Apple Cider Donut Cake


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

  • Servings: 15 -18 slices - depending on how you cut them
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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 (

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Apple Cider Donut Cake:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Microplane Grate & Shake Nutmeg Grater

Oxo Silicone Pastry Brush

Nordic Ware Bundt Cake Pan

Oxo Dusting Wand for Sugar

Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste

Boiled Cider




112 Responses to Apple Cider Donut Cake

  1. This is going on my Thanksgiving menu!

  2. Lovely website. Thanks for crediting me!! 🙂

  3. Mirta Porley says:

    This cake is very fluffy , it shows delicious. Greetings from Uruguay

  4. Yummy🙂 I am obsessively collecting apple recipes these days to make use of all the beautiful Irish apples around – this is most definitely going on the list!

  5. I have no words, other than – LOVE THIS.

  6. […] fallen victim to their charms this Fall. In fact, I just told you all about that delicious Apple Cider Donut Cake and how it was so tasty and so much easier to whip up than actual Apple Cider Donuts. Yup I was […]

  7. […] been making. I made a big batch of it up a couple weeks ago and we’ve enjoyed it with our Apple Cider Donut Cake as well as our Apple Cider Glazed Donut Bread Pudding. Yum! And although a naked scoop of it is […]

  8. Ginny says:

    Question: Can you save the remaining apple puree for another cake?

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Ginny- I have not done so, but I imagine that you could. It has been a while since I’ve made the cake, but if memory serves I put that extra puree on my oatmeal that morning.🙂

      • Barb says:

        I have had several requests for this cake because it’s so yummy! Last night I made one and had just over a cup of the puree remaining (as usual) so this time I put it in the fridge. Then today I had a request for the cake and used the leftover puree; you couldn’t tell the difference!

    • Tracy Hall says:

      Can you share a recipe for a cake that can use this puree? I only used half of it for this recipe and would hate for it to go to waste. Also, was there a culinary reason why you were to use two apples and 1.5 C of cider instead of 1 apple and 3/4 C cider?

      • liadh1 says:

        Hi Tracy-
        I don’t have another recipe in mind that also uses the puree. I think I saved the leftovers and put it on my oatmeal and yogurt. I’m not sure why the original recipe called for 2 apples and 1 1/2 cup cider, though since all apples are different sizes etc, perhaps using 2 apples ensures that there will be enough puree for the cake whether one uses a small or large apple.

    • BJ Cohan-Saavedra says:

      Yes! I’ve been making this for our restaurant and I freeze the extra cider/apple mixture for the next two cakes. (I also sprinkle chipotle powder mixed with cinnamon lightly over the first half of the batter before adding the second half. It gives the cake a lovely little zing!)

  9. Lori says:

    Clearly, I missed the step to add the 1 cup of purée apples and 1/2 of milk to the recipe. So, I added it at the end of blending the batter. WOW, super dense results almost like a pudding cake. Did I miss something??? The cake was delicious and picture perfect. Can someone who has made the recipe clarify for me.
    Thanks in advance.

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Lori – Sorry you had some trouble with the recipe. You actually do add that apple/milk at the end of blending the batter. You alternate adding it with the dry ingredients to the creamed butter/sugar/oil mixture. Sounds like your cake came out fine though, so I’m glad it worked out for you! best- Lea

  10. Carol says:

    Lori, Thank you so much for your post and braveness in dumping in the milk/apple mixture before baking. I got to that same spot in the recipe and wondered, “What now?” Your post saved me as this cake is for a special event tonight and I wouldn’t have had time to make something else if it didn’t come out. That step was clearly left out of the instructions. Can’t wait to take a bite. Thanks again.

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Carol- So sorry my directions were not clear. I hope that you were happy with the cake once you got it baked.

  11. Dea Lenihan says:

    Just printed this out for my mom–it is a MUCH better idea for her to bake it!!

  12. Carol says:

    What is hard cider?

  13. Where do you find cider anymore that will actually become “hard”? There are no orchards here where I live and all the cider in the stores are pastuerized so they don’t get hard.

