Apple Fritter Doughnuts

A few weeks ago when I made the pumpkin doughnut muffins, I talked about my lack of doughnut consumption while growing up. I guess you could say I’m trying to make up for lost time. I have been borderline obsessed with the doughnut recipes that I’ve come across on Pinterest over the past couple of months, however there is one recipe that has been alluding me… the apple fritter doughnut. Believe it or not, the first time that I tried one of these beauties was earlier this year while taking a tour of a new grocery store. I had previously seen these doughnuts at other grocery stores and bakeries, and I’ve had my grandma’s apple fritters before, but once I took my first bite of an apple fritter doughnut, I immediately realized I had been missing out big-time. What an insanely delicious treat – it’s part fritter, part doughnut, packed full of apple chunks, and covered in a sweet glaze. Otherwise known as heavenly pillows of fall-spiced bliss.

I have seen tons of recipes for apple doughnuts, apple cider doughnuts, apple fritters, and about a million variations of each, but for some reason I had the hardest time nailing down a recipe for apple fritter doughnuts. I had certain requirements – they couldn’t be round with a hole in the middle, they needed to have that bumpy, craggly surface, and they needed to be covered in that barely sheer glaze that grabs hold of every bump, nook and cranny.

I finally found a string of posts on a recipe forum website and was able to piece together a recipe from what I found there. The result was exactly what I had hoped for – a prominent apple flavor… chunks of apple… a soft interior… a thicker exterior… a bumpy surface… and the perfect glaze.

While I may not have been a doughnut aficionado as a child, I can certainly work to amend that as an adult. I think these apple fritter doughnuts are a fabulous first (or second? or third? or fourth?) step, and a gateway to even more fabulous fried treats!

What is your favorite type of doughnut?

One year ago: Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
Two years ago: Homemade Cracker Jack
Four years ago: Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake
Five years ago: Bostini Cream Pie

Apple Fritter Doughnuts

Yield: About 14 doughnuts

Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

A recipe for classic Apple Fritter Doughnuts - bumpy and covered in a sweet glaze!


For the Dough:
2¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
⅔ cup whole milk, warm to the touch
3¼ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
4 egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup apple cider
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Apples:
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean
7 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup apple cider
¼ cup apple cider vinegar

For the Glaze:
½ cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying


1. Make the Dough: Place the yeast in a mixing bowl. Pour the milk over the yeast a let sit for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the flour to the yeast and milk mixture, but do not stir. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the surface of the flour cracks, about 30 to 40 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add the apple cider, melted butter, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, 1¼ cups of the flour and whisk until combined, then add to the yeast mixture. Using an electric mixer, beat the dough on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium for another 30 seconds. The dough will be VERY soft and sticky. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1½ hours.

3. Make the Apples: Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the pan with the melted butter and drop the vanilla bean pod in as well. Heat the butter until it is bubbling, then add the chopped apples, tossing to coat them with butter. Add the sugar and cinnamon and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the apple cider and vinegar, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and transfer the apples to a baking sheet to cool.

4. Assemble the Doughnuts: Scrape the dough out onto a well-floured surface and pat into a rectangle 2 inches thick, flouring the surface as necessary. Spread half of the apples over the dough, leaving space around the edges. Fold the dough into thirds (like a letter) by folding the bottom up and then the top down.

Use your hands to again pat the dough into another rectangle about 2 inches thick. Spread the remaining apples on top and fold into thirds again.

Gather the dough together in a rough ball and return it to the oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat to 375 degrees F.

6. Scrape the dough out again onto a well-floured surface and gently pat it out to ½-inch thickness, flouring the surface and the dough as necessary. Using a pizza cutter, bench scraper or sharp knife, slice the dough into 1-inch pieces in a checkerboard pattern. Shape 4 ounce portions of the dough into round mounds and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

7. Make the Glaze: While the dough is resting, mix together the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water over low heat. Heat and whisk occasionally until the mixture is warm to the touch. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

8. Fry the Doughnuts: Very carefully drop each mound of dough into the hot oil, only adding as many as will comfortably fit in the pot so they are not crowded (I found I could do 4 or 5 at a time in my 7¼-quart Dutch oven). Fry until the underside is golden brown, about 3 minutes, then using a spatula or spider skimmer, carefully turn them over and continue to cook until the other side is golden brown as well, another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the doughnuts to a paper towel-lined pan or a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts, allowing the oil to come back up to temperature between batches.

