Whole Wheat Apple Cider Donuts

Whole Wheat Apple Cider Donuts
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About This Recipe

In the culinary heart of Napa Valley, a place where the love for artisanal and locally sourced ingredients is almost a tradition, the Whole Wheat Apple Cider Donuts bring a touch of rustic charm and autumnal delight. This recipe, which marries the wholesomeness of whole wheat with the sweet, tangy essence of apple cider, is a perfect representation of Napa's commitment to seasonal and local produce.

The making of these donuts starts with high-quality whole wheat flour, blended with granulated sugar, baking powder, and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The dry ingredients are carefully whisked together, creating a base that's rich in flavor and texture. Then, the wet ingredients – a mix of fresh apple cider, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract – are combined and gently folded into the dry mix. The apple cider, preferably sourced from Napa's local orchards, infuses the dough with a subtle sweetness and a hint of tang, characteristic of the region's fall harvest.

Once the dough is mixed, it's chilled to make it easier to handle. This resting period allows the flavors to meld together harmoniously. The dough is then rolled out, cut into classic donut shapes, and deep-fried until golden brown. As they come out of the fryer, warm and fragrant, they're coated in a generous dusting of cinnamon sugar, adding a layer of sweet spice that complements the apple cider notes.

Pairing these donuts with the right wine can turn a simple snack into an exquisite culinary experience. Consider a glass of St. Supéry Estate Riesling, a beautiful example of Napa Valley Riesling. The wine's light sweetness and crisp acidity make it a perfect match for the donuts, enhancing the apple cider flavors and balancing the richness of the whole wheat.

For a bubbly alternative, a Mumm Napa Brut Prestige, representative of Napa Valley Sparkling, pairs delightfully with the donuts. The effervescence and balancing acidity of the sparkling wine cut through the richness of the donuts, creating a harmonious contrast of flavors and textures.

When it comes to incorporating these donuts into a broader menu, they work wonderfully as a brunch item or a sweet afternoon treat. They can be served alongside a fruit salad featuring seasonal Napa Valley fruits, or as a dessert following a light lunch of farm-fresh salads and artisanal sandwiches.

Serving Whole Wheat Apple Cider Donuts is not just about offering a delicious treat; it's about bringing a piece of Napa Valley's autumn harvest to your table. Paired with a glass of fine wine, these donuts become a celebration of the region's culinary heritage, showcasing the simple yet profound joy of eating food that is both delicious and deeply rooted in the local terroir.

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Apple Cider

Apple cider, the hero ingredient in our Whole Wheat Apple Cider Donuts, is a staple in Napa Valley's autumn cuisine. This flavorful liquid, derived from freshly pressed apples, brings a unique blend of sweetness and tanginess to various dishes. In these donuts, apple cider not only imparts a distinct autumnal flavor but also adds moisture, ensuring a tender texture. Sourced from local orchards, this ingredient encapsulates the essence of Napa's fall harvest.

How to Perfectly Fry Whole Wheat Donuts

  1. Maintain the Right Oil Temperature: Keep the cooking oil consistently at 375°F. Use a deep-fry thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  2. Do Not Overcrowd the Pan: Fry the donuts in small batches to avoid a drop in oil temperature, which can lead to soggy donuts.
  3. Turn Donuts for Even Cooking: Gently turn the donuts halfway through frying to ensure they cook evenly and achieve a uniform golden brown color.
  4. Drain Excess Oil: After frying, place the donuts on a wire rack over a baking sheet or paper towels to drain excess oil.


  1. Can I bake these donuts instead of frying? Yes, you can bake them at 375°F for about 10-12 minutes, although the texture will differ from frying.
  2. How long do these donuts stay fresh? They are best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  3. Is there a gluten-free alternative to whole wheat flour? A gluten-free all-purpose flour blend can be used as a substitute, though the texture may vary slightly.
  4. Can I use store-bought apple cider? Absolutely, though fresh, locally sourced cider is recommended for the best flavor.
  5. What's the best way to coat the donuts in cinnamon sugar? Toss the warm donuts in cinnamon sugar immediately after frying for the best adherence.

Tips for Success

  1. Chill the Dough: Chilling the dough makes it easier to handle and roll out, resulting in better-shaped donuts.
  2. Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh, high-quality apple cider enhances the flavor of the donuts significantly.
  3. Serve Warm: For the best taste and texture, serve these donuts warm, ideally just after they've been fried and coated.

By highlighting the hero ingredient, mastering the frying technique, addressing common questions, and following these tips, you’re set to create a batch of Whole Wheat Apple Cider Donuts that are not just delicious, but also a true reflection of Napa Valley’s fall flavors.

Recipe Overview

Whole Wheat Apple Cider Donuts
Lily Anderson
12 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Cooking oil, for frying
  • Cinnamon sugar, for coating

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  2. Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, mix apple cider, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
  3. Combine and Chill: Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Prepare for Frying: Heat cooking oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 375°F.
  5. Shape Donuts: On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out donuts using a donut cutter.
  6. Fry Donuts: Fry the donuts in batches, about 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  7. Coat with Cinnamon Sugar: While still warm, coat the donuts in cinnamon sugar.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

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