A deliciously comforting apple cider donut cake that is both tender and bursting with flavor. It isn't a complete fall season without making this cake!
Why you'll love it
This apple cider doughnut cake is everything we love about autumn. It is filled with warm spices and a deep apple flavor that makes this cake taste like you got it inside the bakery at your local apple orchard. This is because we take fresh apple cider and reduce it to intensify the apple flavor that only becomes more pronounced the next day.
The texture is moist, soft, and fluffy. It is based off my favorite baked apple cider donut recipe so it has that authentic donut flavor to it. And the center of the cake gets a little crisp and captures the extra fallen sugar so you get that donut center crunch you love.
This apple cider cake is made with simple ingredients that you can find in your local grocery store. These are the key ingredients and any important notes about them. For the full list of ingredients and measurements, please be sure to check out the recipe card below.
- Apple cider - A lot of recipes call for homemade applesauce or apple butter, but I think this cake is great as-is with just sweet and fragrant fresh apple cider. By reducing the liquid down, it concentrates the favor and intensifies the fresh apple flavor. Make sure you are not using apple juice or apple cider vinegar.
- Spices - The recipe calls for the best warm spices. Cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. However, you can use any blend of your favorite autumnal spices.
- Sugar - We use both brown sugar and granulated sugar to get the perfect blend of sweetness and depth. The outside of the cake is also coated in a nice layer of cinnamon sugar.
- Buttermilk - To add a slight tanginess and tenderness to the cake, we use buttermilk. You can substitute with sour cream or plain yogurt.
How to make
Making this apple cider bundt cake is so easy, you'll love making regularly every time apple cider season starts!
- Cook the apple cider in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is reduced to one cup to concentrate the flavor. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Mix together the dry ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together the eggs, sugar, melted butter, buttermilk and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into a prepared pan and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it.
- Allow to cool a few minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Brush the still warm cake with melted butter and coat in cinnamon sugar.
Best Bundt cake baking tips
The most important way to ensure you get the best results is to make sure you are correctly measuring your ingredients, particularly the flour. You should fluff up the flour and then spoon it into your measuring cup then sweep of the excess. If you want to make sure you get consistent results, you can convert the recipe to metric and use a kitchen scale.
Make sure to use room temperature ingredients. This will help ensure that everything mixes well together into a smooth, luscious batter without running the risk of overmixing.
Use a pastry brush or similar to spread an even coat of grease in your Bundt pan. This will also help make sure the grooves and corners of the pattern within the pan are coated well. Instead of coating the pan with flour, use granulated sugar. Granulated sugar works better than flour to help release the cake from the pan.
Don't forget the center tube! There are plenty of nooks and crannies and the cake is more prone to getting stuck on that, so ensure every last bit of it is coated.
Give the cake a good, hearty tap all around its edges against the counter before leaving it to cool for 10 minutes. This helps to encourage the cake to loosen away from the pan. After 10 minutes, turn the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. Do not wait any longer than 10 - 15 minutes otherwise the cake becomes too difficult to remove, especially if you use the sugar coating which can harden.
While this apple cider donut bundt cake is absolutely delicious on its own, you dress it up in many delicious ways.
- Top your slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
- Drizzle the top of the cake with caramel sauce or apple cider glaze. You can also try this apple cider caramel
- Swirl the cake batter with a cinnamon sugar mixture for a delicious and beautiful variation
- Slather with a helping of cinnamon honey butter, especially if you can toast up your slice first
When you let the cake cool completely, you can wrap the whole cake or sliced cake generously with plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. It should last at room temperature for up to a week. It freezes well for up to a month. Allow it to thaw fully. You may need to brush the cake with more butter and cinnamon sugar again.
Yes, you can bake this apple cider donut cake into a little over a dozen baked doughnuts. You can also bake them into a muffin pan. Please keep in mind that these both will require shorter baking times.
Yes, you can finely chop a peeled apple and toss it in flour before folding it into the batter just before pouring it into the pan.
Honey Apple Cider Doughnut Cake
- 2 ¾ cup apple cider
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ¼ cup 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Boil the apple cider until it is reduced to one cup. Place in another container and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat the inside of a bundt cake pan with shortening and flour.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and salt together and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs well and add the melted butter, sugar buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat until well-combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined - do not overmix. Pour the batter into the bundt pan.
- Bake for about 40 - 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes, then sharply tap the cake against the counter to loosen. Carefully flip the cake onto a wire rack and tap to release the cake. Allow to cool completely.
- Mix together the sugar, and cinnamon together. Brush the cake with butter, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.