Gorgeous Glazed Apple Fritters


Apple fritters are one of fall’s greatest pleasures — and they’re surprisingly easy to make at home after apple picking.

Cardamom-Spiced Apple Fritters

Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Christine Keely 

Active Time:
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 50 mins
12 servings

These apple fritters have crunchy edges that give way to a soft, apple-studded interior that hits somewhere between a cake doughnut and a muffin. The fruit is nicely complemented by the cinnamon and cardamom in the batter. To take this classic fall dessert up a notch, Justin Chapple includes citrus zest (from lemon and lime) in the batter, which brightens the flavor of each craggy treat. You can eat them as soon as they’re cool enough to handle, or let them sit — they stay beautifully crisp even after sitting for a while.

The apple fritters aren’t overly sweet, making them perfect for dunking into a sugary cardamom glaze and dressing up with a sprinkle of rose petals and chopped pistachios.

Frequently asked questions

What is an apple fritter made of? 

The term fritter comes from England, where it has historically referred to a small amount of deep-fried batter. An apple fritter is a fritter with apple in the batter that may be made with yeasted dough or with a more cake-like batter. This apple fritter recipe uses a batter that will make a cake-like texture in the interior.

What can I serve with glazed apple fritters? 

Our testers loved these fritters, and noted, “These seem made for a weekend autumn breakfast or brunch paired with a steamy cup of warm apple cider or bold coffee. They would also be delectable paired with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, or lightly sweetened crème fraîche.”

Notes from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen 

You may have to toggle your heat in order to maintain the right frying temperature range for these fritters. Adding more batter to the oil will inherently make it drop in temperature. Be sure to let the oil come back to 355°F before adding more fritters for frying. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of your frying oil.

One of our testers noted that you can use a 3-tablespoon spring-loaded cookie scoop to make portioning more precise but that you should still decant it into a standard spoon before putting each portion into the hot oil. “I still scooped it onto a large spoon, spread it into an even layer, then scraped that into the hot oil using another spoon. Using just the cookie scoop yielded fritters that were too round. The spoon method made it so they were organically shaped and nicely craggy.”

Dried edible rose petals are available at specialty grocery stores or online at Organic Way.


Apple Fritters

  • 2 Pink Lady or Honeycrisp apples (about 7 ounces each), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/3- to 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for frying

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/8 ounces)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons lemon zest

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons lime zest

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/3 cup whole milk

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 cups powdered sugar (about 8 ounces), sifted

  • 1/4 cup whole milk, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • Finely chopped pistachios and dried edible rose petals (optional)


Make the apple fritters

  1. Stir together apples and 1 tablespoon sugar in a large bowl; let stand 10 minutes.

  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high; add apple mixture, and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until apples are lightly browned and fork-tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer apple mixture to a large bowl; refrigerate, uncovered, until completely cool, about 20 minutes.

  3. Heat 2 inches of canola oil in a large enameled cast-iron Dutch oven over medium-high until a deep-fry thermometer registers 355°F, 10 to 15 minutes.

  4. While oil heats, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, lime zest, cardamom, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl. Whisk together milk, sour cream, applesauce, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir until just barely combined. Add 3/4 cup cooled apples (reserve any excess apples for another use); fold just until apples are evenly distributed and dry ingredients are incorporated.

  5. Working in batches of three, scoop about 3 tablespoons batter using a large spoon, slightly flatten batter using another spoon, and scrape batter into hot oil. Fry fritters, flipping occasionally using a slotted spoon and adjusting heat as needed to maintain temperature, until golden brown, puffed, and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer fritters to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat frying with remaining batter. Let final batch cool 5 minutes.

Make the glaze

  1. Whisk together powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, vanilla, salt, and cardamom until smooth. Gradually add remaining 1 tablespoon milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Working with one fritter at a time, dip top of fritter into glaze, letting excess drip off. Place fritter, glaze side up, on wire rack. Immediately sprinkle with pistachios and rose petals, if using. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Originally appeared in Food & Wine magazine, November 2023

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