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
For the Dough:
- 2¼ teaspoons (2.25 teaspoons) instant yeast
- ⅔ cup (162.67 ml) whole milk, warm to the touch
- 3¼ cups (406.25 g) + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (78.67 ml) apple cider
- ¼ cup (56.75 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
For the Apples:
- ¼ cup (56.75 g) unsalted butter
- 2½ pounds (7) Granny Smith apples (about 5), peeled, cored and finely chopped
- ¼ cup (50 g) light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (236 g) apple cider
- ¼ cup (59.75 g) apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (1) vanilla extract
For the Glaze:
- ¾ cup (60 g) powdered sugar
- ¼ cup (59.5 ml) apple cider
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 2 quarts (1.89 l) vegetable oil
- 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.
- 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, with paddle attachmnt, 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.
- Make the Apples: Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. 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. Off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract and transfer the apples to a baking sheet to cool.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat to 375 degrees F.
- 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.
- Make the Glaze: While the dough is resting, mix together the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, apple cider, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Could these be air fried? and if so, how long and what temp.?
I’m interested in making this, but have a couple questions. I looked through the comments and some were talking about using a vanilla bean in the recipe, but I only saw vanilla extract. Did you update/change the recipe? Also, one commenter was grateful for how you showed some of the folding techniques, but I didn’t see that either. What tips do you have for folding?
Multiple issues with this recipe…. First, this is not a 4 hour project, it will take all day! Do not make this recipe if you’re expecting your fritters to look like the ones shown in the picture, it’s just not going to happen. Plan to reduce the amount of apples, the recipe calls for way too many. After working all day on these only to be very disappointed, I’m too tired to continue listing all the issues with this recipe. Just read the comments and you’ll see the common threads.
Looks amazing. I love Apple fritters and was intrigued by the thought of an apple fritter doughnut. But I have a question. How are these different from a normal apple fritter? The photo looks like a fritter to me. Is it the style of the dough?
Leave yourself plenty of time to make these. It is worth it. They are delicious!! Do NOT make them big or they will not be done in the middle. I thought 375 was a bit too hot. 350 better. Yes, I tripled the glaze. Not enough. The apples need to measure in cups. I think I had too many apples. I will measure next time and tweak the recipe.
Just finished making these, for a second Christmas in a row! This year I made some modifications and they worked out really well. I should note i’m in Calgary Alberta, so adjust for elevation accordingly.
I used only 3 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped. The dough is too wet otherwise. It will still be wet. Use a lot of flour for rolling as suggested.
Reduce the apple cider vinegar because you are reducing the amount of apples. 2-3 tbsp is good.
Form the donuts in 3oz mounds. This will make 17 donuts. After they have their final rest, flatten them before putting in the fryer so they cook evenly and quickly. The dough will have a lot of moisture in the center.
I used a Breville Smart Fryer and set my custom setting to 325 degrees. They will still be quite dark. Cook 3 min then flip and watch them. 2-3 min on the other side was all that was needed.
I quadroopled the glaze and just had enough.
Other than that, following the instructions as written, I had great donuts two years running!
I’ve just made this recipe, and the glaze is cooling on my fritters as we speak. I like this recipe but I’d change a few things…
First off, I’m in Canada at about 3000ft above sea level. I made the recipe as stated, weighing everything out. My dough was beautiful. The texture, the rise, it was perfect. Once I first started adding the apples, because my dough was so lovely it didn’t need much extra flour. This became problematic after the last rise when you roll out your final ball having folded in two portions of apples. The moisture from the apples significantly dampened my dough, but this was not the time to remix flour so I had to “roll” with it. I’d certainly reduce the apples to maybe 3-4 granny smiths instead of the 7 to have an overall more uniform dough consistency.
Secondly, I thought with my batter being so wet that weighing out 4oz portions would take a long time to cook. I measured out 3oz and rested for 10min.
I used the Breville SmartFry to cook my donuts. I set it to custom, 375 degrees and tried a test fritter. It took a very long time to cook, and was close to burned when cooked through in the middle. So, I reduced the heat to 350 degrees, and sliced all my 3oz dough mounds in half to make smaller fritters. These cooked lovely. The fryer held a constant heat at 350 degrees, and 2 minutes on each side provided a fully cooked, slightly darker than golden brown fritter.
As for the glaze, using all my will power not to eat it by the spoonful, if you use my suggestions you’ll need to double or triple your glaze quantity. More smaller fritters, more surface area for the ooey gooey delicious glaze.
All in all its a great recipe. I’m looking forward to trying it again with half the apples and seeing if I have better luck with a lower moisture dough for frying.
