My friend Jen loves apples, and knows I love recipes. One day during the fall, she sent me a recipe for Apple Cider Donut Cake. I looked for a reason to make it all autumn, but lacked either the ingredients or the time. I finally had the apples, the cider, and a reason to make it and share it this weekend. I took it to a party celebrating the end of National Novel Writing Month.
Apple Cider Donut Cake
1 large or 2 small Granny Smith apples (8 ounces)
1 1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated is best!)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
First, peel and chop your apples. Combine with apple cider in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and simmer over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, until apples are tender. Cool briefly, then puree. Combine 1 cup of apple mixture with milk. (Eat the rest of the apple puree later, with oatmeal or whatever else you choose.)
Combine flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and nutmeg. Cream butter with sugar and brown sugar in stand mixer for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one by one. Add oil and vanilla, and mix for another minute, until well incorporated. Alternate adding the flour and apple mixtures in batches. Scrape the bottom of the mixer bowl to make sure butter and sugar isn’t stuck there (like it was in mine). Mix for 30 more seconds to make sure everything is airy and light.
Pour batter into an extremely well greased Bundt cake pan and bake at 350F for 35-50 minutes. Mine took 38 minutes exactly in my oven that tends to cook too quickly. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto cake platter. I had a piece stick to my cake pan, so be sure you’ve greased it really well.
Combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Coat cake with cinnamon sugar. I sprayed my cake gently with oil, section by section, to help the cinnamon sugar stick. Cool completely (or at least 45 minutes, as I did) before cutting.
This was an amazing cake. It was incredibly tender from the milk and butter and lots of mixing, just like an apple donut. My apples weren’t very flavorful, so the apple flavor was very light, and the nutmeg flavor was distinct but mild. Cinnamon sugar was delicious on the outside of the cake. The cake wasn’t incredibly sweet, so I ate leftovers for breakfast with coffee this morning – again, just like I would apple donuts.
Alex thought this was better than apple donuts because the cake was very light where apple donuts can sometimes be very dense. I cannot think of anything bad to say about this cake. I recommend using the most delicious apples you can to enhance the apple flavor.