7 Ways to Use Apple Cider in Your Sweets

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If you grew up in the North East, you've probably experienced the joy of going apple-picking and indulging in fresh apple cider. It's good served both warm and spiced, or cold, highlighting the unfiltered, sweet apple taste. Of course the only thing that might beat apple cider is an apple cider doughnut: the sweet, cinnamon rolled treats that usually accompany a cup.

But doughnuts aren't the only sweet that benefit from some apple cider; scroll on down to see how to incorporate it into everything from shaved ice to muffins.

Apple Cider Doughnut Ice Cream

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[Photograph: Max Falkowiz]

What's better than an apple cider doughnut? An apple cider doughnut topped with apple cider doughnut ice cream. When reduced to a syrup, apple cider takes on a tang as pronounced as its sweetness. It plays well here against sweet cream and toasty apple-laced doughnuts.

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Gluten Free Apple Cider Pancakes

Want an apple cider doughnut but not up to frying in the morning? These pancakes are the solution. The batter uses apple cider in place of milk, with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. The cooked pancakes are coated with cinnamon-sugar (and some melted butter to help the cinnamon-sugar stick).

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Apple Cider Muffins

These muffins from Karen DeMasco are apple-packed and cinnamon-scented. Best of all? While these muffins taste great still warm, they are downright amazing the next day. Pleasantly chewy and moist, the little cakes seem to be a closer relative to sticky toffee pudding than to the dry, crumbly muffins at so many coffee shops.

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Apple Cider Doughnut Cake

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[Photograph: Maria del Mar Sacasa]

Tiny and chubby apple cider doughnuts herald the fall season at the farmers' markets. This cake version is the 2.0 version.

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Dark Rum and Apple Cider Shaved Ice

Good apple cider is tart and spicy, and when frozen into a solid block and then scraped with a spoon, it becomes snowy and light, the flavor of the fall with the texture of winter. Spiked with smooth, oaky dark rum and freshly grated ginger and topped with honey, the composed dessert is a study in autumnal contrast: sweet and tart, crunchy and smooth, icy and warming.

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Caramel Apple Cider Jelly

Because apple cider is unfiltered, this jelly looks a bit cloudy in the jar—much like a glass of apple cider. The intense, tangy apple flavor is complemented by a luxurious, molasses note from the brown sugar. Cinnamon sticks, cloves, and lemon zest round out the flavors. Use on a cinnamon-raisin toast for a real taste of fall.

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Apple Cider Doughnuts

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[Photograph: Olga Massov]

No list of apple cider sweets would be complete without the classic, plain apple cider doughnut. These are softly scented with reduced apple cider and dusted with sparkling cinnamon sugar.

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