Apple cider donuts are a big deal in the Shenandoah Valley — this is apple country! So I had to try this recipe for an apple cider donut cake (since I’m not going to get to making cider donuts anytime soon). I made a few tweaks to the original recipe–which looked incredible–and I think it’s a keeper!
Now, mine is made with part freshly milled whole grain (kamut) flour, and our sugar isn’t “white,” (plus–Lea does such a lovely job of staging her photos for her blog!), so my results look slightly different, but it sure tastes good! This is a moist, tender, light cake with just the right touch of spice.
We started with organic eggs, homemade vanilla, freshly milled kamut flour mixed with some all-purpose white, apples we picked on a P.E.P. Club field trip to Great Country Farms, Kerrygold organic butter, sea salt, Penzey spices, and fresh-from-the-cow milk. For our cider, I had just enough apple cider if I added a bit of cherry apple cider, so that’s why mine is a bit redder than usual.
Mixed it all in my Bosch Compact mixer (it was this or my bigger Bosch Universal Plus, but this was closer!)
This Bundt pan has seen lots of use in its 35+ years! I greased the pan with a mixture of liquid lecithin and mild olive oil; I leave the mixture on the counter with a silicone pastry brush and use it for all my non-stick needs: eggs, veggies, bread, cakes, and more.
Forty minutes later, from my 350 degree oven….
And WOW — does the house smell UH – MAY – ZING!
Is this the ultimate donut, or what? At this point, I’ve added the glaze (with regular cider, not hard cider) and spread the spiced sugar all around. What fragrance!
My afternoon snack.
THE RECIPE….. Adapted from Lea’s recipe at https://leaandjay.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/apple-cider-donut-cake/
1/2 cup softened butter
1 large tart apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, chopped (could use two smaller)
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup room temperature milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or 2 cups AP + 3/4 cup fresh milled flour — I used kamut, but could use wheat of any sort)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves (ground)
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar – I use evaporated cane juice crystals or Savannah Gold
1/2 cup SuCaNat (dark) — or packed brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature (Be sure they are not cold, or the coconut oil will solidify and make a clump of your batter)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (mild olive or another vegetable oil will work)
1 tsp pure vanilla – homemade is best!
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup water
1/4 cup cider (original calls for hard — if using regular cider, this will be a tad sweeter than with hard)
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
generous pinch of nutmeg
(You can double this sugar coating, but I found this to be plenty)
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare Bundt pan with non-stick coating (I mix 1 part liquid lecithin with 3 parts mild olive oil for a nonstick mixture I can spread with a pastry brush).
In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices; whisk to mix well. Set aside for now.
In small saucepan, simmer chopped apples and 1 cup cider, uncovered, until apples are tender and some of the liquid has evaporated. Cool slightly, then pulse the apple mixture in the blender (or food processor) till smooth. You’ll need 1 cup of this (any remainder can be saved to add to oatmeal!) — stir the apple mixture and the 1/2 cup milk together and set aside for now.
In stand mixer (or large mixing bowl with hand mixer or whisk), cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until fluffy, then add eggs, mixing after each addition, scraping bowl as needed. (If you use a Bosch Universal Plus with bowl scraper,
it scrapes itself!)
Add the oil and mix well. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the apple-cider mixture to the creamed mixture in the mixing bowl, scraping as needed. Add vanilla and mix to incorporate.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in 350 oven for 35-40 minutes,or until toothpick in center of cake tests clean.
Cool ten minutes, then invert pan onto cake platter.
While it cools slightly, prepare the Spiced Sugar: Combine the sugar and spices in a bowl or in a shaker. Set aside to use in a few minutes.
Prepare the cider glaze by melting the butter, water, and sugar in a small pan over medium heat. Boil for about two minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the remaining (1/4 cup) cider. Use a pastry brush (I prefer silicone) to gently brush the cider glaze onto the cake. (I spread it along the top, then went back around to allow the cake to absorb more, then spread glaze around the outside edges and the inside edge of the inner circle.)
Finish by sprinkling the spiced sugar over the warm, moist cake, making sure to coat the sides as well as the top.