This recipe has too many steps and the many rests times needed for the yeast to rise make this a whole day project. I got frustrated at the end of the work and finished it folding them in a “pastelillos” shape and fried them. That’s not to deny that they are good, but it is too much work. I’ll continue to buy them from 7-11 for now
Thank you for this recipe! Can they be cold proofed overnight? I made these for a pre-Thanksgiving party, and would be an awful, terrible person if I did not share this joy with the other half’s family too! Yes, it takes a long time but who said it was too many apples? Shame. lol. I followed your recipe almost exactly. Yes, the four is wet and loose, but it totally works. It is one of those special occasion, labor of love things. Or in my case a little lust for a real apple fritter; which is non-existent in my town. Please let me know if these can be cold proofed. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Hi Virginia, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed this recipe! I haven’t tried cold proofing, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Let me know how it goes!
These turned out wonderful! Exactly what I was hoping for. I am making them again this weekend. Definitely not a recipe for improvising with, just save yourself a headache and don’t take shortcuts!
My first thought was, anything this time consuming has to be good!so I decided to try it and they were a hit! So I decided to do a second batch this time preparing apples night before, cut the time in half , I also found that using plenty of flour on counter while preparing made things easier. Just a note I also used apple juice instead of apple cider I figured if it was going to evaporate while cooking it was basically for flavour. I used salted butter as well , so on positive note this recipie is in my book with EXCELLENT on the top of page ! Well worth the time and effort ! Thanks for a great recipie ! Will be enjoyed by this family for a long time !!!!!!!
well.. a complete waste of a day, food items and fresh picked apples! I followed your recipe TO THE LETTER.. it was the stickiest dough I have ever had the displeasure to work with. ( not i repeat NOT my first time baking.) after making the fritters and letting them rest for 10 minutes to prep for frying,.. they basically fell apart when handling them to put in the hot oil. MESSY MESSY!
family and I went the fun of picking just the right apples at an orchard and they were wasted in this recipe. I am so sick of people posting recipes that are supposedly tried and true when obviously they arent. I am so mad it isnt funny. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME TRYING THIS RECIPE. to say it sucks is putting it lightly. grrrr!
It’s obvious that you took as much time and care making the recipe as you did in writing this comment. I know that this isn’t ‘English 101’ (which you obviously did not take or failed) but it also isn’t the place to criticise someone or something for your own incompetence. I’m positive that this was “not i repeat NOT” your first time having a problem in the kitchen. Anyone who cooks, and especially bakes, has run into the mysterious ‘Bad Batch’. When you don’t follow (or change) a recipe, that can be expected. But sometimes things just ‘happen’ and it’s easier to blame the recipe than to admit that you might have made a mistake. There are several people here, myself included, who have made this recipe “TO THE LETTER” and had it come out perfectly over and over (some batches easier and/or better than others). Try again and you may be pleasantly surprised. Or don’t and just sit in the corner and think of how miserable you and your life sucks, “putting it lightly.grrrr!”. You could actually, as some people have, ask a question about why it might have turned out the way that it did. Michelle has been very good at responding to other comments and she might even be able to help you. Just relax, think about your question, ask nicely and you may be eating some incredible fritters in no time. Good luck.
Love that you actually showed some directions just to get an idea of the folding process..will try this recipe tomorrow and post results…good to have a comment line but better if you don’t have to search thru to see the results others have had actually making them…all you read about is how good they look…need to show more actual result comments…
I always seem to show up late for the party! I tried this with plums and OMG! Yummy!
I’m making these, as I type this! ? I’ll keep you posted. So far I am at the point where the finished dough is rising for the one and a half hours, or so and next will be cooking the apples down in the skillet. So far, so good.I’ll admit that I’m enjoying all the little breaks, so I can relax, in the meantime..lol. Just my speed.
I just made these this morning with rhubarb instead of the apples. Amazing! This is a wonderful dough. It’s just rich enough, and fries up nice and fluffy. It is a bit sticky at first, but I gave my folded/fruited dough an overnight rise in the fridge, and found it quite manageable for shaping the next morning.
Absolutely delicious. And made with real ingredients. To those that “don’t have time”. It’s your body. Put what you want in it. Anything homemade is better than store bought.
And ladies just buy a kitchen aid mixer and show your husband how to use it. Tell him how much horsepower it has!! And you will be well on your way
Keep cooking at home
I made this recipe for Christmas Holiday season for the past couple of years and they turned out fantastic! My brother-in-law is an apple fritter afficionado and he came away extremely impressed. This really is a top notch recipe. I could not keep the fritters on the cooling rack, they disappeared quickly. One thing I would recommend, make sure when you’re cooking the apple filling that you cook out all of the liquid as it says. If there’s liquid in the filling, then it leaks out and it makes the dough more difficult to work with when you’re combining the filling and the dough and cutting the fritters. Thank you for a great recipe and incredible family memories. My nephew says that I make the best doughnuts in the world!!
