These homemade Apple Cider Fritters are crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and bursting with caramelized apples.

3 Apple Cider Fritters cooling on brown paper with apples in the background.

🍎 An Apple Fritter Recipe You’ll Love!

Homemade Apple Fritters are the perfect fall dessert or breakfast! They’re indulgent enough to pass for dessert, but since they’re a cousin of the doughnut, they also get grandfathered into the breakfast category just like Pumpkin Cream Filled Donuts and Apple Donuts!

Enjoy them for brunch with a mug of hot apple cider or Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. Warm them up and top with a scoop of ice cream and Cinnamon Syrup for dessert. Or do what I do — eat them plain, in great wolfish bites, before the rest of your family gets wise and you’re forced to share. However you eat them, you are going to LOVE them!

Apple Cider Fritter with cut away section showing inside dough and apple chunks.

❤️ Why You’ll Love These Fritters

These aren’t just apple fritters — they are apple CIDER fritters, meaning they have double the apple flavor, and are the perfect combination of apple cider doughnuts and apple fritters. Imagine, if you will, that apple cider doughnuts and apple fritters had a baby. A beautiful, delicious, fluffy, super flavorful, apple-packed baby. Now imagine that babies are socially acceptable to eat. Yeah, they’re like that.

Close-up of Apple Cider Fritter on brown parchment paper on wooden surface.

Apple Fritters vs Apple Donuts

Many apple cider doughnut recipes are cake-based, not yeast-based. And most apple fritters don’t have cider in the dough, they just rely on the apple chunks to provide flavor. So this fritter recipe is the best of both worlds: it’s a yeast dough recipe, so it’s wonderfully light and fluffy, and it also has really concentrated apple cider in both the dough and the glaze on top, so even the bites without chunks of apple have a nice apple undertone.

And the apple chunks! Caramelized in butter and brown sugar, with a hint of cinnamon, they’re literally bursting out of every surface of these fritters. They make these fritters shine, so absolutely don’t skip the caramelization steps in the recipe.

I really can’t think of a more perfectly fall food. It reminds me of apple picking, falling leaves, and crisp mornings. But, if you need more apple inspiration, check out our Apple Donuts, Salted Caramel Apple Pear Pie, Caramel Apple Cake, and Mile High Apple Pie!

Apple Cider Fritters | From

Table of Contents

🧾 What You’ll Need


A few ingredients and you’ll be all set to make Apple Cider Fritters. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you gather the ingredients. (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)

  • Apple cider: I recommend using fresh apple cider in this recipe. Apple cider is made from pressed fresh apples, and has a much stronger flavor than apple juice. It’s less sweet, and it gives these fritters a very realistic and vibrant apple taste. However, it can be hard to find outside of autumn months, so if you can’t source any, you can substitute apple juice in its place. Apple juice tends to have a weaker flavor and is much sweeter, so I do recommend using cider whenever possible.
  • Yeast: This recipe calls for active dry yeast. I use and recommend Bob’s Red Mill yeast, or Red Star Yeast. If you are comfortable working with yeast and want to substitute rapid rise yeast you can, but you will need to make changes to the rising procedure following the package directions. In most cases I recommend sticking with active dry yeast.
  • Milk: Whole milk will give you the most tender dough, but any fat percentage will work. I have only tested this recipe with dairy milk, so cannot advise on non-dairy alternatives.
  • Egg yolks: We’re only using egg yolks in this recipe, so save those whites to make Meringue Cookies or buttercream! Here’s my full guide to separating egg yolks and whites if you need a refresher.
  • Spices and salt: Feel free to modify the spices to suit what you have. I love using a spice blend like pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice, but even sticking with cinnamon will give you great results!
  • Frying oil: You can use canola or vegetable oil for frying the fritters.
  • Apples: Look for firm apples that hold their shape when cooked. I’ve used SweeTango, Gala, and Honeycrisp with great success. I prefer a sweeter apple in this recipe, but if you like tart apples, Granny Smith is also a good choice.
3 Apple Cider Fritters cooling on brown paper.


