If you haven’t had a good Apple Fritter in your life, you have been missing out. These Homemade Apple Fritters are surprisingly simple to make and they are OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious! They’re light and fluffy on the inside, crisp on the outside, drenched in buttery maple glaze, and they practically melt in your mouth.
This post is sponsored by Danish Creamery’s pasture-raised butter! All opinions are my own.
Friends. This is not a drill. These Apple Fritters are THE BEST thing I’ve eaten all year. And I eat a lot of dessert, so you know my dessert radar will not fail you.
If you’ve never made something like this from scratch before, never fear. These do require a bit more effort than say, cookies or brownies, but they’re still relatively easy and I have TONS of photos to help walk you through the process! Let’s get to it – buttery, apple, maple goodness awaits! ??
How to Make Homemade Apple Fritters:
First, we’re mixing up a simple dough made with milk, yeast, egg, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. We’ll knead it on a floured counter for just a minute or two, to smooth it out, and then it gets to rest for an hour to rise! Super simple so far.
While the dough rises, prep your Maple Glaze and your Caramelized Apples – because we are going for a flavor EXPLOSION here. Cook peeled and chopped apples with butter, brown sugar, and a little cinnamon until they’re soft and caramely. This is a step that only adds about 10 extra minutes, and it’s SO worth it.
The Maple Glaze is a 2-minute dream situation. It involves butter – obviously. I love using Danish Creamery’s European Style Butter for all things baking because its made with 85% butter fat – higher than most other European Style butters – which gives it the most amazing taste and texture. Using milk from cows that are humanely raised, happily munching all the grass they could ever want, in wide-open pastures, helps create the velvety richness of this butter, too!
Melt some of that luscious salted butter, and whisk in vanilla, powdered sugar, real maple syrup, a pinch of salt + cinnamon, and a splash of milk to thin it out, and you have the most amazing, buttery maple glaze to drench our apple fritters in.
Once the dough is ready, gently work it into a rectangle with your hands – you don’t even need a rolling pin for this! Spread 2/3 of the apple mixture on the dough, leaving a border around the edge. Fold the bottom half up and then fold the top half down, like you’re folding a letter. Add the remaining apples, and fold like a letter again, but this way work across instead of up and down.
See? Then, gently flatten it out a bit with your hands.
Slice it into 24 pieces, and gather those pieces into 8 balls.
Let them rest for 15 minutes, and then we start frying!
How to Fry Apple Fritters
Keeping the frying oil at a consistent temperature is the most important factor in making apple fritters, or any fried donuts. Heat the oil to 365 degrees F, using a candy thermometer. This is the one piece of equipment you do need for this recipe. If the oil isn’t hot enough, the dough won’t fry properly, and if it’s too hot, they’ll burn on the outside and be raw on the inside. Not a fun situation!
My thermometer (linked above) has a little clip so you can attach it to the side of your pot. I HIGHLY recommend leaving it there the entire time, so you can easily see if you need to raise or lower the temp of your oil at any time.
Set the fritters on a cooling rack over a paper towel lined sheet pan as they are done frying, so the excess oil can drain. Once they’re cool enough to touch (but still warm) dunk them in the glaze.
The last step, is to DIG IN. You’ve earned it, you baking rockstar. I really wish I could transmit the smell of these fresh Homemade Apple Fritters to you through the computer screen, but you’ll just have to make them and bask in the whole glorious experience!
These are, as with most fried treats, best the first day they’re made. They’re really the best while they’re still warm and freshly dunked in glaze. You could always make the glaze ahead and store it in the fridge, but this really isn’t a make-ahead type of dessert.
Just look at that light, fluffy texture inside the fritter! Absolutely heavenly.
Are your taste buds ready for the all-time best, incredibly flavorful, caramel-appley, melt-in-your-mouth dessert? Good. Get baking! ?
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Homemade Apple Fritters with Buttery Maple Glaze
For the Fritter Dough
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp active dry yeast not instant yeast
- 2 TBSP granulated or cane sugar
- 2 TBSP Danish Creamery European-Style Salted Butter, melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- vegetable oil, for frying
For the Caramelized Apples
- 2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped up Use something that's firm and good for baking like Ginger Gold or Granny Smith
- 2 TBSP Danish Creamery European-Style Salted Butter
- 2 TBSP granulated or cane sugar
- 1 TBSP brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
For the Buttery Maple Glaze
- 6 TBSP Danish Creamery European-Style Salted Butter, melted
- 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 TBSP real maple syrup
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
- 3 TBSP milk
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- Prep: Get out a large heavy-bottomed pot (like a dutch oven) for frying. Add vegetable oil until the pot is BLANK full. Don't start heating it yet. This recipe is not as hard as you may think - but do read through the directions once before beginning so you have a handle on things. Line a baking sheet with paper towels, place a cooling rack on top, and set this next to the stove where you'll be frying your fritters later.