Mine came out yummy but imperfect. I cut the recipe in half because I didn’t want to make too much on my first try in case they didn’t turn out well. I used Red Delicious apples-3 of them. I think everything was okay until I folded in the apples at which point it seems that I may have had too many apples and this caused a disgusting mess of apples and dough, which I put back in the oven to rise… Then, this sticky mess was difficult to roll, cut, etc. The doughnuts are not at all hard, they are soft. Made softer by the glaze. Essentially everything is yummy but they are not hard doughnuts! WHY? Oh why? Is it the use of too many apples?
This recipe is perfect! I believe it is for a more advanced baker! I wouldn’t try it otherwise! It definitely takes a lot of common sense and intuition! These are the most delicious and tasty doughnuts ever! Reading thru all these comments I feel for you girl! Thank you so much for sharing I love your recipes!!
Thanks for this recipe! I have been craving apple fritters and there isn’t a bakery nearby that sells them. So I made these today and I just had a couple of thoughts…I’m a moderately experienced baker, if that helps as I share.
On amount of apples. It’s most helpful for me when a recipe states the actual cup amount of diced apples rather than the number of whole apples. Apple size varies greatly, especially this time of year when they are abundant. Anyway, just a thought. :) I eyeballed it and used 4 very large Grannys. Turned out perfectly.
On the flavor. For taking all day, I’m not so impressed with the flavor of these, though they look gorgeous and fluffy! I think next time I will make an apple cider glaze to punch up the apple flavor.
Overall, yum! Thank you! Took all day, but I learned a lot and glad to have made these. :)
I am in the process of making a batch of these lovely little fritters. I find the recipe a bit labor-intense for sure, but I am thinking the final product will be worth it.
I was starting to freak out while I waited for the dough to rise cause this method is new to me, but rise, they did! Now I am waiting for them to rise the second time and then cut and fry and ENJOY!
I decided that since I was spending my Thanksgiving alone I would do something that I normally don’t have time for and I am so pleased. Forget all about the calories today! Am Thankful for so many things and my nice full tummy afterwards will be one of them. I hope I can save some for my husband! , we’ll have to wait and see about that :-)
I have been dying to make these but I never have enough time to do it in one go. Can make the dough ahead of time or the apples? I would be best if I could do just about everything the night before and then fry in the morning. Thanks!
Hi Steph, You could definitely make the apples ahead of time, but I’ve not tried making the dough in advance and letting it sit overnight.
I LOVE this recipe! I love the texture and flavor. I love the way the dough feels as I’m working with it. I’ve made these many times now, and each time is better than the last. I’ve made a few changes, but the overall personality of the recipe remains the same. A few of the tweaks are, 1) doubling the amount of butter in the dough, 2) substituting brown sugar for white in the apples, 3) a LOT more spice in the apples, 4) the addition of a tablespoon of whiskey in the apples, 5) halving the amount of apples. I also roll out the dough, cut it onto rounds and pile apples onto the round. I then seal the rounds, making a ball with the seam on the bottom. They go in the fridge overnight to proof and in the morning I fry them. The seam side opens up a little so when I drop them into a big saucepan of the glaze, that’s the side that catches it all and becomes “up”. They are the perfect 2 or 3 bite treat with coffee. I have sampled them out to many people and have received nothing but rave reviews.
I want to play with other fillings, but the basic dough recipe will wrap them all. If you are ever traveling through Colorado Springs, Colorado (in about 3 years), look up Do Girl (long “o” sound) and come taste them! :)
i have been searching forever for a recipe like this! can’t wait to test it out!!!
I am making these literally as I type this! So far they are turning out perfect though there are some minor changes I made:
1. I only used 4 apples and I diced them very small. About 1/4 inch pieces.
2. I added 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice to the dough, but we like a lot of spice in our family!
3. I did not have apple cider on hand, so I used same amounts of apple butter.
4. I deep fried them in my deep fryer.
What I would do differently:
1. This is definitely a sticky dough. It’s SUPPOSED to be! Flour your work surface well and add flour on top…NO PROBLEM. However I would definitely work my dough a bit more before frying, to make sure all the apple pieces were incorporated. I had a lot of apples escape into the fryer and also from folding the dough, I had more layers than that chunky goodness that I think of when I think of apple fritters. That was my fault, I should have worked them a bit more.
