Apple Cider Donut Cake with Brown Butter.

Apple cider donut cake was made for this weekend! 

This apple cider donut cake is a huge fall crowd pleaser! Covered in cinnamon sugar and fluffy to perfection. It's incredible!

I love this month so much. This time of year, this first October weekend. Eeeeep. I am here for it and it is finally feeling like fall so it’s time to celebrate. Give me all the donuts or cake or doughnut cake.

apple cider cake batter

I’m rounding out (my unintentional) comfort food week here on the blog with an apple cider doughnut cake that is heavenly. It’s soft and fluffy and covered in cinnamon sugar. 

And plus, since it’s called a doughnut cake, it’s totally acceptable to eat it for breakfast.

Right? 

apple cake ready to bake

Also! I (almost) promise that this will be my last apple dessert of the season. I mean, I think we’re good with salted apple fritters, an apple cheddar galette and an apple cider doughnut cake. There is something for everyone! 

You’re set for all the autumn festivities as well as Thanksgiving. YEP.

Freaking pumped for the season!

This apple cider donut cake is a huge fall crowd pleaser! Covered in cinnamon sugar and fluffy to perfection. It's incredible!

I get so excited because my kids are both just as obsessed with apple cider and cider treats as I am. While I don’t feel like I can perfect the best apple cider doughnut itself (my favorite is from soergel orchards! Best ever!), a cake is another thing.

Making a big donut cake means that we can all enjoy it and I don’t have to fry each donut piece by piece. Love it. Oh and that we can have leftovers for a few days too. At least… maybe we can.

This apple cider donut cake is a huge fall crowd pleaser! Covered in cinnamon sugar and fluffy to perfection. It's incredible!

This cake has a little extra step that can make it slightly high maintenance. I used this recipe as the base and it calls for simmering a whole apple in apple cider! That sounded riiiiight up my alley. The first time I made this, we did just that, then pureed the mixture as the recipe called for. But by the second time, I simmed and mashed the apples with a fork and it was all good. No need to dirty another kitchen appliance!

This step is basically like making your own (heavily cider flavored!) applesauce, so you can just use a cup of applesauce in a pinch. 

This apple cider donut cake is a huge fall crowd pleaser! Covered in cinnamon sugar and fluffy to perfection. It's incredible!

But!

I will say that making it like this, with the apples AND apple cider? Super flavorful. I’ll take the extra step for flavor. And if you’re really pressed for time, you could always do that part of the recipe the night before. Measure out your ingredients, then bake it the next day. YUM.

The scent, taste and appearance of this is absolutely perfect for a fall morning.

This apple cider donut cake is a huge fall crowd pleaser! Covered in cinnamon sugar and fluffy to perfection. It's incredible!

It’s so soft. And fluffy. It’s light, but satisfying. Like one big donut. And crunchy on the outside from the cinnamon sugar.

OH and p.s. you’re going to brush the whole cake with brown butter before the cinnamon sugar sprinkle.

It’s unreal.

This apple cider donut cake is a huge fall crowd pleaser! Covered in cinnamon sugar and fluffy to perfection. It's incredible!

I think I’ve thoroughly convinced you that this has to happen today! Friday treat, hello.

This apple cider donut cake is a huge fall crowd pleaser! Covered in cinnamon sugar and fluffy to perfection. It's incredible!

Apple Cider Donut Cake

5 from 2 votes
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Yield: 8 people
Apple Cider Donut Cake
Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Cooling Time:
1 hr
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
 
This apple cider donut cake is a huge fall crowd pleaser! Covered in cinnamon sugar and fluffy to perfection. It's incredible!
Ingredients
  • 1 large honeycrisp apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
brown butter
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
cinnamon sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-cup bundt pan with nonstick baking spray.

  2. Place the chopped apple and apple cider in a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Brind the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cook until the apple is soft and the cider is absorbed. Use a fork to mash the apple as much as possible. You don’t want any large chunks! Measure out 1 cup of the apple mixture. Stir in the oil, milk and vanilla.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in the sugars until the mixture is fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in each egg one at a time until fully combined.

  5. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the apple cider/milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. I like to do this in three increments, so add a fourth of the dry ingredients, then a third of the liquid, and so on until you finish with the dry ingredients, beating until just combined.
  6. Spread the batter into the greased bundt pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula. Bake the cake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a tested inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then gently removed the cake from the pan. Let the cake cool completely.
  7. To brown the butter, place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and immediately begin whisking. Stir as it bubbles, and after 2 to 3 minutes or so you should see brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat immediately and continue to whisk for another 30 seconds.
  8. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  9. Brush the cake all over with the brown butter. Sprinkle and press the cinnamon sugar into the cake right after brushing with the brown butter. You can rub the sugar onto the sides and the center so it sticks. Serve as desired!
slightly adapted from serious eats

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I appreciate you so much!

This apple cider donut cake is a huge fall crowd pleaser! Covered in cinnamon sugar and fluffy to perfection. It's incredible!

Yep. Total breakfast food.