I hope everyone is enjoying their fall! Around the Chicago area, we have been having a very beautiful season. It is starting to get cool, but not cold. The sunsets are just gorgeous. And the leaves are beginning to change colors.
In fact, I think that autumn is Chicago’s best season! But it doesn’t last nearly long enough. So I am trying to suck every last bit of enjoyment, and flavor, out of the season.
One thing I can’t get enough of during the fall is apples. My family and I always enjoy a beautiful fall day at an apple orchard and we pick a ton of fresh juicy apples just waiting to be baked in some delicious treat.
I had in my mind to bake an apple cake. But I wasn’t sure exactly what I would do with it. So I began scouring the internet to get some ideas.
As I was surfing the net, my jaw suddenly dropped. Because I saw these words on the screen: Apple. Cider. Donut. Cake. Whaaaaat??? I didn’t even know such a thing existed.
I am a glutton for donuts in the fall as I told you when I made these Double Chocolate Donuts. And the type of donut that I look most forward to in the fall is apple cider donuts.
As much as I love apple cider donuts, I have to tell you that I think this Apple Cider Donut Cake is even better than donuts themselves. Why? Because sometimes when I bite into a donut, I can get a little disappointed because they are drier or tougher than I think they should be.
Not so with this donut cake. It is moist, tender and flavorful. In fact, I brought a slice to a friend to try who I know loves apple cider donuts and her first comment was on how moist it is. She asked if it was made with sour cream. Nope, no sour cream. Just yummy apple-y goodness!! Thanks for taste testing Kim!! 🙂
I stayed quite true to the original recipe (See the bottom of the post) except that I exchanged the mace out for cloves because I am not a big fan of mace. I also added cinnamon and changed just a few measurements of some of the ingredients.
Oh, and if you really want a donut experience, after you slice it, you can dip both sides into some cinnamon sugar. Oh my heavens!! Amazing!!!
So skip the apple cider donuts this year and go right for an Apple Cider Donut Cake. You will not be disappointed.
This is my favorite Bundt Pan for this recipe:
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- !For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a bundt pan with baking spray.
- In a medium saucepan, bring chopped apples and cider to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until apples are fork tender. About 10 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cool for a few minutes, then pulse in a food processor or blender until pureed. Measure out 1 cup apple mixture and stir in milk. Set aside for later. *** SEE NOTE BELOW.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add oil and mix well.
- Add the flour mixture and apple/milk mixture alternatively in three additions, scraping the bowl as needed and mixing after each addition.Add the vanilla and beat once more, just to combine.
- Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the cake in its pan on a cooling rack for ten minutes before removing the cake itself to a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes.
- Combine sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, in a small bowl. Sprinkle warm cake with cinnamon sugar, using fingers to rub it onto sides. Save some for dipping individual cake slices in if desired.
- You will only use the cup of apple puree that you removed from the processor for this recipe. The remaining pureed apples left in the processor is leftover and not needed for the recipe. People often ask why the recipe called for more apples than needed and the reason is that because apples are not standard in either size or the amount of liquid they will yield, you need to boil and puree more than enough to make sure you have enough to yield a cup of puree. Everyone will end up with a different amount of leftover puree depending on how big the apples you used and the amount of liquid they yield.
Adapted from: Serious Eats
Try these other fall treats:
Baked Caramel Apple French Toast
Fall is Chicago’s best season. And I am so making this cake. I love love love apple cider donuts but hate how they hardly last more than a day.
I o agree about the short shelf life of donuts. This cake will definitely last a few days as long as it is kept covered…..and if you don’t eat it all by then!! 😉
It says to mix 1 cup of apple mixture with milk and set aside. Then what is done with it?
Sorry I took so long to respond. In step 5 it says to mix the flour mixture alternatively with the apple mixture. 🙂
Apple Cider Donut Cake….
The step concerning the puréed apple mixture…
You measure out 1 cup of the puree & add the milk to this cup of puree ??
This is what is added to the flour mixture…. ??
What happens to the rest of the apple puree ??
The recipe for this step seems to be lost in translation
Hello Deb, Yes, as stated in previous comments, add the milk to the cup of puree and add it to the flour mixture. The rest of the puree left in the processor is not needed for the recipe.
Julie @ Julie's Eats & Treats says
Mmmm this looks like an amazing fall treat and I’m right there with you. Fall is way to short because I love it so much!