2. I would reduce the apples even more. I think 2-3 is sufficient (for my tastes).
3. I used bread machine yeast because that’s all I had. I did not get much rise from my dough. Next time I will use regular yeast and/or add baking powder.
FINAL REPORT: I do not eat these but so far my family is RAVING!!! I will definitely use this recipe again and I can’t wait to try different variations like blueberry as someone mentioned above. Mmmm! Blueberry, cranberry, lemon!! The possibilities are endless!!! Fantastic recipe!!!
PS: READ THE DIRECTIONS BEFORE YOU START!!! ALL of them!! ;)
Thank you so much for posting this recipe. It came out amazing. I will admit to tweaking it. I didn’t have apple cider on hand, and at this time of year it’s rarely very good…so I used orange juice in the dough and applesauce in the apples. Cut down the butter in the apples to 2 Tbsp but upped the sugar a little and added a dash of brandy for flavor. Used whole eggs in the dough and didn’t use an electric mixer–just a hand pastry blender.
For the glaze, I thinned and sweetened it by adding more powdered sugar and some regular milk, because that’s just what I’m used to for doughnut glaze. When the doughnuts are still very warm, I drop each in the glaze, face down, then lift it out and turn it over before setting on the rack to cool and drip.
To the person without a thermometer — when heating oil, you can just guess at the proper temperature by tossing in a tiny bit of dough. If it sinks, it’s not hot enough.
I am literally salivating while looking at this recipe!
Do you have to use a vanilla bean? And you just use extract instead? Not even sure where I could pick one of those up at….?
Hi Betsy, Almost all grocery stores sell vanilla beans, and you can also buy them in bulk online. However, if you wish, you can substitute vanilla extract.
How much vanilla extract would you use? Also, is there any part of the dough that you can do ahead of time and let it sit overnight?
Hi Betsy, 1 vanilla bean equates to about 2.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract. I haven’t tried refrigerating the dough at any point yet, but if you need to, I would do the second rise in the refrigerator (the end of step #2).
I’ve never heard of an apple fritter doughnut and was totally confused when I read your recipe, which was for a regular apple fritter just like I get at any of the dozen doughnut shops around here. Then I read your comment about your grandma making them with a batter. That was something I had never heard of. My mom always used the same yeast dough that she used for making doughnuts. After she had cut out her doughnuts and set them aside to rise the last time, she would gather up all the dough scraps and roll them out again and cover them with the cooked apples and fold the dough and let it rise while she fried the doughnuts. When she finished frying the doughnuts she would check to see if the fritters had risen enough. If it had, she would kind of dimple the dough, Then she would just cup her hand and tear off the corner of the dough and drop it in the oil. She just went down the edge of the dough using her hand to measure and cut the dough. I’m going to try your recipe and I.m going to try it as just plain doughnuts too. I’ve been searching for a doughnut recipe like Mom’s and haven’t found it yet, or maybe I have and your’s is the one.
These look great. I have always loved Apple Fritters. However, they are NOT called Apple Fritter Doughnuts, which would have to be round with a hole in the middle.
You are making it very hard on yourself, with a lot of extra work. All of the bakeries I know of use canned apple pie filling (use your favorite brand).
I used to go to a large family-owned bakery that made not only made apple fritters, but pineapple (my favorite), cherry, strawberry, blueberry, etc. Delicious! Winchell’s Doughnuts makes apple, pineapple, and blueberry.
All I can say is……these were incredible! My first attempt at donuts and it was obvious to me, as I looked at the finished texture of the dough, they were going to be perfect! The raw dough was soft and sticky, just like you stated. It takes me longer to get the dough to double in size, but by placing it in the oven, which I warmed on 500 for 1 minute (and then turned off!) before placing a bowl of boiling water in the oven to help humidify and heat the space, really helped. This morning my smile almost hurt as I gazed at the perfect dough (I made it rather late last night and let it rise in the oven overnight, not on purpose, but because I forgot…). Thus my smile…I thought I might have ruined it. After chopping and cookng the apples (I regret to say, I do agree with another reviewer that “cups” is more helpful than # of apples, I used 6, and the excess was given to my lab, much to her delight) I followed your directions to the letter, placing the apples in the dough, and letting it rise a second time (which took 2 hours for me, using the same oven technique as before), then continuing on, making the glaze before frying the fritters.
