This Apple Cider Bundt Cake comes together easily and serves a small crowd. In this delightful bundt cake, apple is incorporated in multiple ways to maximize the texture and flavor.
Subtly spiced with the warm flavor of cinnamon, topped with a buttery apple cider glaze and paired with a salted caramel sauce this cake is sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face with the first bite.
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How to Get the most flavor in this Apple Cake
To pack the most apple flavor into this apple cider bundt cake, both applesauce and apple cider are used. Apple cider, while flavorful on its own, when baked into a cake, can lose some of that potency.
To solve this problem, we reduce the apple cider to concentrate the flavor. To do this, simply simmer the apple cider in a small pot for about 10 minutes or until it’s reduced by half. Some of the water will evaporate out and leave a flavor-packed cider reduction.
This reduction is then added to the cake batter and used to glaze the cake at the end.
An additional way to get the most flavor in this apple cider bundt cake is by adding in applesauce. The applesauce not only keeps this cake moist, it serves to enhance the apple flavor.
We aren’t too picky with which kind of applesauce is used, either. Use homemade applesauce, if you have it, or store-bought. Either smooth or chunky work as well. Chunky applesauce will add texture to this cake, too!
The perfect way to finish a bundt cake
I’ve started using this technique more recently and it works so well to add flavor and moisture to your cake. It all has to do with that apple cider reduction and some butter.
Shortly after the cake comes out of the oven, poke it all over with a toothpick. Whisk together melted butter and the apple cider reduction and spoon this glorious glaze all over the apple cider cake. It’ll sink into the cake and create the perfect layer of goodness on top!
If you wish to make this more like a traditional glaze, add some powdered sugar into the apple cider butter mixture until your desired consistency is reached and spoon over top of the cake.
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, cut down the amount of sugar in the batter by at least half (use ½ cup brown sugar plus ¼ cup granulated sugar).
To store, wrap the cake while it's still slightly warm in plastic wrap. This will help retain moisture in the cake and prevent the outside from drying out.
Can this bundt cake be frozen?
Absolutely! Allow the cake to cool completely then slice. Place the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for at least an hour.
After the slices have been flash frozen, place them into a sealed freezer-safe container or bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature or in a 350ºF for 5-10 minutes, or until warmed through.
The first step in ensuring your bundt cake does not stick is to select a pan made of high quality materials. It’s worthwhile to invest in a pan that’s sturdy and made from anodized aluminum.
Bundt pans made of this material conduct heat really well, helping your cake bake evenly. All things we definitely want!
There are lots of methods to coat the bundt pan properly so the cake doesn’t stick. I recommend using one of the following methods:
- Spray the pan liberally with nonstick baking spray with flour, being sure to cover all the nooks and crevices of the pan
- Brush on melted or softened butter using a pastry brush, then sprinkle flour over top of the butter. Rotate the pan side to side, tapping the sides of the pan to cover the butter completely in flour. I advise doing this over a sink
- In a jar, combine equal parts melted butter, vegetable oil, and shortening. Mix well and brush onto the pan. Store the remainder of this mixture covered in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before using again. This is the method I have been using recently and it works really well!
Looking for more apple recipes? Give these a try:
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Apple Cider Reduction
- 2 ½ cups apple cider
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup applesauce drained if very watery
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- salted caramel sauce
Make Apple Cider Reduction:
- 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 set aside. (You will need 1 cup of this apple cider reduction for the cake batter and a few tablespoons for brushing on the baked cake)
Make the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Grease and flour a bundt pan. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon granulated sugar in the pan, turning the pan to coat. Set aside
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars on low speed until blended. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high and beat 3 minutes until light and fluffy
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to ensure everything is mixed evenly
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the applesauce (don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled, it’s supposed to look that way!). With the mixer on low, alternate adding the flour mixture and 1 cup of the reduced apple cider, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula to ensure it’s fully mixed. Do not overmix
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let it sit in the pan for about 10 minutes
- After 10 minutes, place a wire rack over the cake and using oven mitts, grip both sides of the cake pan and the wire rack together and quickly and confidently flip the cake over so the wire rack is on the counter and the bottom of the bundt pan is facing up. Tap the cake pan firmly a few times to loosen the cake from the pan. Remove the cake pan
Top the Cake:
- With a toothpick, poke holes all over the top of the cake. Whisk together melted butter and 2 tablespoons apple cider reduction, liberally brushing or spooning the mixture onto the cake (you may not use all of it). Cool cake completely on a wire rack. Once cake is cooled, slice then drizzle each slice with salted caramel sauce
- To store, wrap slightly warm cake in plastic wrap. This will help retain moisture in the cake and prevent the outside from drying out and getting a crust.
- To freeze, slice cooled cake and place slices in a single layer on a sheet tray. Freeze at least one hour then place in a freezer safe container or bag for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature or place in a 350ºF (177ºC) oven for 10 minutes or until warm.
- If you wish to make the topping more like a traditional glaze, add some powdered sugar into the apple cider butter mixture until your desired consistency is reached and spoon over top of the cake.
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