Cakes

Apple Cider Donut Cake

4.84 from 18 votes
Skip making donuts and make my incredible Apple Cider Donut Cake instead — it's easier and packed full of that wonderful warm fall flavor you're looking for.
An apple cider donut cake covered in cinnamon sugar.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Sometimes, and hear me out here, it’s OK to not want to make a whole batch of donuts. The only problem with that, then, is that you don’t get any donuts and your craving for them might drive you mad. That’s why I created this Apple Cider Doughnut Cake recipe. It’s not a donut recipe, but rather an easy cake recipe that tastes just like an Apple Cider Donut.

It’s soft, spiced, and amazing while warm. You get all the flavor from one of the most popular fall donuts but without the fuss!

Let me walk you through the simple process — and should a question pop up without an answer here in the article, please leave it in the comments down below. We answer every single one!

An apple cider donut cake, sliced.

What Is An Apple Cider Donut?

Common sense would tell you that it’s simply a donut made with apple cider, but it’s so much more than that. They’re filled with fall’s warmest spices — cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice — in addition to the inclusion of apple cider. Honestly, forget pumpkin spice (Actually, don’t, you can make your own here, and your own Pumpkin Spice Lattes, too.), because apple cider is the true king of fall.

The Apple Cider

Feel free to use storebought, even though you can easily make your own with my Apple Cider recipe. If you can’t find any at the store, feel free to use unsweetened pure apple juice instead. You can even use your cider to make Apple Cider Caramels, too, which are very popular!

Room Temperature Ingredients

For cakes, all ingredients should be room temperature, but this recipe calls for cold milk in order to help cool the hot cider down faster. Make note of that, it’s important!

A close up of the interior of my apple cider cake.

Tools You Need To Make Apple Cider Donut Cake

Making Apple Cider Donut Cake

I test recipes so you don’t have to — but this one was pretty simple from start to finish. Part of the process was figuring out how to top the cake — I went with the classic cinnamon sugar, just like a donut, but I also suggest giving it ago with ice cream and salted caramel sauce for decadence.

Make sure you don’t overmix when it comes to cake, too, as it can toughen your cake!

And if you decide that you want to give making your own Apple Cider Donuts a go after making this cake, I’ve simplified the process for you here!

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips Fro Making Apple Cider Donut Cake

  • Again, for cakes, all ingredients should be room temperature. This recipe calls for cold milk, though, in order to help cool the hot cider down faster.
  • If you can’t find apple cider, you can use unsweetened pure apple juice instead.
  • Granulated sugar can liquefy on the cake when defrosting, so if you plan to make this cake in advance and freeze it, do so before you coat the cake with sugar.
  • This is a very casual snacking cake but you can dress it up by serving it with my homemade vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce!
  • This cake would make a perfect addition to a special brunch!
  • For longer storage, freeze before coating with cinnamon sugar in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature for 2 hours, then brush with melted butter and coat with cinnamon sugar before serving.

Get More Cake Recipes:

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Apple Cider Donut Cake

4.84 from 18 votes
Skip making donuts and make my incredible Apple Cider Donut Cake instead — it's easier and packed full of that wonderful warm fall flavor you're looking for.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 people
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Skip making donuts and make my incredible Apple Cider Donut Cake instead — it's easier and packed full of that wonderful warm fall flavor you're looking for.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 people

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (16floz/480ml) apple cider
  • ½ cup (4floz/120ml) whole milk (cold)
  • ¾ cup (6oz/170g) granulated sugar
  • cup (4oz/115g) dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • ¼ cup (2floz/60ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups (12½oz/355g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Cinnamon sugar (for topping)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and butter and flour a 12-cup capacity (2.84 liters) bundt cake pan. Set aside.
  • Pour the apple cider into a shallow saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat until the cider is reduced to 1 cup (8floz/240ml).
  • Transfer the reduced cider to a glass measuring cup with a pour spout and add the cold milk. Set aside until the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
  • Once the cider mixture has cooled, make your batter: with a mixer or in a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract until well blended.
  • Pour in the cider mixture and whisk until combined.
  • In a separate medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg, and then add this to the wet ingredients in three increments. Stop stirring just as soon as everything is fully mixed.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack.
  • Immediately coat the warm cake in cinnamon sugar and then let cool completely. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

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Simon
Simon
13 days ago

I tried this today, I made half batch with the spices the way the recipe was written, but the second half of the batter I put more cinnamon, nutmeg and a tiny dash of clove.
The added spices made it a lot tastier. But over all, i’d say the recipe works out fine. For me though, more spices needed! Thanks Gemma for the great recipes!

catherine
catherine
15 days ago

Made this today and it is amazing !! Thanks again for another brilliant recipe.

16 days ago

Oh I’m absolutely making this!! Gemma, I love my pumpkin cakes, bars and cakes like this served cold right out of the refrigerator. Just something so delicious about it!

Antonio Marino
Antonio Marino
9 days ago

Is this better supposed to be really wet?? I’m pretty sure I followed recipe correctly, but the batter was more like liquid, not a better.

Luisa
Luisa
11 days ago

Hello Gemma! Can I use oatmilk instead of whole milk?

Mary D
Mary D
12 days ago

How do you keep the cold milk from curdling when adding it to the hot cider?

Olivia
Olivia
13 days ago

Apple cider is alcoholic in the UK but not in USA, should I be using cider or juice?? Thanks Olivia UK baker

Mila
Mila
15 days ago

Hi Gemma, 2 questions, 1.when you say apple cider do you mean the fizzy alcohol one in the tin? 2. If made as muffins would strawberry jam be better in the center (after baked) so they’re not dry? Thanks

Vivian Crawford
Vivian Crawford
15 days ago

Can I use a spiced apple drink powder in place of the apple cider?

Olivia Thomas
Olivia Thomas
15 days ago

This looks great and super straightforward to make. Quick check on granulated sugar – is that the same in UK and USA or should us Brits be using caster sugar?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!