9. After removing each batch of doughnuts, allow them to sit for about 5 minutes, then brush with the glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Recipe derived from forums on


141 Responses to “Apple Fritter Doughnuts”

Comment Pages 1 2 3
  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks on October 30, 2012 at 2:07 am

    They look so good! I ate TONS of apple fritters growing up. And to me, this is what I would have called an apple fritter. I didn’t even know there was a distinction between ‘apple fritter’ and ‘apple fritter doughnuts’ but I guess there is! Whatever you call them, they are just like what I ate growing up and I want some!


    • Michelle on October 30th, 2012 at 10:07 am

      Hi Averie, I know my grandma would just make a batter, fold apples in and then drop spoonfuls in oil to fry. These are actually yeasted dough with apples folded in, so a little bit different, but not too much!


    • Vicki on July 23rd, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      These did’t taste like any apple fritters we have had before. they were awful. A sticky mess to work with, too many apples and no taste. I would try another recipe instead.


      • Candy on November 1st, 2013 at 9:48 pm

        These are VERY time consuming to make; are very good and made 3 dz. smaller fritters. I will not make again. Using yeast in this fashion was way too time consuming. Age 59 – lots of baking/cooking in this farm woman’s life.


        • Anna on November 3rd, 2014 at 10:24 am

          I agree. As a working women, who has time for this. Just go out and buy yourself a dozen at Timmy’s


          • Lynne on August 8th, 2015 at 4:12 pm

            Ugh! Spent half or more of the day preparing these things, and they were among the worse, maybe THE worse, food experience I can recall. I am a baker, not just home and hobby but had a bakery business. I can remember a good number of catastrophes, but this experience was so exasperating! Too much prep, way, way too many apples, the dough a gooey mess, the method of folding and cutting rather strange and very messy (unnecessarily), frying time (in recipe) too long….what more can I say? I agree with the comments above. Go to Hatteras and buy Apple Uglies, or to your local store, or find another recipe that works. Sorry, Brown Eyed Baker, but this was my experience. Never again.


  2. Coleen's Recipes on October 30, 2012 at 2:34 am

    I love you!!! Apple fritters are my secret passion, I just love them. Thank you for the EXCELLENT tutorial photos, I am definitely going to make these!!


    • Sarah Smith on September 11th, 2015 at 8:22 am

      I agree. Just made these…. yes after midnight… lol. And my family loves them! Thanks.


  3. Leanna R on October 30, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Dont know if it is my screen or not but the ingredient list is messed up for the milk and cider amounts. Could you post the correct amounts please?


    • Michelle on October 30th, 2012 at 9:50 am

      Hi Leanna, So sorry about that. I poked around and found that for some reason the fraction codes weren’t working on IE and the Android mobile browser, although it looked fine in Firefox and Safari. I edited the code and it looks to be working on all browsers now, so please double check and let me know. In any case, it is 2/3 cup whole milk and 1/3 cup apple cider for the dough.


  4. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on October 30, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Oh my gosh! I haven’t had an apple fritter since I was a kid! I love it! I want one for breakfast , like right now! By the way I love the new look of your blog!


  5. Ellen @ The Baking Bluenoser on October 30, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Those look straight from a doughnut shop! Amazing, I can’t wait to try these out :)


  6. amanda @ fake ginger on October 30, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Omg. The oatmeal I’m eating seems incredibly lame now. These look and sound awesome!


  7. Leamlass on October 30, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Good morning ! I was wondering what the ” &frac 13;” means after ½ cup granulated sugar. Thank you, the recipe looks fantastic !!


    • Michelle on October 30th, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Hi Leamlass, So sorry about that. I poked around and found that for some reason the fraction codes weren’t working on IE and the Android mobile browser, although it looked fine in Firefox and Safari. I edited the code and it looks to be working on all browsers now, so please double check and let me know. In any case, it is 2/3 cup whole milk and 1/3 cup apple cider for the dough.


  8. Abby@ Totes Delish on October 30, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I LOVED the apple fritters I got once a year while visiting an apple orchard! Good thing I didn’t have access to them year-round!


  9. Shari on October 30, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Apple fritters are my all-time favorite fried pastry, hands down. I think I inherited that from my father. I don’t eat them very often, as these days I tend to think of them a gigantic calorie and fat bombs, but when I do indulge, ooooh, the happiness. Thanks for the recipe, I may have to break my diet for these!


