This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Glazed Homemade Apple Fritters are a favorite donut shop indulgence! But they are even better made fresh at home with a rich yeast dough, plenty of cinnamon, and chunks of real apple!

If you haven’t tried making homemade donuts before, it’s actually a really fun and satisfying process, albeit a little messy. The big names in donuts like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts have nothing on our classic apple fritters! Some of our other favorites to make at home are our Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Doughnnuts and Apple Cider Donuts.

Glazed apple fritters on a wire rack.

Yeasted Apple Fritters

Finding a really good apple fritter at a donut shop is hit and miss. Too often they are dry, hard, or overly greasy. And frequently, there is hardly any apple in them to speak of. We have high standards when it comes to our fritters and what we want them to be like!

Qualities of an apple fritter

First off, I wanted to make apple fritters with a yeast based, almost brioche like dough. Sure there are easier versions out there that you can whip up in under 30 minutes with a batter that is stirred together with baking powder, but it just doesn’t give the same chewy texture and donut shop flavor as the real deal made with an enriched yeast dough.

Second, I like my apple fritters a little on the dark side because it means the outside is extra crispy and the inside is chewy. I have had too many fritters that are “golden” only to be way soft to the point of almost being squishy. The issue is that the oil wasn’t hot enough and the dough absorbed too much of it during the frying process.

Third and finally, it’s important to me that apple fritters have literal chunks of apple in them. Is that so much to ask for? Bonus points if the dough is streaked with cinnamon and the glaze on the outside is just right – not too thick and not too thin.

A torn apart apple fritter on a white plate.

These apple fritters check all the boxes for me, which is why it’s worth the effort of making them at home. Yes, they are a little more work and take some time. But most of it is fairly hands off where the dough is rising and the fritters are proofing after being shaped. The actual work part is more like 20-25 minutes total and no worse than making sticky buns or cinnamon rolls.

What are fritters?

Fritters are fried dough, usually with chunks of fruit like apples, peaches, or blueberries folded in. Their lumpy, rugged edges are the perfect place for puddles of sweet glaze to settle and harden to create a thin shell around the soft, pull-apart interior. I shared some of these apple fritters with a friend who described it as reminding him of fried monkey bread.

The bumpy, lumpy crags of the apple fritters just mean more surface area for the glaze.

Glazing while the fritters are still warm allows the glaze to fill every nook and cranny, then set and dry on the outside, which helps keep the fritter fresh and soft inside.Fritters are my go-to choice at donut shops.

Glazed apple fritters on a wire rack.

How to make apple fritters

  1. Make the apple filling: I like to do this first so the filling has plenty of time to cool down. You can even do it a day or two before and store it in the fridge. We’re essentially making pie filling with a higher fruit to gel ratio. Just whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon, then add water or apple juice and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once it starts to thicken and has boiled for a full minute, add in the chopped apples and decrease the heat to medium. We love granny smith or honeycrisp apples for their firm texture and tart flavor that comes through in this apple fritters recipe. Cover with a lid and let this cook until the apples soften, stirring every couple of minutes for about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely. It will thicken while it cools.
A large pot filled with apple pie filling.
  1. Make the dough: This easy yeast dough is made by first proofing some active dry yeast in warm water with a little sugar for about 5 minutes until foamy. Then you add in the remaining sugar, milk, eggs, salt, butter, and half of the flour and beat with a paddle attachment until smooth. Switch to the dough hook and continue to add the remaining flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft, smooth dough has formed. You may not need the last 1/2 cup of flour! Only use it if your dough is super sticky. Let the machine knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, then transfer to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. At this point you can either put the dough into the fridge and let it rise overnight or press on and let it rise for about an hour on the counter until doubled in size.
  2. Roll out the dough: Once your dough has rise, roll it out on a floured surface into a large oval shape. If you did the overnight rise in the fridge, you might need to let your dough sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so to take off the worst of the chill before it will roll out easily for you. Spread with 3 cups of your apple filling (the leftover filling is excellent on pancakes or ice cream or just eaten by the spoonful and will keep in the fridge for a few days at least!). Sprinkle the filling with 1/2 cup of flour followed by a generous amount of cinnamon. This will help absorb some of the moisture from the filling and bind the fritters so they don’t fall apart as much when you are frying them.
  1. Roll into a log and chop: This is where things get messy. Roll up the dough into a log like you are making cinnamon rolls. Then use a bench scraper or sharp knife to cut the log into strips on the diagonal all the way down one way. Then cut on the opposite diagonal the other way to chop up the dough into quarter-size pieces with even dispersal of apple filling.
  1. Shape the fritters: Scoop up about 1/2 cup of the chopped up apples and dough and dump it on a generously floured surface. Sprinkle it with more flour on top and use your hands to squeeze and pat into a patty. All the extra flour is really important because it will help bind and seal the fritter so it doesn’t fall apart when frying. Transfer the fritter to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat with the remaining dough. You should get about 16-18 generous sized fritters and will need 2 baking sheet so they can be spaced out a bit.
  2. Let them rest for about 20 minutes: The flour on the outside will absorb some of the moisture from the fritter and become tacky, which is the same principle I use to ensure the crispiest fried chicken and works here to give a fantastic crisp texture outside with a moist, soft inside!
Apple fritter dough on a floured surface.
Apple fritter dough resting on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  1. Heat the oil: Fill a large skillet or dutch oven with about 2 quarts of vegetable or canola oil so it is at least an inch or two deep. Heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F. It’s really important to have a good thermometer handy to monitor the oil temp while frying so you can adjust your heat as needed. Have a pair of tongs and a baking sheet with a wire cooling rack set up so you are ready to fry.
  2. Fry the fritters: I find it easiest and safest to use a metal spatula to lift and gently flip the fritters into the hot oil. Only plan to cook 2-3 fritters at a time so the oil temperature doesn’t drop too much and there is room for them to expand. Fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side, then use a slotted spatula to lift the fritters out of the oil and transfer to the wire rack set over a baking sheet to catch any dripping oil. Repeat with the remaining fritters.
  3. Glaze: The simple glaze it made by combining powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl and whisking until thin and smooth. Only dip the top side of your fritters into the glaze, then transfer back to a wire rack for the glaze to set. It will run down into all the crevices and crannies on top of the fritters and set up within about 15 minutes or so. Repeat with all of the fritters. You may need to spoon the glaze over the last few when it is running low and dipping becomes difficult.
Glazed apple fritters on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.

