Classic Apple Fritters Doughnuts

Classic Apple Fritters Doughnuts

These Classic Apple Fritters Doughnuts are just like the ones from your favourite bakery or donut shop. Make them at home to enjoy anytime (and they freeze beautifully!).

If there is a better treat to enjoy with my Sunday morning coffee, I don’t know what it is. Homemade Apple Fritters have been on my baking bucket-list for some time and a rainy Saturday afternoon presented the perfect opportunity to tackle them. The recipe comes from “Top Pot Hand Forged Doughnuts” – a doughnut shop from Seattle. I had picked up their cookbook a while back and just knew they’d offer up a recipe that wouldn’t disappoint. (I have adapted/simplified the process a bit here though, as I found the original un-necessarily complicated).

Let me just say first off – these are the real deal. They are made with a great yeast-raised dough, which is chopped together with cooked apple chunks and perfectly speckled with cinnamon. Once they are cooked up, they are lovely and browned on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. The glaze adds a thin layer of sweetness and makes these beautiful donuts sparkle.

I don’t do a lot of deep frying, but in my world, it just isn’t really a donut if it isn’t fried, so it has to be (with all due respect to anyone who bakes donuts out there :). That said, if you’re careful to keep your oil at the right temperature, you’ll find that these donuts will absorb very little oil and won’t be at all greasy.

Classic Apple Fritters Doughnuts

Cook’s Notes for Classic Apple Fritters Doughnuts

I really recommend a deep fryer, for best results. I have a small one, which I love, because it doesn’t take gallons of oil to fill it. It also keeps the oil at the perfect temperature throughout the frying process, so there’s no fiddling around. One less thing to worry about. Alternately, you can use a heavy, deep pot with a thermometer to monitor oil temperature.

Cook your fritters until they are a darkish golden colour. They’ll look lovely and you’ll ensure that the dough is well cooked, as well.

These are best on the day they are cooked, but they freeze beautifully, so don’t hesitate to pop any extras into the freezer to enjoy later.

Classic Apple Fritters Doughnuts

Apple Fritters

Classic Apple Fritters Doughnuts

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best apple fritter recipe, fried apple fritter recipe, yeast apple fritter recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 servings
Energy: 311 kcal
Author: Jennifer
These are best on the day they are made, but they freeze beautifully if you can't use them all up right away. A deep fryer is recommended or alternately, at least a thermometer so you can monitor oil temperature to ensure good results.



  • 1 1/2 Tbsp active dry or instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups + 4-6 Tbsp. bread flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tsp. white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp mace (can substitute nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp shortening or lard
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla


  • 2 medium tart apples chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp bread flour


  • 2 cups confectioners/icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp light corn or golden syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water


  1. For the dough: In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the yeast to the 1/2 warm water. Add the 2 tsp. of sugar, stir and let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, mace and salt. Set aside.
  2. When yeast is ready, add the shortening, egg and vanilla and mix with the paddle attachment on low speed for 1 minute (to break up the shortening). Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add a second third of the flour mixture and again, mix until combined. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining flour mixture. Knead with the hook until all that flour is incorporated. Now start adding flour in 1 Tbsp. increments, until the dough comes together, clears the bottom of the bowl and is becoming smooth. Knead on medium for about 2 minutes more. The dough should be smooth and but still a bit moist (but not sticky).
  3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set-aside to rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  4. Meanwhile, make the apple filling. Place the diced apples, sugar and lemon juice into a skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until all the liquid has evaporated and the apples are softened, about 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl to cool completely before using.
  5. When bread has finished it's first rise, remove to a lightly floured surface and roll into a 10-inch x 10-inch square. Sprinkle the apples over one half of the dough. Sprinkle the 1 Tbsp. cinnamon evenly over the apples and then sprinkle with the 1 Tbsp. flour. Fold the empty side of the dough over the side with the apples. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, cut the dough into 1/2-inch wide strips from top to bottom. Repeat cutting 1/2-inch strips from side to side, so you end up with small chunks of dough. Gather up the dough bits and cut some more, from different directions, until it is in small chunks and evenly mixed with cinnamon/apples/dough etc.
  6. Using floured hands, roughly shape into a 12-inch long x 3-inch wide log. Cut the log into 1 inch slices. With each slice, roughly pat into a disc, about the size of your palm (use some additional flour, as needed, if your dough is sticky). Place the dough discs onto a parchment lined or floured baking sheet, leaving a couple of inches of room around each. Repeat with all 12 dough pieces. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed on the under-side with baking spray and set-aside to rise until doubled again, about 30-45 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Add the icing sugar, corn syrup, salt and vanilla in a large bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the water and white granulated sugar to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 minute. Add this mixture to the bowl with the icing sugar and whisk until all the sugar and has been incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  8. When dough is about ready to cook, heat oil in a deep fryer to 370° (alternately, use a heavy deep pot and a thermometer to monitor temperature). Fry each donut until deep golden on the underside (1 1/2 - 2 minutes), flip over and fry the other side. (*time and temperature may need to vary. Watch closely the first few to determine timing. If they seem to be browning too quickly, lower temperature slightly). Remove to a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet. While still quite warm, dip into prepared glaze and return to cooling rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!


