Homemade apple fritters are nothing like what you find in stores. These are warm, soft, crunchy, and soooo good!
Old Fashioned Apple Fritters
Adjust the apple content to your liking and never fear running into a bite without a delicious chunk of apple inside.
Apple fritters are an old fashioned doughnut recipe that’s been around for decades (or centuries even). It’s crazy to think about their history but why learn it when you can live it? This old fashioned apple fritters recipe is sure to get you excited for apple season or using up those uneaten apples in the pantry.
Making apple fritters isn’t crazy difficult, at least not with this recipe. This recipe is pretty simple compared to other donut recipes out there.
This one has no yeast and will require frying the fritters in a pot of oil. That said, I have another apple donut recipe (it’s baked) if you aren’t feeling up to frying a batch.
With apple chunks and apple cider in this recipe, every bite has a nice amount of tasty apple flavor. Sprinkle them with powdered sugar or add a simple powdered sugar glaze for a sweet experience the moment it touches your tongue.
What is an Apple Fritter?
Apple fritters are delicious little cinnamon-spiced donuts packed with fresh apple chunks throughout and then fried to a delicious texture.
What makes a fritter a fritter?
Fritter is a term given to small pieces of fruit, meat or vegetables that are covered in batter and deep-fried.
By definition, our apples are battered and deep-fried and because we use about 1 tablespoon per donut they’re small enough to be considered a fritter.
Homemade Apple Fritters Ingredients
- Oil -used for frying the donuts.
- All-purpose Flour– the gluten base.
- Baking powder– the leavening agent that helps these donuts to puff up while frying
- Salt-enhancing the flavors in this recipe.
- Cinnamon and Cloves– adding a bit of spiced flavor into every bite.
- White sugar and Brown sugar– adding both sweetness and depth of flavor.
- Eggs– the binder keeping the donuts together.
- Butter– adding a richness of flavor.
- Vanilla– making other flavors stand out nicely.
- Sour Cream– adding moisture and richness while keeping the dough thick until fried.
- Apple Cider– Giving us more moisture and apple flavor.
- Diced Apples– peeled or unpeeled you’ll enjoy finding these bites of fruit in your donuts.
Best Apples to Use in a Fritter
When selecting apples for the fritters, I recommend choosing apples that are made for baking. Firmer apple varieties like pink lady, granny smith, or Honeycrisp can hold up to the heat of the oils better without breaking down and becoming grainy in texture. You can choose sweeter or more tart apples depending on your own preferences.
Do the apples need to be cooked before adding to the batter?
This recipe does not have you cook the apples before use. Thanks to the smaller pieces of chopped apples and the hot heat from the oil we can actually soften and cook the apples while the batter is cooking too. This saves prep time and still gives desirable results.
How to Make Apple Fritters from Scratch
- First, start by filling a large pot full of oil (either canola or peanut) and bringing it up to temperature. You’ll need about 2-3 cups of oil for this, and I personally recommend a 6 quart dutch oven because they heat more evenly.
- Use a candy thermometer to make sure that the oil has reached 350 degrees F.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Set the bowl aside.
- In another bowl, cream together the white and brown sugar with the butter.
- Add in the vanilla extract and the sour cream. Mix until everything is combined.
- Mix half of the dry ingredients together with the wet ones, stirring until just combined.
- Add in half of the requested apple cider and then mix again.
- Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix just until combined (again).
- Now add in the remaining bit of apple cider and mix again to combine.
- Fold in the chopped apples (peeled or unpeeled) until evenly distributed.
- Drop the donut dough by the rounded tablespoonfuls into the hot oil.
- Turn them over periodically until the fritter is browned evenly. This should take about 6-8 minutes.
- Let them cool and then sprinkle them with powdered sugar before serving.
How to Make Apple Fritters Crispy
The most important thing that you can do is to make sure that the oil is the proper temperature before adding in any of your fritter dough.
If the oil is too cold, the donuts will absorb a lot of oil while trying to heat up, resulting in soggy fritters.
Alternatively, if the oil is too hot, the outside of the fritter will cook quickly or even burn while the inside remains undercooked and raw.
Can you bake apple fritters?
It is possible to bake apple fritters in the oven instead of frying them. This recipe has not been tested to be cooked in the oven but similar recipes cook for about 10-13 minutes at 400ºF. If you try this method let me know how it turns out!
Can apple fritters be air fried?
Due to the wet texture of the batter, I do not recommend cooking these donuts in the air fryer as it will lead to a mess. You can, however, refresh your donuts the following day in your air fryer.
To do this, simply heat it to about 400 degrees F and cook for about 2 minutes. This should help to bring back that fresh taste and warmth you experienced when the donuts were freshly made.
How to Store Apple Fritters
Store apple fritters in an airtight container at room temperature.
Should apple fritters be refrigerated?
You do not have to place these donuts into the fridge for storage. These donuts are perfectly safe to keep sealed in an airtight container at room temperature, with or without a glaze on top.
How long will apple fritters last?
At room temperature, your donuts will last about 2 days. They can be frozen in an airtight container and kept for up to 3 months.
Can apple fritters be reheated?
Yes, you can reheat your donuts using an air fryer, oven, or microwave.
For the air fryer method, cook them for about 2 to 3 minutes at 400ºF until heated through.
For the oven method, you’ll cook them at 375ºF for about 5 minutes, and for the microwave method you only need about a minute or so but the donuts don’t go back to being crispy and will remain softer when using the microwave method.
Apple Fritters Old Fashioned FAQ
By definition, fritters are considered more of a pastry than a donut because as a fritter they are batter-dipped apples that have been deep-fried whereas a donut is just fried dough.
There are several reasons for why this could be but the most likely culprit is that your oil wasn’t hot enough or wasn’t at the proper temperature before you bean frying your donuts.
To make your donuts crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside you are going to want the make sure the oil is at proper temp before adding your batter to the oil.
If your oil was too hot or your donuts didn’t cook long enough you can have undercooked centers within your donuts. This would give you a doughy texture.
Yes, apple fritters actually contain fresh apple chunks inside. This is where a lot of great apple flavor comes from but we take it up another notch by using some apple cider in the donut dough as well.
Old Fashioned Apple Fritters
- canola oil or peanut oil
- 2 cups flour all-purpose
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- 1 cup apples diced
- You'll need enough oil for the apple fritters to float, I like to use a 6 quart dutch oven because they heat evenly. You'll most likely need 2-3 cups of oil.
- Heat the oil to 350ºF. Use a candy thermometer or instant read thermometer to make sure it's the right temperature.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
- Cream together the white and brown sugar and the butter.
- Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and sour cream, mix until combined.
- Add half of the dry ingredient mixture and mix until just combined.
- Add half of the apple cider and mix until just combined.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredient mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Add the rest of the apple cider. Mix until just combined.
- Fold in the apples gently until evenly mixed through.
- Drop rounded tablespoons of batter into the oil, turning periodically until the fritter is browned evenly. This will take about 6-8 minutes.
- Let cool and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.