You won’t need much in the way of specialty equipment to make these fritters–just a few frying basics! (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)

  • Bench scraper or large knife: A bench scraper like this is infinitely hand in the kitchen! If you work with yeasted doughs much, you’ll find it’s invaluable for cutting dough and scraping down your work surface.
  • Deep fry thermometer: If you’re going to be deep frying, an accurate thermometer is a MUST. You don’t need to spend a fortune on one, though — a basic model like this is perfect. A thermometer helps you monitor the temperature of the frying oil, so you’ll have successful doughnuts every time. If you are new to using a thermometer, check out my guides for how to use a thermometer and how to test and calibrate a thermometer correctly.
  • Fry tool or slotted spoon:You’ll need a wire strainer or similar slotted tool to turn the fritters and remove them from the oil.
  • Pastry brush: A pastry brush is used to add the sweet glaze after frying.
Apple Cider Fritters | From

📋 How to Make Apple Fritters

This assembly method might seem a little fiddly, but there’s a method to the madness! The basic idea is to try and work the apple pieces deep into the layers of dough, so they’re randomly distributed and tucked into pockets of dough here and there, which will yield the signature craggy bumps and edges that make apple fritters so delicious and so unique.

Here’s a photo guide to the fritter process, and full instructions are included in the recipe card down below.

Two photo collage showing how to fold the dough for Apple Cider Fritters.
  • Gently pat or roll your dough into a thin layer about 1/2-inch thick.
  • Spread half of the apples over half of the dough, and fold the dough over on itself. Press down gently to seal the apples into the middle of the dough.
Two photo collage showing how to fold the dough for Apple Cider Fritters.
  • Press the dough out into a thin rectangle again. Add the rest of the apples on half of the dough.
  • Fold it over itself again. This process helps distribute apples randomly throughout the dough layers.
Two photo collage showing how to cut and shape the dough for Apple Cider Fritters.
  • Pat the dough back into a thin rectangle.
  • Use a bench scraper or large sharp knife to cut the dough into small squares, about 1 1/2″.
Two photo collage showing how to form Apple Cider Fritters into dough balls..
  • Gather together about 4-5 squares (total weight 2.5-3 oz) and press them together into a patty, pinching them at the top to help secure them.
  • Place formed fritters on a baking sheet.
Apple Cider Fritters being glazed on parchment paper.
  • Let the fritters rise, then deep-fry them until crispy and golden.
  • Brush warm (but not hot!) fritters with a sweet apple cider glaze, then devour!

💡 Tips and FAQs  


I love using SweeTango apples in this recipe. When cooked, they are tender but not mushy, and they hold their shape nicely during the caramelizing process. You don’t have to use these apples, though—any cooking apple you enjoy will work well. Try Gala, Fuji, or Honeycrisp, or Granny Smith if you like tart apples.


Yes. Apple juice is much sweeter than apple cider, and because it is pasteurized and not fresh, the flavor is not as realistic and vibrant. That is why cider is recommended when possible. That being said, apple juice is a fine substitute if cider is not available.


Like all doughnuts, these fritters taste best the day that they’re made, but they’ll keep for several days at room temperature.

Apple Cider Fritters cooling on brown paper with cider and apples in the background.
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Don’t miss the step-by-step tutorial showing how to make Apple Fritterscheck out the web story here!

Leave a Review!

If you make this recipe, let us know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on the recipe below, and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram @elabau, or use #sugarhero on IG!

3 Apple Cider Fritters cooling on brown paper.

Apple Cider Fritters

4.84 from 18 votes
These homemade Apple Cider Fritters are crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and bursting with caramelized apples.
Prep4 hours
Cook20 minutes
Total4 hours 20 minutes
Yields15 fritters


For the Fritters:

  • 2.5 cups apple cider
  • 2.25 tsp active dry yeast, (1 packet)
  • 0.75 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 14.66 oz all-purpose flour, (3.25 cups)
  • 1 oz unsalted butter, (2 tbsp), at room temperature
  • 1 oz shortening, (2 tbsp)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 0.75 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 cups canola oil, for frying

For the Apple Filling:

  • 2 lbs apples, (about 5 medium apples)
  • 2 oz unsalted butter, (1/4 cup)
  • 1.88 oz brown sugar, (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, (or lemon juice)

For the Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider concentrate, (made during the doughnut preparation)
  • 8 oz powdered sugar, (2 cups)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt


To Make the Apple Cider Concentrate:

  • Pour the apple cider into a medium saucepan, place the pan on medium heat, and bring it to a low boil.
  • Continue to cook the apple cider until it reduces down to 3/4 cup, which might take 45-55 minutes. This step can be done ahead of time and the apple cider concentrate can be stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.
  • Divide up the 3/4 cup apple cider concentrate: Pour 1/4 cup of it into a small bowl. Pour another 1/4 cup of it into the bowl of a large stand mixer, and reserve the remaining 1/4 cup to make the glaze later.