  10. Sarah@StrawberryPlum on October 30, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I’ve never had much desire to make doughnuts from scratch, until I saw these. They look amazing!


  11. Sues on October 30, 2012 at 10:14 am

    My stomach literally just growled- these look SO good. I love apple fritters, but never think to make my own. I’m eating an apple cinnamon Chobani yogurt right now and it’s good… but not quite the same as this!


  12. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom on October 30, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Oh my goodness! These look FABULOUS! Would I get the same result if I baked them? probably not, huh? oh my, they look perfect! Love the inside shot!


    • Michelle on October 30th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Definitely would not get the same results if you baked them :)


  13. Peggy Clyde on October 30, 2012 at 10:18 am

    My SIL used to work in the bakery where they make fruit fritters. She told me to use pie filling on the dough, fold it in thirds, chop it with a scraper and keep turning, folding and chopping. That makes all those little indentations where the glaze can adhere. Thanks for this yummy recipe.


  14. CherylP on October 30, 2012 at 10:32 am

    These look absolutely DELISH!!! And thank you!! for the way you take pics, not only of the process, but the outside and inside! I really am enjoying your new blog design and yours is still my favorite food blog!! 😀


  15. Angie @ Big Bear's Wife on October 30, 2012 at 10:58 am

    This looks like something out of a fancy bakery! wow!


  16. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel on October 30, 2012 at 11:01 am

    So I definitely need about 6 of these right now. Preferably hot. They look AMAZING!!


  17. buttercream bakehouse on October 30, 2012 at 11:12 am

    those looks so good right now. We were without power because of the hurricane and I would have love to have these laying around during that time.


  18. The Food Hound on October 30, 2012 at 11:14 am

    WOW, these look amazing. I grew up eating grocery store apple fritters and THEY were fabulous, so I bet these would kick them to the curb. Love the new site design!!


  19. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on October 30, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Yeah!! I can make these without a donut pan!! Still need to get one of those :)


    • Michelle on October 30th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      I do, too! I forget about it until I realize I need one for a recipe I want to make. I need to get on that!


  20. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on October 30, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I am so impressed by the time and thought you put into all of your recipes! Thank you for the step by step photos, it does help to know that this recipe *is* possible for those of us without the baking gene 😛


  21. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on October 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Whoa. Pure heaven!


  22. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction on October 30, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    These look fantastic! I love how soft and pillow-y the inside looks!


  23. Patty T on October 30, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    These look AMAZING!


  24. Margaret on October 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    These look fantastic. I don’t think I have ever had an apple fritter. Guess I better remedy that SOON!!!!


  25. Emily on October 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Oh my yes! I love apple fritters :)


  26. Julie @ Table for Two on October 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    omg – these look so dangerous but soo good!!


  27. melissa daams on October 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    yummilicious – i gotta try these out!


  28. Katie (The Muffin Myth) on October 30, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Mmmm, fritters! We actually had apple fritter donuts instead of cake at our wedding! My mom thought we were insane but people were stealing the boxes with table numbers on them and stuffing them with fritters. I’ve never tried making them at home before. Thanks so much for posting the recipe!


  29. Mal @ The Chic Geek on October 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Yum! Apple fritters are one of my favorite treats, delicious!


  30. A on October 30, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    They look delicious. I’ve made a lot of doughnuts at home, but never fritters.

    You asked what my favorite is – it’s maple bars. Any chance of seeing them here soon? :)


    • Michelle on November 1st, 2012 at 11:20 am

      Oooh, good one! I will add them to my ever-growing list! :)


  31. Chelsea {Whatcha Makin' Now?} on October 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Apple Fritters are my favorite! I also really like the basic cake doughnut with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. :) Your pictures are making be drool, by the way.


  32. Sharlene on October 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    You are the best !!! I have been looking for a recipe like this for these are the only apple fritters I have loved in the past..I didn’t realize that there was such a thing as apple fritter donuts.
    Thanks so much..and I do like your new look..Sharlene


  33. Cindy B. on October 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    They look amazing!! Thanks for sharing :)


  34. sally @ sallys baking addiction on October 30, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Michelle, I for one am very excited you are making up for a no-doughnut-childhood! I am so blown way Michelle – that first picture made me stop shoving popcorn in my mouth and crave a big fat fritter doughnut RIGHT now. Sounds so much better no? MY favorite donuts are maple frosted or vanilla frosted w/ sprinkles, but these look like they would top all of that lol


  35. Laura Dembowski on October 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Apple fritters are one of my favorite treats, especially those with a yeast dough. I even ordered some from Stan’s Doughnuts, along with blueberry fritters and they were out of this world even after being shipped. Definitely going to have to give this a try. It will be my first doughnut and deep frying adventure


    • cheryl s. on November 5th, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      Blueberry Fritters????? Never heard of that! one! I bet that would be absolutely incredible! Anyone know of a recipe for that?


