Cider Donuts

Cider Donuts

Cider donuts. The broken pieces are remnants of the competitive tasting.

Cider donuts are a tradition here in upstate New York, where they make their appearances at roadside stands, U-picks and even major supermarkets during apple harvest time. In essence, they’re sugar coated cake donuts with apple cider used as some of the liquid in the batter. Until today I’d felt they were all pretty much the same.

Daniel B of the FussyLittleBlog organized a Tour De Cider Donut that had us careering over the charming farm country once haunted by the Headless Horseman and The Little Tailor of Kinderhook, tasting at five cider donut outposts that ranged from a coffee shop to lavish orchard stores to quickly put together harvest tasting stands. My favorite came from Zachary’s in East Greenbush, gaining an edge for its intense apple ciderness. Versions from Golden Harvest and Love Apple Farm tied for second on my ballot with a good balance of flavor, crumb, crust and sugar coating. Samascott Orchards was over the top, with a crumb that was not unlike a bran muffin, but in retrospect this is the donut I most want to try again. Gould’s was clearly the last of the field. So, not the same at all.


The highlight of the day, along with the chance to share road and tasting time with other adventurous gluttons, was the Donut Robot at Samascott Orchards. This miraculous Rube Goldberg device plops a shimmering ring of dough into hot oil, fries to perfection, then cajoles the newborn donut onto a cooling rack that conveys it into the hands of a waiting donutista. A benefit of seeing this mechanism in action is that you can station yourself at the end of the line, where the donuts come out into the sales room, and make sure you get a piping hot donut when the crumb is at its tenderest.

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5 Responses to Cider Donuts

  1. Daniel B. says:

    I’m so glad you could come and join us. I’m even more pleased that you have been shown the light that not all cider donuts are created equal. The sooner we put an end to that myth the better.

    Hopefully the Tour de Donut 3 will take us up to Saratoga.

    That Samascott donut was really something else. It was so exciting to get a specimen right out of the oil. But then came the crushing revelation that its interior resembled a bran muffin (well put).

  2. Burnt My Fingers says:

    Thank you Daniel B! Another good analogy (KB’s I think) was that the Samascott donut resembled banana bread.

  3. Pingback: Tour Central « FUSSYlittleBLOG

  4. Robin Mohr says:

    Ahh, I just had my first ever cider donut last week from a farmer’s market stand that unfortunately was closing for the season. I didn’t know they were available anywhere else. I will have to continue the search in the Philly area for a continuing source because these were really good. Any suggestions will be welcome!

    • Burnt My Fingers says:

      Hi Robin! The places that have the cider donuts seem to be the same ones that have u-pick orchards and other promotional stunts. Since they are using apple cider (maybe pressed some months earlier then frozen) there’s no reason it should be restricted to harvest time except… that’s when people like to eat cider donuts! If you find more info on orchards and cider in the Philly area please report back!

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