We’re just about approaching the close of autumn (which is wild to me; time flies), but I knew I didn’t want it to get too late before I got around to making something with apple cider in it and sharing it here on the blog.
I’ll be honest with you all: what I really wanted was a fried apple cider doughnut. I’ve done/shared it before on the blog, but that was years ago when I was still very new to blogging and I think those pictures are terrible. So ideally speaking, I would’ve just done a do-over of that post.
However, any of you who have made scratch/fried doughnuts before knows that they are…a project, one that can take up a lot of time. And the way my life is set up right now, time is just something I have a lot less of than I did when I first began blogging.
But, I mean… I still wanted a donut.
So, I compromised with time and with myself. And, here we are.
Still Apple Cider Donuts…but also, muffins.
The most obvious difference here was the one that was most important for me: the cooking time. Depending on what kind of dough/batter you have, making doughnuts from scratch can be an hours long project.
I didn’t have hours to spare, and fortunately, this recipe doesn’t need them. In fact, if your cider is already boiled/reduced, you’ll probably be done in 1 hour, tops.
I was very pleased with how these turned out. Apart from the quicker and easier baking process, they still satisfied that craving I had for an apple cider donut without having to go to the extra trouble.
They’ve also been kid-approved by the resident taste tester in our house, so if that doesn’t sell em to you, I don’t know what else will.
Apple Cider Donut Muffins
- 2 cups sweet apple cider
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon table salt
For Sugar Topping
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan either with butter or shortening and set aside.
Put the apple cider in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer until the liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Set aside to cool.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using a standing or handheld mixer, cream the butter with the sugar in a large bowl at medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each. Add the vanilla extract and blend.
Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat just to combine. Add half the reduced cider and beat to combine.
Repeat with another third of the flour mixture, then the rest of the cider, then the remaining flour mixture.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until tops are firm and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 5-7 minutes.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. As soon as the muffins are cool enough to handle, brush their tops and sides with the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature.