Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake!

Click for a close-up!
It's that time of year here in the northeast, when we visit apple orchards and farmers' markets and are drawn in by the subtle scent of warm apple cider doughnuts. We wait in lines to buy our half-dozens (or more) of the cinnamon and sugar coated rings, so patiently as those ahead of us walk away from the counter or table, loaded paper bags bearing tell-tale grease stains. The lucky recipients dig in before getting 10 feet away since these doughnuts are meant to be eaten warm, just out of the fryer and cinnamon sugar bin.

I've been to two apple orchards in the last week, first Focastle Farm in Burnt Hills, about 20 miles south of my home in Middle Grove, where I joined my grandson Pete, my daughter Katie, and Pete's nursery school class! So cute! There, I picked Empire and Cortland apples. Then, over the weekend, we drove north and east to Hick's Orchard in Granville, New York, just west of the Vermont border.  There, the boys got to spend time in the bounce house, and it was a bit of work trying to get them out! The shop at Hick's is beautiful, with apple-everything.  They have a live bee-hive behind glass, an overhead train on tracks (that captivated Pete!) and a wine-tasting room for the over 21-crowd! There were food trucks and stands outside, and people were having lunch at picnic tables and on the lawns overlooking the orchards, where later we picked Honey Crisps (my favorite apple!). In the store, we watched through the window into the doughnut shop as the doughnuts came off the conveyor, into the fryer, and then into the cinnamon sugar bin. It was fascinating!

Pete and his little friends - snack time at Focastle Farm

Hick's Orchard, Granville, NY

So, with all this apple inspiration, today I bring you a new recipe for an Apple Cider Doughnut Cake! Yep, all the goodness of those luscious doughnuts baked into a beautiful cake - a mega-version of that little fall favorite. This recipe, adapted from Serious Eats, uses an apple cider/apple puree, mixed with all the best cake ingredients: creamy butter, fresh eggs, sugar, flour, a touch of nutmeg. The batter is spread into a buttered bundt pan. While it's cooling and still warm, a generous mixture of cinnamon and sugar is massaged over the surface of the cake. It's best to do this with the cake still on the cooling rack, over a large cookie sheet or pan. That way, the excess sugar mixture is captured in the pan and can be saved for the next Apple Cider Doughnut Cake, because there WILL be a next cake!

A slice of Apple Cider Doughnut Cake...
Can't you just taste it?

Here's the recipe. Please give it a try and let me know how you like it! But do it soon, while colorful leaves fall from the trees, and apples and cider are abundant.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Buttered bundt pan

1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 apple - peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup milk (or rice milk/soymilk - whatever you have on hand)

Bring apple cider to boil and add chopped apple. Reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and then puree cider/apple mixture in blender (I used a Magic Bullet). Stir in milk. Set aside.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 eggs at room temperature

In large mixer bowl, beat together butter with granulated and brown sugars until light and creamy. Beat in vanilla extract, and then eggs, one at a time.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon mace (I didn't have mace, used 1/8 tsp. allspice instead)

In separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients, above.

Measure out one cup of the apple cider mixture - this is all you will use.  Add flour mixture alternately with the cup of apple cider mixture to butter mixture in bowl. When just completely combined, turn off the mixture and then complete mixing by hand, scraping the bowl with a spatula.

Spread batter in the buttered bundt pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until cake tests done.  Cool for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack.


6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mixt the sugar topping ingredients together and rub gently and generously into the surface of the warm cake.

Original Recipe:


  1. What a fun collage of photos! Love that you've had so many great fall adventures so far :)
    And this cake?! Yummm! We have apple cider in the fridge right now - this cake may need to happen!

    1. Colleen, it looks like a lot of steps but each part of this recipe is pretty simple, and the results are worth it! I'm bringing the cake in to work with me this morning so my co-workers are in for a treat! Thanks so much for your comment! Hope you have a great day!

  2. YUM!!! I am going to have to try this soon!! Thanks!

    1. Tina, you're going to love it! Let me know if you make it and how it turns out!

  3. It was amazing! thank you. I want to make it now.

  4. I can't wait to try this cake. I think it will be in my car on my trip to Boston next week to see Louis -- his mom and dad will love it.

    1. Lucky you, going to see your beautiful new grandson! Bring this cake, and enjoy it with the new family! Hope you love it!

  5. I can just imagine how this must smell baking...making my shopping list now ! Thanks ADK..CKJ

    1. Cindy - did you make it? Would love to know your reaction to the recipe. It really does capture the essence of an apple cider doughnut!

    2. Haven't had time to make this busy with # 1 much fun When you have time please give me a call. may need a special treat soon. CKJ

    3. Will do, CKJ! I was thinking about it this weekend - something mid-this week would work out great. Message me on fb with what you might like. :)

  6. I have yet to go apple picking, and I must go now that I see your new recipe.

    1. Catherine, when are your boys home? They'd love this!

  7. From my friend Jody Shepson's comment on my facebook page: I made this last's GOOD. It tastes like fall. And, if you are Apple Cider Donut deprived, you will want to try this!! Thank you, Jeannie!!"

    LOVE when that happens! Thanks Jode!!!

  8. The apple cider cake looks incredible. I am afraid to make it because I would probably eat the whole thing myself! Lynn E.