Apple Cider Donut Bundt Cake – Autumn Bliss in Every Bite
on Oct 05, 2023, Updated Oct 27, 2023
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I’m excited to share this recipe for the most delicious apple cider donut bundt cake that recreates one of my favorite flavors of fall. You will love this super moist sugar apple combo as much as we do!
Apple cider donuts are one of my family’s favorite fall traditions – found on our giant fall bucket list. We’ve eaten them on the top of Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs and at many pumpkin patches and apple orchards too. As much as I like apple cider donuts though, my waistline appreciates a slightly healthier spin.
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There are several reasons we’ve turned this quintessential favorite fall treat into a cake. One, bundt cake is a lot easier to make than frying individual donuts. It takes fewer steps to make and is less messy too.
While this apple cider spiced cake is obviously still a treat, it might be considered a smidge healthier than fried donuts. Plus, it’s just really delicious!
We know you’ll love this apple cider donut cake as much as we do!
What’s in this Apple Cider Donut Bundt Cake Recipe
Let’s take a look at the ingredients that bring this bundt cake to life! We’re lucky to live in a world with a lot of options, but you might like to know what we use to get the most delicious cake.
All-Purpose Flour: We recommend a high quality unbleached all-purpose flour in this cake. Unless you really prefer the classic white look of bleached flour, we think it’s best to avoid the chemicals used to bleach flour. Plus, we think unbleached flour actually tastes better too.
Ground Cinnamon: Look for “100% pure” or “ground cinnamon” to make sure your cinnamon is free of additives, fillers, or artificial flavorings. High-quality cinnamon should have a rich, natural aroma, and flavor.
Nutmeg: We use pure ground nutmeg, but you will get a much richer flavor if you buy whole nutmeg and grind it yourself. It’s your call.
Salt: Our favorite salt to use in all recipes is Redmond’s REAL Salt. It’s a natural sea salt sourced from an ancient salt deposit located in Redmond, Utah. We like it because it is unrefined, all-natural, super pure, and contains trace minerals.
Baking Powder: This important leavening agent helps the cake rise and become light and fluffy. We choose aluminum free baking powder for everything.
Sugar: You can use normal granulated sugar to sweeten this cake. I often use raw sugar though. It’s slightly less refined than granulated sugar and retains some of the natural molasses, which gives it a slight caramel flavor and a pale brown color. It does change the sweetness level of the cake. Raw sugar is slightly less sweet.
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Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds a deeper level of sweetness and moistness to the cake. Its molasses content provides a subtle caramel flavor.
Oil: This recipe calls for vegetable oil, but we prefer to sub avocado oil. It’s neutral-tasting option rich in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. Nut oils, like walnut or almond, could also work really well in this recipe.
Eggs: Make sure your eggs are room temperature before using them in baking. Also, we prefer farm-fresh eggs from our free-range chickens. Remember when choosing eggs – chickens are not vegetarian by nature.
Applesauce: Applesauce is a key ingredient for moisture and flavor. We recommend unsweetened apple sauce since there is plenty of sugar already.
Apple Cider: If possible, use fresh apple cider picked up at the local apple orchard. If you can’t find that, opt for an unpasteurized version at the grocery store.
Vanilla Extract: We definitely prefer pure vanilla extract over imitation extract. It costs more, but the flavor and quality makes it worth it!
Butter: Use a high-quality unsalted butter to allow the natural flavors of the butter to shine without being masked by excess salt.
Tips for Baking the Perfect Bundt Cake
It’s not too hard to make a great bundt cake. But if you’re a little hesitant to bake one, here are a few common problems along with tips that will help you get it right!
Sticking to the Pan
The biggest problem people have with bundt cakes is them sticking to the pan. To keep your bundt cake from sticking to the bundt pan, make sure to thoroughly grease and flour the pan. You can use a non-stick cooking spray with flour, or your favorite grease and flour. Spend time preparing your pan because sticking cake is the most common problem people have when baking bundt cakes and it can really ruin the appearance of your delicious cake.