But again, I regret to say that I agree with the same previous reviewer who stated there wasn’t enough glaze…I did run out and I only fried a third of the donuts. But then again, I was gifted by a neighbors 6 year old daughter who sweetly helping me glaze them, and she was very generous with her job – she glazed both sides and then helped me sprinkle powered sugar on them, just to make them even prettier! That might have been part of the glaze problem, which is a non-issue. Overall, you hit a homerun. These were the best I ever had, and imagine, made by me, in my kitchen (but a gift from you). And I’m going to state the obvious…nailing the dough recipe is the hardest part and I can’t thank you enough for all the homework you did to create such a wonderful treat. So again, my deepest thanks!!! You truly help me to be better than I really am in the kitchen.
I also feel I should share that I live in Jackson, Wyoming…high altitude, no humidity and cold temperatures aren’t favorable to novice bakers. This was one of two perfect recipes of yours that I used (the lemon-lemoncello cupcakes, I can’t recall the true name, but you should know what I’m referring to) is killer…thank you for both. I look forward to using another of your shared recipes…you’re amazing.
The recipe says it yields 14 doughnuts, the picture shows about 70 cut pieces of dough.
Anne, If you read through the recipe, you’ll see that photo is part of the step-by-step instructions. Each fritter is created by pressing together multiple pieces of dough.
If I could tell you how long I have been looking for this recipe you would not believe me. My first taste of an apple fritter that fits this description was at an apple farm that sold them at the check out, 2 in a bag. I set out to find how they were made to no avail, tried many recipes, but could not get that yeasty donut taste. I asked the orchard owners if they knew how they are made and they told me an Amish woman brings them in. Oh my, I searched thru Amish recipes and always come up with the same type of fritter, but not this. I love, love love you for posting this, and I am going to make it as soon as possible. I think this is really it, it looks just like them and the way you describe it it sounds like it. thankyou so much from my taste buds!!!!
Congratulations on your find! I really enjoyed reading about your quest, possibly because I’m on a quest of my own for a stuffing recipe. Wish me luck.
Just wondering how would these be using Pears..
Can’t wait to make these Fritters. Have to say though, I sure do miss my Grandma’s Old Fashiioned Rice Pudding. So creamy and unbelivable delishiosness!
Will these be good if I make them the night before to take them to work the next day?
Hi Sara, They won’t be as good as freshly-fried, but they should still be okay. I’m sure your coworkers won’t turn them down :)
I think many of you are having problems with the apples because you are using the wrong apple. Granny Smith is a very firm cooking apple that retains it’s shape when cooked. Galas while a cooking apple is best suited to dishes where the apple should be either softer or breaks down to more of a sauce. I prefer winesaps for just about everything, with Johnathan a close second. Also I would not suggest you deep fry anything without a candy thermometrr, even if you use an electric fry pot. Wait until oil (peanut or sunflower) reaches temperature and add food in small batches as cold food will cause oil temps to drop and make your food greasy. Hot oil will seal the outer surface and the food will not absorb excess oil. Under temp oil will cause batters to fall apart rather than cooking as a “lump”.
Tried several times to print your recipe but copy shows headings but no recipe. Pictures look great. Would love to try this recipe. No, my printer is fine. Thank you.
Just click the “Print” button at the top of the recipe. It will open a printer-friendly version of the recipe that you can send to your printer. I just tested it and it’s working fine.
I don’t have a scale because I have no place to keep it where it’s handy in my very compact kitchen. How many of the 1 inch squares does it take to make the 4 oz. you indicated to make one fritter?
I haven’t deepfried in years, but for apple fritters…YES
Hi Marsha, Unfortunately I don’t know, I didn’t count the squares. However, you could just try to evenly distribute the squares so that you have about 14 fritters (how much I got out of the recipe).
Hi!! can I substitute apple juice for apple cider?
Hi Sebastian, It might be a little sweet, and I haven’t attempted it, but you could certainly give it a shot. Let me know how it turns out.