To Make the Fritters:

  • Heat the small bowl of 1/4 cup apple cider concentrate in the microwave in short 10-second bursts, until it is warm but not scalding—it should be around 105-110 F, so barely hotter than body temperature.
  • Sprinkle the yeast on top, stir it in gently, and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast foams up. Important: if you do not see foaming or any change in your yeast, do not proceed! This means your yeast is dead. This could be because the cider was too hot, or your yeast is old and no longer active. If you proceed with the recipe, it will not rise and you will be disappointed. Try again with fresh yeast and carefully measured apple cider concentrate, until you see it foam up, then proceed.
  • To the large mixing bowl with the apple cider concentrate, add the milk, butter, shortening, sugar, yolks, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour the yeast mixture into the large mixing bowl as well, then add half of the flour (7-1/3 oz, or 1-2/3 cups). Mix with the paddle attachment for 3-5 minutes, until very smooth.
  • Add the rest of the flour (7-1/3 oz, or 1-2/3 cups) and mix with the paddle for another 2 minutes. Switch to the dough hook and mix for 5-7 minutes, until the dough forms a soft, smooth ball around the hook and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If it seems very sticky while it’s mixing, add a touch more flour, but only another tablespoon or two. Let the mixing do most of the work and resist the temptation to add too much flour, or else you will have tough doughnuts. When the dough is smooth, supple, and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, turn off the mixer. It will still be a bit soft and sticky!
  • Generously oil a large bowl and turn the doughnut dough into the oiled bowl. Cover loosely with a cloth and set it in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, until doubled in size.

To Make the Apple Filling:

  • While you wait for the dough to rise, prepare the apple filling. Peel, core, and chop the apples into small pieces about 1/2-3/4" wide.
  • Place a large saucepan over medium heat, and melt the butter. Add the sugar, and stir it in until the sugar melts. (The mixture will be sandy and grainy.) Add the apples, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and apple cider vinegar.
  • Cook the apples, stirring occasionally, until they are golden and caramelized, and almost all of the liquid has evaporated from the pan. The time required depends on your pan and your apple variety, but 15-20 minutes is a rough cooking estimate.
  • Scrape the apples into a shallow pan or bowl, and refrigerate them until they're room temperature or cooler. (Apples can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until ready to use.)

To Assemble:

  • After an hour, dust your work surface with flour, punch down the dough, and turn it out onto your work surface. Gently pat it or roll it into a thin layer about 1/2-inch thick. Spread half of the apples over half of the dough. Fold the dough over on itself, and press down gently to seal the apples into the middle of the dough.
  • Press the dough out into a thin rectangle again, flour it as necessary to keep it from sticking. Add the rest of the apples on half of the dough, and fold it over itself again. (This process helps distribute apples randomly throughout the dough layers.) Pat the dough back into a thin rectangle.
  • Use a bench scraper or large sharp knife to cut the dough into small squares, about 1 1/2" or so.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment , and dust them lightly with flour. Gather together about 4-5 dough squares (total weight 2.5-3 oz) and press them together into a patty, pinching them at the top to help secure them. Don't worry if the patties seem to have a ragged appearance, or if apples poke out—this assembly method produces the beautifully craggy and randomly-shaped signature apple fritter appearance! Place a fritter on a baking sheet, then repeat until all of your fritters are formed. You should get about 15 fritters from this recipe.
  • Cover the fritters loosely with cloths and let them rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.

To Fry and Finish:

  • Toward the end of the fritter rise time, pour the frying oil into a medium-large saucepan, and insert a deep fry thermometer. Turn the heat to medium and heat until the oil reaches 350 F. During the frying process, keep a close eye on the thermometer and adjust the heat if necessary to keep the oil near this temperature at all times.
  • Once the fritters have risen and the oil is the right temperature, gently place 2-3 fritters at a time in the oil and fry them for about 2 minutes per side, until they are puffed and golden brown.
  • Once cooked, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon or frying tool, and place them on a paper-towel lined wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining fritters. Periodically remove any stray apples or dough bits that are floating in the oil.
  • To make the glaze, whisk together the reserved 1/4 cup apple cider concentrate along with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Try brushing some on a warm (but not super hot!) fritter. It should brush easily, and start to melt into the outside of the fritter. If it is too thick, and looks more like frosting than glaze, add a little apple cider or milk, a small spoonful at a time, to get the right consistency. Brush the glaze on the fritters, or spoon it on and spread it around with the spoon. Repeat until all of the fritters have been glazed.
  • Let the glaze set for about 20 minutes, then serve! These fritters are best on the day they are made, but they will keep for several days in an airtight container at room temperature.

