Apple Cider Cake Donuts with Chai Glaze

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An autumnal treat, these cake donuts are full of warming spices inside and out.

By Audrey Scheib
Sep 6, 2022
4 Hours
12 Servings

Homemade donuts may seem daunting at first but with a little planning, pastry chef Audrey Scheib of The Salty Donut shows us how it’s done. She starts off with a batter that would be just as at home in the form of a streusel-topped coffee cake. Store-bought cake donuts can sometimes be dry, but the addition of sour cream gives these a tender, moist crumb. The combination of apple cider and warming spices packs these donuts full of fall flavor, which is amped up thanks to a chai glaze. This recipe yields about 12 donuts and 12-20 donut holes

Perhaps the best part of this recipe is that you don’t need a deep fryer. Our Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven works well for deep frying because of its size and heat retention. A stand mixer is helpful here, but the batter can also be mixed by hand. Serve these fresh from the fryer with a steaming mug of coffee or tea for the perfect breakfast on a chilly fall day.

Apple Cider Cake Donuts with Chai Glaze

An autumnal treat, these cake donuts are full of warming spices inside and out.

Audrey Scheib

4 Hours
12 Servings
  • For the Apple Cider Sour Cream Cake Batter:
  • For the Chai Spice Glaze:

    For the donuts, in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Paddle or mix together until fully combined.


    Use a spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to prevent any butter sticking to the bottom. Paddle or mix again until smooth. Add in the sour cream and apple cider. Mix until evenly combined.


    Combine flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients in two additions, paddling on low speed or mixing until combined. If using a mixer, increase speed to medium speed until the batter smooths out and starts pulling from the sides of the bowl. If mixing my hand, combine until batter is smooth but not overmixed.


    Scoop the batter into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours up to overnight.


    For the glaze, combine milk, butter, and spices in a 2 QT Saucier or 2 QT Saucepan. Heat until butter is melted and whisk to combine. Sift the powdered sugar into a medium sized bowl. Add in the milk, spice mixture, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth and keep warm.


    To fry, attach a deep fat thermometer to your Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Pour in 2” of oil (about halfway up the pot) and heat to 360F.


    Sprinkle your work surface heavily with flour. Divide the dough in half, covering one half with a damp towel and scraping the other onto the floured surface. Sprinkle the top with a layer of flour. Using a Rolling Pin, gently roll out until just over ½” thick, adding more flour as necessary and making sure the batter isn’t sticking on the bottom.


    Cut using a donut cutter, Drinking Glass and ring cutter, or a Paring Knife, cutting as close to each other as possible. Any leftover trim can be cut into donut holes. Repeat with remaining batter.


    Once the donuts have been cut, gently place one on a spider and lower into the oil. Hold the donuts in the oil until they start to float, then remove the spider and add in another donut, taking care not to crowd the pan.


    Fry for 1 minute and 30 seconds on one side, then flip and repeat the process. Remove from the oil and place on a cooling rack set over a Sheet Pan. Once the donuts are done frying, fry off the holes in one or two batches, stirring them to turn. You should have about 12 donuts and 12-20 donut holes.


    Once the donuts have cooled just enough to pick them up, dip the bottoms into the glaze and place, glaze side up on to the cooling rack. Toss any donut holes in the remaining glaze and place on the cooling rack, allowing them to drip onto the tray.