Homemade, bakery-style apple fritter donuts are the perfect sweet treat that you typically find at a donut shop, but can be made just as great in your own home. Small pieces of soft yet crisp apple are mixed with cinnamon and folded into a soft yeast dough, fried to golden brown perfection, and doused in a simple glaze.
This apple fritter recipe uses a similar dough to these brioche cinnamon rolls, which are a fan favorite, and bring all of the fall flavor and delicious smells to your kitchen! If you love apple crisp or apple cider donuts, you’ll want to try this.
Bakery-Style Apple Fritter Donuts
Homemade, bakery-style apple fritter donuts are the perfect sweet treat that you typically find at a donut shop, but made just as great in your own home. Small pieces of soft yet crisp apple are mixed with cinnamon and folded into a soft yeast dough, fried to golden brown perfection, and doused in a simple glaze.
- ▢Stand mixer with dough hook attachment
- ▢Large frying pan
- ▢Rolling Pin
- ▢Bench scraper or knife
- ▢Oil or candy thermometer
- ▢Large, heavy-bottomed pot
- ▢Metal slotted spoon or spatula
- ▢Wire rack
- ▢Paper towels
- ▢½ cup whole milk warm (115℉), 4 fl oz
- ▢¼ cup granulated sugar 50g
- ▢6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (85g)
- ▢1 large egg + 1 yolk room temperature
- ▢½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ▢1½ teaspoons instant yeast
- ▢3½ cups all-purpose flour 420g (plus ~ ¾ cup or 90g extra for rolling and dusting)
Apple Pie Filling
- ▢3 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, diced into 1cm pieces (450g)
- ▢⅓ cup light brown sugar 67g
- ▢½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ▢1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ▢¼ cup apple cider or apple juice 60ml
- ▢1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- ▢2½ cups powdered sugar 300g
- ▢⅓ cup apple cider or apple juice 80ml
- ▢1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- ▢¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ▢64 fl oz vegetable oil or canola oil for frying
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix together the milk, sugar, butter and eggs.½ cup whole milk,¼ cup granulated sugar,6 tablespoons unsalted butter,1 large egg + 1 yolk
- Add the salt, instant yeast, and 3 cups (360g) of the flour and mix on low until moistened. Scrape down the sides to incorporate the rest of the flour, then mix on medium high speed for five minutes. The dough will still be sticking to the sides.½ teaspoon kosher salt,1½ teaspoons instant yeast,3½ cups all-purpose flour
- Add the remaining ½ cup flour and mix on low until incorporated, then increase to medium high and mix for one more minute. The dough will have mostly pulled off the sides at this point (but may still be stuck on the bottom). If the dough is still very sticky and fully adhering to the sides the sides, add another ¼ cup of flour and mix on medium speed to combine for one minute.
- Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl (use oil or baking spray), cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Typically about 1 hour.
- Make the apple pie filling while the dough rises.
Apple Pie Filling
- Peel, core, and dice the apples into 1cm pieces, then add to a frying pan with the sugar and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat (stirring every minute) until the sugar melts and the apples begin to soften slightly around the edges, about 5 minutes.3 Granny Smith apples,⅓ cup light brown sugar,½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Mix together the cornstarch and apple juice and stir it into the apples until it thickens.1 tablespoon cornstarch,¼ cup apple cider or apple juice
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, then allow it to cool completely.1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- Add the oil to a large, heavy bottomed pot and heat over medium low heat while you prepare the donuts.64 fl oz vegetable oil or canola oil
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, form it into a rectangle with your hands, then roll it out into a 12×16 inch rectangle.
- Add the cooled apple pie filling and spread it evenly across the entire piece of dough. I find it easiest to use your hands. Sprinkle extra flour (¼ cup, 30g) on top of the apple pie filling.
- Fold each side of the dough (the short sides) to meet in the middle and enclose the apple pie filling and gently push the seam and edges together to seal.
- Use a bench scraper or knife to cut the dough into one inch pieces then give them a light toss.
- Form the pieces into six large, round fritters (or make them into smaller fritters) and compact them together a bit with your hands.
- Add flour to the tops of each fritter, then flip them and add flour to the other side. Pat the flour into the donuts to help absorb the moisture.
- Transfer the apple fritters to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a piece of plastic wrap.
Frying the Donuts
- Set up a sheet pan lined with paper towels next to your frying station and have a metal spoon, spatula, or spider ready. Check the oil temperature with a candy thermometer until it reads a steady 375℉.
- Add one to two apple fritters into the oil and fry for roughly three minutes until deeply golden brown. Use the slotted metal utensil to remove the fritters to the paper towels. Repeat with the remaining donuts.
- Once the donuts are mostly cool (but still a bit warm), whisk together the powdered sugar with the cinnamon, vanilla, and apple juice until smooth.2½ cups powdered sugar,⅓ cup apple cider or apple juice,1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract,¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Dunk the fried donuts into the glaze and turn it to coat completely, then place it onto a wire rack (with a pan underneath) to allow excess to drip off.
- Give the apple fritters a few minutes to allow the glaze to set, then enjoy!
Be sure to check the oil temperature between each round of frying and adjust accordingly to keep a 375℉ temperature.
Store the apple fritters in a paper bag for two days or lightly covered with a piece of foil on a plate. Add a piece of parchment paper in between if they need to be stacked.
Tip: add the extra ¾ cup of flour to another bowl to use for dusting the fritter dough. It’s a messy process, so you don’t want to be dunking your hand into the flour bin and contaminating it.
Place the pre-fried apple fritters on squares of parchment paper. Then add the entire fritter and parchment to the hot oil and pull the parchment out using a pair of tongs.
The apple fritters can be made as large or small as you’d like. Just be sure to fry the donuts at the correct temperature until they are a deep golden brown color.
Note that the nutrition information does not include the oil needed for frying.
Calories: 738kcalCarbohydrates: 145gProtein: 11gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 223mgPotassium: 299mgFiber: 5gSugar: 82gVitamin A: 475IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 4mg