With almost uncanny timing, the flip of the calendar from August to September has brought hints of fall weather to the area. Evenings are cooler, and even sunny days don’t leave you sweating quite as badly. It’s time to bust out the flannel and cozy into a new season. Pack away the Frosé and get ready for pumpkin spice and everyone’s favorite: apple cider doughnuts. Read on for a roundup of the best spots to snag this sweet treat in North Jersey.
A Brief Background
Digging around on the internet for the origin of the apple cider doughnut doesn’t yield much, but sources agree on a few key concepts. First, for the uninitiated, yes they really are cider doughnuts. Apple cider, or a cider reduction, is part of the batter. Out of the fryer, they’re frequently topped with cinnamon and sugar. Piping hot or toasted at home, no matter how you enjoy them, these treats are a staple of New England autumn.
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Doughnuts have been around a long time. Cider doughnuts specifically might have originated in the colonies, when people used animal fat to fry dough mixed with harvested apples (Source). But the general consensus is that apple cider doughnuts joined the mainstream in the 1950s. This was all thanks to the Doughnut Corporation of America, a corporation founded by Adolf Levitt. Levitt popularized doughnuts in post-war America and made them a commercial success. According to The Smithsonian, a New York Times article in 1951 is the first known mention of “sweet cider doughnuts” thanks to the DCA.
Nowadays, apple cider doughnuts are snapped up at farm stands all over the country. There are plenty of excellent versions in the area, thanks to bakeries and farm stands.
Shops That Sell Apple Cider Doughnuts
Montclair Bread Company | 16 Mabel Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: @montclairbread)
Montclair Bread Company is the local go-to for a swing-by-and-buy apple cider doughnut fix. The bakery has a range of delicious doughnuts, and indeed the apple cider does not disappoint. Putting a fresh spin on the usual sugar dusting, Montclair Bread Company’s ACD is instead glazed and then topped with fresh apples and crumble. Eat it as breakfast or dessert, but you’ll likely struggle to stop yourself with these decadent beauties.
Glaze Donuts | Various Locations in NJ
Glaze Donuts prides itself on making fresh, from-scratch doughnuts daily at all three locations. West Caldwell, Fort Lee, and New Milford all have outposts. Glaze Donuts’ take on the apple doughnut isn’t strictly apple cider, but the apple crumb definitely will give you those autumn vibes. Need even more apples in your life? Try out their apple fritters while you’re there. Glaze Donuts boasts a rotating selection of featured flavors, too.
Posh Pops Bakery | 192 Bleecker Street, NY
Yes, this shop isn’t in North Jersey, but it’s just a train ride away into the City! Posh Pops specializes in gluten-free cakes, cookies, monkey bread, and of course, apple cider doughnuts during the fall season.
Sweet Caroline’s Bakeshop | Pittstown, NJ
Worth a visit, Sweet Caroline’s Bakeshop has creations that hold a special quality; they not only taste delicious, but also bring about feelings of comfort. They are offering regular and gluten-free doughnuts this fall season.
Top That! Donuts | 8 Highland Cross, Rutherford
(Photo credit: @topthatdonuts)
Top That! Donuts originally began as a family-run shop in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ in 2014, with the Rutherford outpost opening in 2019. Top That! Is “dedicated to serving the local community with quality creations year-round.” The menu allows you to design your own doughnuts if you like, or choose from the specialty menu—and, yes, the “Applelicious” is a featured highlight. Top That!’s specialty apple creation includes caramel and vanilla glaze, apple filling, and sugar crumble on top. Another decadent take on the fall staple, this sugary treat is sure to be a flavor explosion. Too much for your taste? According to the Facebook page, the traditional apple cider doughnuts are now available as well.
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Farms That Sell Apple Cider Doughnuts
Yes, bakeries are delicious, but there’s something special about savoring apple cider doughnuts as you wander through an apple orchard. If apple picking, pumpkin picking, hayrides, and family fun are a staple of your season, head to these farms to get your doughnut fix, too. Surely picking apples is enough of a workout to earn at least one or two! (Pro tip: it’s not, but enjoy the experience anyway!)
Alstede Farms | 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester
Alstede Farms is a family-run farm in Chester, NJ. Google and Yelp reviews laud the apple cider doughnuts as absolutely delicious, but if you’re going, be ready to stock up on more than breakfast. This farm’s store features baked goods, veggies, honey, meat, snacks, prepared foods, fruits, and much more. Grab a dozen doughnuts for snacking as you shop and build a farm-to-table feast for a perfect fall weekend.
Demarest Farms Orchard | 244 Wierimus Road Hillsdale, NJ
Demarest Farms Orchard in Hillsdale, NJ, is a pick-your-own farm with lots of opportunities for outdoor fun. Peaches, apples, and pumpkins are all pickable here. Demarest also hosts holiday light shows for Halloween and the winter holiday season, as well as regular movie nights. But we’re here for the doughnuts. Demarest Farms Orchard does not disappoint. Traditional and delicious, the apple cider doughnuts are lauded by reviewers. Pies, berries, and other delicious treats are also available.
Hacklebarney Farm Cider Mill | 104 State Park Road, Chester
Hacklebarney Farm Cider Mill is another family-run farm in Chester. A visit to Hacklebarney provides opportunities for family fun in corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and hayrides. The apple cider doughnuts are lauded on Facebook, Google, and Yelp. There are many delicious treats to choose from at the store to please your autumnal taste buds, so go hungry and ready for a good time.
Melick’s Town Farm | 170 Oldwick Road, Oldwick NJ
Melick’s Town Farm is New Jersey’s largest apple orchard, according to its website. Go for the day to pick a bushel and grab yet another batch on your apple cider doughnut tour. In a hurry to get your hands on seasonal fresh produce and yummy doughnuts? The website offers online ordering for curbside pickup. Either way, don’t miss your opportunity for freshly made deliciousness.
Other Farms Not to Miss
Abmas Farm Market | 700 Lawlins Road, Wyckoff
Battleview Orchards | 91 Wemrock Road, Freehold
Conklin Farm U-Pick | 65 River Road, Montville
DePiero’s Farm Stand and Greenhouses |156 Summit Avenue, Montvale
Etsch Farm | 556 Buckelew Avenue, Monroe Township
Farms View Roadstand | 945 Black Oak Ridge Road, Wayne
Heaven Hill Farm | 451 NJ-94, Vernon Township
Lentini Farms | 251 High st Route 94 South, Fredon Township
Mackey’s Orchard | 284 County Road 519, Belvidere
Ort Farms | 25 Bartley Road, Long Valley
Pochuck Valley Farms | 962 Route 517, Glenwood
Race Farm LLC | 87 Belcher Road, Blairstown
Secor Farms |85 Airmont Avenue, Mahwah
Stony Hill Gardens |8 Route 24, Chester
Terhune Orchards |330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton
VonThun’s County Farm Market |519 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction
VonThun Farms |438 NJ-57, Washington
Wightmans Farm | 1111 Mt Kemble Avenue, Morristown