Thank you Julie! 🙂
Lemonade cakes are everywhere, so why not apple cider?! This is such a great idea, and the perfect cake for fall. I would totally eat this for breakfast! 🙂
Thanks Marcie. I did have a slice or two for breakfast. It’s a great way to wake up in the morning!! 🙂
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
I’m from the Chicago area as well, and I’m loving this cooler weather! Although I’m not looking forward to the winter that’s predicted for us! 🙂 This donut cake sounds amazing! I didn’t know this existed either, so I’m glad I found yours. Looks absolutely gorgeous and delicious!
No way Gayle, I don’t know any other bloggers in this area, I’m going to have to PM you!! Oh, and I am not buying the negative reports for this winter that they are predicting (Not listening, not listening 😉 Thank you for the compliments!! 🙂
Alexis @ Upside Down Pear says
There is nothing better than apple mill dounts…except maybe this cake! Fall always comes and goes too fast, but I see this cake sticking around longer.
Apple mill donuts are the BEST Alexis!! Thank you for the kind words!! 🙂
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely says
It is finally starting to feel like fall here in California. I even made soup last night! This donut cake sounds a-mazing!
Thanks Natalie! And I’m glad you are now able to enjoy some fall weather!! 🙂
Gorgeous gorgeous cake Renee! I am a sucker for donuts too especially apple cider. Pinning:) This looks like the perfect fall treat – I love how moist and tender it is 🙂
Thank you so much for the pin and kind words Kelly! 🙂
Aimee @ ShugarySweets says
As a chicago girl myself I can say, YUP, it’s turning into a glorious fall! This cake is gorgeous. We went apple picking and bought a big jug of cider. I guess I better not let the kids guzzle it all down!
I didn’t realize you were a Chi-town girl yourself Aimee! Thank you so much for the compliments and I’m glad you are enjoying your fall too! 🙂
Annie @Maebells says
This is beautiful! Such a perfect fall cake!
Thank you Annie! 🙂
Michele @ Two Raspberries says
Oh this looks just incredible! I love doughnuts and apple cider is perfect this time of year! Perfect combo yum!
Thank you Michelle!
Wowzers! Who needs apple cider donuts when you can have it in a CAKE?! This is such a gorgeous bundt cake, Renee! You are totally psyching me up for fall, girl! Can’t. Wait. To. Try! Pinned!
Thank you so much for the pin sweetie!! Your kind words always perk up my spirits Sarah!! 🙂
Oooo I just know this is going to taste so good with my dads homemade cider!
Homemade cider??? For SURE!!! 🙂
Chris @ Shared Appetite says
What a beautiful cake! And I’m such a sucker for apple cider anything… my fave part of fall!
Mine too Chris!! Thank you! 🙂
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy says
There is nothing about this that doesn’t sound amazing. Perfect Autumn treat!
Thank you so much Dannii!! 🙂
Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later! says
Yes please! This sounds and looks amazing! Pinning!
Thank you so much for the pin Amber! 🙂
Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner says
I’m obsessed with this cake or donut or both! Definitely a must make…pinning. 🙂
Thank you for the pin Tina! 🙂
Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen says
Fall is my very favorite season. I absolutely love it – and I think this donut cake is perfect for fall.
I love fall too Kristi! The ONLY thing I don’t like about it is that I know winter is right around the corner. brrrr….
Jessica @ Jessica in the Kitchen says
Donut cake?! Yes please! Such a great idea Renee and looks so fluffy and delicious!
Right!! Thank you Jessica. 🙂
This cake looks and sounds so lovely… pinned to try!
Thank you so much for the pin Jill! 🙂
Bri | Bites of Bri says
Oh yum! I love apple cakes and this is a spin I know I’ll love! I bet the house smells amazing when it’s cooking 🙂
The smell of apples baking is indeed the best! And yes, it is quite amazing with this cake. Thanks Bri. 🙂
Shikha @ Shikha la mode says
NEED TO try this!!
Thank you Shikha. 🙂
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says
I love this so much! We just went to Apple Hill (in smoke from fires and rain) just to have one of their doughnuts. Now I want this cake! Pinned!
Thank you for the pin Dorothy. 🙂
Trish - Mom On Timeout says
I am crossing my fingers and hoping and praying we get to go apple picking this weekend. I’ve been holding off making yummy apple recipes until then and ohmygosh seeing this cake is really bringing that home! Totally gorgeous and I’m sure fantastic – pinned!