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Jan-
      You can find tons of different brands of Hard Cider right next to the beer in your local supermarket, or where ever beer is sold in your area. Some brands I know off the top of my head are Angry Orchard, Woodchuck, Crispin, Hornsbys, Strongbow…

  14. Michelle says:

    Can we use cider, or does it have to be HARD cider?

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Michelle- You can use regular cider, but keep in mind that regular cider is a bit sweeter than hard cider. Should be fine though.

  15. Sally Murray says:

    Thank you for the recipe! I brought it to my sewing group yesterday and there was only a tiny slice left for my husband afterwards (he was pretty grumbly about missing out when it was first finished!). It got rave reviews.

  16. lorraine pastore says:

    I made this yesterday. It was seriously one of the BEST desserts ever. AMAZING. Thank you so much for a great recipe I will make again and again!

  17. Mary says:

    Just printed this out to send to my Mom – it has their names written all over it – they love apple cider donuts! As for me, I will be making this as well for a dessert in the near future.

  18. Joanna says:

    You don’t specify the typemofnsigar to use for the glaze? Granulated or powdered?

  19. Pat says:

    Can you make this as a flat cake?

    • liadh1 says:

      Hmmm…I have never tried it, so I can’t say for sure. I would think you might be able to substitute a 9x13x2″ for the bundt pan. I’m unsure about the cooking time as well, so you’d have to keep a close eye on it. Let me know how it goes if you give it a whirl!

  20. Suzanne says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I am going to try it without the cinnamon…my daughter, who has always been sensitive to cinnamon has recently grown into a full blown allergy. She misses these donuts and other treats badly.

  21. Oh my goodness gracious. Bless you for posting this! I will be testing this out very soon!

  22. Danielle says:

    Can unsweetened jarred apple sauce be substituted for the apple puree?

    • liadh1 says:

      I have never tried to substitute apple sauce, so I can’t say that I know for sure. However, it sounds like it could possibly work. You would lose a bit of the cider flavor with apple sauce though.

  23. Lisa says:

    So I just finished glazing & sugaring this…looks & smells delicious, thank you!

    • Karen says:

      Do you use fresh cider (that has a bit of sediment) or the commercially bottled type (which I find is a bit more clear and sweeter)?

  24. […] Recipe lightly adapted from: […]

  25. Jacky Carson says:

    Do you glaze the cake whilst warm (after you remove it from the tin)?

  26. Denise says:

    I almost had heart failure when I put the cake in the oven and then saw the remainder apple/cider mixture left. Glad comments here said it was leftover and could be used for something else like adding to oatmeal.

  27. Kat says:

    Looking forward to making this cake to share

  28. Johnny two times says:

    It’s a lot of work, resulting in a mediocre cake

    • liadh1 says:

      Sorry you were not pleased.

      • Loni says:

        I thought it was ok. kinda dense and really didn’t have much apple or spice flavor. think I m gonna tweek it a little, more cider and small bits of chopped apple and up the cinnamon nutmeg and cloves, to see if it comes out better

  29. Joanne says:

    Made this recipe for the first time. My kids loved it…ages 19, 16 and 13. Brought it to work and have had several requests for the recipe. Thank you. It is an amazing cake and great for the fall and Thanksgiving!

  30. Liesl says:

    YUM!!!! I made it tonight — only change I made was to use regular cider in the glaze as it needed to be alcohol free. But I’m not sure it’s gonna last until tomorrow!!

  31. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to make it!!!

  32. Patty says:

    Can this be made in something other than a bundt pan? Muffins, sheet cake?

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Patty – I think it could, however I don’t have any first hand knowledge of doing so. The baking time would be different, so you would need to watch it closely and keep doing the toothpick test. If you give it a whirl, let me know how it goes! best- Lea

    • Jami says:

      So good! I just made them as muffins, so they are easier to take to work. The recipe made 12 large muffins, plus 24 small muffins. The small muffins cook in 15-20 min and the large between 20-25. These will be made often!

      • liadh1 says:

        Wow! Good to know. Several folks have asked me if the cake could be made as muffins. I was pretty sure it could, but had never tried it. So happy you shared your experience! best- Lea

    • Jami says:

      I made as muffins yesterday. 12 large (20-25 min) and 24 small (15-20 min) They turned out perfectly.

  33. Patricia Egloff says:

    Should I flour the bundt pan after spraying with Pam? I would like to make this cake one day before I serve it. Would you recommend applying the cider glaze and the sugar cinnamon sugar coating before serving or when I actually make the cake? Sounds delicious.

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Patricia- I think spraying the pan with Pam should be sufficient. I usually glaze the cake while it is still warm from the oven. I think the glaze sinks into a warm cake easier. I would do the glaze and coating when you bake the cake. It seems to hold up fine a day later. best- Lea

  34. Sally says:

    I made this for a crowd last weekend and it was a real hit! Thanks for the “keeper” recipe.

  35. Lisa Nicoletti says:

    Do I just discard the extra apple cider that I boiled with the apples? The recipe says to take a cup of it and mix with the milk and then that goes in the batter but what about the rest of the boiled cider & apple liquid?

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Lisa- I have eaten the extra cider/apple mixture over oatmeal or yogurt or even drizzled it over ice cream. If you have enough, you could even save it for a second cake. best- Lea

  36. tammysdevoll says:

    Reblogged this on Just A Thought or Two and commented:
    Oh this looks good!!! It would be amazing with a hot, steaming cup of coffee🙂🙂

  37. Cheryl says:

    I made this tonight. Followed the recipe exactly, Yum yum yum! So very good. And my house smells wonderful! My husband said probably his favorite of all the recipes I try from Facebooklol

  38. […] Recipe lightly adapted from: […]

  39. Julie says:

    Are there any adjustments for high altitude?

  40. April says:

    Do they have to be granny smith apples or could I use another kind?

  41. Kate says:

    Do I purée the apple with the cider? Or just the apples?

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Kate- Puree the apple with the cider. Then measure out 1 cup of the puree and mix with milk. You will have leftover apple/cider puree that is not used in the cake. I put it on yogurt or oatmeal. best- Lea

  42. Susie Jones says:

    Okay did I miss something. What about the rest of the apples? I put a cup of the pureed apple with the milk and I see you enter that with the flour alternating

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Susie- There is apple/cider puree left over. You can put it over oatmeal or yogurt, or if you like you could warm it up and serve it with ice cream along with a slice of the cake. best- Lea

      • Susie says:

        May 2 of these last night for both my husband’s work party and mine. They turned out great. So moist.

  43. That was one of the best cakes I’ve ever had – I don’t understand how anyone could not love it, but I’ll certainly be making it again. Thank you! 🙂

  44. Nicole says:

    Hi – I think I missed something on the glaze. I made it while the cake was baking but then it was done and cooled off and the cake wasn’t done yet. Should it be hot when I pour it over the cake? I saw above you said you glaze after 5 minutes but isn’t that too soon to take it out of the pan? Won’t it fall apart if not cooled more? Thanks.

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Nicole-
      So I usually let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes or so before I remove it from the pan and set it on a wire rack to cool completely. The cake is usually still warm when I begin to glaze it. If your glaze has cooled to the point that it is starting to thicken a bit, simply warm it a bit before you begin to apply it to the cake. It does not have to be really hot. I usually brush my glaze on in several passes. The cake seems to absorb a bit more on each pass. Good luck with the cake! best- Lea

      • Nicole says:

        Thanks! We loved the cake but it fell apart on me when i tried to take it out of the pan. Luckily was just trying for us and not company. Tasted great-just didn’t want to come out of the pan. Maybe will try flouring it next time just to be safe. Thanks!

