Apple Cider Donut Holes with Hot Buttered Rum Dipping Sauce

From by Susan Palmer
Apple Cider Donut Holes with Hot Buttered Rum Dipping Sauce

Apple Cider Donut Holes Photo

I don’t know about you, but I’m all aboard the donut dessert trend that’s been happening the last few years. I never went crazy with any other trends in the past, but donuts... I can always go for a donut – or is it doughnut?

Whichever way you actually spell it - from caked to yeasted to every flavor in between, I’m game. My husband and I went donut crazy back in August when we did a little day trip to Portland, Oregon and consumed more donuts on our vacation that I have since I first discovered Krispy Kreme and the hot donut sign.

I’m sounding a little piggish here though, aren’t I? I swear, it’s actually just an occasional treat, and one type I love more than others are Apple Cider Donuts. The flavors of a cider donut are simple yet bursting with apple. Anytime I’m near a farm stand that’s frying up a fresh batch, I can’t resist picking up a few.

How can you really say no to the scent of freshly fried donuts that have been dusted with cinnamon and sugar? I dare you to hold off with that smell wafting towards you.

Apple Cider Donut Holes Picture

Apple Cider Donut Holes Image

Donut eating shouldn’t be restricted just to fairs and farm stands either, baking up a batch is easier than you think and there’s no frying involved. That’s right, these are baked! Which means you can have an extra one - and even better we paired them with a hot buttered rum sauce to elevate this simple baked good into a dessert worthy to serve after dinner or at a tailgating party.

File 1 Apple Cider Donut Holes

Did I mention baking them up takes hardly any effort? The most difficult part is reducing the apple cider down for a super concentrated flavor packed punch in every single bite. After that, just scoop the batter into some mini muffin pans; pop them out into a butter bath and a shake into some cinnamon sugar. No special equipment and no hot oil needed!

Apple Cider Donut Holes Pic


Apple Cider Donut Holes Recipe



  • 2 cups apple cider, reduced down to 1/2 cup
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon spiced rum

For the Cinnamon Sugar Mix:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the Hot Buttered Rum Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup spiced rum
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat bring the apple cider to a boil and reduce down to 1/2 cup cider. Takes approximately 15-20 minutes to reduce down. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, clove, brown sugar, and can sugar.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the melted butter, egg, milk rum and cooled reduced cider. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Mix together until thoroughly combined but do not over mix.
  4. Heat your oven to 350°F and grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan.
  5. Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop the batter into the muffin tin. Each cup should be filled  3/4 high. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the tin.
  7. Set up your butter and cinnamon sugar station. Place the butter in a shallow bowl and the cinnamon sugar in a brown paper bag (recommended) or another shallow bowl.
  8. Taking the donuts 3-4 at a time, dip on all sides in the butter and then coat in cinnamon sugar. If using a bag, just place in the bag, seal the top and shake. Remove and set aside to dry. Continue until all the donuts are coated.
  9. Before serving, making the dipping sauce. In a medium saucepan combine the brown sugar, heavy cream, salt and vanilla over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat slightly.
  10. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the brown sugar is completely dissolved.
  11. Remove from the heat to add the rum and the butter and stir until the butter is completely melted.
  12. Pour the sauce in a heat proof serving bowl and serve hot alongside the donuts. 


Le Creuset 3-quart Stainless Steel Saucepan

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

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