Old-fashioned apple fritters are such a delicious treat. They are little cakes of fried batter filled with lots of fresh apples. After deep frying, they’re topped with a simple sweet glaze.
About these fritters
- Perfect for fall. These delicious homemade apple fritters are perfect for apple season.
- They’re fast to make. Though they need to be deep-fried, the actual batter is quick to make. You can pre-heat your oil while you mix the batter. By the time it’s warm your fritters will be ready to fry.
- Simple ingredients. Everything you can readily find in the pantry to make the simple batter.
- Full of apples. There are fresh apple chunks throughout the entire fritter, so it’s juicy and moist as well as fluffy.
The recipe inspiration
This old-fashioned apple fritters recipe inspiration comes from the ‘1896 Boston Cooking-School Cookbook.’ In the book, the fritter recipe consists of – flour, baking powder, salt, powdered sugar, milk and egg.
Mixed with 2 medium sour apples, fried and coated with powdered sugar.
I did make some tweaks to this recipe and gave the measurements in both cups and grams. The tweaks I made to the recipe were reducing the sugar a bit (and using granulated instead), adding a splash more milk, and adding vanilla.
Find the actual ingredient amounts listed in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here is a rundown of what you will need.
- Apples. The best apples to use are a tart variety, that holds its shape once cooked. You could use 2 large apples or 3 medium apples.
- All-purpose flour.
- Powdered sugar or granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract. Or add in some ground cinnamon if you like instead.
- Baking powder.
- Whole milk.
- Neutral vegetable oil for frying, like canola oil. How much oil you need will depend on the size of your pot.
Why not try these lemon curd donuts next
Here are some varieties that can be used in this recipe.
- Granny smith apples – Granny smiths are tart and crisp and hold their shape well. It’s not very sweet, so if you like a tarter apple flavor, choose this one.
- Honey crisp apples – a sweet and crisp apple that’s great for baking.
- Braeburn apples – Crisp apples that are a bit sweet. This apple holds its shape well when cooked.
- Golden Delicious – This apple variety is very flavorful and also a great option. It’s not too tart or too sweet.
- Pink lady apples or fuji apples work well too.
The fritters are deep-fried, but you don’t need an actual deep fryer for this. You can use a deep frying pan or saucepan and fill it with at least 3 inches of oil. These fritters cannot be made in the air fryer.
The hot oil needs to be kept at a hot and consistent temperature. If it’s too cold, the fritters will soak up the oil. If it’s too hot they will burn. The ideal temperature range is between 356-370°F (180-188°C).
You can test the temperature of your oil using a thermometer for the most consistent results. Or use a trick as stated in the cookbook.
Testing the oil
From the 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cookbook – Drop an inch piece of soft bread into the fat. If in one minute the bread is golden brown then the oil is hot enough for the batter.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a deep pan or deep fryer to 356°F/180°C. While it is heating, prepare the batter.
Peel and dice the apples into small pieces. In the cookbook, it states to cut the apples into eights, then cut those eighths into slices.
In a large bowl measure out the flour and add the sugar, salt and baking powder. Whisk it well together.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, and a few flour streaks remain. Add in the chunks of apple and stir to combine further.
When the frying oil is at the correct temperature, drop heaps of around 2-3 tablespoons of apple fritter batter carefully into the oil.
Fry for around 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and the inside is cooked. The timings will vary depending on the size of the fritters.
It’s best to fry the fritters in small batches so that the temperature of the oil doesn’t drop too much. Remove the hot fritters from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to remove the excess oil, then transfer the warm fritters to a wire rack.
Test that the fritters are cooked through in the middle by inserting a knife into the middle and seeing that it comes out clean.
Continue with the remaining fritter batter.
This apple fritter recipe is delicious served hot and generously dusted with powdered sugar. That is the method of serving that was stated in the cookbook too. Alternatively, glaze them with a simple glaze instead (or toss them in cinnamon sugar!)
They’re a perfect dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a morning treat with a hot cup of coffee.
Simple powdered sugar glaze
In a bowl add powdered sugar, a splash of milk and vanilla. Whisk together until glossy and smooth. Dip the still-warm fritters in this glaze, then let them drip and cool to room temperature.
Leftover fritters can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
- 125g (1 cup*) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or ground cinnamon)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 120g (1/2 cup) whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 medium (or 2 large) apples
- Neutral vegetable oil for frying
- 120g (1 cup) powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a deep pan or deep fryer to 356°F/180°C. While it is heating, prepare the batter.
- Peel and dice the apples into chunks.
- In a large bowl measure out the flour and add the sugar, salt and baking powder. Whisk it well together.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, and a few flour streaks remain.
- Add in the chunks of apple and stir to combine further.
- When the frying oil is at the correct temperature, carefully lower mounds of apple fritter batter into the oil. Use around 2-3 Tablespoons of batter per fritter.
- Fry for around 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and the inside is cooked. The timings will vary depending on the size of the fritters. Test that the fritters are cooked through in the middle by inserting a knife into the middle and seeing that it comes out clean.
- It's best to fry the fritters in small batches so that the temperature of the oil doesn't drop too much. Remove the hot fritters from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to remove the excess oil, then transfer the warm fritters to a wire rack.
- Continue with the remaining fritter batter.
- Dust the fritters with powdered sugar, or coat them with vanilla glaze.
- In a bowl add the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Whisk together until glossy and smooth.
- Dip the still-warm fritters in this glaze, then let them drip on a wire rack.
*The cup sizes given are US-sized cups, note that these are smaller than metric. For best results, use scales.
This recipe was inspired by the 1896 Boston Cooking School Cookbook
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 141mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 3g
This is an informational estimate only. I am not a certified Dietitian or Nutritionist