Frequently asked questions

Can you freeze apple fritters?

Yes! One batch of apple fritters makes about 18 substantial-sized fritters, so it’s a great idea to either share them with friends and neighbors or just freeze leftovers, glaze and all. Then just thaw on the counter and pop in the microwave for a few seconds to enjoy apple fritters whenever the craving hits you!

Can you bake apple fritters?

Baked donuts are all the rage, but they just don’t have the same texture as fried ones. It’s the same with apple fritters. Once these fritters are shaped and proofed, the dough really is no different than a sweet roll dough and you can make baked apple fritters by baking these in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes or so. Will they taste the same? No, definitely not. Will they still be tasty and delicious? Yes, of course!

Is there an easier way to make apple fritters?

Nothing compares to making apple fritters from scratch. But you could use frozen roll dough that has been completely thawed on the counter and cut up into small chunks and premade apple pie filling to do an easy shortcut version of these yeasted apple fritters.

An apple fritter cut in half on a white plate.
Glazed apple fritters on a wire rack.

More breakfast treats you’ll love

Be sure to FOLLOW ME on INSTAGRAMPINTERESTFACEBOOK, and TWITTER for more great recipe tips and ideas!

Glazed apple fritters on a wire rack.
Yield: 18 fritters

Homemade Apple Fritters

Glazed Apple Fritters are a favorite donut shop indulgence! But they are even better made fresh at home with a rich yeast dough, plenty of cinnamon, and chunks of real apple!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 6 minutes

Ingredients

Apple Filling

  • 5-6 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into small chunks (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup water or apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter

Dough

  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for shaping fritters
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 quarts oil, for frying

Glaze

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup milk or cream

Instructions

Making the Apple Filling

  1. Peel, core, and chop the apples into small chunks. Toss with lemon juice.
  2. In a large pot, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the water or apple juice, whisking to combine.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Boil for 1 minute, then add the butter and apples. Stir together, then decrease the heat to medium and cover with a lid.
  4. Continue to cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the apples have softened, then remove from the heat and cool completely. You can speed up the process by filling a larger pan with ice and nestling the pot in it to cool the outside quickly.

Make the Dough

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm water with the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes to proof until foamy.
  2. Add remaining sugar, milk, eggs, butter, salt, nutmeg, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat using the paddle attachment until smooth. Then switch to the dough hook and add another 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead for 5-6 minutes until a soft, smooth dough forms. If the dough is super sticky, go ahead and add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour.
  3. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour until doubled in size, or transfer to the fridge and let rise slowly overnight. If using the fridge approach, set the dough out on the counter for 15-20 minutes to take some of the chill off before proceeding.
  4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large oval shape. Spread with 3 cups of the apple filling then sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the extra flour and 1 1/2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon.
  5. Roll up into a log like when making cinnamon rolls. Then use a bench scraper or sharp knife to cut the log into strips on the diagonal all the way down one way. Then cut on the opposite diagonal the other way to chop up the dough into quarter-size pieces with even dispersal of apple filling.
  6. Scoop up about 1/2 cup of the chopped up apples and dough and dump it on a generously floured surface. Sprinkle it with more flour on top and use your hands to squeeze and pat into a patty. All the extra flour is really important because it will help bind and seal the fritter so it doesn’t fall apart when frying.
  7. Transfer the fritter to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat with the remaining dough. You should get about 16-18 generous sized fritters and will need 2 baking sheet so they can be spaced out a bit. Let them rest for about 20 minutes while getting the glaze ready and heating the oil.
  8. Fill a large skillet or dutch oven with about 2 quarts of vegetable or canola oil so it is at least an inch or two deep. Heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F. It’s really important to have a good thermometer handy to monitor the oil temp while frying so you can adjust your heat as needed. Have a pair of tongs and a baking sheet with a wire cooling rack set up so you are ready to fry.
  9. Use a metal spatula to lift and gently flip the fritters into the hot oil. Only plan to cook 2-3 fritters at a time so the oil temperature doesn’t drop too much and there is room for them to expand. Fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side, then use a slotted spatula to lift the fritters out of the oil and transfer to the wire rack set over a baking sheet to catch any dripping oil. Repeat with the remaining fritters.

Glaze

  1. Combine the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until thin and smooth. Only dip the top side of your fritters into the glaze, then transfer back to a wire rack for the glaze to set. It will run down into all the crevices and crannies on top of the fritters and set up within about 15 minutes or so. Repeat with all of the fritters. You may need to spoon the glaze over the last few when it is running low and dipping becomes difficult.
  2. Let sit for 15-20 minutes until the glaze hardens.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1613Total Fat: 108gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 92gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 122mgCarbohydrates: 149gFiber: 6gSugar: 49gProtein: 15g