These homemade apple fritters are golden brown and perfectly spiced, with a crispy exterior and soft, tender inside. Serve them warm for an irresistible fall treat!
Apple season is upon us, friends, which means if you’ve made a trip to your local u-pick orchard, you might be wondering what the heck you’re going to do with all those apples. (Sure, at the time picking a whole bushel seemed like a good idea, until you got them all home and realized you had to use them up before they go bad!)
Classic Apple Fritters Recipe
Apple fritters are like a fried donut and typically made with a batter or dough that contains chunks or pieces of apples. They can be served plain, dusted with confectioners’ sugar, or glazed with a sweet icing. In terms of flavor, they’re a little bit like apple cider donuts, except they have lots of diced apples in the mix.
When you make your own apple fritters at home, you’ll get to eat them while they’re warm, toasty, and still delightfully crispy on the outside. They just don’t compare to the ones you buy at the grocery store or donut shop—fresh is best when it comes to apple fritters!
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
For the apple fritters:
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Cinnamon – As an alternative, you could use homemade apple pie spice.
- Vanilla extract
- Whole milk – Whole milk is best because the higher fat content yields a more tender dough.
- Applesauce – Just regular, unsweetened, unflavored applesauce!
- Eggs – Here’s the best way to crack an egg.
- Granny Smith apples – You can use another variety, too, but you’ll want one that’s firm and sweet-tart, like Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, or Braeburn.
- Oil for frying – Peanut oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil work well. You’ll need to choose an oil with a high smoke point.
- Powdered sugar – This is optional, for dusting.
For the optional glaze:
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Whole milk
How to Make Apple Fritters
1. Mix the Dry Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
2. Finish the Batter
In a large bowl, whisk the vanilla, milk, applesauce, and eggs until the mixture is smooth. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients to form the batter. Fold in the apples.
3. Prepare the Oil
Heat a few inches of oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it reaches 350ºF to 370ºF. (You can use a deep fryer instead if you have one.)
Tip: If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the oil by dropping a small amount of batter into it. If it bubbles and floats immediately, the oil is ready. If it burns quickly, the oil is too hot, so you’ll need to reduce the heat and try again in a few minutes.
4. Cook the Apple Fritters
Drop a tablespoon of batter into the hot oil for each fritter; you should be able to make six or seven at a time without crowding the pot. Fry, flipping when needed, until the fritters are golden brown and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the fritters from the pan and let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack. Repeat with the remaining batter.
If you’re making the glaze, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl, then coat the fritters with the mixture. Otherwise, dust the fritters in powdered sugar before serving.
How to Store Apple Fritters
As mentioned above, apple fritters are one of those foods that’s really best served warm right after you make them!
To keep your apple fritters as fresh as possible in the event that you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
If you want to extend their shelf life even more, you can freeze them for up to 2 months. Reheat frozen fritters by baking them in a 350°F oven until warmed through, or just pop them in the microwave.
It depends who you ask! Some people do consider them donuts, and they’re often sold at donut shops. Technically speaking, though, an apple fritter is a fried pastry similar to a donut that contains chunks or pieces of apples, whereas a donut is a fried pastry that’s typically shaped like a ring with a hole in the center.
No, apple fritters do not have filling. Instead, they have diced apples folded into the batter before frying.
No, pancake batter and fritter batter are not the same. Fritter batter is thicker than pancake batter, as it contains less liquid. This helps to ensure that your fritters are nice and crispy on the outside and hold together in the oil.
If you want to bake or air fry apple fritters, I recommend finding a recipe that’s specifically developed for this purpose. This apple fritter recipe was made for traditional frying and the batter is thinner than what you’d need for baking in the oven or air frying.
More Apple Recipes for Fall
- 1½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- 3 tbsp applesauce
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Granny Smith apples diced (about 1½ -2 cups)
- oil for frying
- powdered sugar for dusting optional
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup whole milk
- pinch of salt
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and stir with a whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add the vanilla, milk, applesauce, and eggs and stir with a whisk to combine. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet to form the batter. Fold in the diced apples.
- Heat a few inches of oil in a Dutch oven until hot (350F-370F) over medium-high heat. Test using a thermometer or drop a small amount of batter into the oil. If it bubbles and floats immediately, it's ready. If it burns quickly, the oil is too hot. Reduce the heat.
- Drop one tablespoon of batter into the oil, six or seven at a time. Cook, flipping when needed, until the fritters are golden brown and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel. Repeat.
- For the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until smooth.
- To serve, dust the fritters in powdered sugar or coat in the glaze.