      • liadh1 says:

        Hi Nicole – Oops! So sorry to hear that. Glad it still tasted great and you didn’t have to worry about the presentation. I have always used the PAM spray that claims it has flour in it for greasing the pan, but sometimes I wonder if the good old buttering and flouring by hand method isn’t better, especially if you have a fancier pan with a design which has a lot of cracks and crevices. Good luck with your next attempt! best- Lea

  45. Mic says:

    Fantastic recipe! When I had the puree left over, I decided to make a second cake and bring it to work – big hit both at home and work!

  46. JaimeG says:

    I made this today, had all the ingredients but the hard cider and truthfully, my husband and I are not big drinkers, so it wasn’t an ingredient worth going to the store for. I ended up replacing the hard cider with the same measurement of standard (soft?)cider, this was for the glaze and boy, if I could have drank this glaze right out of the pan I would have!! Outstanding recipe as stated in the article the cake can stand on its own but it certainly is over-the-top with the glaze and cinnamon sugar sprinkle. Dense and moist, this cake marries apple cider donuts with a spice cake. Excellent with a strong cup of coffee that has a nice little bite to it. Worth the effort.

  47. tinaz2000 says:

    Just made this recipe but cooked them with doughnut maker. After they cooled, brushed on the glaze (used regular vider, not hard cider) and covered them in cinnamon sugar. Taste is as good as when I did it as a cke, but may have over done it with the cinnamon sugar. Takes longer as the recipe made about 33 doughnuts and my maker only does 5 at a time. Definitely worth doing again as I can no longer get cider doughnuts that I like anymore. Also, the coconut oil makes it so soft! What is vanilla bean paste and where do you get it?

  48. […] (since I’m not going to get to making cider donuts anytime soon). I made a few tweaks to the original recipe–which looked incredible–and I think it’s a […]

  49. Thanks for the receipe! I wanted to let you know that your pinterest button wasn’t working but I created a pin from your URL that leads directly to your website and credits you.

  50. Reblogged this on thereisnosanityclause and commented:
    This is next on my baking list! Love apple cider donuts!

  51. Oh man: can’t wait to try this recipe out! Looks great!

  52. Robin says:

    In the oven now heck I’m not waiting for a holiday to bake this

  53. Karen says:

    I need to take this to school, so hard cider for the glaze is not an option. Can I just use regular cider for the glaze?

    • liadh1 says:

      Yes Karen you can use fresh cider rather than hard cider. Just keep in mind that regular cider is a bit sweeter than most hard ciders, so the glaze will be a bit sweeter. best-Lea

  54. Bonnie Cote says:

    Very good. But next time I’ll double the spices in the cake. I used regular cider in the glaze and it worked fine.

  55. Michelle says:

    Can you use regular apple cider instead of hard apple cider for the glaze?

  56. Kathleen Dooley says:

    Can you use Apple cider vinegar in the glaze? Or can you buy Hard Cider?

    • liadh1 says:

      Hi Kathleen – I would not use apple cider vinegar in the glaze. Either get a six pack of hard apple cider which is sold wherever beer is sold. Or buy some fresh apple cider. Apple Cider vinegar will not work. best- Lea

  57. Linda says:

    Hi, have not made this yet but going to soon, love apple cider donuts. Was wondering if you ever thought of adding some sliced apples as well like a Jewish apple cake. I think that would bring to a whole new level.

  58. Stephanie says:

    Yum! I just made this! It’s really delicious and looks beautiful too. Full of apple-cinnamon-y flavor, just like real apple cider donuts! Thanks so much for the fabulous recipe!

  59. Marie C. Collins says:

    Very appealing recipe! What is the thickness of the apple puree when done cooking? I suspect the original starts with 2 apples to get the right thickness, given the amount of cider. I am wondering whether 3/4 c. of natural applesauce mixed with 1/4 of cider would be similar? If too thin, I may try cooking down a cup of applesauce with 1/2 cup of cider. TY

    • liadh1 says:

      The consistency of the apple/cider puree is like pretty thin applesauce. I have never tried to sub in applesauce, so I’m afraid I have no idea what the results will be. Good luck and would love to know how it goes! best- Lea

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