Every year, I ask on my Facebook page what you think are the best local cider donuts. Every year, I try my best to hit as many of them as I can (and always try to hit the new ones that jump on the list). Though I didn’t post it in a timely manner, I still did it and here’s what we hit up this past year.
Cider donuts to me are such a point of contention because everyone is looking for something different. Some like it with sugar, some like it crunchier, some like them fluffy and then other hate all of that and want them different. So, some backstory into how the list is created every year. It has nothing to do with any kind of ranking. I go based on my availability, the days that the place is open and where I can hit up some new places that may not have made the list before.
To start, we went to Riverview Orchards in Rexford. This is my boyfriend’s favorite because they’re always right out of the oven and have a crispy outside. Riverview has made the tour a couple of times and in addition to their little shop, has a great orchard if you’re looking for apples but not from one of the bigger places.
Next stop, Fo’Castle Farm in Burnt Hills. This is a pretty constant favorite in my annual cider donut poll. It’s fluffy and crunchy but without that hard crusty exterior. The flavor is great and the sugar is well-balanced. They have a very cute country store and just recently reopened their attached restaurant under a new brand.
To start, full disclosure, I have family that owns J.L. Knight & Son Family Farm in Burnt Hills but they just recently started cider donuts and I wanted to give them a try. My opinion is that overall, this was my favorite. I think it was the most balanced in terms of crispiness and fluffiness and I love the added bit of extra cinnamon. Their store is smaller than the other places but it’s focused on food. So, if you’re looking to buy a tchotchke, this isn’t the place. But, if you want freshly pressed cider and delicious apples and pie, it’s perfect!
The real next place we stopped was actually Smith’s Orchard & Bake Shop in Galway but they didn’t have any cider donuts left so we grabbed a pie instead. So, we went (pretty much) around the corner to Arnold’s Farm Fresh Produce. The cider donut was pretty good, it wasn’t crispy, and a little dense but still delicious. Honestly, the star of that place is their pre-made food. They had soups, pasta and meats, so many things where you could make dinner for at least the week. A great farm stand with great food!
Last on the list for this trip was, what I could call, the biggest orchard, Bowman Orchards in Rexford. I’m going to be honest, their cider donuts by themselves aren’t my favorite. There’s a great flavor there but they’re small and nothing special. What’s special about Bowman Orchards is their Apple Cider Donut ice cream. Cinnamon swirls, chunks of donut – my mouth is watering now. This year, I took that ice cream and made it into an ice cream sandwich. Such a good call! Obviously, they’re a huge orchard and their country store is just as full. It’s fun for the whole family, though a little pricey. Make a day of it and don’t forget the ice cream!