These homemade apple fritter doughnuts are easy, delicious, and full of cinnamon spice, apples, and that classic apple fritter doughnut taste. A perfectly sweet fall treat.
I'm the weirdo who loves apple fritters at the Krispy Kreme.
And I know I'm not the only one. I crave them whenever it's apple picking season, because there are no apple picking farms in South Florida.
Back when we lived up north, Brian and I (and baby Greyson) would go to the farm and pick apples every fall. And on the hay ride back towards parking (which would go around the entire farm so you could hop off and pick the other fruits and veg (and pumpkins!) and get a glimpse at the Christmas trees before stopping at the barn which, of course, was basically the gift shop.
Let me tell you, it's impossible to go through there without buying something you don't need but really, really want. Like apple cider. And apple fritters. Especially when there's free samples, then you really can't resist buying a whole box of them.
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These apple fritters are different from your usual 'drop fritter' recipe. These are actually yeast donuts. The yeast doughnut apple fritter is softer and tastier, with that classic 'doughnut' texture and taste. Which is what I was craving. The other type of apple fritter, which uses baking soda/powder to make the fritter just doesn't have the same taste and texture as the apple fritter doughnut.
And they wouldn't be apple fritters without some fresh, juicy apples in there, right? I used Gala, which are crisp, juicy, sweet yet slightly tart, and they were absolutely perfect (and they were on sale!) but a Granny Smith, a Pink Lady, a Honey Crisp, would work well. Don't use Red Delicious or McIntosh, they are made for fresh eating only and can turn mealy when cooked.
Using a small cookie scoop will give you a pretty uniform amount of fritter dough to drop into the oil. Don't be scared of deep frying, there will be no splattering or spitting or explosions with this recipe, I promise. I am telling you now: use a candy thermometer to keep track of your oil temperature and there will be no problems! When the dough drops into the 350 degree F oil, it will gently bubble and the fritter will puff up a ton. This is why I say use a small cookie scoop.
I used an ice cream sized scoop for my first test and those fritters were huge and took longer to cook. You want to cook these for about a minute on each side. They'll get golden brown and you'll flip them over to cook for another minute.
Then dust them with powdered sugar or roll them in cinnamon sugar, mmm! They are so amazing and so perfectly fall with all that cinnamon spice and just sweater weather comfort they give.
Seriously, they are one of my most beloved fall treats and I hope y'all enjoy them.
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- 1 pkg active dry yeast, (2 ¼ tsp)
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 cup whole milk, warmed to 110-115 degrees F
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 Gala apples, peeled
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp butter, softened
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Powdered sugar
- In a large measuring cup, combine 1 cup of warm milk and 1 tbsp of sugar. Then stir in yeast and let proof on the counter for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile dice the apples into ¼-1/2 inch pieces. Once the apples are diced, toss them in a medium bowl with lemon juice, ginger, and cinnamon, making sure all the apples are covered in spices.
- In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs and vanilla together and add them to the milk and yeast mixture.
- In a large bowl. add the flour, the rest of the sugar, and salt. Then mix in the yeast and egg mixture well with a hand mixer or by hand with a spatula.
- Add the softened butter and apples and mix well. Dough will be sticky and more batter-like.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour for the dough to rise.
- Fill a saute pan or heavy bottomed dutch oven with 2 inches of vegetable oil and bring the temperature to 350 degrees F. Use a small cookie scoop, a 1-inch works perfectly, or two teaspoons to scoop and drop apple fritter dough into the hot oil. Fry about 3-4 fritters at a time, making sure the temperature stays around 350 degrees F, using the candy thermometer.
- Cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side of the fritters or until both sides are a deep golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack with paper towels underneath to drain any oil.
- When cooled somewhat, dust a generous amount of powdered sugar on top of fritters.
- Store in an airtight container for 2 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.