This Apple Cider Donut Cake tastes like your favorite apple cider donuts! Soft and fluffy bundt cake flavored with apple cider, applesauce, and warm spices covered in cinnamon sugar.
Just when you thought apple cider donuts were the best fall treat we turned them into a bundt cake! In my opinion, this cake is even better than apple cider donuts. None of the greasiness that you sometimes get with donuts, but ALL the flavor. Plus, that delicious crunchy cinnamon sugar topping!
Apple cider cake: This delicious homemade cake is flavored with apple cider, applesauce (or apple butter), cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla. It bakes up moist ad soft with an incredible fragrance.
Cinnamon sugar topping: After cooling slightly the warm cake is brushed with melted butter and sprinkled generously with cinnamon sugar. This adds delicious flavor and texture to every bite!
Why this recipe works
A combination of butter and oil. Butter for flavor and oil for moisture.
One whole cup of apple cider, plus applesauce (or apple butter) for added apple flavor and moisture.
A combination of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg which complement the apple perfectly.
Brushing the cake with melted butter and sprinkling it with cinnamon sugar gives a classic apple cider donut look and texture.
Grease your bundt pan really well. I find that a non-stick spray that contains flour works the best. Wait to spray the pan until right before you add the batter.
Use a 10-cup bundt pan.
Use apple butter instead of applesauce for a slightly stronger apple flavor.
Allow the cake to cool completely (several hours) before serving.
Serving and storage
Serving: The flavor and texture of this cake is best when served at room temperature. Serve as-is or top each slice with whipped cream and caramel sauce.
Storage: This cake can be stored at cool room temperature or the refrigerator for up to 3 days, bringing slices to room temperature before serving. Individual slices can be frozen for up to three months.
Apple Cider Donut Cake
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour*
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup apple cider
- ½ cup applesauce or apple butter
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center of the oven. Set aside a 10-cup bundt pan (wait to grease it until right before you add the batter).
- In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the apple cider and applesauce/apple butter. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar for 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating until combined and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the flour in three additions and the apple cider in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour and beating well between each addition (flour, cider, flour, remaining cider, remaining flour). Stir the batter a few times with a rubber spatula but don't overmix.
- Generously grease a 10-cup bundt pan (I use baking spray with flour in it). Pour the batter into the pan and smooth into an even layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, carefully invert the cake from the pan directly onto the wire rack. Place a large piece of parchment paper or foil under the rack. Proceed with the topping while the cake is still warm.
- Combine sugar and cinnamon. Brush the melted butter on the cake and immediately sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar (I work with about a third of the cake at a time). I gently tilt the rack to help sprinkle the sugar in hard to reach places. You can also gently press the cinnamon sugar into some areas. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.