It is only right that I follow our Fall Fun post with a Cider Donut recipe... as that is exactly how each of our fall field trips seem to end up, too - with fingers covered in cinnamon and sugar.

Saturday, as we were enjoying some fresh donuts on the car ride home, Mike asked me - what makes them cider donuts?  Is there actually cider in them?  I had no idea. 

After a little googling I discovered that, in fact, they do.  The cider gives them an acid bite and makes them extra moist.  The recipes I found online recommended making them with a condensed cider made simply by boiling the cider for 15 minutes to concentrate the flavor.

As it is officially October, we spent another weekend farm and orchard hoping.  Our "field trip" this time was to a real pumpkin patch.  This was the first time in 25 years that I've actually picked pumpkins from a field.  I know - I can hardly believe it myself.  It was so much more fun than picking them out at the market.  Emma picked her very own pumpkins - all just her size.

Emma had the best time.  Each time she found one, she would say... "Look, there's one! There's a punkin'!"  We have all of her pint size pumpkins lined up on our front steps. 

Last weekend's donut stop was not the best, but this weekend, oh my.  Oh my.  I bought a dozen and they were gone by Sunday morning at 8 am... leaving us craving more by the afternoon.

I created my own version (using the Barefoot Contessa's baked donuts as a starting place - remember, I featured them back in January?), but added the condensed cider in place of part of the milk, left out the nutmeg (not a huge fan) and changed the leavening a bit.  Ina's recipe says to bake them for 17 minutes, but I find that only about 10-12 works best for me.  Has anyone else found the same?

Cider Donuts

New! Printable Recipes, here.

1 1/2 cup of apple cider
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons butter1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees with the donut pan in the oven.

Begin by condensing the cider - boil 1 1/2 cup for 15 minutes until it has reduced.

Pour the cider into a measuring cup, then add butter, milk, vanilla and egg.  Stir to combine.

Combine all of the dry ingredients, then stir in wet cider mixture.

It should be about the consistency of waffle batter.

Remove the donut pan from the pre-heated oven, then spray or butter the donut pan.  Then spoon in mixture 3/4 of the way up the pan.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set.  *Note, Ina recommends baking for 17 minutes - so, if they look like they need more time, you can bake them for longer.  However, 10-12 minutes left mine moist and yummy.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.

Remove from pan, and one at a time brush with melted butter, then coat donut with cinnamon sugar.

Serve warm, if possible.

Also, serve with hot apple cider, if possible.

Cider donuts have become a weekend morning tradition for us - I'm so glad we can make our own version at home.  Now I'm wondering... cider pancakes?  cider waffles?  cider scones with a maple glaze?!

What are you favorite fall weekend morning traditions?