Measuring Tips

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?


Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 226mg | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and hashtag it #SugarHero. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @elabau.
Four photo collage of different apple desserts.


We’ve rounded up over 50 easy and delicious apple dessert recipes you’ll want to try this fall.  Click here to get all the recipes!

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Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

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  1. As someone who was only recently introduced to the phenomenon of the apple fritter (we don’t have them here in Aus) may I say, hats off to you, madam. These are the sexiest looking apple fritters ever. I want a hot cocoa, these and some leaf peeping STAT!

  2. I am thrilled to find this recipe for what we call Apple Uglies!! I have had the same problem tryin to find a yeasted enriched dough for the apple fritters we have fell in love with at our local market. Question: do you think the cider could be replaced with milk? Or would that be a completely different beast? I read that it’s not reccomended to replace the cider with apple juice from cooks illustrated, so I suppose that’s out. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Charity, Thanks for the comment. I’ve never heard them called Apple Uglies, but that’s a great name for them! They’re certainly not lookers. 😉 I do think the cider could be replaced with milk and you would still get a workable doughnut dough. Whether or not it’s close to what you buy in the market, I’m not sure. I think it’s interesting that Cook’s Illustrated said not to swap out apple juice, because I would have thought that would be totally fine (Although the flavor would be weaker)–do you remember the reason they gave?

  3. Hi, Elizabeth! These are my daughter’s absolute favorite, and she’s an October birthday girl so Mom’s making these for her. She also bought my my first ever Kitchenaid last year for Christmas (which I’ve barely used, don’t tell!) so it’s only fair. Haha. My question: Can I fry them in the gallon of peanut oil I bought from Costco 8 months ago (I know, I know). Or, would they taste peanutty? Never used it much, but my friend talked me into it (I know, I know!). I’m a cooker not much of a baker. That was my Mother’s forte and I’m a little intimidated by her awesomeness. She’s been gone 30 years now and I need to put this mixer to use in the loving spirit it was given, as in, Mom! We want sweets not beef stew and dumplings, lol. Thanks in advance. By the way, this recipe is making its way around FB again a year later. Congrats!

    1. Hi Jeanette! Thanks for the comment. The peanut oil should be fine–since it’s 8 months old I would give it a sniff and make sure it doesn’t smell rancid, but assuming it hasn’t gone off, it’ll work well. Peanut is actually a great frying oil, and to my taste doesn’t give an overly peanutty flavor–I think the cinnamon and apple will be much stronger. Happy birthday to your daughter! She definitely deserves fritters for giving you a KitchenAid–those things are like gold! 🙂 Please let me know how they turn out if you give them a try!

  4. I have reduced my apple cider and have the apples soaking in Cole water. Waiting for cider to cool down a but. BUT, it was nice to know someone had made their dough in their bread machine as that’s what I plan to do also. I spent well over 2 hours perusing the www for Apple fritter recipes and yours looked like exactly what I was looking for! Here’s to crossing fingers that it works! Lol.

    1. Hi Karen! I haven’t tried it in a bread machine, but another commenter did,and these were her notes:

      “I’ll absolutely make them again and here go my changes (to the method only because the recipe was PERFECT).
      I’ll cook the apples and reduce the cider the night before. I mixed the dough in my bread machine, it was a no brainier and it was so easy! Just put in liquids and fat first then flour and sugar and yeast .
      After rising, forming and filling they froze incredibly well. To cook just thaw and allow to double in size then fry.
      They were great frozen so next time I’ll make a double batch and freeze so we can have these often without much stress:)”

      I hope they work out for you, please let me know how it goes!

  5. Hi there! My family LOVED your Apple fritters and said they are Apple Hill good Apple fritters! Apple Hill is up at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada where a lot of Apple orchards ans California’s wineries are. We drive the winding roads just for the fritters ans produce lol. In fact, so good, I am making them again today, again using my bread machine . I fried up a few last week and then the rest I refrigerated and took out a few for the next day, let rise and fried those fresh. I kept my glaze in the fridge and warned it up to brush on fresh warm ones.

    Thank you again!

