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Apple Cider Donut Cake

Apple Cider Donut Cake tastes exactly like the irresistible apple cider donuts from the farmstands that dot the country roads of Connecticut in the fall.

Low angle shot of the cake on a wooden cake stand with one slice being pulled out with a cake server.

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This cake has all the rich, apple-y flavor and the dense cake-y texture of those donuts. It even has that irresistible sugar-y crunch of the cinnamon sugar coating.

I love the apple cider donuts we get when we visit my New England-based in-laws in the fall. This apple cider cake delivers everything I love about them—the sweet apple flavor, the kick of cinnamon spice, the dense cake, and the cinnamon sugar coating—but it’s super easy to make.

With this apple cider donut cake recipe, there’s no deep frying or forming dough into rounds. Just mix up the apple cake batter, pour it into a bundt pan, and bake to perfect. Drizzle with glaze, sprinkle with sugar, and devour.

I love to serve this Apple Cider Cake as an alternative to apple pie for Thanksgiving, for Rosh Hashanah, or just any time I want a sweet, apple-y, cinnamon-y deliciously fluffy bundt cake!

Overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make this apple cider donut cake.

What ingredients do you need to make Apple Cider Donut Cake?

Most of the ingredients for this apple bundt cake are likely already in your pantry—a few baking staples and warming spices, plus apple cider and applesauce. Here’s what you need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • salt
  • Baking powder
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs at room temperature
  • Apple sauce
  • Apple cider
  • Vanilla extract
  • Unsalted butter

How do you make it?

Making this easy bundt cake is as easy as making any other bundt cake.

  1. Preheat the oven and coat a 12-cup bundt pan with oil and flour (or use baking spray).
  2. Stir together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl: flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and baking powder.
  3. In another bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugars and oil and mix well.
  4. Add the eggs, applesauce, and vanilla and mix again.
  5. Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, then add half of the apple cider. Mix to incorporate.
  6. Add the remaining flour mixture and cider and mix again to incorporate.
  7. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and bake.
  8. Allow the cake to cool in the pan and then turn it out onto a cake platter.
  9. Using a pastry brush, brush the top and sides of the cake with melted butter and then sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar topping.
  10. Serve and enjoy!
low angle shot of two slices of cake on a wooden plate with a fork.

Tips for Success

  • Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan. It will release more easily and there will be less risk of it breaking.
  • Serve the cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or a drizzle of caramel sauce if you want!
  • The cake will keep, in an airtight container, at room temperature for 3 or 4 days.
  • You can freeze the cake whole, or freeze whatever is leftover. Wrap it tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap and then put in a resealable plastic bag for the best results. You can keep it in the freezer for up to 6 months. cake will freeze well if covered in plastic wrap. To serve, unwrap the cake and let it thaw and come to room temperature on the countertop.

Try these other sweet desserts!

I don’t actually bake all that often, so when I do, I want what I make to be extra special. This Apple Cider Doughnut Cake hits the mark along with a few other favorites. Honey Cake is perfect for Rosh Hashanah, but really it works any time of year. For the winter holidays, I can’t resist a Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Cookies are always nice to have on hand and these Honey Cookies, Lemon Coconut Macaroons, Kolacky, Rugelach, and Hamentashen are all delightful.

overhead shot of this apple bundt cake on a cake stand with apples in the background.
Yield: Serves 14

Apple Cider Donut Cake

Low angle shot of the cake on a wooden cake stand with one slice being pulled out with a cake server.

Apple Cider Donut Cake tastes exactly like the irresistible apple cider donuts from the farmstands that dot the country roads of Connecticut in the fall. This cake has all the rich, apple-y flavor and the dense cake-y texture of those donuts. It even has that irresistible sugar-y crunch of the cinnamon-sugar coating.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • Oil, nonstick cooking spray, or baking spray to coat the pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little more for coating the baking pan
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup applesauce, at room temperature
  • 1 cup apple cider, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Topping

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Spray or coat a 12-inch bundt pan with oil and then dust it with
  2. flour or use a baking spray to coat the pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and baking powder and mix well.
  4. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and oil. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
  5. Add the eggs and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the applesauce and vanilla and mix to combine.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add about ½ of the flour mixture,
    followed by half of the apple
  7. cider. Mix to incorporate. Add the remaining flour and cider and mix until well combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about an hour before turning it out onto a cake platter.
  10. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping.
  11. Using a pastry brush, coat the cake in melted butter.
  12. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the cake, pressing it
    on lightly as needed to help it adhere.
  13. Serve and enjoy!





Notes

1. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan to make it easy to remove and to reduce the risk of breakage.

2. Serve the cake topped with a drizzle of caramel sauce and/or a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you like.

3. The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

4. You can freeze the cake for up to 6 months, just be sure to wrap it well with plastic wrap. Thaw it and bring it to room temperature before serving.

Nutrition Information

Yield

14

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 434Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 49mgSodium 327mgCarbohydrates 58gFiber 1gSugar 36gProtein 4g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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By on November 17th, 2021

About Robin Donovan


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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