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Cakes & Cupcakes Currently Craving

Apple Cider Bundt Cake

September 28, 2021

Sooooo, I did a thing. I took everything I love about Fall and baked it up in to a simple […]

Sooooo, I did a thing. I took everything I love about Fall and baked it up in to a simple and delicious bundt cake. It tastes exactly like a classic apple cider donut, but better!

Don’t get me wrong. Apple cider donuts are great and all.

But they can be a bit time consuming (not to mention messy!) and they’re really best served straight from the fryer. Behold the best apple cider donut cake recipe. It’s nothing fancy or fussy, but gosh, it’s goooood!!!

apple cider bundt cake surrounded by sliced apples ready to serve on cutting board

I’m all about minimal effort, maximum yum and this easy apple cider cake delivers on all counts! It’s soft and fluffy, super moist and perfectly spiced. And it’s coated with a layer of crunchy cinnamon sugar.

I mean….is there anything better?

Why is this apple cider bundt cake so good?

It’s a donut. It’s a cake. It’s a donut cake! I could go on and on {and on!} about how crazy delicious this spiced apple cider cake is. Imagine a cake that tastes exactly like those iconic donuts from your favorite apple orchard.

This jumbo cakey donut is the definition of comfort food. Filled with warm Fall spices and covered in a buttery, cinnamon sugar topping, this cozy cake is the perfect way to usher in the Fall baking season.

And the best part is you can bake one up in under an hour. Enjoy it for breakfast or dessert – and everything in between.

slices of glazed apple cider cake on parchment paper with fork and knife

Ingredients for apple cider donut cake

  • Flour – regular all-purpose flour will give this cake a soft and fluffy crumb that tastes just like an apple cider donut. Adding too much flour makes for a dry cake so I recommend using a digital scale for the most accurate measurements.
  • Dark Brown Sugar – adding dark brown sugar will enhance the flavor of the cake and adds a note of caramel and molasses that your sweet tooth will love. If you don’t have dark brown sugar, light brown sugar works too!
  • Apple Cider – Not to be confused with apple juice, apple cider is not filtered and it’s unpasteurized. If you don’t have time to make a trip to your favorite apple picking farm, you can find it seasonally in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
  • Sour Cream – along with the apple cider, sour cream keeps this cake soft and perfectly moist. You can substitute plain Greek yogurt if you don’t have sour cream on hand.
  • Eggs – 3 eggs will bind all of the ingredients together and help give the cake structure. Be sure to use room temperature eggs.
  • Spices – this cake is the ultimate Fall dessert thanks to a combination of cozy spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
ingredients for apple cider donut bundt cake laid out on table top

What’s the difference between apple cider and apple juice?

Let’s set the record straight. Apple juice and apple cider are too very different things, especially when it comes to baking. Apple juice undergoes a filtering process that removes any apple solids, and is then pasteurized for a longer shelf-life.

On the other hand, apple cider is usually unpasteurized and unfiltered.

As a result, apple juice is clear and usually sweeter in taste while apple cider is cloudy and more tangy as it has no added sugar.

Apple cider delivers an extra apple-y punch to this apple cider bundt and the added acid in the juice gives the cake an extra boost for that soft and fluffy texture.

How to make apple cider cake

This easy bundt cakes comes together quickly with just a handful of pantry staples and some apple cider. Be sure to follow the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and instructions.

  1. Preheat the oven and prepare the pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 12-cup bundt pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Cream together the room temperature butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. This will take about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs, one at time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.
  4. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla until well incorporated.
step by step photos of how to make apple cider cake batter
  1. Add in the flour mixture, alternating with the apple cider. Mix on low speed beginning and ending with the flour. Be careful not to over mix the batter.
  2. Bake the cake at 350° F for 45-50 minutes. Once baked, cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then invert the pan onto a cake plate or platter to cool completely before topping with the cinnamon sugar and apple cider glaze.
  3. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then carefully invert it onto a cooling rack. Once the cake is cool to the touch, place a piece of parchment or wax paper under the cooling rack. Brush the cake with melted butter and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar topping.
mixing batter for apple cider bundt cake

How to choose the best bundt pan

Before you transfer the batter to the bundt pan, be sure to choose one with plenty of nooks and crannies to catch all the crunchy cinnamon sugar coating and cider glaze.

The more crevasses the better!

The best bundt pans are those made with three key features. For best results, it should be made of metal, have a nonstick finish, and be light in color.

Bundt pans made of anodized aluminum work best since they are sturdy and conduct consistent heat. This helps to create an evenly baked cake.

I love this bundt pan from Nordic Ware. Not sponsored, just a fan.

apple cider bundt cake pre-bake and post-bake in bundt pan

Tips for the perfect bundt cake

  1. Use room temperature ingredients. For the batter to incorporate well it’s important that all of your ingredients are at room temperature. Softened butter, room temperature eggs and sour cream are key to a light and fluffy cake crumb.
  2. Do not over mix. Be careful of over mixing your batter as it will create a tough, dense cake. To avoid over mixing the glutens, only mix until a few crumbs of flour are remaining.
  3. Prep your pan. Every good bundt begins with a well prepped pan. There’s nothing worse that spending an hour in the kitchen baking a bundt only to have it fall apart when you flip the pan over. For best results, spray your pan with generous amount of non-stick baking spray. Don’t apply so much that the oil pools in the bottom of the pan. When the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and cool it for 10 minutes exactly. Then invert the pan onto a cake platter or plate for an easy release.
freshly baked apple cider bundt cake on cooling rack

Can I make this cake gluten free?

Yes! I tested this cake using King Arthur Baking Measure For Measure Gluten Free Flour and it baked up perfectly moist and absolutely delicious.

