9 Places to Get Your Cider Donut Fix
Indulge in one of fall's simple pleasures.
Leaf peeping and pumpkin mazes are great, but nothing says fall to me like the sugary goodness of a cider donut. As a teenager, I spent weekends working at an apple orchard and learned how to make the perfect specimen.
Made from batter with real apple cider, the cider donut’s beauty is in its delicious simplicity. No neon or sprinkles. Just a dusting of sugar and cinnamon, best eaten when it’s still warm, with a cup of cider.
Customers would line up and watch as the donut machine plopped perfectly round circles of dough into the oil. In strict formation, the donuts proceeded just long enough to turn a golden brown on one side, then the machine flipped them over. After cooking on the other side, the donuts made their way up a belt to drain some of the grease, then tumbled down into an open basket.
As soon as I could touch them without burning my fingers, I’d roll them in a simple mix of cinnamon and sugar or confectioner’s sugar. Sometimes we lined them up on trays, but most Saturdays, right into the bag they went for the next customer.
“Cider donut people, they love their cider donuts,” says Mary Lou D’Andrea of Appleland Orchard in Smithfield. “They make their rounds.”
Charlie Fishbein, who owns the Coffee Exchange in Providence, orders “a ton” of them.
“When I go downstairs to the café after 12 o’clock, if we have any cider donuts left, I’ll eat one. It’s so rare that we have any left,” he says.
Craving one yet? Here are some places in Rhode Island where you can get them:
Pippin Orchard, 751 Pippin Orchard Rd., Cranston, 401-943-7096
Pippin Orchard makes its own cider donuts on weekends. Want to see how it’s done? You can peek through a window into the kitchen.
Hours: Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
Powder Mill Creamery and Coffee, 777 Putnam Pike, Smithfield, 401-949-3040, powdermillcreamery.webs.com
William Abramek makes cider donuts almost every day this time of year and he sells out early. Working out of a creamery where he also makes his own ice cream, Abramek also supplies donuts to orchards and coffee shops around Rhode Island.
Hours: Open 5 a.m.-8:30 p.m. daily.
Barden Orchards, 56 Elmdale Rd., North Scituate, 401-934-1413, bardenfamilyorchard.com
Barden Orchards gets its donuts from Powder Mill Creamery. Unless it’s a special order, they’re sold only on weekends. “If they’re going out apple picking, they’ll grab a donut for the trip,” says Gil Barden. “It’s become a tradition.”
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays open 9 a.m. -6 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Appleland Orchard, 135 Smith Ave., Greenville, 401-949-3690, applelandorchardri.com
Appleland just started making its own cider donuts this year. Mary Lou D’Andrea uses their own cider in the batter and says she made sure it was all natural, so the donuts still taste good the next day.
Hours: Open 9 a.m. -6 p.m. daily.
Jaswell’s Farm, 50 Swan Rd., Smithfield, 401-231-9043, jaswellsfarm.com
This is also Jaswell’s Farm first year making its own cider donuts. They are available just on weekends or by special order. Right now they have cider donuts, but they are experimenting with different batters.
Hours: Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
Sunset Orchard Farm, 244 Gleaner Rd., North Scituate, 401-934-1900, sunsetorchards.freeservers.com
Sunset Orchards gets its cider donuts pre-made and bakes them on site. They’re available during the week, but you’re more likely to get them fresh from the oven on weekends.
Hours: Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
Sweet Berry Farm, 913 Mitchell’s Ln., Middletown, 401-847-3912, sweetberryfarmri.com
Sweet Berry Farm is making cider donuts for Columbus Day weekend (October 11-13) and on weekends after that. They order batter and bake their donuts onsite.
Hours: Open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.
Young Family Farm, 260 West Main Rd., Little Compton, 401-635-0110, youngfamilyfarm.com
Young Family Farms has fresh cider donuts delivered and they are available all week.
Hours: Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.
The Coffee Exchange, 207 Wickenden St., Providence, 401-273-1198, sustainablecoffee.com
The Coffee Exchange orders cider donuts on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from Powder Mill Creamery. Get there early before they sell out.
Hours: Open 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.