Fall in Essex County involves many things — the changing of the leaves, apple + pumpkin picking, hayrides + corn mazes, pumpkin spice drinks — but with this new season also comes another sweet treat, apple cider doughnuts. Now that fall is in full swing, we’ve rounded up some of the best spots to snag one of these delicious treats — from North Jersey shops to local farms. Read on for where to get apple cider doughnuts in Northern New 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 Northeastern autumn.
Doughnuts have been around for 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 Label Street, Montclair
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 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.
D’Ercole Donuts | 489 Tappan Road, Northvale
D’Ercole Donuts is a family-owned and operated doughnut and coffee shop. The spot makes small batches of doughnuts throughout the day to ensure freshness. The doughnuts here are also tree nut and peanut-free. As a seasonal option, D’Ercole Donuts makes apple cider doughnuts for all of the sweet treat lovers to enjoy.
Froth on Franklin | 85 Franklin Street, Jersey City
This cozy little coffee shop features more than just coffee. All throughout fall, you can find fresh, apple cider doughnuts on on their menu. It is open Monday through Saturday from 8AM to 4PM, and 8AM to 2PM on Sunday’s.
Posh Pop Bakeshop | 192 Bleecker Street, New York City
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
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. This spot is serving up regular and gluten-free doughnuts this fall season.
Top That! Donuts | 8 Highland Cross, Rutherford
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. If that’s too much for your taste, traditional apple cider doughnuts are available as well. Please note that the Rutherford location is temporarily closed.
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. (MG 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
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 raved about 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
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 + 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 Street Route 94 South, Newton
Mackey’s Orchard | 284 County Road 519, Belvidere
Ort Farms | 25 Bartley Road, Long Valley
Pochuck Valley Farms | 962 McAfee Glenwood Road, Glenwood
Race Farm LLC | 87 Belcher Road, Blairstown
Secor Farms | 85 Airmont Avenue, Mahwah
Stony Hill Farms | 8 Route 24, Chester
Terhune Orchards | 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton
VonThun’s County Farm Market | 505 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction
VonThun Farms | 438 NJ-57, Washington
Wightmans Farm | 1111 Mount Kemble Avenue, Morristown