This homemade apple fritters recipe yields a batch of the best, golden, and fluffy fritters filled with loads of apples! The vanilla glaze adds the perfect finish to every bite and you may never go back to store-bought fritters again!
Table of Contents
Bakery-Style, Only Better!
Homemade apple fritters are a bit like beignets in that they are made from yeast dough and deep-fried like funnel cake, but the dough for apple fritters isn’t as sweet and they’re filled with diced fresh apples coated in cinnamon sugar!
This recipe and my apple turnovers are the perfect fall treats when the weather starts to cool down and can be eaten warm with a maple glaze, dusted with powdered sugar, or drizzled with caramel sauce.
Old-fashioned apple fritters are golden and crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and worth the extra effort it takes to make them from scratch!
Why This Recipe Works
- Simple to make. There are a few moving parts to making these homemade apple fritters, but none of them are too complicated. With 25 minutes of prep time and 10 minutes of cook time, most of the work is waiting for the dough to rise!
- Better than store-bought. Walking into a kitchen smelling homemade apple fritters is enough to realize why they’re so much better than anything you can buy.
- A fun way to enjoy the bounty of apple season! Baked apples and apple cobbler are staples, but once in a while, I like to try something different. Enter this apple fritters recipe.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Warm milk: The milk needs to be warm so that it activates the yeast. If it’s too hot it will destroy it, but if it’s too cold it won’t do anything. About 90°F is perfect.
- Active dry yeast: Make sure it’s fresh, otherwise discard it and get some new. If you’re unsure test a bit to see if it foams. This is what gets the dough nice and fluffy.
- Large eggs: Helps to bind the dough so it doesn’t fall apart as it cooks.
- Melted butter: Use unsalted butter and allow it to cool first before adding it to the dough. You don’t want it so hot that it starts to curdle the milk or cook the eggs!
- Sugar: Yeast feeds on sugar but we also need the sugar for its sweetness.
- Salt: Brings out the flavor in the dough to enhance the taste.
- All-purpose flour: You’ll need some for the dough and some for rolling to help prevent sticking. When used in the dough it’s super important to measure it correctly so your donuts are nice and light!
- The filling: Salted butter, chopped Granny Smith apples, sugar, and cinnamon.
- Oil for frying: Use vegetable oil or canola oil as both can withstand high heat and are neutral in flavor.
- The glaze: Powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.
How to Make Apple Fritters
- Proof the yeast. In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the dough hook to stir the warm milk and yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it starts to foam. If it doesn’t, now’s the time to get some fresh yeast.
- Form the dough. To the yeast mixture, add the eggs, melted and cooled butter, sugar, and salt. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Then, slowly add the flour as directed until the dough is no longer sticky and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Let it rest. Transfer the ball of dough to a greased bowl and cover it. Let it rest for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Make the filling. While the dough is resting, let’s make the filling. In a saucepan over medium-low heat stir the butter, apples, sugar, and cinnamon for about 5 minutes until the apples are tender. The liquid should reduce by half. Remove it from the heat and let it cool completely.
- Roll out the dough. On a floured surface, turn out the dough and roll it into a 12×16 rectangle, about 1/4” thick. Have the rectangle placed horizontally in front of you, meaning the long side is closest to you.
- Add the filling. Use a slotted spoon to spread the apple filling over 2/3 of the rectangle, leaving 1/3 without filling. Sprinkle a little flour over the filling.
- Fold it over. Grab the side of the dough that doesn’t have filling and fold it over just the center portion of the filling. The middle 1/3. Then, fold the remaining 1/3 with filling overtop the middle portion to create a long (now vertical) rectangle. Press down gently.
- Cut the dough. Use a sharp knife or a dough scraper to cut the log into 1/2 inch squares. Do your best to keep the dough together and the filling inside. Sprinkle a bit of flour overtop and press the pieces together so they stay formed as a log.
- Separate into fritter-sized portions. Cut the checkered log into 10 pieces and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet while the oil is heating up. They will rise a bit once more.
- Heat the oil. Fill at least 3 inches of oil into a deep heavy bottomed pot and heat it until it reaches 375℉. Use a candy thermometer for an accurate reading. You never want to add the fritters to oil that is either too hot or too cold.
- Fry them! Carefully drop 2 or 3 fritters to fry for 1 minute until golden brown. Flip them and fry for another minute until cooked through. Use tongs to transfer them to a wire rack over top of a baking sheet to cool slightly. Once the oil reaches its temperature again, continue with the next batch.
