Buttermilk Apple Fritters

Buttermilk Apple Fritters dished up and ready to eat

Buttermilk Apple Fritters

Recipe Info

Difficulty: Easy
Mess Level: Moderate
Yield: 15 Fritters
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min


  • 2 Cups AP Flour
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon Coarse Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • 2 Apples, Granny Smith or Other Tart Varietal

For the Glaze:

  • 1 ½ Cup Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Coarse, Kosher Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ Cup Buttermilk
  • Grapeseed or Canola Oil for Frying


  1. Peel both the apples. Dice one in fairly small pieces, and grate the other on a cheese grater.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk till well mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then beat in the buttermilk and vanilla extract, add the melted butter last.
  4. Add half the liquid to the dry mixture and mix briefly, then add the rest of the liquid and mix until all the flour is moistened. Be careful not to overmilk or you’ll end up with tough fritters.
  5. Add the apples and mix in.
  6. Line a plate with paper towels.
  7. Heat several inches of oil in a cast iron skillet until it’s around 350 Fahrenheit. Test the oil with a tiny bit of batter. If the batter sizzles and rises to the top immediately, you’re good to go. If it burns, lower the heat and give it a minute.
  8. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Add the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla to a bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk until combined. If you want it thinner, add more buttermilk. If thicker, add more powdered sugar.
  9. When the oil is ready, use two spoons to CAREFULLY dollop some of the fritter batter into the hot oil. I like to make smaller fritters and drag out the batter to make them flat. Plus if you give them funny edges, they hold onto the glaze better.
  10. Fry the fritters for about 2 ½ minutes each, flipping halfway. If you have an instant-read thermometer you want them to be about 170 Fahrenheit in the center when you pull them out. They will continue cooking a bit while resting on the plate.
  11. Adjust the frying oil temperature as needed while cooking.
  12. Roll the fritters in the glaze bowl one at a time and transfer to a plate. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Savannah Says...

  1. Can I bake these instead?

    1. You do know this is a doughnut, right?
      I wouldn’t recommend it! These are a “Go all out” kind of fritter. If you’re going to make a proper fritter, you must embrace the mess, the calories, and the fact that you will probably eat most of them in one sitting. If you want to bake, make a pie or cookies!
  2. What if I don’t have Buttermilk?

    1. Don't frit!
      You can use ¾ Cup regular milk or even an alternative milk in place of the buttermilk for the batter. Use 3 Tablespoons for the frosting. You want to use a little less because it’s a thinner consistency.
  3. Can I make these ahead of time?

    1. Get it while it's hot!
      They are sadly not very good the second day. What you could do is make the batter a day ahead, and when you’re ready give the batter a stir and then fry them up.
  4. Why are my fritters gooey in the middle?

    1. The first one is always a sacrifice...
      Sounds like they need to fry longer! If they’re too dark on the outside then you should lower the frying oil temperature and give it a minute to cool down. Consider getting an instant-read thermometer for the best results.

Ramblings of a Line Cook

It is a soggy, soggy day in Portland, OR. We’ve been here two months now and have enjoyed one of the longest Autumns I’ve ever lived through, having spent most of my life in Kansas City where you go from 95 degree’s and 100% humidity to 35 degrees and 100% humidity overnight. Bless these temperate climates…

But the rain has finally arrived, put it’s feet up, and settled in for the next ten days, bringing with it a heavy gloom. The gloom is thick my friends and there’s nothing to do but embrace it! And that means hot coffee, cozy sweaters, cracked windows, and more pastries than any person ought to eat in the space of a year.

I first made apple fritters about four years ago while living in Kansas City. I was living in my first apartment without a roommate, a terrible dump of a place with a heater that didn’t work and later was discovered to be leaking carbon monoxide. I had my coonhound Lewis for Company and while walking him one day in late fall, an old farmer was walking past us to his truck and asked if I wanted some apples.

I don’t know what possessed me to take fruit from a complete stranger, we’ll blame it on my 20-year-old life crisis of pretending I had it all figured out and the fact that it was free food. But I ended up with a whole case of apples that the man kindly offered to drop off on my porch.

I ended up trying to make cider with some of the apples which involved pureeing them in a food processor and straining through a cheesecloth in batches. I didn’t really think about mulling spices until after so I actually just ended up with some very labor-intensive apple juice that I warmed on the stove and pretended it tasted of cinnamon and cloves. Being twenty was apparently an important time of mental development for me.

Later, I made apple fritters. And lordy, that was the real winner. Fried, cinnamony apple dough dipped in a sugary glaze and eaten warm - I’ve dreamed about them every fall since. This year I decided to make them again but with the addition of buttermilk. And my, oh my… I cannot tell you how sinfully good these are!

I like to drag the batter in funny shapes as it’s frying so that there are more nooks and crannies for the frosting to hang onto. Plus, who has a bother to give about uniform looking doughnuts anyways? I love these fritters for how easy they are, the fact that you don’t have to wait on a yeast dough, and that they are seriously so delicious you will wonder why you haven’t been making these every day of your life. The time is now my friends, the fritters wait for no one.

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