Keep in mind, gluten free baked goods often take longer to bake through and can brown faster.

Watch your oven closely – you may need to add a few minutes to the bake time. If the cake is browning too quickly, tent the top loosely with a piece of aluminum foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.

To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the top of the cake. The toothpick should come out dry or with a few crumbs remaining.

apple cider donut cake with glaze on top of serving board

How to serve apple cider donut cake

If apple cider donut cake isn’t the quintessential fall dessert, I don’t know what is. It’s as perfect with a cup of coffee or tea for breakfast as it is with a glass of brandy or bourbon for dessert.

Or serve it with a tall glass of milk or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a treat the kiddos will love. A drizzle of salted caramel never hurt either!

I love that this cake is so versatile. Feel free to use apple cider or milk for the glaze. Add splash of maple syrup if you will. You can even brown the butter before brushing it on the cake for next-level flavor.

close up of apple cider cake slice

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use homemade apple cider?

Absolutely! If you want to go the extra mile and make fresh apple cider, go for it! Be sure to reduce the cider down by half to get the full-bodied, bold taste that gives this cake its delicious apple-y flavor. Check out this recipe for homemade apple cider.

Can I make this recipe into muffins?

Yes. This bundt cake can easily be transformed into muffins. Simple transfer the batter to lined muffin cups and bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes. Let the muffins cool and then dunk the tops in melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Glaze the tops just before serving.

I don’t have dark brown sugar. Can I use light brown sugar instead?

Yes. Dark brown sugar and light brown sugar are rather interchangeable. Dark brown sugar simply has more molasses in it which lends a deeper, more caramel-y flavor to the cake. No need to make an extra trip to the store – light brown sugar will work just fine.

I just know you’re going to love this apple cider donut cake. Bake one up today or bookmark it for the weekend. Happy fall baking friends!!

For more easy and delicious Fall desserts, check out these recipes:

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apple-cider-bundt-cake-with-sugar-coating

Apple Cider Bundt Cake

  • Author: Heather Mubarak
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Cakes & Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

All the best flavors of Fall baked up into an easy and delicious apple cider bundt cake. Sprinkled with a layer of crunchy cinnamon sugar topping and a simple cider glaze, this cake tastes just like your favorite apple cider donut! 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Cake

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (266 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cups (170 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup full fat sour cream, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup apple cider (not apple juice)

Topping

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg

Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 46 tablespoons apple cider (or milk)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a hand held mixer, beat the butter and sugars together on medium until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
  4. Reduce the mixer to low and add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition. 
  5. Add the vanilla and sour cream. Mix well.
  6. Mix in the flour mixture, alternating with the apple cider. Begin and end with the flour. Mix until just incorporated. 
  7. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with non-stick baking spray. 
  8. Transfer the batter to the bundt pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  9. Place the bundt pan on a large baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the top of the cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs remaining. Do not over bake. 
  10. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, invert the cake onto a plate or platter. Cool the cake completely before adding the cinnamon sugar topping. 
  11. To coat the cake, use a pastry brush to coat the entire cake with the melted butter. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. 
  12. Immediately sprinkle the cake generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture, using your hands to press it gently into the top and sides of the cake. Use all of the cinnamon sugar topping. 
  13. To make the glaze, stir together the confectioners sugar and apple cider (or milk). Whisk until smooth but pourable. If the glaze is too thick, add more cider or milk. If too thin, add more sugar. Drizzle over the cinnamon sugar topping. 

Notes

Store the cake tightly covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

To freeze the cake, cool completely and freeze before adding the glaze.

For a gluten free cake, substitute your favorite gluten free flour blend for the all-purpose flour. Do not over bake or the cake may be dry. 

 

Keywords: apple cider bundt cake, apple cider donut bundt cake, apple cider cake

  • Reply
    Kat
    December 21, 2022 at 1:42 am

    This bundt cake is phenomenal. I have made this 4 different tines, for various people, and they all love it. My boyfriend will literally eat the whole thing within a day or two if I don’t hide it from him. I followed the recipe exactly, and the cake came out flavorful, moist and delicious. It was very easy, and baked up beautifully.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    October 8, 2022 at 6:04 pm

    I made a gluten free version of the apple cider bundt cake. It turned out perfectly. I appreciate the baking suggestions ensuring that I took it out of the oven at the right time.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    September 18, 2022 at 4:11 pm

    I would love to try this and substitute cooked apples (that I just picked at an orchard) for the apple cider. Do you think it would work? Should I add additional liquid?

  • Reply
    Joanie
    December 27, 2021 at 1:15 am

    Loved this cake! Made it for Christmas dinner and it was the perfect amount for 14 guests. I didn’t have a 12 cup capacity bundt so I took the risk and used a 10 cup capacity Christmas tree design bundt pan and it still worked great. The cake was super moist and everyone asked for the recipe. Definitely adding to my favorites list.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      December 31, 2021 at 6:05 pm

      I’m so thrilled that you loved this bundt!! Thanks for trying my recipe Joanie!

  • Reply
    annalisa
    November 28, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    Absolutely love this recipe! Even better the next day when all the apple cider goodness soaks in.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    November 15, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    This recipe is outstanding! I’ve made it a couple times now and it’s a struggle not to eat the entire cake by myself!

  • Reply
    Blair
    October 31, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Made this Bundt cake for Halloween and people loved it!! The perfect fall recipe, so delish 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa M
    October 8, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Delicious. Moist. Perfect for a fall day.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    September 28, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    We love all things apple cider, this is a definite must-bake this week to celebrate Fall! Thank you for the recipe, cannot wait to give it a try!

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