Apple cider donut cake is soft, made in one bowl, and tastes just like fall! It's the perfect combination of cake and donut in a delicious and easy to make loaf cake! Lovely for breakfast or enjoy a slice for an afternoon coffee break!
Apple Cider Pound Cake reminds me of a doughnut – we are talking about all of the best flavors of your favorite apple cider donut (and it's not fried!) with an incredible cinnamon-sugar topping.
If you’ve followed my adventures here since the beginning (thank you!)…you may have noticed I absolutely adore any thing APPLE! Yes, there are quite a few apple desserts. And just when I thought I can’t make any thing new in the apple theme, I came across this beauty on Instagram! Yes, just a photo and the mention of where the recipe was from.
The photo of the simple loaf cake totally covered in cinnamon sugar had me hooked and I had to bake it and taste it…immediately!
And the funny thing is, I’m not an apple cider donut fan. The kids love getting them at our local green market from a very popular vendor. I usually pass on trying one. But there would be no way I would pass on this loaf cake! The directions were written a bit confusing…so I tried to make it easier to follow.
- why is apple cider cake the best for fall?
- ingredients for this apple cider dessert
- How do you make an apple cider donut cake?
- a few of my top tips when baking loaf cakes:
- some faq's about this apple cider donut cake:
- How should I store leftover cake?
- Other delicious apple recipes to try:
- Apple Cider Loaf Cake
The funny thing is, I’m not an apple cider donut fan. The kids love getting them at our local green market from a very popular vendor. I usually pass on trying one. But there would be no way I would pass on this loaf cake! The directions were written a bit confusing…so I tried to make it easier to follow.
The most important step is to have apple cider. I found some at Target the other day and I have seen it in every store I’ve been to these days. You need to begin the recipe by reducing the cider and it’s used in the actual cake and also to brush it when it just out of oven (yes, it is delightful).
why is apple cider cake the best for fall?
- Inviting Aroma: The combination of apple cider and spices fills your kitchen with a warm and enticing fragrance.
- Versatile: This apple cider donut loaf cake is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. It can also be a hit at fall potlucks and holiday gatherings.
- Easy to Make: With straightforward ingredients and steps, even novice bakers can create this delightful treat.
- Seasonally Inspired: The use of apple cider and warming spices makes this the ultimate fall recipe.
- Satisfying Texture: The fluffy, moist cake paired with the crunch of the cinnamon sugar offers a pleasing contrast in every bite.
If you’re lucky enough to live where you can go apple picking, this is
Thanks to the apple cider flavor, this cake makes you immediately think of apple picking. It’s enhanced by a hefty addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. When this is in your oven, your house will smell like fall.
ingredients for this apple cider dessert
- Flour: I used unbleached all-purpose flour. I didn’t try recipe with whole wheat flour or any gluten-free flours.
- Sugar: I used granulated sugar. You could try it with coconut sugar (the loaf will be darker).
- Apple Cider: The most important step is to have apple cider. I found some at Target the other day and I have seen it in every store I’ve been to these days. You need to begin the recipe by reducing the cider and it’s used in the actual cake and also to brush it when it just out of oven (yes, it is delightful).
- Baking powder: Make sure your baking powder is fresh. I use mine almost every day and I also keep it in the fridge (my kitchen is very hot).
- Baking soda: Again, make sure it’s fresh. I usually keep an extra box on hand in case the one I have open has lost it’s freshness. You can put a little bit in some vinegar. If it bubbles up, it’s good to go!
- Butter: You could use real (unsalted) butter. I used dairy-free butter (a “vegan” margarine) or use a mild flavored oil (just 1/2 cup)
- Eggs: Large eggs and be sure to bring them to room temperature.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. I usually add more than what a recipe asks for. I adore the warm spices. I had fresh nutmeg and ground it right into my bowl with the cinnamon (so I didn’t even measure it…it looked to be the right amount and the smell seemed perfect).
variations and substitutions
- Dairy-Free: For a dairy-free version, replace the sour cream with either dairy-free Greek yogurt or a dairy-free sour cream substitute.
- Gluten-Free: To make this cake gluten-free, substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Make sure to check that your baking powder and baking soda are also gluten-free.
- Spice Variations: Feel adventurous with your spices. Try adding a pinch of ground cloves or cardamom to the batter for a different flavor profile.
- Add-ins: You can also add in chopped apples, raisins, or even nuts like walnuts or pecans for extra texture and flavor.
- Alternative Topping: Instead of the cinnamon sugar topping, you can glaze this cake with a simple icing made from powdered sugar and a bit of apple cider.
How do you make an apple cider donut cake?
First step is to gather all the ingredients. The cake does have some steps (but they are super simple and the entire cake can be made by hand.
Second step after that will be reducing the apple cider and melting the butter (or margarine).
Third step is to mix the batter together and once you do, slowly add in some of the reduced apple cider.
Keep in mind, the batter will be very liquidy.
Fourth step is to bake the cake. It gets baked at 325F for almost an hour (every oven is different...so yours may be ready around 50 minutes. Just test for readiness inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cake).
Fifth step, as soon as you take the cake out of the oven, you poke the surface (use the same toothpick you test for readiness).
Sixth step, once you're done poking the loaf cake, you have to spoon some of the reduced apple cider on top. Let that soak in.
Sixth step, once you're done poking the loaf cake, you have to spoon some of the reduced apple cider on top. Let that soak in.
