These Cinnamon-Sugar Fried Apple Rings taste like a cross between an apple fritter, apple pancake, and a cinnamon-sugar coated apple cider doughnut with the bonus of having a slice of apple in the middle! They are oh-so-easy to make and the perfect way to enjoy many different kinds of apples on the go this fall when apples are at their peak.
Cinnamon-Sugar Fried Apple Rings are dipped in a thin batter and fried in a small amount of oil, then coated in yummy cinnamon sugar. I love them for a snack or if I have time on a Saturday morning, I will make them for breakfast. Cinnamon-Sugar Fried Apple Rings are perfect to eat on the way out the door on the way to work on Monday. Just warm them in the microwave or air fryer.
Find an apple festival near you and go!
Scott and I recently visited Rome and Ellijay, Georgia and brought back these yummy apples below. We can't wait to go back to the Apple Festival. Other than just biting right into the apples and enjoying them on the way home, the first thing I made with them is my Cinnamon-Sugar Fried Apple Rings.
I indulged in all things APPLE while in Georgia recently: Apple Slushies. Apple Doughnuts. Apple Cider. Apple Pie. Fresh apples dipped in caramel. Caramel Apples. I highly recommend putting the Apple Festival on your fall bucket list.
I brought these apples back from Rome and Ellijay, Georgia. On the right are the showy Cortlands with their deep red color and distinct stripes. The texture inside reminds me of a Rome apple: sweet and juicy but not as crisp as a snacking apple. They hold their shape well in a pie but I have apple butter plans for these guys.
The apple on the cutting board and in the basket to the left is a Stayman Winesap. You can hear the crunch across the room when you bite into them! These are perfect to go in my husband and son’s lunches... and in Cinnamon-Sugar Fried Apple Rings.
What is the shortcut?
Cinnamon-Sugar Fried Apple Rings are so easy to make and to make them even easier, you can use store-bought pancake mix instead of the homemade batter in the recipe. The batter needs to be on the medium to thinner side of thickness so you may have to add a little water or milk to the directions on the package if yours looks too thick to easily coat the apple rings.
Also, for the homemade batter, I tell you in the recipe how to make it all in one bowl which is a shortcut in itself because you have fewer dishes to wash!
What kind of apples should I use?
The short answer is cooking apples. The best apples to use when cooking, frying, or baking apples are called cooking or all-purpose apples. These apples hold their texture when heat is applied in the cooking process.
Some of my favorite cooking apples are Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Jonathan or Jonagold, Braeburn and Honeycrisp. You may be surprised that Honeycrisp is on this list but it is an excellent all-purpose apple. It's crisp and juicy for snacking but actually holds it's shape well during baking.
Although cooking apples are the best apples to use to make Cinnamon-Sugar Fried Apple Rings, I would absolutely use some all-purpose apples that double as tasty snacking apples. For example, I'd recommend are Cortland, Empire, Fuji, and Gala.
Below is a handy chart of Georgia-grown apples. I took a quick snapshot of it at the Red Apple Barn in Ellijay, GA.
How can I make my own Cinnamon Sugar?
To save money, make your own Cinnamon Sugar! A good ratio of sugar to cinnamon is 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. I've also lucked out and found a pretty nice size bottle of Cinnamon Sugar at the Dollar Tree!
What else can I make with Cinnamon Sugar?
I make Cinnamon Sugar 1 cup at a time and store it in an airtight container to have it handy to sprinkle on baked sweet potatoes, muffins, and French toast. Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips is one of my favorite quick snacks to make with Cinnamon Sugar. Serve it with my Cranberry Apple Jalapeno Salsa.
Do I have to use a lot of oil to fry them?
No. Pour vegetable oil or coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet or heavy saucepan to a depth of 1 inch. Heat the oil to 365° over medium-high heat. On the other hand, if you use a saucepan, you can use less oil to reach the 1-inch depth. You'll just fry fewer at a time.
For a no-mess alternative to the old-fashioned candy thermometer, try a digital infrared non-contact thermometer since the oil is only 1 inch deep, I think it's more accurate, and it never needs recalibrating like a traditional candy thermometer. They cost about the same and there's no oil to clean off the thermometer! I have one listed below in my Amazon picks for this recipe.
Can I reheat leftover Cinnamon Sugar Fried Apple Rings?
Absolutely! If you happen to have any leftover apple rings-I doubt you will, save them in a zip-top plastic bag or container in the fridge to heat in your air fryer or microwave the next morning for breakfast! When reheating one at a time, just 15 seconds on HIGH in the microwave ought to do it. For an air fryer, preheat it for 3 minutes, then cook on "air fry" for about 2 minutes.
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More apple recipes to enjoy!
How to make Cinnamon Sugar Fried Apple Rings
Cinnamon-Sugar Fried Apple Rings
- Digital thermometer
- Vegetable oil or coconut oil
- 4 medium-size apples
- 1/2 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons divided
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon divided
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla optional-but I always opt in
- 3/4 cup 2% or whole milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pour oil in a large cast iron skillet or heavy saucepan to a depth of at least 1 inch. Heat to 365° over medium-high heat. If you use a saucepan, you can use less oil to reach the 1-inch depth. You'll just fry fewer at a time.
- Meanwhile, slice apples crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Using a small circle cookie cutter remove center of apple so there’s about 3/8-inch apple remaining. You can also carve out the center with a knife or apple corer. You can toss the seeds and core but don’t throw away the apple in the centers! Chop them up in chicken salad or eat as a healthy snack (tomorrow after you’ve eaten the fried apples today!)
- In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to make Cinnamon-Sugar for coating apple rings.
- In a medium bowl, whisk egg lightly; gradually add milk. Add flour; top with 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk dry ingredients together lightly on top of milk, then dig in and whisk all together. I just saved you a bowl so you don't have to mix dry ingredients together separately.
- Check your oil to see if it’s 365°. I like to use a digital thermometer. Using tongs, dip apple rings in batter, allowing excess to drip back in bowl. Fry 3 or four at a time 1 to 2 minutes or just until golden. Let drain on paper towels 1 minute; dredge them in then cinnamon sugar mixture while they are still warm and turn over with tongs to coat well. Eat warm and save any leftovers to warm them in the microwave the next day for breakfast.