Tags from the story


    • Hi Judy, you could certainly give it a go. I don’t think frozen dough would have as much flavour as it would be lacking the egg/vanilla etc., so the finished product wouldn’t be quite a “fritter-y”.

  • Do you peel the apples or leave the skin on? It’s been years since I made fritters of any sort. I used to work in a bakery and we always left the peel on. That of course was with an industrial fryer so the peels softened and then crisped up nicely. It would be really helpful if you could add this information to your ingredient list.



    • Hi Lalise, You can honestly go either way. I prefer to peel them, but if you don’t mind peel, you can certainly leave it on without affecting the outcome.

      • Ty so much Jennifer for the quick reply. Perhaps I will make a test batch of each to test how palatable peels are or aren’t with home frying methods. ;)

  • I have been trying to find a recipe for cherry fritters to no avail. After reading your recipe for these apple fritters, I plan to try to adapt this to use cherries in place of the apples, omit the cinnamon from the filling, and using the cherry juice/syrup from the cherry jar in place of the light corn syrup in the glaze. I am wondering if I should delete the lemon juice from the filling also. Is that added in your recipe simply for additional flavoring or does it serve another purpose? Also, do you think my adaptation of the recipe sounds like it will work out okay?

    • Hi Brian, Sounds mostly good. The lemon juice is largely there for the apples (to prevent browning), so you can easily omit. My only worry is regarding substituting the cherry juice for the corn syrup in the glaze. The corn syrup (invert sugar) serves a purpose in creating the lovely, shiny “fritter” glaze. So while you can add the cherry juice, I wouldn’t omit the corn syrup. I might even suggest reducing the cherry juice by simmering, so you need to use less of it in your glaze. Let me know how it all works out :)

  • Wow. I bookmarked this page and your website, and printed your recipe, but could use a little help with deep frying. I’ll buy one of your recommended small deep fryers from Amazon, but am unclear as to what size I need… For example, do you fry multiple fritters at once, or just one at a time?

    I’ll try canola oil per your suggestion. Is it possible (adviseable) to reuse the oil, or must it be disposed of after just one use?

    Thanks for the GREAT article, the recipe and helpful discussion with your readers.

    • Hi Tom, I opted for the smaller size so it stores more easily and doesn’t take a ton of oil with each use. But yes, that does come with a trade off, in that you can’t fry as many things at one time. When it comes to these fritters, you may only be able to fry one at a time. Maybe two. They need enough room to float flat on the top, so will depend on exactly how large your fryer is.

      As for reusing the oil, you can. I sometimes just pour it back into the original plastic container (once it’s cooled, of course) and store in the fridge to use again. Sometimes the oil will pick up a slight flavour of whatever you fried in it. Not so bad with donuts, but you wouldn’t want to use oil you fried fish in to fry donuts :) I write on the bottle what I fried with it, because I have a terrible memory. Hope that helps :)

    • Hi Michelle, I always use Canola myself. It’s neutral tasting and stands up well to the high heat. Plus it’s economical to buy it in large containers, since deep frying takes a lot of oil. Hope that helps :)

  • How would you go about freezing these? I need to make 2 batches for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow but I have more time today to prepare it all. Any recommendations?