Massive Fail for me – the recipe seems fantastic and if you have any cooking abilities this will probably be awesome for you – I on the other hand, am a regular kitchen failure and this was no exception. I used half whole wheat flour on another poster’s suggestion – big mistake – the dough had a very heavy consistency and wheat flavor – if you don’t bake with wheat regularly stick with the white. The dough also never rose…I would guess that’s something I did but can’t be sure. The recipe doesn’t state what size to cut the apples but, since others had been concerned that they became mushy with cooking, I cut them larger (1/2″-1″ chunks) and took them off the stove as soon as they were tender, draining the extra liquid. If I had waited for them to absorb the liquid, as the recipe stated, they would have been applesauce…I also didn’t understand the reason for the vinegar, it made the apples smell and didn’t seem to add/change the flavor in anyway from past experiences making cooked apples with the same ingredients – it could have been omitted I think. The real problem came during frying. I don’t have an oil or candy thermometer or deep fryer…just a pan with oil, so I had no way to tell when the oil was ready. The first time it was too hot and they burnt quickly on the outside while being raw inside. The second one came out perfect, but by the third the oil wasn’t hot enough and the next three came apart, took forever, and tasted like big oil balls….that would have been fine (really, I only need one) but I gave the one good one away thinking I had it in the bag! The whole process took several hours and $20 in ingredients I didn’t have on hand…had they come out the way I know they could have it would have been worth it…but…
Some notes: stick with white flour, get a candy thermometer or deep frying machine (do not use your meat thermometer – the readings won’t go high enough and it will ruin the inside of it), cut the apples to the size you want and remove as soon as tender – drain and cool as noted…when you make the final dough cuts use a kitchen scale to measure out the 4oz, using as many 1″ squares as needed, then grab them in a handful and roughly mush together, throwing them on the counter/tray to rest…this will give you the bumpy texture – I got between 10 and 12 donuts this way – the ones that fell apart were either not mushed together enough or from oil that wasn’t hot enough…fry one at a time, or at least one first, to make sure that your oil is the right temp. The suggestion about apple pie filling would be good, but messy, so beware…I saw another recipe that called for the apples/pie filling to be mixed in with the dough…I didn’t see why that couldn’t happen here and then spoon them into the size you need like drop biscuits…but this is coming from someone who once cooked a potato so long the inside disappeared…and the words “cake” and “level” have never been in the same sentence…also, “real” apple cider (the thick kind, like you get in Fall) would have been best for flavor, the jar from the juice section looked like regular apple juice and wasn’t very flavorful or potent, but sparkling apple cider and apple juice would have worked too…also, the juice left over from cooking the apples (if you cooked them first and not in the middle of the recipe) would have worked great too – it was more flavorful than the bottle stuff I bought.
I have a friend who bakes regularly and I know she could have pulled this off in a way that would have made her even more popular and me even more fat – but I will stick to the $1.49 pre-made version I have come to love so much from the convenience store down the street…I guess there is a reason it’s called a “Convenience Store”…I’ve already forwarded the recipe to my baker friends though, with reminders that my birthday is coming up!! Perhaps, I just need to focus less on baking and more on the “convenience” of other people doing it for me!! ;) Good luck!!
Can’t stand it when people post fail reviews when they change the recipe so drastically; especially when they are an admitted kitchen failure. Perhaps that’s a clue as to why you fail in the first place? I truly don’t get it, making changes to a recipe is for the experienced and successful cooks. Next time, don’t kill the yeast or use yeast that is expired and the dough will rise just fine. Cook the apples at a fairly high eat and the liquid *will* evaporate before the apples turn to mush. Try lemon juice if you don’t like vinegar. Also, buy a thermometer, nowhere in the recipe does it say “guess the temperature of the oil”. I guess you set out with the intention of failure so you could write your negative review. Totally uncalled for.
I made this as a gift for Father’s Day , I decided todo it the morning of but turns out that was a mistake as this is a lengthy process. I was a bit confused on how the flour instructions asked for “3¼ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided” , so I fudged along as best I could. The dough was (as per noted in the recipe) Very wet, I think mine may have been too wet and I should have followed my instincts to make it a little more substantial.
Not really sure why the recipe called for 7 Granny Smith apples, as it were I ended up throwing out a good it of apple (2 large Granny Smiths would have been sufficient. I also found the apples could have used a lot more sugar, they were too tart and coupled with the over abundance of apple in the recipe, not something easily overlooked.
Oil: I was confused as to what process I should use in frying the fritters, but then I read in the recipe ” fry until underside is golden brown (about 4 minutes) and then turn over…) so I thought was I not suppose to deep fry this? Because, you see when you deep fry there is no need to turn anything over. So then I threw out as much of the oil I I needed in order to have the fritters cook a side at a time…that was a mistake! :( I much preferred the fritters that were deep fried, they looked more like the ones in the photos.
I give this recipe a 2.5 out of 5 rating, because it was not as clear as I would have liked, and that increased the difficulty. And also because I much more prefer the store bought fritters that made me fall in love with Apple fritters in the first place.
Looked for the past few months for “The Fritter”
This is it! These are what I had as a kid from the Bakery in town.!
Thanks for sharing!
Since I have never liked apples in any form but raw, I am not a fan of apple fritters. That said, I am a freak for blueberry fritters! We use to have a bakery in our town that made them and I bought a dozen every week. (Maybe why I developed type 2 Diabetes?). But the bakery closed and I have not found any in 6 years! Could you substitute blueberrie? But what about a juice to use? And prepare the berries as the apples? I would think not as they would probably be better just dumped in the dough? Just doing a little mind travel here. Would love a good recipe!
