Written by Lia Hobel | Photos by Michael Butcher
With stunning foliage, winding country roads, and no shortage of farm stands, fall in Hunt Country is the perfect time for a road trip. Along the way, we recommend you indulge in a local and seasonal delight: the apple cider doughnut. Luckily, here are our recommendations for where you can find these tasty autumn treats.
Great Country Farms
The 400-acre working farm at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains outside the village of Bluemont has long been a treasured fall spot for families for apple picking and pumpkin patch visits. These autumn outings also call for a visit to Knead Bakery, located at the farm, for those scrumptious apple cider doughnuts. They are made fresh daily. “We have honed our recipe over the years and guests drive from all over to come enjoy them this time of year,” said Kate Zurschmeide, owner of Great Country Farms. The farm does sell out on weekends, so plan to stop at the bakery before heading out for all the fall fun at the farm.
Location: 34345 Snickersville Turnpike, Bluemont, VA 20135
The Apple House
Located in Linden, Virginia, Apple House is an iconic favorite for its delicious apple butter cinnamon doughnuts and other comfort foods. Made with fresh apples and a blend of warm spices, the Apple House apple cider doughnuts are the epitome of autumn indulgence, and a must-try treat for locals and tourists alike while in the Shenandoah region.
What sets these donuts apart is the use of apple cider in the batter, giving them a distinctly sweet and tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with the soft, pillowy texture. Each bite brings a burst of apple goodness, making the Apple House variety truly irresistible.
The success of Apple House’s apple cider donuts can be attributed to the quality ingredients and attention to detail in their preparation. Whether enjoyed as a morning treat with a cup of coffee or a sweet dessert after a day of fall gatherings, these doughnuts are a taste of autumn that will leave you craving more.
Location: 4675 John Marshall Highway, Linden, VA 22642
With Winchester fondly known as the apple capital of Virginia, you better believe apple cider doughnuts are homemade and top-notch. Marker-Miller Orchards is a beloved apple-picking location for visitors near and far for pick-your-own apples and donuts by the dozen or more. Market-Miller uses Rinker’s Apple Cider out of Stephen’s City and mixes it with their apples. The cider is popular in the area for being 100% juice with no added sugar or preservatives.
Heather McKay, the manager of Market-Miller, says the doughnuts are baked daily. “The popularity is growing,” she shares, noting that they do sell out, so call ahead during the fall season. Doughnut holes are also offered, as well as gluten-free apple cider doughnuts that are baked rather than fried in their machine. You can find these doughnuts at the Winchester store, as well as Harvest Gap Brewery in Loudoun and at local farmers markets.
Location: 3035 Cedar Creek Grade, Winchester, VA 22602
Come for one or for a dozen (we think you’ll choose the latter). Cox Farms in Centreville is also home to fresh apple cider doughnuts — in addition to all the autumn fun to be had. These cinnamon-sugar treats are made with Virginia-made Rinker’s Apple Cider and are fried in batches daily to meet the demand of weekend festival crowds. The autumn festival offers hayrides, pumpkin picking, music, slides, and apple cider doughnuts that are hard to resist.
Location: 15621 Braddock Road, Centreville, VA 20120
Wegmeyer Farms boasts a large pumpkin patch — and pumpkin pickers can be rewarded with a freshly baked apple cider doughnut once they find the perfect jack-o’-lantern. Although reservations are required for the you-pick pumpkin patches, doughnut seekers can come anytime to one of the farm’s locations to satisfy their apple cider doughnut cravings.
Tyler Wegmeyer says the farm started making doughnuts in the spring of 2017 for strawberry season. From there, they began to offer pumpkin and apple cider flavors with a mixture of other classics, like cinnamon sugar and chocolate frosted. Come to the Hamilton location and taste the doughnuts and other pastries being made at the bakeshop. “We love making them for our customers who visit the farm,” Wegmeyer says.
Location: 38299 Hughesville Road, Hamilton, VA 20158
In Clarke County, Wayside Farm is another place for fall amusement — and fresh apple cider doughnuts. In fact, they’re made from the same recipe as Wegmeyer Farms, because they’re sister properties and made in their kitchen. In addition to scrumptious fall sweets, Wayside is the place for all things fall family enjoyment, from tractor rides for pumpkin picking, to hog races, corn mazes, farm games, and more.
Location: 5273 Harry Byrd Highway, Berryville, VA 22611
The beloved seasonal treat is not limited to these nearby locations. You can find apple cider doughnuts at farm stands, such as Loudounberry in Leesburg, as well as local farmers markets through the autumn season. ML
Published in the November 2023 issue of Middleburg Life.