing bowl, as the first couple tend to be smaller and can be misshapen. You can use the bowl scraper or a rubber spatula to put the batter from those test donuts back into the hopper, so that nothing is wasted.
  8. Another way to form these donuts using the same consistency batter, is to prepare a dozen 3-inch squares of parchment paper. Lightly oil the parchment paper with coconut oil or canola oil. Place the batter into an icing bag with a large circular tip. Once your oil is hot (see below steps) form thick circles of the batter one at a time onto the lightly oiled parchment. You can then transfer the donuts, parchment and all right into the hot oil, and use a pair of tongs to peel the parchment off of the donuts. This is a trickier way to make the donuts, and I HIGHLY prefer using a dropper. But this method allows you to make a high-hydration batter version of these donuts that is much superior to the roll-and cut method.
  9. Pour a neutral-tasting, high-heat oil, such as canola oil, palm shortening, or peanut oil to a depth of 3 inches into a pot with high sides. A dutch oven is a good choice for this. The high sides will prevent excessive oil splattering which will make clean up easier.
  10. Heat the oil over a medium flame for 20 minutes, or until a 350-360 degree temperature has been reached. You can check the oil temperature with a candy thermometer.
  11. Once the oil is heated to 350-360 degrees, it’s time to fry the donuts! Fry only 4-6 donuts at a time, depending on the size of your pot. Not overcrowding the pot will make them easier to flip and reduce the fracturing that occurs when donuts bump into each other, which results in avoidable oil absorption. Fry for 2-3 minutes on the first side until you see bubbling and on the top side. I like to allow a little of the liquified battery to “spread” as it cooks which creates the more old-fashion style crispy exterior. Flip the donuts using a spider or slotted spoon and cook for an additional 2 minutes on the second side.
  12. Transfer the hot donuts to a cooling rack to cool while cooking subsequent batches of donuts.
  13. When all donuts are cooled for at least 5 minutes on the wire rack, mix together 1 cup of fine granulated sugar with 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon in a large bowl. Toss the donuts in the cinnamon sugar topping to coat them thoroughly and serve.

  1. This Vegan Apple Cider Donuts recipe was contributed by Chef Adam Sobel from The Cinnamon Snail, a vegan and kosher caterer located in New Jersey. Find more of Adam’s recipes on Facebook and Instagram.

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