Apple Cider Donut Loaf Cake

Indulge in the cozy, comforting flavors of fall with this apple cider donut loaf cake. Made with real apple cider and warm spices, this deliciously moist cake is the perfect treat for any autumn day. With a tender crumb and a cinnamon-sugar topping, it’s sure to become your new favorite loaf cake.

Looking down at loaf cake sliced on a white cutting board with slices placed on plates.

I have continued my obsession with apple cider after making these apple cider donuts with apple butter glaze, I thought about what is next, and here it is! I wanted to do the same as the apple cider donuts and avoid boiling down the apple cider. My first couple of tries at this recipe turned out too dry and lacking in flavor. So I increased the buttermilk and butter to cut the dryness and then I chose to go with apple pie spice instead of just cinnamon. You need two teaspoons of apple pie spice, which is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. With these changes, I have a winner here, and no need to boil the apple cider! Woo Hoo!

HERE’S WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • Ease: This apple cider donut bread recipe is easy to make, similar to this raspberry and white chocolate loaf cake recipe, the dry and wet ingredients are mixed separately before being combined. No electric mixer is needed!
  • Flavor: The star flavors in this quick bread recipe are apple cider and apple spice, which add a fresh apple taste to the loaf. Unlike other recipes that reduce the apple cider, this recipe keeps the full flavor intact. The cinnamon sugar coating provides a satisfyingly crunchy texture and extra cinnamon taste.
  • Texture: The texture of this apple cider donut loaf cake is one of its most noteworthy features. The cake itself is moist, thanks to the use of real apple cider in the recipe. This moistness is complemented by a tender crumb, which gives the cake a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth quality. The cinnamon-sugar topping adds a slightly crispy texture to the cake, which provides a pleasant contrast to the soft interior. It’s similar to the texture of this cinnamon crunch banana bread.
  • Great for any occasion:This delicious loaf cake is perfect for any occasion, from fall-flavored snacks to breakfast treats. It’s sure to please any crowd at your next gathering!

For more fall recipes try, salted caramel apple pie bars, apple cider donuts with apple butter glaze, and pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

To make an apple cider donut loaf cake, you will need a few basic baking ingredients such as all-purpose flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and buttermilk. You will also need apple cider, and apple pie spice to boost flavor. The finishing touch is a sweet cinnamon-sugar coating for the cake. Here is a list of all the ingredients required to make this delicious treat:

  • All-purpose flour – I used Gold Medal all-purpose flour because it provides a well-balanced mix of protein and starch.
  • Granulated Sugar – sweetens as well as moistens this apple cider donut loaf cake.
  • Eggs – large and at room temperature.
  • Apple Cider – use apple cider juice not vinegar. My local grocery store carries it year-round in the produce section. I have not tried this recipe by swapping it out for shelf-stable regular apple juice.
  • Apple pie spice – This spice is usually made up of cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice. It is a mix spices of used of flavor apple pies and other fall treats.
  • Melted butter – enhances flavor and adds moisture.
  • Buttermilk – adds a tang and helps balance the sweetness.
  • Salt – helps enhance flavor. I used Diamond Crystal kosher salt use half the amount if using table salt.
  • Vanilla – it boosts all the other flavors in the recipe.
  • Cinnamon and Sugar – this will be used to coat the bread after baking for the crunchy topping.

Find the full ingredient measurements and instructions in the recipe card below.

looking down at apple cider donut loaf cake ingredients in small bowls.

HOW TO MAKE APPLE CIDER DONUT LOAF CAKE

Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, apple pie spice and salt in large bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together wet ingredients. Whisk together sugar and eggs in a separate medium-sized bowl for 35 seconds. Add apple cider, melted butter, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix until combined.

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients; whisk until just incorporated. Do NOT over-mix. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-55 mins. Let rest in pan for 15 mins.

Cover with cinnamon sugar. Once cool, lightly brush the melted butter over the top and sides of the loaf. Coat the cake with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Use parchment paper to help coat the sides.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Measuring Ingredients  For the most precise baking results, I suggest using a weighing scale to measure out your ingredients in the metric system. This method is highly accurate.
  • Spoon and Level – If you are not weighing your ingredients and are using a measuring cup, then use the spoon and level method to measure your flour. This means that you should use a spoon to fill the cup and level it off. Go to this link here for instructions.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter. Once the flour is added, mix the dry and wet ingredients just until everything is incorporated. Mixing flour with liquids activates the gluten proteins that give baked goods their structure. Over-mixing can lead to bread that is tough, gummy, or unpleasantly chewy.
  • Room temperature ingredients: When it comes to making cakes, using ingredients that are at room temperature is a crucial step for achieving the perfect texture and consistency. Room-temperature ingredients, particularly eggs, butter, and milk, mix together more easily and evenly than those that are cold, resulting in a smoother batter. This, in turn, helps to create a light, fluffy texture in the finished baked good.
  • Oven Temperature: It’s important to note that oven temperatures can vary depending on factors such as the oven’s age, make, and model, and positioning in the kitchen. Therefore, it’s essential to pay close attention to the baking time and appearance of your bread, rather than relying solely on the temperature gauge. To check if your bread is fully baked, use a toothpick to insert it into the center of the loaf. When it comes out clean with only a few small moist crumbs attached, the bread is ready.

