The distinctive Fall flavor of apple cider is so delicious when baked into an Apple Cider Donut Loaf Cake!
This loaf cake takes inspiration from your favorite fall donut recipe, using apple cider in multiple ways to keep this loaf cake flavorful and super moist.
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Apple Cider Donuts in a Loaf Cake
Apple cider is flowing come Fall. And it makes for a wonderful addition to so many dessert recipes this time of year like Apple Cider Donuts!
But why not have it multiple ways?! This Apple Cider Donut Loaf Cake comes together easily, requires no special donut pan and incorporates apple cider in the cake itself as well as in the topping to create the perfect breakfast, snack or dessert.
Pro tip: Bake this recipe in mini loaf pans, wrap the loaves in parchment and some festive twine, and gift them to your guests as they depart from your holiday gatherings. That way, they have breakfast for the next morning!
Depending on the size of the mini loaf pans, this recipe should yield 2-3 mini loaves. You can even wrap the loaf in the tin it was baked in to gift as well!
How is the cake made
The first step is to reduce the apple cider. By reducing it, the apple cider flavor becomes more concentrated as the water evaporates. Then, the apple cider reduction is added to a simple loaf cake batter.
Sour cream is also added to the loaf cake to retain moisture and provide another layer of flavor. Once the loaf cake is baked, use a toothpick to poke holes all over the top of the cake.
Next, spoon a generous amount of apple cider reduction mixed with butter over top of the cake. This topping will seep into those holes, creating moisture and flavor in the loaf cake.
After the reduction, sprinkle the top of the cake generously with cinnamon sugar. This creates the apple cider donut-like texture and flavor.
The short answer is yes, apple juice can be substituted in equal amounts for the apple cider in this recipe. Be sure to use unsweetened apple juice only.
If you can only find sweetened apple juice, count down the amount of sugar in the batter by at least half (½ cup or 100 grams of granulated sugar).
Yes, you can substitute the sour cream will plain, full-fat Greek yogurt. Do not use flavored Greek yogurt, as this will change the flavor of the final baked cake. Most flavored Greek yogurts also contain added sugar which may result in an overly sweet cake.
Once the cake is completely cooled, wrap it in plastic wrap and store at room temperature up to 5 days. The cake may be stored this way in the fridge for a bit longer, up to 10 days.
To freeze, slice cooled cake and place slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze at least one hour then transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag and store for 3 months.
To defrost, remove from the freezer and leave on the counter at room temperature until thawed. Alternatively, unwrap frozen slices from plastic warp and place in a preheated 350ºF (177ºC)oven for 10 minutes or until warmed through.
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Looking for more recipes to make in your loaf pan? Give these a try:
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Apple Cider Loaf Cake
- 2 cups apple cider*
- ½ cup full-fat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Make the Loaf Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC), Spray an 8x4-inch 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 again and place another piece of parchment paper across the pan and press down so the parchment sticks to the other piece. Spray the parchment with nonstick spray and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat the apple cider over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until it is reduced by about half, around 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour ¼ cup into a heat proof measuring cup or bowl and set aside for topping the cake later. Pour remaining ¾ cup apple cider reduction into a separate bowl and whisk in the sour cream and vanilla, whisking well until combined. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and continue mixing on medium-high for 3 minutes until light in color and creamy. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula. With the mixer on low, add in the flour a little at time, alternating with the apple cider mixture, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Do not overmix.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, set on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and with a toothpick, poke holes all over the top of the cake.
Make the Topping:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup apple cider reduction with 3 tablespoons melted butter. In a separate bowl, mix together the ¼ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Spoon the apple cider butter mixture over the top of the cake. Then sprinkle the top generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Allow the cake to cool completely in the loaf pan. Remove by lifting out of the pan using the parchment overhang.
- *If you are in a pinch and cannot find apple cider or it's out of season, unsweetened apple juice may be substituted for apple cider
- Store cooled cake wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature up to 5 days
- To freeze, slice and place slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze at least one hour then transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag and store for 3 months. Defrost at room temperature or place in a 350ºF (177ºC) oven for 10 minutes or until warmed through
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