Apple Cider Doughnut Loaf Cake

apple cider doughnut loaf cake

My apple cider doughnut loaf cake is the fall cake of your dreams, it tastes just like your favorite moist apple cider doughnut. One bite will take you hay riding, apple picking, and leaf peeping ~ imagine what a whole slice can do!

apple cider doughnut loaf cake, sliced

apple cider doughnut loaf cake

This apple cider doughnut loaf cake is the third in my apple cider doughnut cake series. First there was the epic Apple Cider Doughnut Cake, followed by the Apple Cider Doughnut Muffins. With fall in full swing it seems like the perfect time to introduce a loaf cake into the mix. This one, imo, is the best yet! The texture is plush and the apple cider flavor comes through beautifully. That crunchy sugar coating and a touch of nutmeg brings out the cider doughnut vibe loud and clear.

what you’ll need

It’s a rare one of us who’s up to making homemade doughnuts on a fall morning, but this, this is the answer to those bleary-eyed cravings!

  • apple cider ~ we’ll be reducing this down to concentrate its flavor. I use fresh (refrigerated) apple cider for this recipe. Can you use bottled cider or apple juice in a pinch? Yes.
  • all purpose flour
  • butter ~ I usually bake with unsalted.
  • eggs ~ large.
  • sugar ~ both brown sugar and granulated sugar (for the crust.)
  • sour cream ~ enriches and tenderizes the cake, and add moisture.
  • cornstarch ~ tenderizes the cake as well.
  • baking powder, baking soda, salt
  • vanilla extract
  • cinnamon and nutmeg ~ cinnamon is used in that classic cider doughnut sugar coating, and nutmeg is the flavor that makes a doughnut taste like a doughnut!

what’s the difference between apple cider and apple juice?

Technically cider is apple juice that has not been filtered, so it will appear cloudier. If you buy your cider from a farm, or in the refrigerated section, it’s raw, and unprocessed. Cider has a lovely tangy flavor that I love. But when you’re comparing bottled cider and juice in the supermarket juice aisle, there is no appreciable difference.

apple cider doughnut loaf cake, sliced, with forks

what makes this apple cider cake so good

Truth, you’ll want to put this at the top of your fall baking list, it’s that good. I adapted the recipe from Bon Appétit (it came out in their Sept 2020 issue) and took an already good recipe and made it so much better. I tweaked it, simplified the process, and eliminated unnecessary steps, as the original recipe was written rather awkwardly (sorry BA.) This cake is a keeper!

  1. The texture. It’s soft and plush, which is rare in a loaf cake. You can see it in the photos.
  2. The apple flavor comes through nicely thanks to the reduced cider. It’s an extra step but you can set it on the stove while you gather your ingredients and start the cake.
  3. The cinnamon sugar crust! It’s epic. The effect really is like biting into a cider doughnut.
  4. It’s the perfect thing to bring this fall, whenever you’re asked.
taking a bite of an apple cider doughnut loaf cake

more loaf cakes and quick breads

fork cutting into a slice of apple cider doughnut loaf cake
apple cider doughnut loaf cake
5 from 4 votes

Apple Cider Doughnut Loaf Cake

My apple cider doughnut loaf cake is the fall cake of your dreams. This quick and easy apple bread tastes just like a soft moist cider doughnut!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Yield 10 servings
Calories 307kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • standard 9×5 loaf pan


  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (more to taste)


  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 325F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan and line with a sheet of parchment paper so you can lift the bread out after baking.
    lined loaf pan
  • Put the cider in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes, or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Pour the cider into a small bowl and set aside to cool slightly. Then stir in the sour cream and vanilla.
  • Melt the butter in the same saucepan. Let cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile beat the eggs and brown sugar until smooth and frothy. I do this in my stand mixer but you can also just use a whisk.
  • Drizzle the melted butter into the egg mixture, while the machine is running on low. If doing by hand, keep whisking while you add the butter to get everything incorporated.
  • Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, alternately with the cider/sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined but don't over mix.
    apple cider doughnut cake batter
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without we batter on it. Note: if you use a slightly smaller loaf pan your cake may take longer to bake.
    apple cider cake ready to bake
  • Let the pan cool on a rack for ten minutes, then remove the cake from the pan using the parchment paper sling. Let cool for 5 more minutes.
    apple cider doughnut loaf cake in pan
  • For the sugar coating, mix the sugar with the cinnamon. Brush the outside of the cake with melted butter and coat thickly with the cinnamon sugar. I do the top first, then each side, one at a time. For the sides I cup the sugar in my hand and quickly press up against the cake. Do this a few times until you get the surface well covered.
    coating an apple cider doughnut loaf cake with sugar and cinnamon
  • Do not slice the cake until ready to enjoy. Store at room temperature loosely covered with foil.
    apple cider doughnut loaf cake

Cook’s notes

The low 325F oven temperature encourages this cake to cook slowly and evenly, making for a nice soft texture. Be sure your oven is accurate! I recommend an inexpensive oven thermometer so you can know for sure.


Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2022 at 12:29 am

    Hi Sue, have you ever tried experimenting with putting a coffee cake like topping on this loaf? Or a blueberry confit?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      April 8, 2022 at 7:16 am

      I haven’t but they both sound interesting!

  • Reply
    Marjorie Furlong
    November 5, 2021 at 5:56 am

    Love your recipes, cake in the oven, smells wonderful! Can cake be frozen?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      November 5, 2021 at 6:32 am

      It’s not a great candidate for freezing because of the sugary crust, I’m afraid, Marjorie.

  • Reply
    Lorraine Parente
    October 30, 2021 at 6:29 am

    I have made your apple cider doughnut cake more times than I can remember. I was surprised to see this cakwe is not the same. Can you tell me about the differences?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 30, 2021 at 7:14 am

      I tried something a little different with this cake and I really loved the result, Lorraine. It’s got a slightly different texture, and great cider flavor, I think you’ll love it.

  • Reply
    October 19, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    If I’m using store bought apple cider do I still need to boil it for 10 minutes?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 19, 2021 at 1:25 pm

      Yes, the boiling reduces the cider so it’s thicker and more concentrated in flavor as well.

  • Reply
    Karen Smith
    October 7, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    Made this twice already, two days in a row! So good, moist delicious! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 7, 2021 at 6:03 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it Karen, I wish I had a piece right now 🙂

  • Reply
    Sharon Dillon
    October 6, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    Could you use King Arthur’s boiled Apple Cider here?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      October 6, 2021 at 6:16 pm

      I think that should work fine.

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