- Dip them in the glaze. Make the glaze by combining the ingredients into a bowl then dip the homemade apple fritters into the glaze and allow them to set on the cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Use a candy thermometer. This will give you an accurate reading at all times of how hot your oil is. It’s important to note that between each batch you will probably need to adjust the temperature of the oil.
- Maintain the temperature of the oil. It’ll drop once the apple fritter batter is added, so, before the next batch you want to make sure to turn the heat back up again.
- Work in batches. Do not overcrowd the pot otherwise, you’ll drop the temperature of the oil too much and nothing will cook properly.
- Dice the apples small enough. You want to make sure you get enough apple pieces into each of the homemade apple fritters.
While it’s not a must and you can certainly make this homemade apple fritters recipe without one, it does help to maintain the temperature of the oil much better.
There is a little known trick that can help. Grab a wooden spoon and dip the handle in it. If you see bubbles start to form around it, it’s ready. If the bubbles are too fast, however, it means it’s probably too hot and needs to be adjusted. Then, try again.
Whatever crisp apples you normally put in apple pie, use them in your homemade apple fritters! Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala, or Honey Crisp will all work.
The common reason for this is the fritters are added when the oil is too low or not hot enough. What happens is, it takes longer for them to cook and as they sit in the oil for too long, they absorb too much of it.
How to Serve Fritters
These homemade apple fritters are perfect when served warm as is, with a dusting of powdered sugar, or drizzled in a powdered sugar glaze.
For a snack, enjoy it with a nice cold glass of milk or hot chocolate and for dessert a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side!
I suggest eating homemade apple fritters the same day they’re made since that’s when they’re at their best. I can imagine that’s not a huge inconvenience ;)
If you do want to store your apple fritters, once they’ve completely cooled, you can store them in an airtight container or brown bag on the counter. You can also wrap them in a paper towel and keep them in a brown paper bag. Either way, enjoy them for up to 2 days!
More Apple Recipes
Apple Fritters Recipe
- 1 ¼ cups milk , warm (about 90°F)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
- 2 large eggs
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , melted and cooled
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour , divided, plus more for rolling
- 1 Tablespoon salted butter
- 2 Granny Smith apples , peeled and chopped into 1/2" pieces
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- vegetable or canola oil , plus more if needed
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons milk , plus more if needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the warm milk and yeast. Let sit 5 minutes, or until foamy.
- Beat the eggs, butter, sugar, and salt into the yeast mixture on medium-high speed until combined.
- With the mixer on medium-low speed, slowly add 2 cups flour until nearly combined. Mix in the remaining 2 1/4 cups flour 4 minutes, or until the dough is no longer sticky and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is still wet and sticky, add 2 Tablespoons flour at a time. Transfer to greased bowl and cover. Let rise 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, make the filling. In a medium saucepan, stir together the butter, apples, sugar, and cinnamon over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the liquid has reduced by half. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- On a floured work surface, turn out the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12×16-inch rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick.
- With the rectangle placed horizontally in front of you, picture it divided into three parts from left to right. Using a slotted spoon, spread apple filling evenly over 2/3 of the rectangle, leaving 1/3 without filling. Sprinkle a little flour over the apple filling.
- Fold the 1/3 plain dough over the 1/3 filling in the center. Fold the remaining 1/3 with filling over the top to create a long rectangle facing away from you. Press down gently.
- Using a sharp knife or a dough/bench scraper, cut the log into 1/2-inch squares, keeping the dough together and the filling inside. Sprinkle a little flour over the top and press the dough pieces together to form a log. Cut into 10 pieces and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet to rise while the oil is heating.
- Place 2 cooling racks over baking sheets near where you will be frying. In a deep, heavy-bottomed pot, add enough oil to fill at least 3 inches of the bottom of the pot. Heat over medium-low heat until temperature reads 375℉ on a candy thermometer.
- Carefully add 2 to 3 fritters to the oil and fry 1 minute, or until golden brown. Flip and fry 1 minute more, or until golden and cooked through. Using tongs, transfer to the cooling racks to cool slightly. Wait until the heat reaches 375℉ before adding the next batch of fritters. Repeat with remaining dough.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth and about the thickness of heavy whipping cream.
- Dip each fritter into the glaze and return to cooling rack to set. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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