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Apple Cider Donut Cupcakes


Apple Cider Donut Cupcake

Apple Cider Donut Cupcakes

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 36 cupcakes
Calories: 265 kcal
Author: Alina Eisenhauer

This cupcake is a salute to one of falls most iconic foods in New England. The highlight of any trip to a local farm stand or orchard is always the fresh apple cider donuts- slightly sweet with a hint of nutmeg and covered in generous dusting of cinnamon sugar. 

I fill these cupcakes with caramel buttercream and keep the tops bare, covered in cinnamon sugar which is essential to the cider donut experience.



Cupcake Batter

  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temp.
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs room temp.
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Caramel Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temp.
  • 1/2 cup shortening of your choice
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup caramel homemade or store bought
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Thin Cider "Glaze"

  • 4 Tbs apple cider
  • 2 Tbs confectioners sugar

Spiced Sugar - mix all ingredients together in a small bowl

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F.

To Make The Cupcakes

  1. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a fork or a whisk to mix well.

  2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the softened butter and the sugar. Beat with a mixer on high speed until very light and fluffy. 

  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.

  4. Add about a third of the flour mixture and then half of the cider, beat at low speed just until the flour and cider disappears. Mix in another third of the flour, followed by the rest of the cider and the vanilla and then the rest of the flour the same way.

  5. Scoop into lined cupcake pans and bake at 375 for 25-30 min, until the cupcakes are golden and spring back slightly when touched lightly in the center.

  6. Cool in the pans for 5-10 min and carefully remove. While the cupcakes are still slightly warm, brush the tops with the cider glaze and then dip the entire top into the spiced sugar to coat.

To Make The Caramel Buttercream

  1. In a medium bowl, or the bowl or your stand mixer, combine the soft butter and shortening and beat with a mixer at low speed to mix well. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until the frosting is fluffy and smooth, stopping a few times to scrape down the bowl. Add the caramel and vanilla and beat again until well mixed and fluffy.

To Fill The Cupcakes

  1. Poke a hole in the center of each cupcake using the handle of a whisk or wooden spoon

  2. Using a pastry bag with a plain tip (or just cut the end off), fill the center of each cupcake ending with a small dollop of frosting in the middle.

Decorate with sprinkles and or white chocolate pearls and glitter or leave them naked and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • for a little extra holiday cheer you can replace half or all of the cider in the glaze with spiced rum or good bourbon.
Nutrition Facts
Apple Cider Donut Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 265 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 38mg13%
Sodium 70mg3%
Potassium 58mg2%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 28g31%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 265IU5%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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