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Cheese-Stuffed Apple Cider Donut Holes​

A warm apple cider donut is an autumn must. We amp up the classic treat with a more flavorful donut batter and a cheesy center. The apple flavor is elevated with a cider reduction, spiced apple butter, and grated apple. Pieces of Arzua Ulloa, an ultra-creamy, buttery Spanish cheese, are tucked into the batter, providing a molten center that balances the cakey sweetness. And they're incredibly easy to make at home, as they're baked in a mini muffin tin instead of fried. It's apples and cheese like you've never tasted them before; a comforting dessert for your next fall gathering.​

  • prep time


  • assembly time


  • Serves


preparation & ingredients

2 cups apple cider

1/2 lb. Arzua Ulloa​

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 egg

1 egg white

1 tsp. vanilla extract or paste

1/2 cup buttermilk

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and divided

2 Tbsp. Murray’s Heirloom Apple Butter

1 cup grated apple

1 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a mini muffin tin with nonstick spray. Bring the apple cider to a boil in a saucepan over high heat, and reduce to a quarter of the original volume (1/2 cup), which will take about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, portion the cheese: Trim the firm rind from the Arzua Ulloa, and break off small pieces of the soft interior, about 1/10 of an ounce, placing them on a small baking sheet. Roll each portion into a ball, then place the whole tray in the freezer until you're ready to assemble the donut holes.
​ Make the batter: In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt until combined. In a large bowl, whisk the egg, egg white, vanilla, buttermilk, light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and apple butter until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Gently fold in the grated apple, then allow the batter to rest for 10 minutes.
Scoop the batter into the muffin tin, ensuring each cup is filled halfway, and add one frozen ball of Arzua Ulloa to each cup. Use a spoon nudge the batter over the cheese so it's covered. Bake for 12 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes .
In one medium bowl, add the remaining 1 cup of melted butter. In another medium bowl, combine the granulated sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons of cinnamon. Working with 3-4 donut holes at a time, gently roll them in the butter, making sure to coat all sides. Transfer them to the cinnamon sugar, and toss until thoroughly coated. Add to a serving plate, and continue until all donut holes are coated.
The donut holes are best enjoyed the day they're made but can be held at room temperature for 2-3 days in an airtight container. Once they've cooled, gently reheat in the microwave for 5-10 seconds if you’d like to enjoy them warm.

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