Baskin-Robbins Apple Cider Donut Ice Cream Review: It's The Perfect Taste Of Autumn

If you think you need to put your ice cream enjoyment aside because autumn has circled back around, you'd be missing out on the opportunity to sample an inspired new creation from Baskin-Robbins. The flavor of the month for October is Apple Cider Donut, a sweet new spin on a classic baked favorite. Though BR has included autumn sensations like Pumpkin Cheesecake and Bourbon Street Pecan Pie in the past, Apple Cider Donut is an entirely new invention concocted to bring together the sweet warmth of apple cider with the creamy coolness of ice cream. This is an apple you don't have to peel, a cider you don't have to sip, and a donut you don't have to dunk.

There was no way we could hear about such an imaginative indulgence without heading for the closest Baskin-Robbins to try it for ourselves. With the calendar rolling over and a fresh month ahead, it's the perfect time for us to get the scoop on whether Apple Cider Donut ice cream is a refreshing pick from the world of frozen desserts or a bruised and battered reject better left at the bottom of the basket.

The ingredients live up to the name

Baskin-Robbins doesn't slack when it comes to creating quality ice cream, no matter what wild add-ins the company choose to load it with. This formula features cream and nonfat milk flavored with an apple cider base, which includes both juice and cider concentrates — and yes, there is a difference between apple juice and apple cider. A ribbon of cinnamon streusel runs through cinnamon ice cream, adding a streak of syrupy sweetness that isn't terribly different from apple pie filling. If that wasn't enough goodness, the ice cream is studded with apple cider flavored donut pieces, putting the pastry smack dab in the middle of every scoop.

Customers on the lookout for allergens should be aware that the recipe contains dairy in the forms of milk, cream, whey powder, and butter, gluten in the donut pieces, and whole eggs. While this is far from an allergy-friendly formula, mindful eaters can scan the ingredient list to see that Apple Cider Donut contains a collection of largely recognizable elements. Though it isn't as clean a blend as your own homemade ice cream might be, it appears that Baskin-Robbins at least aimed for homestyle with this outing.

There's no special price for this flavor

As with other BR flavors, a single scoop will cost you $4.00 on average and a double scoop will cost you around $5.00, depending on your location. Smart shoppers will spring for a double and share it to minimize the impact. Ask for it in a cup instead of a cone to keep from your bank account from getting dunked on in the deal. If you're in the market for a larger quantity, $6.99 will get you a triple scoop or a 12-ounce Fresh Pack to take home and enjoy on your front porch while you watch the leaves change color. If you're feeding a larger family or just hoping to keep the flavor fun rolling after the promotion ends, you can go big with a $9.99 24-ounce Fresh Pack instead.

Though there's no promotional pricing for Apple Cider Donut specifically, you can enjoy a 31% discount on all scoops on October 31, a perfect opportunity to take this smooth flavor fusion for a taste test. With numbers like that, your options become much more appealing.

Get it before October ends

Naturally, an autumn novelty ice cream is only going to last until the next season knocks it off the flavor list. If you find yourself craving another round of apple-cinnamon-sugar sweetness while in the early days of November, you'll be left out in the cold. Don't take it personally; it's just how the company does things — its limited-time flavors only stick around for a month.

The good news is that October has just begun. Anyone intrigued by this tempting formulation has an entire month to jump on the apple cart without upsetting it. You can make return visits and pretend you're headed to the orchard or the bakery or the coffee shop instead of one of America's best known ice cream parlors. Plan on wearing your earflap hat and your best waffle weave shirt to take advantage of the chilly temperatures — whatever it takes for you to get into the fall ice cream spirit before Halloween hits is fair game.

It's an expansion of other dessert-style flavors

Apple Cider Donut feels like a natural addition to what seems to be a never-ending carousel of Baskin-Robbins flavor inventions, some more popular than others. If the chain can sell an ice cream studded with gum balls for the better part of 50 years, it's only fair that it would eventually get around to recreating the old-fashioned flavor profile of a popular autumn pastry. Current options like German Chocolate Cake and Cherries Jubilee set a distinct dessert-inspired flavor pattern, giving this new blend a sensible place in the case. And Baskin-Robbins featured an Inside-Out Apple Pie flavor in 2021, testing the waters for its newest apple indulgence.

But when it comes to adding fall flair to the flavor fest, Apple Cider Donut nearly has the field to itself. This temporary tempter is also the only flavor that uses actual pieces of pastry. Unique? Certainly. Original? yes. A fun way for Baskin-Robbins to take its options for ice cream mix-ins in a tasty new direction? It sure seems that way.

The nutrition facts are rosier than other flavors

Even though the word "apple" appears the ingredients list and is prominently featured in the name, nutrition at Baskin-Robbins is a nonstarter. However, as ice cream goes, Apple Cider Donut is far from the worst choice in the line-up. A single 2.5-ounce scoop in a cup will set you back 180 calories, 8 grams of fat and 18 grams of sugar. It's pretty easy math to double that for a two-scooper. Scanning the nutrition information for many of the other flavors, these numbers appear to be some of the most favorable on the menu, even with donut pieces as part of the recipe.

Naturally, these are facts for a dessert food, which makes nutrition a loaded term. While you won't be adding a slew of nutrients to your diet if you bite into a scoop of Apple Cider Donut ice cream, keeping your order to a scoop in a cup will give you an opportunity to find out for yourself if the flavor is worth falling for. If it turns out to be a juicy success, taking home a Fresh-Pack will allow you to extend the experience while controlling your portion sizes.

Review: You'd be hard-pressed to find a better autumn treat

This flavor captures the essence of an apple cider donut. Having all these phenomenal fall flavors rolled up into a sphere of ice cream gives apple pie à la mode vibes, with crunchy donut bits adding even more texture. This imaginative ice cream encapsulates the comforting flavors of apple and cinnamon in a bite special enough to come around only once a year. 

Time will tell if Apple Cider Donut is destined to become one of Baskin-Robbins' top-selling flavors. For ice cream fans who just couldn't get into the chain's Ghost Pepper ice cream last October, this apple mash-up offers cool relief for a festive fall filled with just as many chilled-out moments as warm ones. If you love apples, autumn, and all things ice cream, be sure to get the scoop on this flavor of the month before the calendar turns over and the next fanciful formulation finds its way onto the menu.