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Apple Cider Doughnut Cake Recipe

This recipe for Apple Cider Doughnut Cake is a lovely addition to your recipe collection. The nutmeg-enhanced sugar coating is critical to the delightful taste of this bundt cake.

My kids are coming home! My kids are coming home!

Terry and I have visited each of our babies over the past several months, but it’s been a month of Sundays since we were all together for an extended period of time.

In preparation for their descent on our home and our refrigerator, I have been baking some of their favorite things.

Now, my repertoire of yummy desserts is long, so it wasn’t easy choosing what to bake. But, this delicious Apple-Cider Doughnut Bundt Cake made it to the list, for a variety of reasons:

  • It’s a versatile treat, equally suited to the breakfast table as it is to a dessert buffet with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Fresh Nutmeg
  • Very easy to make
  • More Fresh Nutmeg
  • This delicious cake freezes well

I’m convinced that is the nutmeg that gives apple cider donuts their unique and popular taste. This Apple Cider Donut Cake benefits from nutmeg both in the batter and in the cinnamon-sugar coating.

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake on a cake stand.

Apple Cider vs Apple Juice

One note, this is an Apple CIDER Doughnut Cake, not an Apple JUICE Doughnut Cake for a reason. If you have a glass of fresh apple cider next to a glass of apple juice, you’ll notice some obvious differences. As fresh cider still has the pulp and sediment, it is typically cloudier and maybe darker than the juice. Essentially apple juice is apple cider that has been pasteurized, which changes the color, flavor, and texture. The color of the juice is transparent and the flavor is sweeter, while the cider has an earthy, deep, and complex flavor, with both sweet and tart notes.

All that being said, if you are all set to make the cake but can’t find cider, then, by all means, get the juice. Look for the cloudiest juice on the shelf. And consider reducing the juice down a bit to deepen the apple flavor (I’d take 2 cups of juice, put it in a medium saucepan and reduce it down to 1 cup)

Nutmeg, grater and measuring spoons.

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Fresh Nutmeg or Ground Nutmeg in this Apple Cider Dougnut Cake?

And, one last thing before we get to the recipe…have you discovered fresh nutmeg? I’m telling you, once you try fresh nutmeg, you are hooked. I have the nutmeg grater that belonged to my Grandma and exclusively grate my nutmeg now.

Fresh nutmeg is more flavorful and aromatic than the ground nutmeg you would purchase in the grocery store. Nutmeg gets its flavor and aroma from volatile oils that evaporate quickly after grinding. Because the oils evaporate quickly, it is best that you use ground nutmeg right away to ensure that you get as much of the flavor as possible. Ground nutmeg is likely to have lost much of its oil content and therefore much of its flavor.  

With 10-12 nutmeg pods costing less than $5.00 and a nutmeg grater costing less than $4.00, you owe it to yourself to buy yourself an early, pre-baking, Christmas present. You will thank me!

Looking for more apple recipes? I’ve gotcha covered! This Apple Spice Quick Bread is always popular and is easily made into small loves, perfect for gifting. Apple Cider Muffins with Apple Filling is just like the filled doughnuts! And this Cinnamon Apple Swirl Bread is a taste of fall!

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to this Apple Cider Doughnut Cake recipe in the future.

Overhead shot of Apple Cider Doughnut Cake with a slice cut out.

Apple-Cider Doughnut Cake

Nutmeg in both the batter and the sugar coating is what makes this Apple-Cider Doughnut Cake stand out from the crowd!
4.92 from 12 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Baking Recipes + Tips
Cuisine American
Servings 12 -16
Calories 419 kcal


  • Batter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • .5 teaspoon nutmeg
  • .5 teaspoon baking soda
  • .75 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • .75 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • .75 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup applesauce see note
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Sugar Mixture
  • .3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • .25 teaspoon nutmeg


  • Preheat oven to 350F°
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: both flours, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together both sugars, apple cider, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and eggs.
  • Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture in the large mixing bowl and whisk until combined
  • Thoroughly spray a 12-cup bundt pan well with good quality release spray, I like Bak-Klene ZT Non-Stick spray. Alternatively butter and flour bundt pan.
  • Transfer cake batter to the prepared pan.
  • Bake, rotating the pan halfway through until a tester comes out clean, 45-50 minutes.
  • Transfer pan to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and let it cool for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in one bowl and melt butter in a small bowl.
  • Invert cake onto a rack.
  • With a pastry brush, apply a quarter of the melted butter to a quarter of the cake and then sprinkle with a quarter of the cinnamon/nutmeg sugar. Use your hands to pat sugar onto the warm cake. Repeat, working a quarter of the cake at a time.
  • Let cool completely before serving.
  • Cake can be stored, covered at room temperature for up to 2 days.


If you don't have apple sauce, then make your own homemade applesauce! Peel, core, and dice 2 apples. Place the apples in a glass bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until the apples are soft. Then, mash the apples with a fork or potato masher to make applesauce.
Once your cake is completely cool, store it in an airtight container or wrap it in plastic wrap well for freezing.


Serving: 1gCalories: 419kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 5gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 231mgFiber: 2gSugar: 38g
Keyword apple, apple cider, bundt cake
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