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Apple Ale Doughnuts

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These homemade Apple Ale Doughnuts are coated in a simple apple flavored glaze or delicious cinnamon-sugar for the perfect fall treat. This cake style doughnut is tender and moist on the inside and deep-fried until golden and crispy on the outside!

Check out this Apple Cider Doughnuts post for the traditional recipe without alcohol.

Apple ale doughnuts sitting on white plate with a bottle of apple ale in the background.

Recipe inspiration

It is Spiked! Recipe Challenge time again, and this time the spiked ingredient is FALL BEERS! What? Pumpkin, or apple beers used to make…..? My mind went blank…again! I do not drink beer so I have no idea what a fall beer would taste like or what I should make with it. Then it dawned on me.

What if I make apple cider doughnuts, using apple ale instead of cider? That should work…right? So I headed off to the grocery store to speak to the wonderfully helpful employees and ask about apple beers. She didn’t even have to think about it, she immediately said REDD’S Apple Ale. Then the cute construction worker that that was standing in front of the beer cooler, wholeheartedly agreed with her. So REDD’S Apple Ale it is!

Glazed doughnut sitting on a white plate with a bottle of apple ale in the background.

How to make Apple Ale Doughnuts

Heat the apple ale in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it is reduced to .25-cup, about 20 – 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together is a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together until smooth.

Butter and sugar beaten in a bowl.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fully incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to occasionally scrap down the sides as necessary.

Eggs, butter and sugar beaten in a bowl.

Gradually add the reduced apple ale and the buttermilk, mixing just until combined.

Apple ale mixed into egg, butter, and sugar mixture.

Add the flour mixture, and continue to mix just until dough comes together. This dough is very sticky.

Flour mixed into wet ingredients to form a sticky dough.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and generously coat with flour.

Apple ale dough on a flour covered marble slab.

Turn the dough out onto one of the baking sheets, and press down with your hands until it is about 0.5-inch thick. Use a bit more flour is dough is still too wet to handle. Place the dough and baking sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes until slightly hardened.

Doughnut dough flattened into a rectangle on a silicone lined baking sheet.

Remove from freezer, and cut out 3-inch circles with 1-inch holes in the center.

Doughnut holes and cut outs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Place the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto the second baking pan. Re-roll dough scraps and cut out remaining circles. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a large deep-sided pan until a candy thermometer reaches 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels and set aside.

Gently drop a few doughnuts at a time into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan. Fry until golden brown, turn over and fry the other side.

Three doughnuts frying in hot oil in a large blue pot.

Remove doughnuts from oil and drain on paper towels or a wire rack for one minute.

Seven fried doughnuts and five doughnut holes sitting on paper towels on a baking sheet.

Dip the warm doughnuts into the glaze or cinnamon sugar.

A cinnamon sugar coated doughnut on a white plate with a bottle of apple ale in the background.

I do not have an official doughnut cutter, so I got creative and used a 3-inch circle cutter and an apple corer. It seemed appropriate to use an apple corer to make the smaller hole! 😉

Apple corer used to cut small circles into doughnut dough.

I prefer the glazed version, and so does my camera. I had a heck of a time trying to get it to focus and take a picture! These doughnuts DO NOT taste like beer at all!! When they are still warm, the apple flavor is more prominent than it is the next day. They are delicious and disappeared very quickly!

Apple ale doughnuts sitting on white plate with a bottle of apple ale in the background.

Recipe Notes & Tips

  • Make sure you coat your hands with flour before you flatten the dough, or it will stick!
  • Do not add too much flour or your doughnuts will become dense.
  • Roll your dough a bit more than .25-inch thick, but 0.5-inches is too thick…the centers won’t cook thoroughly.
  • If you only want to glaze your doughnuts and not use the cinnamon sugar, double the glaze recipe…or vice-versa.
  • Doughnut batter can be covered and refrigerated for up to 12 hours if preferred, then fry them the next day.
  • If you do not have a paddle attachment, or can’t find it, whisk the liquid ingredients and attach the dough hook before you add the flour mixture.
  • Do not over crowd the pan while frying. You want your doughnuts to have enough space to expand without overflowing the oil.
  • Keep an eye on the oil temperature! If it gets too hot, turn the knob slightly and allow it to cool. If too cool, allow the oil to heat back up to temperature before adding additional doughnuts to the pan.
  • Store leftover doughnuts in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
  • Unglazed doughnuts can be frozen wrapped in plastic wrap then placed into a zipper topped bag for up to three months. Allow doughnuts to thaw to room temperature then glaze or brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before serving.

Tools used to create this recipe

You can see the rest of my favorite kitchen tools and gadgets here in my Amazon Affiliate Page. I earn a small commission when you purchase through my links, at no cost to you, so I can keep bringing you more delicious recipes!

More delicious doughnut recipes

I WON!!! That’s right, these delicious Apple Ale Doughnuts won the Spiked! Recipe Challenge!!!

If you love this recipe, please rate it five stars and help me share on facebook and to help other readers in our community!

Enjoy!!

