Old-Fashioned Apple Fritter Recipe

While apples are available in supermarkets 365 days a year, we tend to associate them with the autumn season, and recipe developer Jessica Morone from Jess Loves Baking states that "I don't think there's anything better in the fall then fresh apple fritters." She describes these fritters as resembling "crispy little donuts chock-full of apples," and remarks that this particular recipe is both delicious and easy. Plus, from start to finish, these apple fritters are quick to make, taking less them 30 minutes to prep and cook. 

Morone notes that there is one special ingredient she adds to the fritter batter that she thinks improves it significantly –– cornstarch. Cornstarch, she explains, "helps to make the fritters crispy by preventing gluten development." She then goes on to say that the lower the level of gluten, the less oil the fritters absorb when fried. 

Read further to learn how to make these fall-inspired apple fritters. 

Assemble the old-fashioned apple fritter ingredients

For the fritter batter, you will need 1 egg, ¾ cup of milk, salt, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, orange juice, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and cornstarch. You will also need vegetable oil for frying. 

Morone notes that the acid from the orange juice "balances the sweetness of the fritters, and adds to the flavor." However, if you don't have any orange juice on hand, she recommends adding an additional ¼ cup of milk instead. As far as what type of apple to use, Morone prefers Granny Smith apples, but says that any kind of apple will do. 

These apple fritters are then finished off with a glaze made from powdered sugar as well as the reserved ¼ cup of milk, salt, and vanilla.

Make the fritter batter

Peel and cut the apples into bite-sized chunks. Lightly beat the egg and mix it with ¾ cup of milk, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, as well as the entire amount of sugar, cinnamon, and orange juice. 

Then, stir in the apple chunks. Now, mix your flour, baking powder, and cornstarch together in a separate bowl, and then incorporate the dry ingredients into the apple mixture. Stop mixing as soon as everything is combined, since as Morone points out, you should "be careful not to overmix."

Fry the fritters

Pour 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil into a large, heavy pot and heat it to a temperature between 350 F and 365 F. Here's a helpful safety hint from Morone: "Use a thermometer to ensure the oil is at the correct temperature" and to prevent the oil from catching on fire. 

Once the oil is at the right temperature, scoop up about 3 tablespoons worth of fritter batter and drop it into the oil. Repeat this until you have about 5 fritters frying at one time. Fry them for 1 ½ to 2 minutes on one side, then flip them, and fry them for the same amount of time on the other side until golden brown. Once the fritters are done, take them out of the oil using tongs, a slotted spoon, or spatula, and lay them on some paper towels. Repeat the process until you've used up all of the batter.

Glaze the fritters

To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar with the unused ¼ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of vanilla, and ¼ cup of milk. Drizzle it over the top of the fritters, let it harden for a few minutes, and then flip them over to glaze the bottom half. While Morone likes to use this sugar glaze for her fritters, she acknowledges that this step is optional as "some people will sprinkle powdered sugar on apple fritters or roll them in a cinnamon sugar mix rather than using a glaze."

Morone feels that these fritters "will always be best right out of the fryer," but you may not be able to eat an entire batch in a single sitting. In this case, she suggests "reheat[ing the] leftovers in a toaster oven or an oven to make them crispy again."

Old-Fashioned Apple Fritter Recipe
4.9 from 19 ratings
Nothing, aside from pumpkins, screams autumn more than apples, and this old-fashioned apple fritter recipe is sure to bring back fall-filled memories.
Prep Time
Cook Time
old-fashioned apple fritters
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 2 cups apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  1. Combine the beaten egg with ¾ cup milk, ½ teaspoon salt,1 teaspoon vanilla, plus the sugar, cinnamon, orange juice, and apples.
  2. Mix the flour with the baking powder and cornstarch.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the apple mixture until just combined.
  4. Pour 2 to 3 inches of oil into a large, heavy pot and heat it until it is between 350 F and 365 F.
  5. Scoop about 3 tablespoons of batter and carefully drop it into the hot oil, repeating until there are about 5 fritters in the pot.
  6. Fry the fritters for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, then flip them over and fry for another 1 ½ to 2 minutes until they are golden brown.
  7. Drain the fritters on paper towels. Repeat the frying process until all of the fritter batter is gone.
  8. Mix the powdered sugar with the remaining salt, vanilla, and milk.
  9. Drizzle the fritters with half of the glaze, then allow it to harden for a few minutes.
  10. Flip the fritters over and drizzle the other side with the remaining glaze. Fritters are best eaten warm.
Calories per Serving 301
Total Fat 14.7 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 15.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 39.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
Total Sugars 22.3 g
Sodium 238.6 mg
Protein 3.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe