I warned you didn’t I? Here we go now with the first of what may prove to be a parade of Fall-time apple-y goodness…Apple Cider Donut Cake! Whaaat? Yup….Apple. Cider. Donut. Cake. Could I have crammed any more deliciousness into that recipe title? I’ve already told you how I love apples. And Apple Cider…especially the type that is a bit more medicinal…if you know what I’m saying…is exciting. Donuts! Who doesn’t love cinnamon sugar laden apple cider donuts?! Well you get all of those mouthwateringly yummy flavours all wrapped up in one gorgeous big old bundt cake.
This cake is amazingly moist and tender, just bursting with apple flavour. It would be delicious simply unadorned, but it is completely over the top when brushed with some boozy cider glaze and dusted, quite liberally with crunchy cinnamon sugar.
It is great anytime of the day, for breakfast, tea-time snack, dessert or even when eaten in the dark in the middle of the night while everyone else is sleeping. What? Like you haven’t done that?
And I must say, this cake is a breeze to make. I love Apple Cider Donuts, let there be no doubt. But a gotta say, they are a bit fiddly to make, what with the rising and the frying etc. Definitely a labour of love. Now, this cake will lead folks to believe you slaved away all day….when really you were outside enjoying the beautiful Fall weather. And I won’t tell them otherwise. Mum’s the word.
Apple Cider Donut Cake
recipe slightly adapted from: Two In the Kitchen
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider *(see information below)
- 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
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (you can substitute vegetable oil – but coconut tastes better!)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste (can substitute in extract if you don’t have paste…put get some paste, you won’t regret it!)
For the Cider Glaze:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 cup water
- 1/8 – 1/4 cup hard cider *(see below for substitutions)
For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350ºF 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 the milk into it. Set the apple/milk mixture aside for later. (As for the remaining cider/apple puree, it is left over. I usually save it and put it over yogurt, or oatmeal. It is also fabulous heated slightly and drizzled over ice cream.)
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 the oil and mix well. CAUTION: If you are planning on using coconut oil, make sure those eggs are at room temperature or slightly warmer if your house is chilly. If the eggs are cold and you add coconut oil to the mixture, the coconut oil will solidify and you will end up with a clumpy mess!
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.
While cake is baking, prepare Cider Glaze. Melt butter, sugar and water over medium high heat. Bring mixture to a boil and let boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately add the cider, stirring to combine.
Place baking sheet under wire rack. Using a pastry brush or marinate brush, cover cake with glaze. I usually do this in several passes, letting one application of glaze sink in and then going back over the cake with another.
Prepare the Cinnamon Sugar Coating. Combine sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Sprinkle the warm, glazed cake with cinnamon sugar, using fingers to rub it onto the sides of the cake. (I usually place my cinnamon sugar mixture in an empty spice bottle, or salt shaker and then sprinkle it over the cake.)
*Since I originally posted this recipe, I have had quite a few questions about hard cider vs. fresh cider. So let me just start out by saying fresh cider is the juice from pressed apples. It is unfiltered and often appears cloudy. Unless you buy it directly from an orchard it has likely also been pasteurized. Hard Cider occurs when unpasteurized fresh cider is allowed to ferment. It becomes carbonated and alcoholic. This cider can be found wherever beer is sold. Now as far as substitutions: If you do not wish to use hard cider in the glaze, you can substitute in fresh cider. However, fresh cider is often sweeter than hard cider and the glaze will be a bit sweeter, but still delicious I’m sure. You can also just leave the cider out of the glaze, which would then just be a sweet buttery glaze, but lack apple flavor. Another possibility for a substitution that lacks alcohol, but still gives you an intense apple flavor is boiled cider. Boiled Cider is fresh cider which has been boiled down to produce an intensely flavored apple cider syrup. I have provided a link below if you wish to try that ingredient. I always use hard cider for my glaze, so I’m not sure how much boiled cider you should use as a substitution. I would start with 1/2 Tablespoon and taste it until it reaches your desired level of apple-y goodness.
Apple Cider Donut Cake brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)
Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Apple Cider Donut Cake: