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15 Capital Region Cider Donuts Ranked

Autumn is one of the best times of the year to live in Upstate New York. The air is crisp, the leaves are beautiful and the apples are some of the best in the country. But perhaps the best part about fall in Upstate New York is the apple cider donuts!

the best cider donut

Best Cider Donuts in NY Capital Region

In New York’s Capital Region, there are farms and apple orchards everywhere, so there is no shortage of apple cider donut options in the area. Every year, there are debates all over social media about who has the best cider donuts, like this ranking by WGNA.

Everyone has their go to spot, whether it’s because it’s the most convenient or because it’s where they’ve been going since they were young. However, I wanted to find out what the absolute best apple cider donut in the capital region is, without any kind of bias.

So this fall my boyfriend and I visited 15 different apple orchards and farms to rank some of the most popular apple cider donuts in the capital region. Below is our ranking, in order from worst to best apple cider donut. Do you agree with our #1 pick?

The criteria:

  • Taste: we looked for a balance between apple cider flavor and spices
  • Texture: our ideal donut has a slight crunch on the outside and a soft and fluffy texture on the inside
  • Sugar: a perfect cider donut has a good amount of sugar that doesn’t overwhelm the flavor of the donut
  • Size: we looked for a decent sized donut that was a good value for the price
  • How it is served: Specifically, if they were served fresh and if they were warm

Please note, these rankings are our opinions and based on the product presented to us the day we visited each location. We only purchased and ranked apple cider at locations that made and sold their own cider.

15. Golden Harvest Farms

apple cider
Location: 3074 U.S. 9, Valatie, NY 12184
Donut Rating: 2/5
Comments: The donut was a nice size and had the perfect amount of sugar but it wasn’t warm and fell flat on flavor and texture. This was my go-to spot for apple picking for years, so I was a bit surprised and disappointed with this donut.
Apple Cider Rating: 1/5
Comments: Even more disappointing was the apple cider. It was bland with no tartness or crispness. This was the worst cider we tried.

14. Boman Orchards

apple cider donuts
Location: 147 Sugar Hill Rd, Rexford, NY 12148
Donut Rating: 2.5/5
Comments: We had to wait about 30 minutes in a line of cars just to get into the parking lot of this place. There were also a lot of crowds once in the orchard/farm store area. This donut was very aesthetically pleasing, good size, nice shape and a lot of sugar. There was a slight apple cider flavor. However, they were only available prepackaged in a clamshell, which was a turn off for us. They were not warm and were a bit dry.
Apple Cider Rating: 2.5/5
Comments: A decent apple flavor with some tartness but overall, it was bland.

13. Engel Acres

cider donut
Location: 445 Brunswick Rd, Troy, NY 12180
Donut Rating: 2.5/5
Comments: This donut was very dense and had an extremely strong nutmeg flavor that overpowered any other flavor the donut may have had. It was also not warm and was a tad dry.

12. Fo’Castle Farm

albany cider donuts
Location: 166 Kingsley Rd, Burnt Hills, NY 12027
Donut Rating: 3/5
Comments: This donut was on the larger side, had a fair amount of sugar and had good flavor. The donut was not served warm, there was no difference in texture between the outside and the inside and it was a bit dry.
Apple Cider Rating: 3/5
Comments: This cider had a good apple flavor but it was not tart or crisp.

11. Gade Farm

apple cider donuts
Location: 2479 Western Ave, Altamont, NY 12009
Donut Rating: 3/5
Comments: This donut was a good size and had a decent amount of sugar. It was on the sweeter side but also had good spice. The exterior and interior texture was tough, as if the dough may have been over mixed.

10. Altamont Orchards

518 cider donuts
Location: 6654 Dunnsville Rd, Altamont, NY 12009
Donut Rating: 3/5
Comments: We really enjoyed this donuts apple cider flavor. The size and amount of sugar was what we were looking for. However, there was no difference between exterior and interior texture and it was a tad dry.
Apple Cider Rating: 4/5
Comments: This was in our top 5 for ciders. It tasted fresh and had a good balance between tart and sweet.

9. Samascott Orchards

518 apple cider donut
Location: 5 Sunset Ave, Kinderhook, NY 12106
Donut Rating: 3/5
Comments: This donut was one of the largest of those we tried. It had a distinct cinnamon and nutmeg flavor, but was a pleasant and welcome surprise. This donut did not have enough sugar for our liking and the texture was crumbly and just okay.
Apple Cider Rating: 4/5
Comments: This cider was another favorite. It had a nice apple taste, was slightly tart and perfectly crisp.
*Unofficial bonus points: There were two cute Bernese Mountain Dogs in the Farm Store.