Hi Lyn, I’m not sure how blueberries would work as a substitution since apples and blueberries have pretty different properties. You could definitely try it; if you do, let me know how it turns out!
First off, let me say that these are delish! Perfect recipe on the dough and flavoring, it is truly bakery quality. That being said, there are some things I wanted to point out. First off when I finely chopped seven apples, it was over eight cups of apples before I cooked it. A measurement in cups would be nice. Apples very so much in size, you could have twice the amount needed for the recipe and have no idea. I had so much, the apples they were exploding out everywhere. I would have had to double the dough recipe to make the ratio correct. Second, I had to make 3X the amount of glaze as listed on the recipe. Not sure if it was because I made larger doughnuts (12 total), or due to an issue with the thickness or it just plain wasnt enough. Over all though, this recipe is a keeper after I tweak those two things on the recipe.
Great recipe, i made them for some people at work and now they want me to make them every week for them! Thank you for the great flavor!
So, so good! We got about 30 fritters out of this recipe and they were the perfect size. Very tasty and not overly sweet (at least, not for me – but I may have a high tolerance).
Hi, and thank you for sharing this recipe. I tried making these last night and it was very frustrating. When I tried to cook the apples down to evaporate the cider and vinegar, it took so long that it turned into mush. Still, I tried using the apples and when I put them on the dough it made the dough very wet. How should I cook the apples to retain the texture of a crisp apple yet not so wet that it soaks through my dough?
Hi Nemat, If your apples are soft, I would make sure to pat them completely dry.
IMO, donuts turn out better when solid fat is used. Best is a high quality leaf lard which should be available from local farms. Most will ship to you. Lard can be frozen for at least a year.
What do you think?
These remind me of my childhood and going to Apple Hill in Northern CA – I will be making these soon!!!
Made these for my husband on Saturday. I’ll admit to a lot of tweaks to fit what I had in my fridge. I halved the recipe, used orange juice instead of apple cider (couldn’t tell a difference!) and made them half whole wheat (because I always do). The only problem I had was that my mounds of pieces kind of disintegrated when I put them in the hot oil. I ended up with lots of small cubes of fried dough surrounded by loose pieces of apple. I squished the last few together even more and they still didn’t hold very well. I’ll definitely make them again, but I’m going to have to experiment with shaping them to figure out how to get them to stay together. Thanks for the recipe!
These were really good…I did the same thing and looked over the picture that shaped them into mounds. I didnt realize it until I looked at the comments. Very good non the less. Oh yea I skimped on the vanilla bean, but next time I won’t I thing its probably needed. I just used vanilla extract.
Thx for the recipe
incredible!! My kitchen’s a mess and they’re a bit labor intensive but WOW…..will be making again.
I did mess up one thing though…..the last step of forming where you combine the 1″ squares so I have lots of smaller donuts but maybe that’s why I love them even more……more surface to get kinda crunchy.
Hi! I’d like to make this recipe tomorrow but don’t have any apple cider (though I do have apple cider vinegar). Do you think I could replace the apple cider in the dough with apple juice or water without affecting consistency of the final result? I’m kind of new to baking and unsure of the chemical reactions between ingredients lol. Thank you!
Hi Mariem, I think you could substitute apple juice for the apple cider without sacrificing too much flavor or consistency.
Thank you Michelle! I will try it today and let you know how it turned out :) I appreciate the fast answer!
They turned out wonderful! Even better than at the shop :) Thanks a million!
I will definitely be trying this recipe, but your wonderful blog has inspired me to ask about another kind of donut. Bavarian Creme! Duncan donuts used to have them, but all of those donut shops disappeared in our area. One grocery store used to sell them, but then they stopped. I’m not talking about the ones that have chocolate on the top – just a donut that is filled with the most wonderful pudding-like filling ever! If there is any chance you could come up with a recipe for that one to add to your collection, I would be thrilled! Thank you.
Hi Laurel, Thanks so much for sharing your request, I will definitely add Bavarian cream doughnuts to my list!
They came out good although a little cakey for what I’m used to. I have relatively limited baking experience, but I think that maybe mixing the wet into the dry just until incorporated, then starting the first rest, and just folding the apples in with a spatula afterward would yield a more familiar fritter consistency for me.
Mixing it as per the recipe (or maybe just how i did it) developed the gluten a little too much. Usually (with savory ‘fritters’) the dough is so moist and unwieldy that you have to quenelle it into the oil.
