These apple fritters are the quintessential autumn treat. They’re loaded with sweet and tart apples and are insanely easy to whip up.
Every bite is loaded with fresh fruit, giving the tender donuts a texture contrast you’ll love.
Can’t decide between donuts and Granny Smith apple pie? I have the perfect solution for you.
These apple fritters are crisp on the outside and oh-so-fluffy on the inside. And the light cinnamon spice makes them pretty much impossible to resist.
Whether served with a sugar coating or sweet glaze, they’ll be on the table in just 30 minutes.
So, if you’re ready to treat yourself to a cozy breakfast, snack, or dessert, let’s get cooking!
Homemade Apple Fritters
Apple fritters feature chopped apples in a donut-like batter. They’re fried until golden brown, then served with cinnamon sugar or vanilla glaze.
But the batter is way easier than most.
Just mix a few pantry staples in a bowl, then drop the mixture into hot oil. After a few minutes, it puffs up like a dream.
And to be honest, they’re tasty just like that. But what’s a donut without a tasty coating?
I like cinnamon sugar for the crispy finish. That said, you’ll never see me turn down an apple fritter with sweet glaze, either!
I said this recipe uses pantry staples, and I meant it. So if you’re an avid baker, you likely have everything ready to go!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Apples – The star of the show! Choose crisp, firm apples that won’t turn to mush in the oil. I like Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, or Fuji Red.
- All-Purpose Flour – The base of the batter that forms the overall structure. All-purpose is fine for this, though you could use whole wheat if you prefer.
- Sugar – For sweetness and to help in the cooking process.
- Baking Powder – To make the fitters nice and fluffy.
- Salt and Cinnamon – Flavor enhancers.
- Milk – To make the batter the right consistency. Use whole milk for best results – though you could swap that out for almond milk if you want.
- Oil – To make the fritters tender. Feel free to use melted butter if you want a richer taste.
- Eggs – For richness, binding, and to help the batter rise.
- Vanilla Extract – This is optional, but I love the aroma.
- Oil – For deep-frying. Use flavorless oil with a high smoking point, such as vegetable or canola.
I’ve mentioned these a couple of times, but let’s go over them here too:
- Cinnamon Sugar – Mix 1 cup of white sugar with 3-4 tablespoons of cinnamon. Then, toss the hot fritters in the bowl to coat.
- Sweet Glaze – If you’d rather something sweeter, just mix 1.5 cups of powdered sugar with 3-6 tablespoons of milk until smooth. Drizzle this over the slightly cooled fritters to serve.
How to Make Apple Fritters
Have you ever made fluffy blueberry pancakes? Well, this recipe is kind of similar – it’s just deep-fried instead.
- Pour the frying oil into a large pot. Turn the heat to medium-high.
- Peel, core, and dice the apples. Make sure the pieces are quite small, so they soften as the fritters cook.
- Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. This ensures everything is evenly distributed. You could just whisk it gently by hand, too.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients. Just to ensure the eggs are smooth and mixed with the milk and oil.
- Stir the batter together. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour bowl and mix a few times with a spatula until the batter starts to come together.
- Add the apples. Then, mix just until you no longer see streaks of flour.
- Drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot.
- Cook until golden brown and puffy. Then, remove the fritters from the oil and let them drip on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Toss the hot, freshly cooked fritters in cinnamon sugar (if using). Do this right away so the sugar sticks.
- Serve and enjoy!
Tips for Making Fritters
Homemade apple fritters are a thing of beauty. And I promise they’re beginner-friendly.
But as always, I have a few handy tips to keep in mind before you begin:
- Choose the right apples. If you pick something soft, like McIntosh, the apple will turn mushy during cooking. Instead, go for Granny Smiths or Honeycrisp.
- Dice the apples quite small. You don’t want big chunks in the batter. It’s best to have smaller chunks, so you get some in every bite.
- Add applesauce to boost the flavor. You can use this instead of oil to make them a little healthier, too.
- Be gentle with the batter. Use a whisk for the eggs but stir the batter with a spatula, and stop mixing as soon as you no longer see streaks of flour.
- Use a heavy-bottomed pot. Whether it’s a deep skillet or a Dutch oven, a heavy bottom will help to retain heat and make the heat nice and even.
- Use a candy thermometer. The oil should be at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.
- Want larger fritters? Instead of a tablespoon, use a soup spoon, but try to keep them flat. If you make them too round, they won’t cook in the middle.
How to Glaze Apple Fritters
As you can see in the picture above, glazed apple fritters are gorgeous!
They’re golden brown and deliciously shiny. And you just know they’re insanely sweet!
But how do you get the glaze to coat them just right?
- Mix 1.5 cups of powdered sugar with 3-6 tablespoons of milk.
- Add vanilla or lemon juice if you want a bit more flavor.
- Spoon the glaze over the cooled fritters.
- Leave to set for 2 hours, then enjoy.
To ensure the glaze is at the right consistency, scoop a small spoonful out of the bowl and let it drip back in. Then:
- If it leaves a slight trail that holds few a few seconds, it’s ready.
- If the trail holds for more than 10 seconds, it’s a bit too thick.
- If the trail immediatly disappears, it’s too thin.
Oh, and be generous with it! I like to pour the glaze over on a wire rack (with a baking sheet below). That way, you get a nice even coating.
How to Store
Like most deep-fried foods, apple fritters are best served and eaten on the same day.
To store: Place cooled fritters in an airtight container for 1-2 days. After that, they will be too stale.
To reheat: Microwave the fritters one by one for 5-10 seconds.
To freeze: I don’t advise freezing apple fritters, but if you have to, simply pop the cooled fritters into an airtight container.
Let them thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat in the oven (at 350°F) for about 8 minutes when you’re ready to eat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an apple fritter a donut or pastry?
Apple fritters taste a lot like old-fashioned donuts, but they’re actually a type of fried pastry.
Can you bake apple fritters?
Unfortunatly not. The batter isn’t thick enough to hold its shape in the oven. And you really need them submerged in hot oil to cook quickly enough that they become puffy inside but crispy outside.
Why are my apple fritters soggy?
The most common reason for this is that the oil wasn’t hot enough when you started frying. That’s why I always recommend using a candy thermometer to monitor the heat.
Can I use apple pie filling?
You can’t swap out diced apples for pie filling in this recipe, as that will make the batter too wet. But if you want to experiment, you could remove the milk and add a bit more flour.
If you try it, let me know how they come out!
More Apple Recipes to Try Next
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