    • Hi Natalie, I just let them cool completely, then put into freezer bags (except if they seem they might get mucked up by putting straight into bags. If that’s the case, just set on baking sheets and place into the freezer on the baking sheets until firm, then transfer to freezer bags). To thaw, simply take them out of the freezer and let thaw in the bags on the counter top. Enjoy :)

  • My 93 yr. old mother loves a good apple fritter and doesn’t treat herself to one very often. I thought I’d make your recipe. I bake with yeast quite often, but after reading your directions over and over, I am slightly confused. So I cut the dough vertically and horizontally until I get small chunks. Then I cut up the chunks a bit? Then, and this is where I’m confused, I pull them together to form a log 3″ by 12″. Am I correct? How do all those chunks stay together without falling apart in the frying? Please advise. I know I sound totally inept, but really I am an experienced baker. Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Kathleen, I can understand how it sounds like it would all fall apart throughout the end part when reading it. In reality, you’re going to find that it will stick together just fine. It’s going to be a bit of a sticky mess, so there will be looks of stickiness to keep it all together! I hope your mother enjoys them (I am sure she will :)

  • Hello Jennifer I have a question , I want to try your recipe next week but I wonder if I could make The dough in a bread machine instead of doing it handmade. It would be easier for us so if you can give us your advice if it can be done that way. Thank you !

    • Hi! I don’t have any experience with bread machines, but from what I understand, they really just do the kneading/rising part for you, so if that’s the case, I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work.

  • Hi Jennifer! I’m from Washington State and also eat these at Top Pot so I’m shaking with excitement to make these! I now live in England do it will be a taste of home for me!! So you said I could use vegetable oil instead of shortening-same measurement?
    Thanjs again for gnd recipe 😊

  • Can these be baked in the oven? ,I try not to fry anything,that’s why I own a air-fryer.but Love apple fritters and such .

    • Hi Jacquie, While you can technically bake these, they would turn out like buns, rather than doughnuts. It’s the frying part that makes it a fritter doughnut. I do hear you. Frying is a pain :) I own an air fryer too, but when it comes to doughnuts, there’s really no substitute for frying in oil.

    • Hi Becky! Sorry, there was a stray “inch” in there. I have fixed it now so yes, it it just two apples. Thanks!

    • Hi Owen, Sorry for the late reply. I was away for a couple of days. Yes, I think you could easily use butter. Or even vegetable oil in place of the lard.

  • If I use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour, do I use the same exact amount?

    Also, I am allergic to lemons. What can I use instead?

    • Hi Khansi. Yes you would use the same amount of flour. As for the lemon it is just to reduce browning of apples. You can omit.

  • I’m making these as we speak, followed the recipe to a t. But it seems that my dough isn’t rising! And I know my yeast isn’t dead!

  • Hi,
    these look delicious and I’m going to try them.. not sure if we can eat them all at once.. you mentioned freezing – should I freeze the already fried donuts or just the dough? If it’s the already fried donuts, how do you reheat it? in the microwave or do you pop them back to the deep fryer?

  • Question – have you tried doing the first rise overnight? I want these for Sunday morning family breakfast and wont have time for both rises in the am (plus my kitchen on the chilly side). Thanks – cant wait to try them!

  • Hi Jennifer, so glad I came across your website and recipe for apple fritters. I’ve been wanting to make them, and was amazed when I learned you have and used the recipe out of the same donut cookbook I own as well – Top Pot’s! Will definitely be giving it a try this weekend!

    • Hi Deanna. When I sought out recipes, I found precious few for the kind of apple fritter I had in mind. I thought my best bet was to try one from a donut place and I was disappointed. They were delicious!

  • Just wondering if it is baking powder or baking soda in the recipe it has powder at the top and soda in the recipe instructions. Thanks!!!

  • MAN these look great! I recently was in the middle of a very early-morning grocery shopping trip and I could smell the bakery pumping out fresh donuts and bagels. I bought two apple fritters to take home but they were a total let-down! I have a deep-fryer, I should really try these :)

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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