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If there’s one sweet treat that epitomizes fall, it has to be apple fritter doughnuts, the sweet, cinnamon- and nutmeg-dusted delights that bring a welcome warmth to even the chilliest afternoons.

Though this preparation method seems unconventional, trust the process! Everything will come together after a second rise. As the dough rises for a second time, start heating your oil slowly, as it can take time to come up to temperature. We promise the final result will make your watchfulness worth it.

How to Make It

Difficulty: Moderate

Overall Time: 3 hrs 5 min

Prep Time: 35 min + 1 hr 40 min rising time

Cook Time: 20 min + 30 min cooling time

Serves: 16


Fritter Dough

  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed to 120°F (50°C)
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tsp granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 4 large crisp apples, such as Spy or Granny Smith, peeled and diced ½-inch thick
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • Freshly grated nutmeg


  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • cup whole milk
  1. For the dough, combine milk with yeast and 1 tsp sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Mix in flour, remaining ¼ cup sugar, melted butter, egg and salt, using the dough hook, on low speed until a dough forms. Increase speed to medium and continue mixing until dough is smooth and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl, up to 8 minutes. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Let stand until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, for the apples, melt butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add apples and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in sugar and spices. Continue cooking until the mixture is sticky, about 2 to 3 more minutes. Let it cool for 20 minutes.
  4. Punch down dough and transfer to a well-floured surface. Roll out into a 10 x 16-in rectangle. Spread apple mixture over bottom half of dough, then fold top half down to enclose filling. Slice dough lengthwise into 1-inch strips, using a bench scraper or a knife. Repeat slices crosswise to create a grid pattern. Gather mixture and knead into a very messy ball, pushing any loose apples back into dough. Transfer to same bowl, cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, pour oil into a large, deep pot until it reaches 1 ½-inches up the sides. Heat over medium-low until temperature reaches 350°F on a deep-fry thermometer.
  6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, then dust lightly with flour. Transfer dough to the same well-floured surface. Roll out gently into a 12 x 12-in square. Cut dough into 16 squares. Shape each square roughly into ovals, using lightly floured hands, if needed. Transfer to prepared baking sheets. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  7. Increase heat of oil to medium to maintain a temperature of 350°F, adjusting when needed. Fry fritters, 2 to 3 at a time, flipping halfway through until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool for 10 minutes before glazing.
  8. For the glaze, whisk icing sugar with milk in a large bowl until smooth. Dip fritters on both sides to fully coat, shaking excess glaze back into the bowl. Transfer fritters to wire racks and let stand until dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

How to Store It

Fritters are best served the same day but will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Apple Fritter Doughnuts
Apple Fritter Doughnuts

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