Bourbon Apple Fritters

Story provided by Karyl Henry of

I’m all or nothing when it comes to apples. I either eat them every single day, or I buy them, they sit on the counter for weeks, and then I don’t buy any more for a couple of months. There’s no in-between.

Which is funny because I love apples. They’re low calorie, high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. And they’re a great snack when you want something a little sweet.

My first apple recipe is a cocktail (no surprise), Apple Cinnamon Rum Punch. And then last year I made Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes, and they’re a hit with my friends.

So it’s high time to kick the apple recipes back into high gear, with Bourbon Apple Fritters.


  • They’re perfect bite-sized treats, and great for a crowd
  • You can make the batter ahead and fry them up as needed
  • It’s an excuse to buy lots of apples!


The most important thing is to use apples that won’t get mushy. I tried it with Gala apples (my personal favorite for eating) and they didn’t hold up very well.

To me, Honey Crisp or Granny Smith are the best for Bourbon Apple Fritters. Even though Granny Smith is pretty tart when you eat them plain, the batter and cooking make that bite a little milder.

Dice the apple into pieces all about the same size, so they cook evenly. I do a dice of about 1/2″ and they soften, but still hold their shape.

Add fresh lemon juice to the apples once diced. This prevents them from starting to turn brown and adds another layer of flavor.


I recommend using Vegetable, Canola, or Peanut Oil for Bourbon Apple Fritters. They all have a high smoke point and are flavorless, so the food shines through.

The oil temperature is critical! I like to cook my Bourbon Apple Fritters at about 350°. If the oil is too hot, the outside will burn and the inside will be under-cooked. If the oil is not hot enough, the fritters will absorb a lot of oil and will be greasy.

Use a deep-fry thermometer to regulate the temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, I highly recommend that you get one! They’re inexpensive, and it will save you lots of frustration and guessing.

The temperature will drop when you add the batter and then rise again when you take out the fritters. And the fritters cook pretty quickly, so keep an eye on the temperature and adjust if needed.

Don’t overcrowd the pot. You want the batter to float freely to cook properly.


I went through a lot of trial and error to determine the best size scoop for these Bourbon Apple Fritters.

  • 1/4 cup – too big for me, looked like lumps of nothing, too easy to overcook
  • 2 Tablespoon measure – better, but still not quite what I wanted
  • Cookie scoop – the perfect bite-sized treat

I use a 1 5/8″ cookie scoop, and they’re so easy to scoop and drop into the oil. Besides, with this bite-sized version, I can justify eating more.

I make a simple glaze of powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and water. Then after the fritters cool for a couple of minutes, I drizzle them with glaze and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.


Bourbon Apple Fritters are best eaten while they are still warm.

I do not recommend leftovers or reheating. They will get kind of soggy and lose a lot of flavor.

Make-Ahead: prepare the batter and store in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Return the batter to room temperature and fry the fritters.

Bourbon Apple Fritters from


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3-4 Granny Smith (or Honey Crisp) apples peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2″ pieces (yield about 4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Canola oil or Vegetable oil, for frying


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (also called confectioner’s sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons water


  1. Add the apples and lemon juice to a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk lightly with a fork
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together. Add the milk, bourbon, vanilla extract, and butter. Whisk to fully combine
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold together with a spatula or wooden spoon until just combined.
  5. Fold in the apples, making sure they are evenly distributed. Do not overmix, or the fritters will be dense.
  6. Add the oil to a skillet or Dutch oven and heat to 350 degrees. Use a candy thermometer to gauge the temperature.
  7. While the oil heats, add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and water to a small bowl. Whisk together to combine and set aside.
  8. Using a cookie scoop, carefully drop the balls of batter into the oil.
  9. Do not overcrowd the pot! You want to make sure the batter can float freely and cook properly.
  10. Watch carefully, because the fritters only take 3-4 minutes to cook. Also, keep an eye on the temperature and adjust as needed to stay right around 350.
  11. As soon as the fritters are done, transfer them to a baking rack.
  12. Drizzle the glaze over the fritters and finish with a generous amount of powdered sugar.
  13. Serve immediately.