VARIATIONS

  1. Caramel: Add a drizzle of easy homemade salted caramel sauce or store-bought over the top of the cake before serving.
  2. Streusel topping: Instead of cinnamon sugar, you could make a streusel topping. Combine 3/4 cup flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Add 6 tablespoons melted butter, and stir to combine. Mix until the mixture resembles wet sand and clumps together. Layer on top prior to baking.
  3. Maple glaze: Drizzle a maple glaze over the top of the cooled cake. To make the maple glaze: whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, 2 tablespoons milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon maple extract until smooth.
  4. Apple chunks: Fold in one cup of 1 1/4 cups diced apples to the batter for extra apple flavor and texture.

STORAGE RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Room temperature storage: The bread can be stored in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • Refrigerator storage: For longer storage, place the bread in an airtight container or wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Freezer storage: To freeze the bread, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and place it in a resealable freezer bag. The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. I like to slice it and lay the slices in large freezer bread, separate layers with parchment paper, and freeze. This makes it easy to grab a slice at a time.
  • Thawing: To thaw the frozen bread, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can also thaw it at room temperature for a few hours. Or you can microwave the frozen slices 20-30 seconds in the microwave.

FAQ’s

What is the difference between apple juice and apple cider?

The main difference between apple juice and apple cider is the way they are processed. Apple juice is filtered to remove solids and pasteurized to extend its shelf life, resulting in a clear, smooth liquid. On the other hand, apple cider is made by pressing apples and leaving the juice unfiltered, which gives it a cloudy appearance and a tangy, more complex flavor. Cider is also typically unpasteurized and has a shorter shelf life than juice, and is often associated with fall and winter seasons in the United States, where it is served hot and spiced as a seasonal drink.

What is so special about apple cider donuts?

Apple cider donuts are a type of donut that are typically made with apple cider or apple cider, which gives them a unique flavor and texture compared to regular donuts. They are usually made with a combination of flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices, and often contain small pieces of apple or apple sauce. The combination of the spices, apple cider, and apple pieces create a sweet and tangy flavor that is truly unique.
In addition to their taste, apple cider donuts are often associated with fall and harvest season, as they are commonly sold at apple orchards and farmers markets during this time. This adds to their appeal and makes them a special treat that many people look forward to enjoying each year.

Why are apple cider donuts called apple cider donuts?

Apple cider donuts are called so because they typically contain apple cider, which gives them their distinct apple flavor. The dough is often mixed with apple cider to add both flavor and moisture. Additionally, apple cider is a popular beverage during the fall season when these donuts are commonly enjoyed.

Looking down at the apple cider loaf cake sliced on a white board, plates and a fork are placed in front of loaf.

MORE BREAKFAST RECIPES YOU’RE SURE TO LOVE

If you try this apple cider donuts loaf cake recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five-star rating!

looking down at a bake apple cider loaf bread sliced on a white platter with plates and a fork.

Apple Cider Donut Loaf Cake

Sarah Allison
This apple cider donut loaf cake is just like biting into your favorite moist apple cider donut. Soft and tender with apple spice in every bite, topped with a crunchy sugar topping.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 10

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon diamond crystal kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon if using table salt)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup apple cider, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick or 113 grams)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Sugar Cinnamon topping

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC), Spray an 8½x4½" or 9×5" loaf pan with nonstick spray. Place a piece of parchment paper that’s cut to the width of the pan, lengthwise in the pan, allowing overhang. Spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray and set aside.
    Looking down at a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and apple pie spice in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Whisk granulated sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl. Mix together well for about 35 seconds.
  • Add apple cider, melted butter, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk until dry ingredients are moistened.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and even out with spatula.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Baking times vary so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with zero raw batter. Remove the pan from oven.
  • Cool cake in the pan and set it on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Carefully remove loaf from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.

Sugar Cinnamon topping

  • While the cake is resting, make the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Whisk together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Lift the wire cooling rack with the cake on it and and set rack inside rimmed baking sheet.
  • Brush warm melted butter over top and sides of cake.
  • Immediately coat the cake with cinnamon sugar mixture to cover every surface (use parchment to help coat the cake and collect any excess sugar.
  • Remove parchment and let cool completely before slicing.

Notes

  • Room temperature storage: The bread can be stored in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • Refrigerator storage: For longer storage, place the bread in an airtight container or wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Freezer storage: To freeze the bread, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and place it in a resealable freezer bag. The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. I like to slice it and lay the slices in large freezer bread, separate layers with parchment paper, and freeze. This makes it easy to grab a slice at a time.
  • Thawing: To thaw the frozen bread, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can also thaw it at room temperature for a few hours. Or you can microwave the frozen slices 20-30 seconds in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 4gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 474mgPotassium: 75mgFiber: 1gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 423IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this Recipe? Leave a comment & recipe rating below. Tag @thesassandsalt on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece!

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