8. Stanton’s Fuera Farms

ny apple cider donuts
Location: 210 Onesquethaw Creek Rd, Feura Bush, NY 12067
Donut Rating: 3/5
Comments: This donut was slightly warm when we got it, had a good amount of sugar and was soft and fluffy on the inside. It was on the smaller side and did not have enough apple cider and spice flavor.

7. Engelke Farms

Location: 463 Garfield Rd, Troy, NY 12180
Donut Rating: 3.5/5
Comments: This donut had a lot of sugar and a good apple cider flavor and well spiced. There was no exterior crunch but the interior had a soft texture. The donut was not served warm and was small.
Apple Cider Rating: 3/5
Comments: We tried the cider but we did not know if it was homemade, as it was served in a plastic cup vs. a jug. It tasted average and like a cider we had tried before.

6. Indian Ladder Farms

best apple cider donut
Location: 342 Altamont Rd, Altamont, NY 12009
Donut Rating: 3.5/5
Comments: This donut had a good amount of sugar and a pleasant, soft texture. The spice level was good but it lacked much apple cider flavor. The donut was the smallest of the bunch and was not served warm.
Apple Cider Rating: 5/5
Comments: Our favorite cider. It was light, fresh and crisp with the perfect amount of tartness. Everything you could want in a cider.

5. Riverview Orchards

518 apple cider donuts
Location: 660 Riverview Rd, Rexford, NY 12148
Donut Rating: 4/5
Comments: While we had to wait 45 minutes for these donuts, they were served super fresh and warm. They were very buttery and soft with a perfect interior texture. There was also a good amount of sugar that did not dissolve from the steam in the bag. The donuts did not have a noticeable apple cider flavor.

4. Lakeside Farms

capital region cider donuts
Location: 336 Schauber Rd, Ballston Lake, NY 12019
Donut Rating: 4/5
Comments: These donuts were made fresh right in front of us and served warm. They were a good size and had a lot of sugar. They had the perfect exterior and interior texture. However, the donut tasted like dirty oil, as if they did not change out the frying oil frequently enough.
Apple Cider Rating: 3/5
Comments: A good balance is apple flavor and tartness but not crisp and slightly muted in flavor.

3. The Carrot Barn at Schoharie Valley Farms

NY cider donuts
Location: 5605 NY-30, Schoharie, NY 12157
Donut Rating: 4.25/5
Comments: The donuts were fresh out of the oven and served warm. They had a decent amount of sugar, although much of it dissolved from the steam of the warm donut. They were big, had distinctly perfect exterior and interior texture and were well spiced. However, there was not a lot of cider flavor and they were a bit greasy.

2. Smith’s Orchard and Bake Shop

Location: 4561 Jockey St, Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Donut Rating: 4.75/5
Comments: This donut was fantastic! It was super fresh and warm when we got it. It was a good size and the perfect amount of cinnamon sugar. The inside was buttery and soft, with a good balance of apple cider flavor and spice. The outside had a bit of a crunch but I was hoping for a bit more.

1. Windy Hill Orchards

518 apple donuts
Location: 1297 Brookview Station Rd, Castleton, NY 12033
Donut Rating: 4.75/5
Comments: It was hard to pick a winner between Windy Hill and Smith’s! However, I believe Windy Hill beat out Smith’s by just a hair. The donut was fresh and warm when we got them. They were a good size and had the perfect amount of sugar. The outside had a perfect texture with just the right amount of crunch, and the inside was soft and fluffy. The donut had the perfect amount of spice but could use just a touch more apple cider flavor.
Apple Cider Rating: 3.5/5
Comments: A solid cider that was fresh and had a strong apple flavor. It was on the sweeter side and didn’t have much tartness.


Overall, I believe the top 6 locations on this list are absolutely worth checking out. We received a solid product at each that had their own unique qualities.

I hope this list helps you plan out which apple orchards you’ll be heading to this coming fall. Leave me a comment and let me know your favorite apple cider donuts!

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Let me know your favorite NY capital region apple cider donut by leaving a comment below. Be sure to follow me on Instagram @thechowdown

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