I hope you had a great weekend for it Trish. We go apple picking every Columbus Day and it is one of the days I look forward to the most all year! Thank you for the pin. 🙂
Alyssa @ My Sequined Life says
What a great fall recipe Renee! I think I would prefer this cake to a donut actually. Plus anything with a powdered sugar topping is a favorite. 🙂
Thank you so much Alyssa. 🙂
Jessica @ Sweet Menu says
Ooh what a delicious looking cake! Love the apple cider flavour – I need to get a bundt pan!
Yes you DO need a bundt pan!! They are wonderful to use! 🙂
Great picture! Few things say fall better than apple cider donuts, and this bundt cake version looks absolutely delicious.
So, I know it’s cake for a reason, but has anyone used this recipe for baked donuts? I love my donut pans and this cake looks divine!! I think this could be the best of both worlds…
I love my donut pan too Mary! But I also love my bundt pan! 🙂 I have not tried this recipe in my donut pan and honestly, as far as I can tell the batter is more runny than a normal donut batter so you would have to probably do some modifications to the batter first to use it in a donut pan. Or, at least, don’t fill the donut pan very full if you are going to try it. 🙂
Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking says
Oh my gosh! This cake/donut looks amazing! We have been in Chicago working for the past week and I have been relishing the Fall weather and leaves! Fall hasn’t quite made it down to Atlanta yet! And oddly enough all my husband can talk about is how he wants to eat donuts! I need to make this cake for him as soon as we get home! Pinned!
Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking recently posted…Mini Apple Pecan Crumble Pies
How exciting that you have been in Chicago Lindsey!! Haven’t we been having gorgeous weather!! It’s absolutely my favorite season in the Chicago area!! Thank you so much for the pin. 🙂
What do you do with the left over purée’d apple?
I served it up to my kids as applesauce with dinner! 🙂
Hi! I’m trying to follow this recipe and for the life of me I don’t see butter on the ingredient list! How much butter do I need to cream with the sugar? Thank you!
Sorry I took so long to reply. I took a little break from my blog. The butter was the first ingredient on the list. Not sure why I place it first. I can see why it’s confusing. I’ll fix it. Sorry for the confusion!
So in step 5 it’s says to add on apple mixture, we there are two apple mixtures one pureed and one pureed with milk added. Which one goes in and what do you don with the other. It doesn’t specify??
Add the cup with the milk mixed in. The pureed apples that were left in the processor are not needed for the recipe. Do what you like with it. 🙂
Brian Primeau says
Why would you use 2 apples and 1.5 cups cider and then only use one cup and throw the rest away? I had at least a cup of puree left over and wondered if I’d read the recipe wrong. Seems wasteful. Why not jsut reduce the starting ingredients to make the right amount?
I was disappointed that it wasn’t more apple-y and doughnut-like, but my coworkers raved about.
It stuck to my bundt pan when I went to turn it out and the cake ripped in half, so the looks were spoiled. I will butter AND flour the bundt pan next time.
Since no two apples are ever the same size or yield the same amount of liquid, this recipe calls for you to boil and puree more than you would actually need to make sure you have enough pureed apples to make one cup. Everyone ends up with a different amount of pureed apples as leftover. You certainly don’t have to throw it out, though that is up to you. Sorry the cake stuck to your pan. I’ve actually never had that problem. Glad your co-workers enjoyed it! 🙂
I am going to try to make this for my staff! Will it still be ok if I make it 2 days before?
Yes, it certainly can be made a couple days ahead as long as you cover it properly. However, in my opinion, cake is best served as quickly as possible after it is ready.
Brian Primeau says
Sorry, I meant, “Why call for unsalted butter and then have a teaspoon of SALT in the recipe?”
The purpose of using unsalted butter in a recipe is so that you can control the amount of salt that you do use. It doesn’t mean you won’t use salt. If you use salted butter, simply don’t add any additional salt to the recipe.
I just made this, and it came out so delicious! I was worried because my apple puree was very liquidy, but the density of the cake was perfect. I have to make a second, because the first cake disappeared too quickly.
Oh I am so happy it worked out for you! Thank you for letting me know! 🙂
Ok, a friend sent this recipe to me last year because we miss apple cider donuts in NY so much. I made it a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing!! So moist and so addictive!! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe. Making it again next week lol!!
I forgot to add, I had enough apple/milk puree left over for my second cake. 🙂