I know many people will say I’m diving a little too deep into fall flavors given it’s only September, but ehh I don’t care. The drink that I associate most with fall is apple cider! When I think apple cider, I also think apple cider donuts. I don’t get them too often but I always love them when I do. I actually had the idea for these apple cider mochi donuts in the spring and I’ve been waiting for the seasons to change before I posted it. So excited to share this recipe with you guys!
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Apple cider – The main ingredient in these mochi donuts is of course apple cider. Any kind of apple cider should work for this recipe, but my favorite brand is Martinelli’s.
- Sweet rice flour – This is the ingredient that gives the donut it’s squishy texture. I like to use Koda Farms mochiko sweet rice flour.
- Baking powder – Baking powder provides lift to the donuts and makes it airy.
- Cinnamon & nutmeg – These warm spices add more flavor to the donut, and they pair really well with the apple flavor.
- Butter – Adds richness and nuttiness to the donut batter.
- Granulated sugar & light brown sugar – You need both white and brown sugar for this recipe. The white sugar adds sweetness. Light brown sugar adds sweetness and moisture. You can also use dark brown sugar, but since it has more liquid than light brown sugar, it will slightly change the texture of the donut.
- Whole milk – Adds moisture and richness to the donut batter.
- Vanilla extract – Adds flavor to the donuts. Good substitutes are 1 vanilla bean or an equal amount of vanilla paste.
- Eggs – Adds richness to the donuts.
Making my apple cider mochi donuts
First make the apple cider concentrate. Simmer apple cider on medium low until you have 1/2 cup of concentrate (40-45 minutes). Set aside to cool for 20 minutes. Next preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease 2 donut pans. Add sweet rice flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg to a bowl. Mix and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, vanilla extract, milk, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add in the eggs and whisk until combined. Finally, add the apple cider concentrate and mix.
Sift in the dry ingredients. Use a spatula to combine until a wet dough forms. Spoon the dough into a piping bag or Ziploc bag. Pipe the dough into the donut pans. I used a donut pan with donut molds that are 3 inches in diameter. Smack the donut pan 1-2 times to get rid of some of the air bubbles. Bake for 9-11 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. While the donuts are baking, combine cinnamon and granulated sugar into a bowl and mix. Once out of the oven, immediately cover the donuts in the cinnamon sugar. The heat will help the coating stick to the donuts. Cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving.
Tips on how to make the perfect apple cider mochi donuts
- Reduce apple cider down to a concentrate – The first time I tested this recipe I use apple cider straight out of the bottle. It worked fine, but I couldn’t really taste any apple flavor. So I did some research and found that a good way to concentrate the apple flavor is to reduce down the apple cider. Most of the liquid evaporates in this process, and you’re left with a more concentrated version of the apple cider. This helps the apple flavor come through in the final product.
- Use a Ziploc bag to pipe donuts into donut pan – I tried to spoon the batter into the donut molds, but I ended up making a mess. That’s how I ended up using a ziploc bag to pipe them into the molds. It’s a lot quicker, and there is less mess.
- Coat the donuts with the cinnamon sugar while they’re still hot – I tried to coat these donuts after they cooled down, and the cinnamon sugar didn’t stick as well as when they were piping hot. So definitely make sure to coat them right after they come out of the oven. Use forks if the donuts are too hot for you to handle.
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Apple Cider Mochi Donuts
Apple Cider Mochi Donuts
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- Heat apple cider over medium low heat. Simmer until the apple cider has reduced down to 1/2 cup (~40-45 minutes). Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease 2 donut pans and set aside.
- Add sweet rice flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg to a small bowl. Mix and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, vanilla extract, milk, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add in the eggs and whisk until combined. Finally, add the apple cider concentrate from step 1 and mix.
- Sift dry ingredients from step 4 into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Use a spatula to combine until you get a wet dough.
- Spoon the dough into a pastry bag or Ziploc bag. Pipe the dough into the donut pans. I used a donut pan with donut molds that are 3 inches in diameter.
- Smack the donut pan 1-2 times on a flat surface to get rid of some of the air bubbles.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- While the donuts are baking, make the cinnamon sugar topping. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix and set aside.
- Once out of the oven, cover the donuts in cinnamon sugar. Use 2 forks if the donuts are too hot to handle.
- Cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving.