How To Make Apple Cider Donut Loaf Cake?

I know it is still summer, but do you know what season comes after it? The golden autumn. I am already so excited about it that I can almost smell pumpkin latte, cinnamon buns, vanilla custard, and my favorite kind of desert – anything with apples!

So, since I have 60 more days until the apple season, I will use this time to search for new apple-based desserts or ways I can enhance the ones I already use.

However, before I start this adventure I want to share with you one of my favorite recipes ever- apple cider donut loaf cake. It is quick, easy, and delicious. If this sounds like your type of dessert, read on.

What Is Apple Cider Donut?

What Is Apple Cider Donut

Contrary to all other kinds of donuts these yummy discs are not those you can grab in a donut shop, cold and packed in a box. Nope, these must be served warm and fresh, or else they won’t taste as good as they should.

They are very crispy on the outside, if they are soggy they aren’t good! The inside is soft, and airy, with a cake-like texture. Apple cider donuts can be dipped in chocolate, smothered in powdered sugar, or coated in cinnamon and sugar.

Their distinct flavor is sweet but a bit spicy as well considering the dough is loaded with nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. If you never tried this dessert before, you should expect a great combination of autumn pie and your favorite autumn drink – apple cider.

How To Make Apple Cider Doughnut Loaf Cake

Making apple cider donuts isn’t that hard at all. But making it in the shape of a loaf cake is even easier since you won’t need to shape the donuts and stand over the pot while frying them in small batches.

Considering that it takes a lot less time to prepare and bake than regular donuts, this loaf cake will perfectly accompany your long weekend morning breakfast. This recipe is my favorite because it is so flexible, yet no matter which ingredient I substitute it works every time.

If you watch your weight you can replace all-purpose flour with whole wheat, instead of butter every neutral oil is good, and you can swap buttermilk with sour cream if you don’t have any.

There is one crucial step you need to take before starting making this recipe –  reduce the apple cider. This way it will become more like a syrup and it will give your loaf so much more flavor and moisture.

Kitchen tools you will need

You will need a standard mixing and baking kitchen tools selection. Since this batter is more gooey and liquid, my advice is to use a larger mixing bowl to avoid messy walls.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Two large bowls for mixing dry and wet ingredients
  • Two medium bowls for reduced apple cider
  • Saucepan for reduction
  • Hand whisk
  • Stand mixer
  • Loaf pan
  • parchment paper
  • Pastry brush
  • Cooling wire rack

Ingredients you will need

Ingredients you will need
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This is a list of basic ingredients that you will need, however, as I mentioned above you can substitute one ingredient with another. This is up to you and which ingredients you prefer more. Here is the list:

  • 1¼ cups of  all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided (you will need a bit more for the pan)
  • 2 cups of apple cider
  • ½ cup of sour cream
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1½  teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of allspice

Step-by-step instructions

  1. The first step in baking is preheating the oven. Turn it on to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If your rack is not in the middle of the even then move it there, every side of the loaf must be equally exposed to heat.
  2. Take the cake mold or loaf pan, depending on which shape you prefer. Lightly butter it so the baking paper can stick to it. Make sure the paper overhang the sides so you can lift cake easily.
  3. Pour the apple cider into the saucepan and bring it to boil on a medium-high heat setting. When it starts boiling bring the heat down and let it simmer for up to 10 minutes. Pour ¼ into the bowl and set aside.
  4. The rest of the reduced apple cider, transfer to a medium bowl and let it cool for 5 minutes before you stir in sour cream and vanilla extract.
  5. Melt 9 tablespoons of butter in the same saucepan on low heat and set aside to let it cool off a little.
  6. Take a large bowl and mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  7. In a second bowl beat eggs and ¾ cup of sugar. Do it with a hand mixer since you need to achieve a pale, voluminous, and frothy mixture.
  8. After that gradually add melted butter but in a steady stream and mix with a whisk until it is well combined, and without any lumps.
  9. Alternate when adding dry ingredients and reserved cider sour cream mixture into a bowl with egg mixture. Whisk lightly. The batter must be thin.
  10. Pour the batter into the pan and bake it for half an hour then rotate it. Bake it until deep golden brown. Usually, it takes 60 to 80 minutes, depending on the oven. If you aren’t sure that your cake is baked poke it with a toothpick and if it comes out dry it is good.
  11. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and poke it all over with a fork and pour 3 spoons of reserved reduced cider over.
  12. While you wait for the cake to soak up the cider, make a coating out of a big pinch of salt, and the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, and mix spices to your taste.
  13. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of reduced cider. Brush warm butter mixture over the loaf and sprinkle with sugar mixture and let it cool off completely.

Tips For Making The Best Apple Cider Donut Loaf Cake

Tips For Making The Best Apple Cider Donut Loaf Cake
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When you make a cake like this it is crucial to follow every step exactly as it is written in the recipe. You can’t just add everything up at the same time and expect to get the same texture and taste.

  • Tip number one: always reduce cider!

This is a simple thing to do. Just heat the apple cider until it changes the texture from liquid to sauce. This is crucial since the sauce will stick to the cake more and make it moist, while non-reduce apple cider would make the cake soggy.

  • Tip number two: alternate wet and dry ingredients!

To ensure even mixing and achieving that spongy texture you must follow the correct order of adding and mixing the ingredients. The order is 3 dry additions to 2 wet additions. This means you will do it like this: dry-wet-dry-wet-dry and mix thoroughly after every addition.

  • Tip number three: let it soak when it’s warm!

Always poke and soak the loaf while it is warm, then set it aside to rest and slightly cool off, before you take it out of the pan. After that brush it with melted butter and roll into a cinnamon sugar coating.


Can I use apple juice to substitute apple cider?

Technically, yes. Apple cider is apple juice that hasn’t been filtered. so it will appear cloudier. In fact, the cider is raw and unprocessed so that is why it has a tangly and less sweet flavor. The only difference is that apple juice is way sweeter, so if you use it you need to reduce the amount of sugar.

Can I make this recipe with dairy-free products?

Yes as I said, you can substitute ingredients to fit your taste or dietary needs as you want. Switch butter for the oil of your choice or use margarine. Sour cream or buttermilk can be substituted with soy yogurt.

How should I store this cake?

The great news is that this cake can be made a few days ahead, then stored tightly wrapped with plastic wrap and placed in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days. If you place it in the fridge it will withstand up to 10 days.

You can also keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months, but slice it up before freezing it.


I’m positively sure that this is the most perfect autumn cake you can make. The texture is plushy and the crunchy sugar coating only enhances the taste of apple cider. Store it properly and you will have a perfect dessert to pair with a cup of hot toddy.

If your recipe is different than this one, and you think we should try yours, please share it with us.

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