  36. Kerstin on October 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Oh wow, these look amazing – I wish I had one right now!
    Love your site makeover too :)


  37. Mandie @ Oh So Decadent on October 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I wish I had more to say, but the only word that is going through my head is “wow”. Thank you so much for sharing these, I will definitely be trying them soon!


  38. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on October 30, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    These look better than any apple fritters I’ve seen yet!


  39. Karen on November 1, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Even at my “older age” – I’m a little scared of the hot-oil-frying concept…but this recipe has really made me seriously think about pulling out the dutch oven and the oil!


  40. Allison Day on November 1, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Holy cow, these sound amazing. I adore apple fritters, and these look far better than the ones usually found in most doughnut shops.


  41. Dianna on November 2, 2012 at 3:44 am

    OMG!! OMG!!! I tried to lift my jaw off the desk but I’m droolin’ so bad that it keeps slipping out of my hands! Would you believe I’ve never had an apple fritter, much less an apple fritter donut?! When I saw your breathtaking photo, I stopped dead in my tracks and made a bee line for your website! Thanks so much for searching and refining this recipe…I absolutely cannot wait to try it. I have Pink Lady apples right now that were destined for a French apple pie but that picture of yours changed everything!!!! Thanks for a WOW recipe!


  42. Kasia on November 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Those look amazing! I saved the recipe and surely will make those any time soon


  43. pam on November 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I have been looking for an apple fritter doughnut recipe for a long time, thank you so much for finding one…The end results look exquisite!!! These are on my next week’s baking schedule for sure.


  44. geno4952 on November 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Hi Michelle…..
    I tried twice to make these yesterday and had the same result both times. The dough came out like a thick batter and didn’t really rise much. When I tried to put in the apples and fold the dough it just got all gooey and the apples wanted to break through the dough. I ended up throwing away both batches. Any idea what I may have done wrong? I really would like to make these cuz I really love apple fritters. One other thing, is the recipe right when it says to pat the dough out until it is 2 inches thick or was that a fraction issue too?
    thanks for your help


    • Michelle on November 6th, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      The dough is very soft and sticky, for sure. I used quite a bit of flour to work with the dough. You won’t be able to shape these like you would other types of doughnuts or buns. And yes, 2 inches thick is correct.


  45. Lorena on November 5, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    HOLY COW!! I have been looking for a wonderful apple fritter recipe. I opened a small bakery in Wrangell Alaska! 2000 people is our population,there hasnt been a bakery here in over 15 years. I dont bake any bake any better or wordse than anyone ele,just happand to be able to put together a small bakery!!!! Iam so excited..will let everyone know how popular they are ..Lorena


    • Michelle on November 6th, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      The best of luck to you on your new venture!!


  46. cheryl s. on November 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Brand new to your site. I love it.
    The fritter looks soooo good! Definitely making it.
    After Hurricane Sandy last week and the coming Nor’Easter Wednesday, these fritters are just begging to be made, eaten and enjoyed with not even a hint of guilt.
    Here’s my question, if you don’t want to fry all these at once, can the apple-dough mixture be individually frozen and used some other day?


    • Michelle on November 6th, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      Hi Cheryl, I’m not sure how well these would freeze since the dough is extremely soft and hard to work. I would probably plan on making them all at once, and then freezing any leftovers that you don’t eat within a day.


  47. Laura on November 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Believe it or not, apple fritters are my favority donut. I have been searching for a great recipe and now I think I’ve found it…thanks!


  48. Jamie Casey on November 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I love the new site. I can’t wait to try this recipe, but I noticed the measurement for the apple cider vinegar is missing in the apples portion. Could you please help?


    • Michelle on November 8th, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      Hi Jamie, I apologize for that error, it should be 1/4 cup.


  49. Tracy on November 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    These look seriously amazing. I could eat about 5 of these right now!!


  50. Linda on November 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I so can’t wait to make these, and I know one but not satisfy!


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