Is your mouth watering from that title alone? Mine too. Cider donuts. Cider. DONUTS. 

This past Tuesday was the first day of Fall! And that means we're in my favorite season of all the seasons right now, and that means I'm about to overload you guys with autumn themed dishes. Prepare your stomachs, mouths, hands, mind, body, spirit, etc. 

I just recently went apple picking to Honey Pot Hill Orchards in Stow, MA with a few friends and picked a whole bag of apples and pears for a later culinary adventure.

and (the most important part) I bought these delectable cider donut puffs of sugary goodness. After waiting in line for what felt like an eternity, but was probably only about thirty minutes, I finally acquired a piping hot cinnamon covered cider donut plus half a dozen more. And let me tell you, it was so hard to avoid just forgetting about the bread pudding and eating the half dozen before it was too late. Fortunately for you guys, my willpower is strong. 

I am so excited about this recipe, but If you don't have cider donuts handy, do not fear! This could work for any thickly sliced bread that has gone slightly stale. 

With all of this said and just to serve as a fair warning, I don't really consider myself a baker. Blind baking comes with its own set of challenges which I don't think I'm fully equipped to handle. This is my first attempt at a bread pudding (as we naturally do things here at Marinated) and my first dessert post (!!!) so let's get started. I'm scared. 

Cider Donut Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

1 stick softened butter

1/2 cup sugar 

1 egg 

1 cup heavy cream 

1/4 cup apple cider 

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder 

1/4 cup flour 

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

6 cider donuts (or whatever bread material-thing you have on hand)

1 big diced up courtland apple  

1/4 cup raisins (optional)

Crunchy Topping:

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg 

Dash of vanilla

Splash of cream

Instructions:

Before we even start I have to get it off my chest that I royally screwed up the order in which to put ingredients in the batter. Nothing totally tragic, but still, I'm going to post what I think would be the proper directions at the end of this post. Bear with me... 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

Cream together the softened butter and sugar until creamy and combined. There shouldn't be any chunks. Add the heavy cream. Blend together with a hand mixer until thoroughly combined. Add the apple cider and throw that egg in too. 

Combine all your dry ingredients (baking soda, baking powder, flour, cinnamon, & nutmeg) in another bowl. It doesn't have to be perfect. Add the dry ingredient to the wet and beat until thoroughly combined. 

Chop up your six cider donuts. I cut each donut into fourths because I wanted a nice, chunky pudding with giant donut pieces in it. You can make them finer, or you can cut them in half if you really want to get crazy. 

Peel and core an apple. I hand picked my Courtland (which are pretty amazing for baking) and it was really big so I only needed one. If you're using smaller apples, consider dicing up two or three. I chopped up the apple relatively finely because I wanted it to cook a bit quicker in the pudding. You don't want the apples to be too hard or too soft in your pudding. 

Put all the donut pieces and apple pieces into the batter. This is the part where you can add raisins if you want to. I didn't because raisins are disgusting!!! Gently fold the donuts and apples into the batter as you don't want any breakage.

Let it sit in the bowl for a few minutes while you make the crunchy topping.

The crunchy topping is super fun: just throw all the ingredients into a bowl and blend it together with your little fingers. To moisten it I used cream and vanilla extract because I had a senior moment and forget that I actually should've used butter. Use about a tablespoon of melted butter if you're smart. The milk didn't work too badly... but... ya know... butter. I also added way too much nutmeg. Be careful with nutmeg. Nutmeg is dangerous. I almost ruined EVERYTHING. 

Now put the marinating donut and apple batter into a loaf pan or whatever nonstick pan you have on tap. You don't need to butter the pan because there is enough butter in this thing, trust me. Put the crunchy topping on top using your fingers. You have to use your fingers. I'm watching you. Throw your masterpiece into your preheated 350 oven for 35 minutes. 

Once you've waited ever so patiently for your bread pudding to be ready, let it set for at least 15 minutes before serving so all the flavors have a chance to settle into one another. 

Serve with vanilla ice cream if you're feeling really indulgent.