    1. Karen, I’m so glad to hear that you loved the fritters! I’ve actually heard of Apple Hill but have never had the chance to visit myself. What a great compliment! Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks. I think I need to make a big batch for the holidays this year! 🙂

  6. These do look de-lish, but I hate to be the harbinger of doom. I have t severly limit my fried food intake so I wondered if these would bake or would baking dry them out? Maybe rolled into two rolls and baked in loaf pans? Or maybe cut them the original way and baked in muffin pans?

    1. Hi Angie! I admit I haven’t tried baking them so I’m not quite sure how they’d turn out. My guess is that they might be a little dry if you bake them as-is. I like the idea of baking them in muffin pans, I think containing them like that might help keep the centers moist! I also think a bit of glaze would go a long way toward making them taste like “the real thing,” Sorry to not be of more help, but I’d love to hear how they turn out if you give baking them a try!

  7. These apple fritters are the cat’s meow!…..better than the ones at my favorite bakery! I had some trouble with the first rise, though. The yeast I used was fresh,….not outdated. I checked the temperature of my heated apple cider before I put the yeast in. It never did foam up, even after an hour, so I just dumped it in with the other dough ingredients. After everything was mixed up, and put into an oiled bowl, 6 hours later, it was still lying flat as a pancake in my bowl, so I went to bed. In the morning, to my surprise, the dough had risen to the top of the mixing bowl, or about 4 times it’s original size! (I did not refrigerate it) So I set out to making the fritters, They took another 3 hours in my proof oven to rise, I plopped them into the frying oil, and lo and behold, I had the best apple fritters in the world, I swear! I thought maybe the yeast didn’t foam up because the concentrated apple cider was too thick? But do you have any idea why it took so long to rise? Thanks for this wonderful recipe! I definitely will be making these again!

    1. Hi Linda! I’m so glad to hear that the fritters ended up working out and that you loved them! To be honest I’m not entirely sure why it took so long to rise. What’s the ambient temperature of your kitchen? If it was quite chilly then it could slow the rising process, but it shouldn’t usually take 6+ hours to rise. Even if the yeast was fresh, I wonder if something wasn’t quite right with it? Sorry to not be of more help, but I’m glad that the story had a happy ending!

  8. I want to make a lot and freeze them to have as future breakfasts. What do you suggest to do? Should I cook it the first time around and then freeze it and then just heat it up in the microwave or toaster oven, or should I freeze before cooking?

    1. Hi Danielle, You can do it either way. I’m lazy and would probably just cook them all in one batch, freeze them cooked, then reheat in a toaster oven (to keep the crispy texture). I do think the taste/texture is best when they’re freshly fried, but frying is kind of time consuming, and they would still need to rise after freezing, which takes time…so I guess it depends on whether speed of breakfast preparations is important to you.

      If you did want to freeze them, just thaw and allow to double in size, then fry them like the recipe suggests. Let me know how they work for you!

  9. Horrible recipe. Did not work out at all. Wasted an entire morning trying to make these. You caution about not adding too much flour and that was a problem. I could not do anything with the dough after adding the apples. I ended up throwing out the dough and wasting my time. Quite disappointed.

    1. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. Spending time, effort, and ingredients on a failed project is always frustrating. Many other people in the comments have made and enjoyed the fritters, so I feel comfortable saying the recipe works, but would be happy to help you troubleshoot if you’d like to send me an email with more details.

      1. Thank you for your reply. I have bookmarked the recipe and may try it again. If I do and have better luck, I will be sure to comment and let you know about it. It was just very frustrating that it did not turn out at all. I have ideas of what to do based on what happened this time, so may give it a whirl. Thanks again.

  10. I just made these puffy, bumpy, apple-laden, sweet, crunchy pillows of heaven over the past two days (I’m old, everything takes me longer!) and this recipe makes the best apple fritters I have ever tasted anywhere in this world. My husband agrees completely and I am sure the grandchildren will be delighted when they awaken. The fritters were, in my opinion, somewhat labor intensive but the end result was sweet reward! I reduced the apple cider and cooked the apples the first day and then made the dough, assembled and fried the fritters the next day. Apple cider is seasonal here in Michigan and I could only buy it by the gallon so I reduced and froze the rest of it so that I can make these treats for Christmas; this recipe is that special! Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us! Blessings to you and yours!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! And trust me, I spent days on this recipe as well. I’m so glad that you all loved it, and that’s a great idea to freeze the apple cider for later! It definitely takes time, but I know we thought the were definitely worth it. Hope everyone loves them at Christmas!