Another common problem with bundt cakes is uneven baking caused by the unique shape of the bundt pan. Make sure you distribute the batter evenly in the pan, and consider rotating the pan halfway through the baking time if your oven has hot spots.
Over or Under-Baking
It can be tricky to achieve the perfect doneness when using a bundt pan. Similar to testing any cake, use a toothpick or cake tester to check for doneness in the center of the cake. It should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but not wet. If you’re looking for a great cake tester, we like these a lot!
Air bubbles can create gaps in the cake’s texture. Make sure to tap the filled bundt pan on the countertop a few times to release air bubbles before putting it in the oven to bake.
Release from the Pan
Even with proper greasing, sometimes bundt cakes can still be difficult to release from the pan. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes, then gently run a knife around the edges to loosen it before inverting it onto a serving plate.
Variations on this Apple Cider Donut Bundt Cake Recipe
As always, there are a few options for variations or creative twists you can make when baking this apple cider donut bundt cake.
One popular variation includes adding diced apples or apple chunks to the batter for extra fruitiness and texture. Tart apples like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp work best for this apple bundt cake
Another option is to incorporate toasted pecans or walnuts into the mix. We love adding toasted nuts to cakes, but doing so is definitely a personal preference.
To add a little spiciness, add a pinch of ground cloves or ginger to the batter.
Glaze choices are also versatile. Instead of the classic cinnamon sugar glaze, you could use a tangy cream cheese icing, or even a rich caramel drizzle.
Fresh apple cider is preferred for the best flavor, but you can use store-bought if fresh isn’t available.
Yes, you can. However when you substitute with honey or maple syrup, you’ll have to adjust the quantities as they are sweeter than granulated sugar and aren’t used at a 1:1 ratio.
Sure! We think this cake is perfect for special occasions. If you want to dress it up, top it with apple slices and a drizzle of caramel for an elegant presentation. We also recommend displaying this cake on a beautiful wooden cake stand. Here’s one of our favorites!
How to Store & Reheat the Apple Cider Cake
Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two, or in the fridge for longer shelf life. This cake should last for about a week in the fridge.
If you’d like to warm it up prior to eating, pop it in the microwave for 15-25 seconds and then enjoy!
You can freeze this bundt cake, but we challenge you to have leftovers for the freezer! For best results, freeze slices of the cake in an airtight container for up to three months.
This apple cider bundt cake makes a cozy dessert or great addition to your fall themed brunch. It stands well on its own, but you can enhance its rich, apple flavor, by serving it with fresh whipped cream or a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. For an extra layer of indulgence, drizzle a homemade caramel sauce over each slice, allowing it to cascade down the sides.
More Apple Recipes We Love
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar, granulated or raw sugar
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup oil, vegetable or avocado
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup applesauce, room temperature
- 1 cup apple cider, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Topping
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Use a non-stick spray to coat a bundt pan and then dust with flour. Set aside.
In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and baking powder. Mix well and set aside.
Combine the sugar, brown sugar and the oil in the large bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until combined. Add the eggs and mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Add the applesauce and vanilla. Mix to combine.
Turn the mixer to low speed and add about 1⁄2 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the apple cider.
Keep alternating the flour mixture and cider until you have added all of both. Continue mixing until well combined. The batter will be slightly thin.
Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 50-55 minutes.
The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool for about 15-20 minutes before turning it over on a flat plate or cooling rack.
Using a pastry brush, coat the cake in melted butter.
In a small bowl combine the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon with the 1⁄4 cup sugar to make the cinnamon sugar coating. Mix well. Pat/rub the mixture onto the cake until you have covered all of it.
Serve and enjoy! Yields approximately 16-18 servings.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 301mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 2gSugar: 33gProtein: 4g
Nutritional information is not always correct.