Apple Pie Slider Doughnuts – Brioche doughnuts are tossed in cinnamon sugar, sliced in half, and stuffed with gooey baked apples to make for the sweetest treat that counts for breakfast or dessert!
The brioche doughnut strikes again! I first made it a couple months ago with these Crème Brûlée Doughnuts and I just loved how the dough turned out. So fluffy, yet slightly chewy. And it was very simple to make! So I just had to use it again to make my latest doughnut creation – Apple Pie Slider Doughnuts.
I love a slider doughnut. Imagine a doughnut sliced like a slider/hamburger bun and then stuffed with delicious fillings so big that couldn’t just be pumped into the center of the doughnut. I first made a slider doughnut a few years ago with these Blackberries & Cream Slider Doughnuts. Now, I am taking that concept and applying a fall twist. The doughnut is not only richer because of the brioche dough, it also is stuffed with a sticky, sweet and crispy apple pie filing. Oh and don’t forget about that cinnamon sugar coating on the outside!
Making the brioche
Brioche dough differs from regular yeast dough in that it has more eggs and more butter. Because of this, the dough is extra tender and flavorful. But also because of this, the dough is delicate and requires refrigeration before it’s rolled out and cut into doughnuts.
After the dough is chilled, it’s rolled out and the circles are cut out and placed on a baking sheet to rise before they get fried.
Frying the apples
Now, we’re not really frying the apples in the traditional sense. No hot oil for them! I don’t know why they’re called fried apples, actually. It definitely originated in the South. All it means is that the apples have been cooked on the stovetop until slightly soft and covered in a cinnamon sugar goo. It very much resembles the filling of an apple pie so it’s perfect for the filling in these sliders.
To make them, sliced apples are cooked over medium heat with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Once a good amount of water has come out of the apples, cornstarch is added to thicken it all up.
Assembling the doughnuts
After the doughnuts have risen, it’s time to fry them. Brioche dough turns super dark when frying but don’t worry – they aren’t burning. The extra butter and eggs just make them turn more brown than a typical yeast doughnut.
Once they are done frying, the doughnuts are dried and then tossed in a cinnamon sugar mixture. They are then sliced horizontally to make a bun and then they’re stuffed with the fried apples.
Tips & Tricks
- Unlike other yeast doughs, brioche is chilled overnight. Therefore, you need to make the dough the night before you plan to eat the doughnuts.
- The brioche is a little more labor-intensive than a regular dough. It requires a lot of kneading in the stand-mixer so you’re going to want to use your mixer for this recipe. Also, there is a lot of butter in the dough so you don’t want to use your hands to handle the dough since the heat from your hands could melt the butter in the dough. Hence, another reason why a stand mixer is needed for this recipe.
- Do not skimp on rising time! In order for these doughnuts to get nice and fluffy, they need time to rise. So don’t go cutting corners and thinking you use the dough after it’s only half-risen. Trust me.
- Invest in a candy thermometer to monitor the hot oil. Oil temperature is super important when frying – too cold and the food will get greasy and fail to get browned and too hot and the food will brown on the outside but not cook all the way in the center.
- Speaking of oil temperature, crowding the pan can dramatically reduce the temperature of the oil. Therefore, you should only fry about 4 doughnuts at a time to keep the temperature steady.
- Don’t slice the apples too thin or they could turn to mush when they are cooked. I like to cut my apple into 4 wedges and then slice each wedge into 3-4 slices max.
Apple Pie Slider Doughnuts
For the brioche dough:
- ⅔ cup milk scalded
- 1 packet instant yeast
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 large eggs
- canola oil for frying
For the doughnut assembly:
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup granulated sugar
For the fried apples:
- ½ cup salted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 4 grany smith apples peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the brioche dough:
- In a bowl fitted for a stand-mixer, add warmed milk, flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and eggs. Attach dough hook and mix ingredients on low for 2 minutes until all the ingredients are combined, scrapping down the sides, as needed, to incorporate all the ingredients. Once incorporated, continue mixing for another 2-3 minutes until the dough smooths out.
- Cut butter into 7 pieces. Add one piece of butter to dough and mix on low until completely incorporated into dough. Repeat with remaining pieces of butter, 1 piece at a time. Once all butter is added, continue to mix on low for another 5 minutes. It is important for all the butter to be thoroughly mixed into the dough. If the mixture is too loose, add more flour a couple tablespoons at a time until it slightly separates from the bowl.
- Put the dough in a large bowl or plastic container and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the dough to prevent it from drying out. Let the dough proof in the refrigerator overnight (16 hours max).
- The next morning, prepare a baking sheet by dusting with flour. Set aside. Unwrap the dough and place onto floured surface. Roll out the dough until it's about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out doughnuts with a round cookie cutter about 3 inches in diameter and place onto floured baking sheet. Combine scraps and rolls it out again and cut out more doughnuts until all the dough is used.
- Cover doughnuts with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free place to proof for 1.5 hours.
- When there's 15 minutes left of proofing time, add oil to a Dutch oven and heat over medium heat until the temp reaches 360 degrees. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temp because it's super important.
- Once the oil is hot, add 3-4 doughnuts to the oven and cook for 2 minutes, flip and cook for 2 more minutes. The outside will get super brown but I promise they are not burning. Remove doughnuts and place on paper towels to drain off the extra oil. You can double-check if they're done cooking by using a thermometer. Make sure the center has reached 190 degrees. If not, place back in oil to cook a little more. Repeat with the rest of the doughnuts.
For the doughnut assembly:
- Put cinnamon and sugar in a paper bag. Once the doughnuts have cooled slightly, add one doughnut to the paper bag and cinnamon sugar mixture. Shake to coat the outside of the doughnut with sugar. Repeat with all the doughnuts.
- Slice the doughnuts in half to create the look of a slider bun. Fill each bun with about 5 fried apples (recipe below)
For the fried apples:
- Add butter to a large skillet or braising dish set over medium heat. Once melted, add apples, cinnamon, and sugar. Stir together with a wooden spoon. Cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes.
- Add cornstarch and stir together. Cook for another 2 minutes or until sauce gets thick and gooey. Remove from heat.