Chinese 5-Spice Apple Cider Doughnuts 



The first thing that comes to mind at the end of summer is apple season, which means it’s time for apple cider doughnuts! I’ve gone apple picking at a farm in Massachusetts the last three years with my family, and every single time we go, there is a massive line of people that goes out the door and around the corner — hungry customers waiting for those apple cider doughnuts. People go crazy for them. 


I made this apple cider doughnut recipe for a fall dessert menu, and it was HIGHLY requested by the guests. The sweet, cinnamon, sugary coating with that tender melt-in-your-mouth texture and assertive apple-forward flavor will put you in a state of euphoria, reminding you of why you’ve waited all year long for these doughnuts. It’s worth it. 


I gave these apple cider doughnuts a slight Asian twist and used a Chinese 5-spice powder in the sugar coating for an interesting flavor combo that is sure to tickle your taste buds. These doughnuts are baked in a doughnut mold/pan, making them a bit healthier for all you health-conscious people out there. They are still just as delicious. If you want to impress someone with your baking skills, you came to the right recipe.


Chinese 5-Spice Apple Cider Doughnuts

Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time15 mins
Servings16 doughnuts
AuthorJesse Jackson


  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Heavy bottomed pot
  • Large mixing bowls
  • Medium mixing bowls
  • Small mixing bowls
  • Sheet pans
  • Doughnut molds
  • Parchment paper
  • Digital scale
  • Hand tools/Gadgets
  • Rubber spatula
  • Whisk
  • Thermometer (Candy or instant read)
  • Small metal spoon


Donut Batter

  • 1 ½ cups apple cider 454 grams
  • 1 egg large
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar 63 grams
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar 71 grams
  • 3 tablespoons butter unsalted melted (42 grams)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk 113 grams
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 grams
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 210 grams
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 4 grams
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 3 grams
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder 3 grams


  • 1 cup granulated sugar 190 grams
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder 5 grams


To make the donuts

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a doughnut pan.
  • Place 1 ½ cups of apple cider into a pot and bring to a boil and reduce to about ⅓ of a cup. Cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, milk, vanilla, and egg and whisk together until smooth.
  • In another large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon powder. Mix until blended well.
  • Pour the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients and add the reduced apple cider. Fold together with a spatula gently until just combined. (Optional: add the small diced apple to the batter)
  • Pour batter into a piping bag and portion into the molds, filling halfway. You may use a lightly greased spoon if piping bags are not available.
  • Bake at 350°F for 10–12 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan slightly then flip over to remove.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sugar with the Chinese 5-spice and evenly mix.
  • Toss the doughnuts in the spiced sugar while still warm to fully coat and place on a sheet tray to cool. Then enjoy!


Storage Tips:

These doughnuts will keep fresh in an airtight container for 2–3 days and can be rewarmed in the oven/microwave.

Chef’s Tips:Chinese 5-spice powder can be found at most large grocery stores in the Asian section.

Large doughnut pans/silicone doughnut molds can be found at restaurant supply centers. Smaller ones can be purchased on
If you have leftover batter, you can portion it into muffin pans and bake for 20–25 minutes at 350°F for delicious muffins!


For a show-stopping variation to the rustic doughnut, you can dip the doughnuts in a cider caramel glaze and top with a streusel to finish! 

Did you make this recipe?


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Here are the Amazon affiliate links for you to order the ingredients and tools to create this delicious dish.


Enameled Cast Iron Shallow Casserole Braiser Pan with Cover, Cast Iron Covered Casserole Skillet 3.8-Quart, Marine Blue



OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowl Set

Chicago Metallic 5242741 Non-Stick Jelly Roll Pan with Mat and Cooling Rack, 3-Piece, Gray

HEHALI 3pcs Donut Pan Mold, Silicone Cake Bagel Baking Doughnuts Mold,Tray Measures 10x7 Inches

OXO 1157100 Good Grips 5 Lb Food Scale with Pull-Out Display,Black


Hand tools/gadgets

Le Creuset JS410-17 Craft Series Medium Spatula, 11 1/8" x 2 1/4", Caribbean

OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Whisk

Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Ambidextrous Backlit Professional Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer for Kitchen, Food Cooking, Grill, BBQ, Smoker, Candy, Home Brewing, Coffee, and Oil Deep Frying

Wilton 12-Count 12-Inch Disposable Decorating Bags, Multipack of 4, Assorted


Jesse B. Jackson III

Jesse B. Jackson III

Pastry Chef

Jesse studied baking and pastry arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Jesse competed in the state competition for SkillsUSA. He won 1st place in commercial baking and placed 4th in the national competition. After graduation, Jesse moved to Boston and enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park for another degree in baking and pastry arts. He was then offered the position of executive pastry chef at No.9 Park, one of the country’s most esteemed restaurants. After two years, Jesse started a business called Fedora Doughnuts, a specialty doughnut and coffee catering company.

If Mars was livable, and you accept a one-way ticket to host a party there, who would you invite (4 guests max), and what would you cook?
I would invite my mother because she birthed me and has ALWAYS supported me throughout my life and career. I would invite Jeff Goldblum, a handsome, suave, slender gentleman (like myself), and a great conversationalist. He would make dining interesting. Dominique Ansel: a visionary pastry chef. I would LOVE to pick his mind about innovation and creativity. Lastly, I would invite my mentor and godmother, Darcy Sala. She taught me everything I know about food and hospitality. I wouldn’t be where I am today in my career without her. I would cook the cuisine I love most: Carolina BBQ! Ribs, brisket, cornbread, slaw, smoked sausage.

Do you have any ridiculous goals in life?
Apart from being a pastry chef, I am also an avid real estate investor. So, I suppose a “ridiculous goal” would be to own 1000 rental properties across the United States, but I’m in no rush… at least before I retire.

What’s your favorite food holiday?
Favorite food holiday is National Croissant Day!

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