Seventh step is to melt another tablespoon of butter (or margarine)and brush that all over the top of the cake.
Eighth step is the most delicious step...prepare to totally SWOON! Now is the time to sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the top of the loaf cake. It gets crunchy and and makes the cake taste exactly like an apple cider donut (not fried...so no guilt?!?).
a few of my top tips when baking loaf cakes:
- Line your pan- Line your baking pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick baking spray (or prep the paper/pan with butter or margarine).
- Be sure to not over mix- Very important to not mix and mix! Once every thing is combined, the batter is ready. Just be sure to scrape sides of bowl and bottom of bowl to get every thing nicely combined.
- Be sure to not over bake the cake- Check the cake around 40 minutes. Every oven is different and your cake may be ready. Poke center of cake with a toothpick and if it comes out totally clean, it's ready. If you over bake the cake, it will be dry.
some faq's about this apple cider donut cake:
Yes, this recipe can certainly be made gluten-free. Simply substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. However, it's important to ensure that your baking powder and baking soda are also gluten-free. Many brands offer gluten-free options for these baking staples, so replacing them should be relatively straightforward. Do remember that the texture and taste may slightly vary when using gluten-free flour, but the cake should still be delightfully moist and flavorful.
Yes! If you can find an unsweetened apple juice, that would work fine.
No, since apple cider vinegar is fermented you’ll have too acidic of a flavor and that not be good for this loaf cake recipe.
It’s important to reduce the extra water so you’re left with more concentrated cider flavoring.
While apple cider vinegar and apple cider are both derived from apples, they serve different purposes in baking. Apple cider vinegar has a strong, tangy flavor and a high acidity level, which can overpower the other flavors in the cake and alter the texture. On the other hand, apple cider contributes a sweet and slightly tangy flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the cake. Therefore, it's best not to substitute apple cider with apple cider vinegar in this recipe.
How should I store leftover cake?
To store: Once it has completely cooled, it will keep fine in an airtight container for a couple days. After that, it’s best to transfer it to the refrigerator (for up to 1 week).
To freeze: Once it has completely cooled, wrap the whole cake with foil paper and place in a zipped lock freezer bag. Or, slice it and wrap each slice in plastic wrap and place in large zipped lock freezer bags or airtight containers. Stores fine in freezer for up to 1 month.
Other delicious apple recipes to try:
- Apple Pie Coffee Cake
- Apple Pie with Oat Streusel
- Apple and Onion Braised Turkey Tenderloin
- Vegan Maple Apple-Cranberry Crumble
- Easy Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts (Dairy-Free)
- Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Donuts
Recipe from Bon Appetit
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Apple Cider Loaf Cake
- 1 loaf pan
For the cake
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted or margarine
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, or dairy-free unsweetened yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cups apple cider
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees with rack in the middle. Line the bottom of a 9×5″ loaf pan with parchment paper with the paper hanging over the sides (this will be used to lift loaf out to put on rack), then spray it with nonstick cooking spray (the kind with flour) or grease and flour it.
- Melt 8 tablespoons of butter (or margarine, if you’re dairy-free) in a small pan on low heat; set aside to cool in a small bowl. While it’s melting, reduce the cider.
- In a medium sized sauce pan, bring the 1 cup of apple cider to boil (lower heat a little once it comes to a boil), allow to reduce to about 3/4 C (could take about 5-8 minutes…keep an eye on it and lower heat if it starts to boil over).
- Once it’s reduced, add 1/2 cup to a small bowl and set aside remaining 1/4 cup in another bowl or measuring cup.
- While the cider is cooling down, prep the bowl with the dry ingredients.
- FLOUR BOWL:
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, soda, powder, salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I ground nutmeg and didn’t even measure, because I love the flavor); set aside.
- APPLE CIDER BOWL:
- In the bowl that had the 1/2 cup of apple cider, add the sour cream (or non-dairy Greek yogurt or buttermilk)and vanilla. Stir it all together to combine.
- SUGAR BOWL:
- In another bowl, add the 3/4 cup sugar and eggs. Whisk it together for a couple minutes until it’s frothy and pale. Whisk in the melted butter (or margarine or oil).
- Now you’re going to combine the FLOUR BOWL ingredients and the APPLE CIDER BOWL ingredients into the SUGAR BOWL ingredients.
- Start with the flour bowl ingredients. Begin adding the flour mixture in small portions into the sugar bowl mixture, stirring to combine and alternating with the apple cider mixture (it ends up being 3 portions of adding in the flour mixture and 2 of the apple cider/sour cream (or non-dairy Greek yogurt) mixture.
- Stir it to combine well being sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Carefully pour the batter (it is a very liquid batter) into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes (mine took about 55 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack. With that same toothpick you tested the cake, poke holes all over the top of the cake. Spoon on 3 tablespoons of the reserved apple cider on top of the cake. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes.
- While the cake cools, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter (or margarine). Add it into remaining 1 tablespoon spoon of reduced apple cider.
- CINNAMON SUGAR TOPPING
- In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (use more or less to your taste…I use more than what recipes usually call for).
- Use the parchment paper hanging over sides to carefully lift the cake onto a baking rack or you could place it on a baking sheet.
- With a pastry brush, brush the butter/cider mixture all over the cake. Sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar mixture. Good luck waiting for it to cool before slicing! Enjoy!
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.