After a filling Hannukah meal, no matter how much I've eaten, I always want some dessert at the end. Sadly, I never took to sufganyot, the Sephardic jelly-filled doughnuts traditionally served during the holiday, but I've always, always had a soft spot for homemade doughnuts, especially the apple cider kind.
These are a perfect ending to a late fall celebratory meal. Served warm, the cake donuts are delightfully festive, softly scented with reduced apple cider and dusted with sparkling cinnamon sugar. And if you feel like a whole doughnut will put you over the edge, there's always a doughnut hole waiting.
About the author: Olga Massov writes a popular blog Sassy Radish where she shares food stories and spruced-up comfort foods. Her Russian heritage makes sure she always has room for herring.
- 1 cup apple cider
- 3 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Shortening or vegetable oil for frying
- 1 cup sugar mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon in a wide dish
In saucepan over medium heat, gently reduce apple cider to about 1/4 cup by simmering for 20-30 minutes. Set aside to cool. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
Add butter and sugar to stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Cream on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, continuing to mix until eggs are completely incorporated. Reduce speed to low and gradually drizzle in reduced apple cider and buttermilk, mixing just until combined, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture and continue to mix until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle generously with flour. Turn dough onto one sheet and sprinkle the top with flour. Flatten dough to even 1/2-inch thickness with hands or rolling pin, sprinkling with flour as necessary.
Transfer dough to the freezer until slightly hardened, about 20 minutes. Using 3-inch doughnut cutter, cut out doughnut shapes and donut holes. Place cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto second sheet pan. Refrigerate doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes. (You can re-roll scraps of dough, refrigerate them briefly and cut additional doughnuts from dough.)
Add enough oil or shortening to Dutch oven or wok to measure depth of about 3 inches. Attach candy thermometer to side of the pan and heat over medium heat until oil reaches 350 degrees. Line large plate with several layers of paper towels.
Carefully add doughnuts to oil a few at a time, being careful not to crowd pan. Fry until golden brown, about 60 seconds. Turn doughnuts over and fry until second side is golden, 30 to 60 seconds longer.
Drain fried donuts on paper towels. Dip top of the warm doughnuts in cinnamon sugar and serve immediately.