Apple cider donuts are a popular fall treat made by frying yeast dough and then coating it in apple cider glaze or cinnamon sugar. But with their sweet taste and fried exterior, many people wonder just how many calories are actually in one of these seasonal donuts.
The Average Apple Cider Donut Calories
On average, a single standard-sized apple cider donut contains around 300 calories. However, the exact calorie count can vary depending on factors like:
- Donut size – Smaller donuts may have around 200 calories, while larger “super size” ones could have 400 calories or more.
- Ingredients – Donuts made with extras like nuts or cream fillings will be higher in calories than plain ones.
- Preparation method – Donuts that are fried in oil will have more calories than baked versions.
- Glaze/topping – Donuts with glazes and toppings like cinnamon sugar will have more calories than plain ones.
So while 300 calories per donut is typical, the actual amount could range from 200-400+ calories depending on the specific ingredients, size, and preparation method.
Nutrition Facts for Apple Cider Donuts
In addition to calories, apple cider donuts also contain other nutrients:
Most of the calories in apple cider donuts come from fat. Each donut contains around 12-16 grams of fat, depending on the recipe. This fat comes mostly from frying the donuts in oil and any additional ingredients like glaze or cream fillings. The majority of the fat is saturated fat, which should be limited as part of a healthy diet.
A standard apple cider donut also contains around 30-40 grams of carbohydrates. These carbs come from the flour in the dough as well as any sugar used to make the donut glaze or cinnamon coating. Since each donut contains 15-20 grams of sugar, the carbs are mostly simple sugars instead of more nutrient-dense complex carbs.
Donuts are not a significant source of protein, containing just 2-4 grams per serving. This protein comes mostly from the eggs and flour used to make the dough. So while apple cider donuts make a tasty seasonal treat, they should not be relied on as a source of protein.
Apple cider donuts are not a significant source of vitamins, minerals, or other micronutrients. Any small amounts come from ingredients like flour or eggs rather than the donut itself. So don’t rely on these sweet treats to provide vitamins and minerals as part of a healthy diet.
Calories in Different Types of Apple Cider Donuts
While the average apple cider donut contains 300 calories, the specific type of donut can significantly affect the calorie content:
Plain apple cider donuts without any toppings or fillings tend to be the lowest in calories. They contain around 200-250 calories depending on the size. This allows you to enjoy the sweet apple flavor without all the extra calories from glazes or toppings.
Glazed donuts are moderately higher in calories, averaging 250-300 calories each. Standard glazes add extra sugar and a small amount of fat. Specialty glazes like cream cheese or maple icing can add even more calories from fat and carbs.
Donuts topped with crunchy sugars or streusels can range from 300-400+ calories each. Popular toppings like cinnamon sugar, chopped nuts, coconut, and sprinkles all add extra fat, carbs, and calories. The more toppings, the higher the calorie count.
Filled apple cider donuts tend to be the highest in calories, with 400-500 per donut. The filling adds extra fat and sugar from ingredients like cream, custard, caramel, jelly, or chocolate. So while the fillings make the donuts extra decadent, they significantly increase the calorie content.
How Apple Cider Donuts Fit Into a Healthy Diet
While apple cider donuts are a beloved fall treat, their high sugar and fat content make them more of an occasional indulgence. Here are some tips for enjoying them as part of a healthy diet:
- Have just one donut as a dessert rather than multiple donuts as a snack or meal.
- Split a donut with a friend or family member so you each get a smaller portion.
- Have donuts less frequently, like once a week rather than every day.
- Pair your donut with a cup of low-fat milk or apple cider for a more balanced snack.
- Select plain or glazed donuts and avoid fancy fillings or toppings to cut down on calories.
- Complement your donut with fresh fruit, yogurt, or whole grain toast for a well-rounded meal.
- Opt for baked apple cider donuts rather than fried ones to reduce calories, fat, and oil.
As a guide, your daily calorie needs on a 2,000 calorie diet would allow for about 160 calories or one smallish apple cider donut per day. But most health experts recommend limiting high-fat, high-sugar foods like donuts to a few times per week at most.
Apple Cider Donut Calories Compared to Other Donuts
Apple cider donuts have a similar calorie count to other popular donut varieties. Here’s how they compare calorie-wise to some other common donut shop options:
|Calories (per donut)
|Apple cider donut
|Chocolate iced donut
|Blueberry cake donut
As you can see, apple cider donuts are similar in calories to other classic donut styles like glazed, jelly, and chocolate. So while they make a festive fall treat, keep in mind that they pack just as many calories as other donut varieties.
Tips for Lightening Up Apple Cider Donuts
If you want to enjoy the delicious apple cider flavor but cut down on calories, sugar, and fat, here are some tips for lightening up this fall favorite:
Choose mini or “donut hole” sizes that are around half the calories of a regular donut. Or simply eat half a donut and save the rest for later.
Bake Instead of Fry
Baked donuts have significantly less fat and calories than fried ones. Try baking apple cider donut holes for a lighter treat.
Use Healthy Oils
For baked or fried donuts, choose heart-healthy oils like olive or avocado oil instead of butter, shortening, or hydrogenated oils.
Reduce the Sugar
Cut back on sugar in the dough and use fresh apples or no-sugar-added apple sauce in the glaze or topping instead of sugar or icing.
Add Whole Grains
Make donuts with half whole wheat flour to increase the fiber and nutrients. Oat flour, bran, and nut flours also add nutrition.
Allow yourself just one donut rather than eating multiple in one sitting to control calories. Share them rather than letting yourself indulge in too many.
Healthier Apple Dessert Options
If you’re looking for a healthier apple treat, consider these options with fewer calories, fat, and sugar than apple cider donuts:
- Baked apples – Core an apple, stuff with raisins, nuts, and cinnamon, and bake until tender.
- Apple pie oatmeal – Cook oats with milk and stir in sliced apples, cinnamon, and a touch of honey.
- Apple salad – Toss apple slices with yogurt and a sprinkling of granola.
- Apple crisps – Top sliced apples with whole grain crisp topping and bake.
- Apple muffins – Stir diced apples into whole wheat muffin batter and bake.
These apple recipes allow you to get the delicious apple flavor you crave with a fraction of the calories you’d get in apple cider donuts.
The Bottom Line
Apple cider donuts are a beloved seasonal indulgence but they are high in calories, fat, and sugar. A typical apple cider donut with no toppings contains around 300 calories, while more decadent versions with glazes, fillings, and toppings can have 400-500 calories each. Enjoy apple cider donuts in moderation as an occasional treat and balance them out with healthier foods the rest of the day. Or consider lighter baked apple recipes that let you enjoy the apple flavor with fewer calories and less fat and sugar. Any way you slice it, keeping an eye on portion sizes is the key to enjoying apple cider donuts without going overboard on calories.