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
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.
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!
- The texture. It’s soft and plush, which is rare in a loaf cake. You can see it in the photos.
- 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.
- The cinnamon sugar crust! It’s epic. The effect really is like biting into a cider doughnut.
- It’s the perfect thing to bring this fall, whenever you’re asked.
more loaf cakes and quick breads
- Triple Coconut Pound Cake
- Easy Apple Fritter Bread
- Maple Pecan Pound Cake
- Strawberry Buttermilk Bread
- Easy Spiced Peach Bread
- Date Nut Bread
- Better than Starbucks Banana Walnut Bread
Apple Cider Doughnut Loaf Cake
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Do not slice the cake until ready to enjoy. Store at room temperature loosely covered with foil.
Questions and Reviews
“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.“
That is one of the most confusing steps I’ve ever read in a recipe. I was going to make this but why can’t you phrase it in a normal way. What do you mean by this?
This is pretty standard phrasing for this procedure Hannah. This is the clearest way I know how to convey what you are supposed to do ~ You are going to add some of the dry ingredients first, then some of the cider/sour cream mixture, back and forth, beginning and ending with the dry. This helps create a nice smooth batter.
Hey Hannah, you’re obviously new to baking. Don’t fault the recipe author for writing clear and concise recipe instructions that the rest of us had no problem following. This cake is dynamite!
I made this once with the BA recipe. Loved it! I’m happy to hear you tweaked it. I had to read it over a few times to understand that recipe. I would love to gift these for Christmas. How far ahead do you think I can bake them as still be moist? I want them to taste freshly baked, even if it is not. Thank you.
That’s tricky Emily, I wouldn’t try to bake them more than a day ahead.
Unfortunately, I did not taste the apple cider at all even after the reduction. The butter seem to be too plentiful because I tasted more butter than any other flavor. No apple flavor, but strong butter flavo.
Sorry this didn’t work for you Jay. Apple cider doughnuts don’t really taste like apple cider, it’s more about the texture and that sugary crust, I think. Be sure you use real apple cider and boil it down for best flavor.
Could I do this in mini loaf pans for holiday gifts? Any suggestions?
Yes, you definitely can. I would check them through the oven window at 20-25 minutes.
Something went terribly wrong… at 1 hour it was still soupy and the final product came out dense and sticky. Perhaps I shouldn’t have baked 2 at the same time?
Oh Bethany, that’s such a shame! I can’t really guess what went wrong, but if you want to email me I can help you troubleshoot. I hope you give it another try, it really should be amazing!
In the oven as I write this. Batter is amazing, so I am sure the bread will be too.
Question: Has anyone put this batter in donut pans?
For baked doughnuts I highly recommend my baked apple cider doughnut recipe, it’s fabulous.