Love apple fritters but don’t have time for yeasted doughnuts? Whip up shortcut Apple Fritter Rings by coating apple slices in buttermilk batter and frying them until they turn golden brown. The result is a crispy, sweet and slightly tart treat that is perfect for breakfast, dessert or as a snack.
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Apple rings, apple doughnuts, apple fritters, apple beignets—no matter what you call them, one thing is certain: apple slices bathed in buttermilk batter and fried to golden brown perfection are, well, perfection. Add caramel sauce to the equation and suddenly Easy Homemade Glazed Doughnut Holes are facing fierce competition in the Best of Breakfast category.
This quick and easy recipe for apple fritter rings steers clear of yeast, so there’s no proofing (or waiting) required. And while homemade caramel sauce is a dunk-worthy addition to the recipe, you can also simply coat the fried apple rings in cinnamon and sugar for a faster finish to this fried delight.
Why You’ll Love ‘Em
- Made with simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
- No yeast, proofing, or any of the other usual labor-intensive elements of DIY doughnuts required.
- Flavored with a little ground cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Crispy exterior, tender fruit-filled interior.
- Ready in 25 minutes or less.
- Caramel sauce, cinnamon-sugar or a dusting of powdered sugar provides the perfect finishing touch.
Unlike my homemade apple fritters recipe, which incorporates diced apples into the batter, this variation stars individual apple slices coated in batter and then fried to perfection.
- Flour: All-purpose flour serves as the foundational dry ingredient for the fritter batter, providing structure and a neutral base for other flavors to shine.
- Baking powder: Baking powder acts as a leavening agent, helping the fritters rise and become light and airy during frying.
- Ground nutmeg and cinnamon: These spices infuse the batter with warm, aromatic notes, creating a well-rounded and flavorful profile.
- Sugar and salt: The sugar adds a touch of sweetness, while the salt enhances the overall flavor and helps to balance out the sweetness. Without these two ingredients, the dish lacks depth and flavor.
- Egg: The egg acts as a binding agent, contributing moisture and richness to the batter, helping it come together.
- Buttermilk: Provides moisture and a subtle tangy flavor to the batter. It also aids in tenderizing the apple rings, resulting in a soft, delicate texture. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can create a substitute by mixing 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar and letting it sit for 5 minutes.
- Apples: You can use any type of apple you like. Gala, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or Fuji apples all work well.
- Vegetable oil: I prefer to fry using vegetable oil due to its high smoke point and neutral flavor. Canola oil, peanut oil or sunflower oil are suitable substitutes.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Key Equipment You’ll Need
The moisture in the apples results in the apple rings having a soft, pancake-like texture rather than a crunch.
- Prepare the batter. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients while stirring continuously to create a smooth batter. Set the batter aside.
- Prepare the apples. Slice the apples into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Using the cookie cutters, cut each apple slice into rings, discarding the center core. Pat the apple rings dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
- Fry the apple rings. Heat vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot to 350°F. Dip each apple slice in the batter, shaking off any excess then carefully lowering it into the hot oil.
- Add several apple slices to the oil but do not overcrowd the pot. Fry the fritters in batches for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown and crispy. Then, using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer them onto a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
- Serve them immediately, while they’re still warm.
Kelly’s Note: For an extra burst of flavor, you can coat the fried apple rings in cinnamon and sugar. In a small bowl, mix together 1-2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon and ¼ cup of granulated sugar. While the fritters are still warm, toss them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, coating them evenly on all sides.
- Caramel sauce – it’s rich, sweet and pairs perfectly with the fritters
- Vanilla glaze – mix 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar with 2 tablespoons of milk and ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract until smooth and well combined
- Whipped cream – my version stars a surprising ingredient that will have you ditching the store-bought stuff for good
- Butterscotch sauce – similar to caramel sauce but made with brown sugar instead of white sugar
- Maple syrup – dip, dunk or drizzle for a treat reminiscent of my favorite fluffy buttermilk pancakes
- Pat Apples Dry: Before dipping the apple rings in the batter, make sure to pat them dry with a paper towel. This removes excess moisture, allowing the batter to adhere better.
- Shake Off Excess Batter: It’s important to shake off as much excess batter as possible to ensure the apple rings fry quickly.
- Maintain the Oil Temp: Using a deep-fry thermometer is crucial for maintaining the oil’s temp. This helps achieve crispy fritters and prevents them from becoming greasy.
- Fry in Batches: Avoid overcrowding the frying pan by frying the fritters in batches. Overcrowding can cause temperature fluctuations and lead to uneven cooking.
- Serve Warm: Just like any deep-fried food, these are best when served immediately after frying.
- Storing Leftovers: While best enjoyed immediately for their optimal taste and texture, you can store any cooked leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat them in a low-temp oven or air fryer to restore their crispiness.
Frequently Asked Questions
While Fuji and Gala are my favorite varieties for this recipe, any variety will work. Some people prefer the tartness of Granny Smith, while others like the sweetness of Honeycrisp.
Maintaining the right oil temperature is key to successful fritter-making. If it’s too hot, the fritters may burn on the outside before the insides cook through. If it’s too cool, they can get greasy and soggy. Use a thermometer to check and let the oil heat up again between batches for consistent fritters.
To maintain crispiness, serve the fritters immediately after frying and avoid covering them with a lid or wrapping them, as this can trap moisture and make them soggy.
It’s best to prepare the batter and fry the fritters right away. The batter can lose its effectiveness if left standing for too long, resulting in less crispy fritters.
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip
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- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 4 large apples, such as Fuji or Gala
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Homemade or store-bought caramel sauce, for serving
- Circular cookie cutters in graduated sizes; Deep-fry thermometer
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar and salt. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk and then whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture just until combined.
- Slice the apples into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Using the cookie cutters, cut each apple slice into rings, discarding the center core.
- Add 3 inches of oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot set over medium heat. Line a sheet tray with paper towels.
- When the oil reaches 350°F on your deep-fry thermometer, begin by dipping each apple slice in the batter, shaking off any excess then carefully lowering it into the oil. Add several apple slices to the oil but do not overcrowd the pot. Flip the apple slices occasionally so that they brown on all sides then using tongs, transfer them onto the paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat the battering and frying process with the remaining apple rings.
- Serve the apple rings immediately with caramel sauce for dipping.
- You can coat the fried apple rings in cinnamon and sugar rather than serve them with caramel sauce.
- Before dipping the apple rings in the batter, make sure to pat them dry with a paper towel. This removes excess moisture, allowing the batter to adhere better.
- It’s important to shake off as much excess batter as possible to ensure the apple rings fry quickly.
- Using a deep-fry thermometer is crucial for maintaining the oil’s temp. This helps achieve crispy fritters and prevents them from becoming greasy.
- Avoid overcrowding the frying pan by frying the fritters in batches. Overcrowding can cause temperature fluctuations and lead to uneven cooking.
- Just like any deep-fried food, these are best when served immediately after frying.
- The moisture in the apples results in the apple rings having a soft, pancake-like texture rather than a crunch.
- ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
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Recipe adapted from Crumbs and Tales.