Regardless, everybody loved them. Somebody said ‘these are like Southern fritters’ if that means anything. ;-)
Also I think my apples would have been sauce had I waited for all the liquid to cook down, but admittedly I used Galas not Granny’s. I pulled them when they had lost their crunch, but still had texture and spooned them onto paper napkins to dry before layering them into the dough mass as instructed. The remaining jus I reduced and made an apple caramel glaze for the finished doughnuts instead. It was surprisingly (accidentally) yummy.
So I’m at the end of step two and while I haven’t given up hope, you say the dough should be VERY soft and sticky. Sticky. Check! But Soft it is not unless I have a different definition of soft. Should this be like Ciabatta dough? Like do you define soft by high moisture content? I double checked the amounts and everything was exact to the best of my knowledge. I have it proofing now, but it seems pretty firm. Is there a fix you’d recommend if I biffed it?
Hi John, I have not yet made ciabatta bread, so I couldn’t compare it to that. I mean soft as in, can’t pick up in one solid mass, soft. This was a pretty forgiving recipe, so I would keep going. Let me know how they turn out!
The ingredient list for the doughnuts calls for 3 and 1/4 c. flour + 2 T. However the direction part for the doughnuts only says to use 1 and 1/4 c. flour then later says to add the other 2T. What happens to the other 2 c.?
Hi Melissa, The other 2 cups of flour is used in the very first paragraph of the recipe, under #1.
These look amazing.
After you cut the checkerboard, how do you form the mounds? Are you combining squares to get to 4 oz.? Could you just cut larger squares?
Also, do you think the final resting stage can be more than 10 minutes? Would it hold for an hour or two? Could I put it in the fridge?
Hi Jonathan, I just kind of lumped them into mounds. Yes, you combine the squares to make the 4-ounce mounds. I would not cut large, 4-ounce squares, as combining the squares is what gives the fritters their characteristic “bumpy” exterior. I wouldn’t let the dough sit for longer than 30 minutes or so at room temperature, but you could pop it in the refrigerator for up to an hour or so, covered with plastic wrap so the dough doesn’t dry out.
I actually made these today and they were a m a z I n g!
Thankyou so much for posting. I to had a hard time finding a recipe such as this one.
Better than your local donutshop!
I so can’t wait to make these, and I know one but not satisfy!
These look seriously amazing. I could eat about 5 of these right now!!
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?
Hi Jamie, I apologize for that error, it should be 1/4 cup.
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!
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?
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.
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
The best of luck to you on your new venture!!
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
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.
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.
Those look amazing! I saved the recipe and surely will make those any time soon
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!
Holy cow, these sound amazing. I adore apple fritters, and these look far better than the ones usually found in most doughnut shops.
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!
These look better than any apple fritters I’ve seen yet!
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!
Oh wow, these look amazing – I wish I had one right now!
Love your site makeover too :)
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
Blueberry Fritters????? Never heard of that! one! I bet that would be absolutely incredible! Anyone know of a recipe for that?
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
They look amazing!! Thanks for sharing :)
You are the best !!! I have been looking for a recipe like this for years..as 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
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.
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? :)
Oooh, good one! I will add them to my ever-growing list! :)
Yum! Apple fritters are one of my favorite treats, delicious!
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!
yummilicious – i gotta try these out!
omg – these look so dangerous but soo good!!
Oh my yes! I love apple fritters :)
These look fantastic. I don’t think I have ever had an apple fritter. Guess I better remedy that SOON!!!!
These look AMAZING!
These look fantastic! I love how soft and pillow-y the inside looks!
Whoa. Pure heaven!
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 :P
Yeah!! I can make these without a donut pan!! Still need to get one of those :)
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!
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!!
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.
So I definitely need about 6 of these right now. Preferably hot. They look AMAZING!!
This looks like something out of a fancy bakery! wow!
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!! :D
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.
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!
Definitely would not get the same results if you baked them :)
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!
I’ve never had much desire to make doughnuts from scratch, until I saw these. They look amazing!
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!
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!
Good morning ! I was wondering what the ” &frac 13;” means after ½ cup granulated sugar. Thank you, the recipe looks fantastic !!
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.
Omg. The oatmeal I’m eating seems incredibly lame now. These look and sound awesome!
Those look straight from a doughnut shop! Amazing, I can’t wait to try these out :)
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!
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?
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.
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!!
I agree. Just made these…. yes after midnight… lol. And my family loves them! Thanks.
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!
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!
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.
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.
I agree. As a working women, who has time for this. Just go out and buy yourself a dozen at Timmy’s
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.