Apple ale doughnuts sitting on white plate.

Apple Ale Doughnuts

Apple Ale Doughnuts are a cake style doughnut that is tender and moist on the inside and deep-fried until golden and crispy on the outside!
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: traditional apple cider doughnuts made with apple ale
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Freezing Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 20 Servings
Calories: 220kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Ingredients

  • 1 cup apple ale can substitute apple cider
  • 3.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
  • .25 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 0.5 cup buttermilk
  • oil for frying

Apple Ale Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple ale or apple cider

Cinnamon Sugar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Heat the apple ale (or cider) in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it is reduced to .25-cup, about 20 – 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together is a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together until smooth.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fully incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to occasionally scrap down the sides as necessary.
  • Gradually add the reduced apple ale and the buttermilk, mixing just until combined.
  • Add the flour mixture, and continue to mix just until dough comes together. Don't be alarmed if it is sticky.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and generously coat with flour. Turn the dough out onto one of the baking sheets, and press down with your hands until it is about 0.5-inch thick. Use more flour is dough is still too wet to handle. Place the dough and baking sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes until slightly hardened.
  • Remove from freezer, and cut out 3-inch circles with 1-inch holes in the center.
  • Place the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto the second baking pan. Re-roll dough scraps and cut out remaining circles. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a large deep-sided pan until a candy thermometer reaches 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack or several layers of paper towels and set aside.
  • Gently drop a few doughnuts at a time into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan. Fry until golden brown, turn over and fry the other side.
  • Remove doughnuts from oil and drain on a wire rack for one minute.
  • Dip the warm doughnuts into the glaze or cinnamon sugar.

Notes

  • Make sure you coat your hands with flour before you flatten the dough, or it will stick!
  • Do not add too much flour or your doughnuts will become dense.
  • Roll your dough a bit more than .25-inch thick, but 0.5-inches is too thick…the centers won’t cook thoroughly.
  • If you only want to glaze your doughnuts and not use the cinnamon sugar, double the glaze recipe…or vice-versa.
  • Doughnut batter can be covered and refrigerated for up to 12 hours if preferred, then fry them the next day.
  • If you do not have a paddle attachment, or can’t find it, whisk the liquid ingredients and attach the dough hook before you add the flour mixture.
  • Do not over crowd the pan while frying. You want your doughnuts to have enough space to expand without overflowing the oil.
  • Keep an eye on the oil temperature! If it gets too hot, turn the knob slightly and allow it to cool. If too cool, allow the oil to heat back up to temperature before adding additional doughnuts to the pan.
  • Store leftover doughnuts in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
  • Unglazed doughnuts can be frozen wrapped in plastic wrap then placed into a zipper topped bag for up to three months. Allow doughnuts to thaw to room temperature then glaze or brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 85mg | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1.2mg

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43 Comments

  1. Oooooh! These sound delish! LOVE the idea! Now I know what to do with my leftover apple beer. I’m not a beer drinker either so I have 5 bottles of the Apple Shock Top left! 🙂

  2. Girl. I hope you know how much i love these!!! Redd’s is DELICIOUS!!! Also– we are visiting a hard cider mill tomorrow and I am totally trying out this recipe. The cure construction worker was likely my other half — giving sage beer advice… sounds about right. Thanks Lisa for giving us such an awesome fall recipe!!

  3. This is such an amazing and delicious idea, Lisa! I LOVE these, and am so wishing I could have 1 or 2 of these for breakfast tomorrow. Think you could FedEx them overnight? I take bribes… 😉 lol!

    Good luck in the Spiked! Fall Beers Recipe Challenge! 🙂

  4. YUM! I love what you have come up with, Lisa! Apple Ale Donuts? I think Dunkin Donuts needs to have you start making these for their Fall donut collection! 🙂 Thanks so much for participating in the Spiked! Challenge!

  5. Yum!! I don’t drink alcohol, but apple cider donuts are one of favorite things. I am going to have to try these because they look delicious! PS – I just saw that you’re in Eastern Iowa. I went to law school at University of Iowa. I love that area!! =)

  6. Congrautulations on winning the challenge! Yum! These look awesome! I have a deep fryer and I’m thinking a batch of these needs to be made SOON!

    Happy Saturday! Cathy

  7. Ooooh! My MIL and I were just talking last week about how hard it is to find a good apple cider donut recipe (they either fall apart or don’t have enough apple oomph). I’m gonna have to tell her about this one! They’ll be eaten within hours of being made, so no need to worry about disappearing flavor 😉

  8. Wow, Lisa!!! These look so absolutely delicious and congratulations on the win!!! Oh my gosh, I would LOVE to have one of these!!! Can you bring some to the party Friday night? 😉 Great job, my friend!!! Pinning!

  9. I’ve been wanting to buy a donut pan lately, and now I’m wishing I already had one! I know that fried donuts are way tastier, but I hate dealing with hot oil 🙂 These look amazing! Pinning.
    Thanks for sharing at Saturday Dishes! Hope to see you back for the party again tonight!

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