- Make the Fritter Dough: Measure out the milk and microwave it for 40 seconds - it should be about 110 degrees F. You can test it with the same thermometer you'll be using to fry the dough. If it's within 5ish degrees either way you should be fine. Add the milk and the yeast to a medium mixing bowl. Stir a few times, then let rest for 5 minutes. The yeast will be foamy. Next, add the melted and slightly cooled butter, the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Stir to combine and break down the egg. Next, stir in the flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir until you have a wet, shaggy looking dough (see photos in the post above). Flour the counter and your hands well - dump the dough out and knead it gently for 1-2 minutes, to smooth it out. Form it into a ball. Spray the same mixing bowl (no need to clean it out) with cooking spray, place the dough ball in it, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise about an hour - the dough should double in size.
- Make the Caramelized Apples: While the dough rises, make the apples. Add the butter to a medium nonstick pot on the stove, and melt. Once melted, add the rest of the apple filling ingredients. Cook over medium high heat, stirring, for about 10 minutes - or until the apples are tender and the mixture has caramelized. Remove from heat.
- Make the Glaze: Melt the butter. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, adding the milk last. The mixture should be a bit runny. Set aside.
- Assemble the Fritters: Photos for these steps are all included in the blog post above. BEGIN HEATING YOUR FRYING OIL OVER MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT AT THIS POINT, WITH YOUR CANDY THERMOMETER ATTACHED TO THE POT. IT WILL TAKE A BIT TO HEAT THE OIL to 365 degrees F SO YOU WANT TO START AHEAD OF TIME. Once the dough has risen, flour your counter and gently pat the dough out into a rectangle that's a little less than 1/2 inch thick. Spread 2/3 of the apple mixture onto the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Fold the bottom third of the dough up, and then fold the top third of the dough down onto the bottom third, like you're folding a letter. Gently pat the dough back out until it's about 3/4 inch thick. Add the remaining 1/3 of the apple mixture, and fold into thirds from side to side this time, instead of from top to bottom. Gently press the dough out one last time to about 3/4 inch thick. Spray a large kitchen knife well with cooking spray. Slice the dough into 24 squares - wiping the knife and re-spraying between as necessary so the dough doesn't stick. Using well-floured hands, gather the pieces into 8 mounds, and gently work them into rough balls, tucking the apples in as best you can. These should NOT be perfect balls - they should be lumpy and bumpy and odd - that's part of the charm of apple fritters! We're mainly just trying to get the dough to hold together into 1 mound, with the apples tucked in so they don't all fall out when we fry them. Let these balls rest for 15 minutes.
- Fry the Fritters: Check that your oil is heating - you can turn up the heat if it's going too slowly. Be careful - the oil will be VERY hot. Once the oil is at 365 degrees F, keep your burner at medium heat, and fry the first fritter as a test, for 90 seconds on each side, using a metal slotted spoon or spatula to transfer it in and out of the pot. It should turn a nice deep shade of golden brown. Let the test fritter cool on the rack until cool enough to handle, and cut it open to see if it's done. If it's not done, check that your oil is at 365 degrees F, and adjust the heat as needed.Continue with the remaining fritters, frying for 90 seconds on each side, until deep golden brown, making sure to keep an eye on the oil temp, and adjusting the burner heat as necessary to keep it constant. That's the main thing to keep in mind with frying donuts or fritters - if the heat is too low, they won't fry properly, and if it's too high, they'll burn quickly on the outside while remaining raw on the inside.
- Glaze the Fritters: The glaze may clump up a bit while it sat - the butter starts to firm back up. Just pop the bowl in the microwave for 8-15 seconds and stir until it smooths out. As soon as the fritters have cooled enough to handle (not cooled completely - these are best eaten while still hot), dunk them in the glaze, and place on a cooling rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet. You can scrape the excess glaze that falls off back into the bowl and re-use it.
- Serve + Store: Enjoy immediately! Apple Fritters are best when fresh and warm! They won't be as good the next day, but you can store any leftovers (if you have any, hehe) in an airtight container at room temp for a day.
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