With almost odd timing, the shift in the calendar from August to September brought hints of fall weather to the region. Evenings are cooler and even sunny days don’t make you sweat so much. It’s time to pull out the flannel and warm up for a new season. Put the Frosé away and get ready for pumpkin spice and everyone’s favorite: apple cider donuts. Read on for a roundup of the best places to grab this sweet treat in North Jersey.
A brief history
Searching the Internet for the origin of the apple cider donut doesn’t yield much, but the sources agree on a few key concepts. First, for the uninitiated, yes they really are Cider donuts. Apple cider, or a cider reduction, is part of the batter. Out of the deep fryer, they are often topped with cinnamon and sugar. Hot or grilled at home, however you like them, these treats are a New England fall staple.
Read more: Must-visit corn mazes in North Jersey
Donuts have been around for a long time. Cider donuts could originate from the colonies, when people used animal fat to fry batter mixed with harvested apples (Source). But the general consensus is that apple cider donuts joined the mainstream in the 1950s. All thanks to the Donut Corporation of America, a company founded by Adolf Levitt. Levitt popularized donuts in postwar America and made it a commercial success. According to The Smithsonian, a New York Times The 1951 article is the first known mention of “sweet cider donuts” thanks to the DCA.
Nowadays, apple cider donuts are bought from farm stalls across the country. There are many excellent versions in the area, thanks to the bakeries and farm stalls.
Stores Who sell apple cider donuts
Montclair Bread Company | 16, rue Mabel, Montclair
(Photo credit: @montclairbread)
Montclair Bread Company is the local go-to-buy apple cider donut. The bakery has a range of delicious donuts and, indeed, the apple cider does not disappoint. Putting a new twist on the usual sugar dusting, Montclair Bread Company’s ACD is rather glazed then topped with fresh apples and crumble. Eat it for breakfast or dessert, but you’ll probably find it hard to stop with these decadent beauties.
Frozen donuts | Various locations in New Jersey
Glaze Donuts pride themselves on making fresh donuts from scratch daily at all three locations. West Caldwell, Fort Lee, and New Milford all have outposts. The Glaze Donuts version of apple donut isn’t strictly apple cider, but apple crumbs will definitely give you those fall vibes. Need more apples in your life? Try their apple fritters while you’re at it. Glaze Donuts also offers a rotating selection of featured flavors.
Chic Bakery Pops | 192 Bleecker Street, New York
Yes, this store is not in North Jersey, but it is only a short train ride into town! Posh Pops specializes in gluten-free cakes, cookies, monkey bread, and of course, apple cider donuts during the fall season.
Top that! Donuts | 8 Highland Cross, Rutherford
(Photo credit: @topthatdonuts)
Top that! Donuts started out as a family owned store in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ in 2014, with the Rutherford Outpost opening in 2019. Top That! Is “dedicated to serving the local community with quality creations throughout the year”. The menu lets you design your own donuts if you like, or choose from the specialty menu – and, yes, the “Applelicious” is a highlight. Top That’s specialty apple creation! includes caramel vanilla frosting, apple filling and a sugar crumble on top. Another decadent take on the fall staple, this sweet treat is sure to be a flavor explosion. Too much for your taste? According to Facebook page, the traditional apple cider donuts are now also available.
See more: A Guide to Hayrides in North Jersey
Farms that sell apple cider donuts
Yes, bakeries are delicious, but there’s something special about enjoying apple cider donuts as you stroll through an apple orchard. If apple picking, pumpkin picking, hay walks, and family fun are a must-do this season, head to these farms to get your donut fix as well. Picking apples is enough exercise to earn at least one or two! (Pro tip: it doesn’t, but enjoy the experience anyway!)
Alstede Farms | 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester
Alstede Farms is a family farm located in Chester, New Jersey. Google and Yelp reviewers praise the apple cider donuts as absolutely delicious, but if you go, be prepared to do more than just breakfast. The store on this farm offers baked goods, vegetables, honey, meat, snacks, prepared foods, fruits and much more. Grab a dozen donuts to snack on as you shop and cook up a farm-to-table feast for the perfect fall weekend.
Demarest Farms Orchard | 244 Wierimus Road Hillsdale, NJ
Demarest Farms Orchard in Hillsdale, NJ is a U-pick farm with plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun. Peaches, apples and pumpkins can all be picked here. Demarest also hosts light shows for Halloween and the winter holiday season, as well as regular movie nights. But we’re here for the donuts. Demarest Farms Orchard does not disappoint. Traditional and delicious, apple cider donuts are acclaimed by critics. Pies, berries and other delicious treats are also available.
Hacklebarney Farm Cider House | 104 State Park Road, Chester
Hacklebarney Farm Cider Mill is another family farm in Chester. A visit to Hacklebarney provides opportunities for family fun in corn mazes, pumpkin fields and hay walks. Apple cider fritters are rented on Facebook, Google and Yelp. There are plenty of delicious treats to choose from at the store to please your fall taste buds, so get hungry and get ready for a good time.
Melick’s municipal farm | 170 Oldwick Road, Oldwick NJ
Melick’s Town Farm is New Jersey’s largest apple orchard, according to its website. Spend the day picking a bushel and grab another batch on your apple cider donut tour. In a hurry to get your hands on fresh seasonal produce and delicious donuts? The website offers online ordering for curbside pickup. Either way, don’t miss the opportunity to savor freshly prepared delicacies.
Other farms not to be missed
Abmas agricultural market | 700 Lawlins Road, Wyckoff
Battleview Orchards | 91, chemin Wemrock, freehold
Conklin Farm U-Pick | 65 River Road, Montville
DePiero farm stand and greenhouses | 156, avenue du Sommet, Montvale
Etsch farm | 556 Buckelew Avenue, Monroe Township
Farm road terminal | 945 Black Oak Ridge Road, Wayne
Heavenly Hill Farm | 451 NJ-94, Vernon Township
Lentini Farms | 251 High Street, Route 94 South, Fredon Township
Mackey’s Orchard | 284 County Road 519, Belvidere
Ort Farms | 25 Bartley Road, Long Valley
Pochuck Valley Farms | 962 Route 517, Glenwood
Race Farm LLC | 87 Belcher Road, Blairstown
Secor Farms | 85, avenue Airmont, Mahwah
Stony Hill Gardens | 8 Route 24, Chester
Orchards of Terhune | 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton
VonThun County Farmer’s Market | 519 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction
VonThun Farms | 438 NJ-57, Washington
Wightmans Farm | 1111 Mt Kemble Avenue, Morristown