Celebrate fall with homemade apple fritters! These fried apple fritters are topped with a cinnamon-vanilla glaze and easy to make too.
If you love fresh donuts, you’re bound to love their fall cousin! These apple fritters are made with fresh apples and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, then fried until golden brown all over.
Once the fritters have cooled down, they’re topped with a simple but delicious cinnamon glaze. The glaze not only sweetens the fritters, but it also keeps them moist for days afterward.
Make these homemade apple fritters for a weekend breakfast or brunch, or whip up a batch in the afternoon as a fun fall snack. I don’t often deep fry foods, but I always make an exception for old-fashioned apple fritters!
Ingredients in This Recipe
Homemade apple fritters can be made using basic ingredients you likely have on hand already. Here’s an overview of the ingredients you’ll need to make this easy recipe:
- Apples: I really love Fuji apples for this recipe, but any kind of baking apple will work fine. Some other great options are Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples.
- Lemon juice: A squeeze of lemon juice helps to prevent the apples from turning brown before being fried.
- All-purpose flour: I always recommend spooning and leveling your flour when measuring it to ensure you don’t measure out too much by mistake.
- Granulated sugar: I added just 1/3 cup sugar to the batter to lightly sweeten it. Fritter dough isn’t very sweet, which is why you always want to glaze them after they’re fried.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon and nutmeg add a lovely fall flavor, while salt enhances the apple flavor and balances out the sweet glaze.
- Milk: Whole milk works best in the fritter batter.
- Egg: To help bind everything together.
- Unsalted butter: Melt the butter and let it cool slightly before mixing it into the batter.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract will deliver the best flavor.
- Oil: I recommend using canola oil to fry the fritters, since it’s neutral in flavor.
- Confectioners’ sugar: Gets mixed with a little milk, cinnamon, and vanilla to create the glaze.
How to Make Apple Fritters
The apple fritter batter itself is a cinch to make! It’s similar to my baked donut hole recipe, but thicker so that it’s easier to fry. Before making the batter, you will also want to heat 3 to 4 cups of canola oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Here’s how the batter is made:
In a large bowl, mix together the diced apples and lemon juice. Set aside.
In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Once all the dry ingredients are combined, use a spatula to make a well in the center of the ingredients. Pour in the milk, lightly beaten egg, melted butter and vanilla extract.
Mix until a batter is formed. It will be thick, that’s what you want!
Fold in the apples until mostly coated in the batter.
It will seem like a lot of apples in the dough, but this is okay! The dough will puff up as it cooks in the oil and bake around the apples.
Next, you’ll need to deep fry the fritters. Here’s exactly how to do that:
Once the oil reaches about 375°F, grease a 1/4 cup measuring cup with baking spray, or use a large scoop, and measure out 1/4 cup batter.
Spray a metal spatula with nonstick cooking spray, transfer the batter onto it, and flatten into a medium disc.
Carefully lower the battered spatula into the oil, the batter should slip off easily into the oil.
Cook fritters on each side for 2 minutes or until they’re golden brown all over.
Transfer the cooked fritters to a paper towel-lined plate.
Once the homemade apple fritters have cooled down, they’re ready to be glazed. The cinnamon-vanilla glaze is a simple combination of powdered sugar, ground cinnamon, vanilla, and whole milk.
I recommend using up all the glaze, even if it seems like a lot. It will keep the dough moist and it also adds sweetness, since fritter dough itself isn’t too sweet.
Can This Recipe Be Made in Advance?
Although leftover fritters are still delicious, I recommend making this recipe just before you plan on serving them. The dough will dry out slightly over time and will lose the slight crispness it started with.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Store the cooled fritters in a container or Ziploc bag on the counter for up to one day. Alternatively, store in a container or Ziploc bag in the fridge for up to four days.
You can reheat fritters in the oven at 300°F for 8 to 10 minutes to enjoy! Feel free to reheat them in the microwave as a quick snack, too.
- You’ll want to use a large pot to fry the apple fritters. The higher sides of the pot will protect you from any hot oil that splatters during the frying process.
- Use canola oil or another neutral-flavored oil for this recipe.
- Let the homemade apple fritters cool slightly before whisking together the glaze and dipping them into it.
More Apple Desserts You’ll Love!
For the fritters:
- 3 to 4 cups canola oil
- 3 cups diced Fuji apples peeled, cored, and diced - approx 3 large apples or 4 medium apples (375 grams)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour spooned & leveled (190 grams)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (65 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup whole milk (120 ml)
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled (45 grams)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 2 cups confectioners sugar (240 grams)
- 4 to 5 tablespoons milk or water (60 to 75 ml)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- To make the fritters: Heat the canola oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- In a large bowl, mix together the diced apples and lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined.
- Once all the dry ingredients are combined, use a spoon or rubber spatula to make a well in the center of the ingredients. Pour in the milk, egg, melted butter and vanilla extract and mix until just combined.
- Gently fold in the apples until mostly coated in batter.
- Once the oil reaches 375°F (190°C), grease a ¼ cup measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray or use a large scoop, and measure out ¼ cup batter.
- Transfer the batter onto a large metal spatula coated with nonstick cooking spray and flatten into a medium disc.
- Carefully lower the battered spatula into the oil and the batter should slip off quite easily. If needed, you can use a spoon or fork to help slide the batter off the spatula into the oil. Only add up to 3 to 4 fritters into the oil at a time to prevent overcrowding.
- Cook the fritters for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown, then transfer the cooked fritters to a plate lined with paper towels to cool.
- To make the glaze: While the fritters cool, whisk together the confectioners sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a large bowl. The glaze should be on the thinner side. If the glaze is too thin, add extra powdered sugar to thicken it. If it's too thick, add a little extra milk to thin it out.
- Once the fritters have slightly cooled, dip each fritter into the glaze. If you have any extra glaze leftover, dip the fritters into the glaze one more time or simply pour the remaining glaze over them.