This apple cider bundt cake is soft, moist, and fluffy. It tastes just like apple cider! It’s coated in brown butter and a cinnamon sugar mixture for the perfect apple fall flavour. The cake has both applesauce and apple cider for lots of apple flavour! It’s moist from all the butter, oil, and applesauce.
After the bundt is baked, it’s coated in brown butter to help the sugar mixture stick. It also gives the bundt cake the most beautiful nutty flavour!
Why you’ll LOVE this cake:
- The texture: It has the perfectly moist and buttery texture thanks to the cider, applesauce, butter, and a touch of oil.
- The best apple cake for fall: The cake tastes like fall in a bundt. It’s lightly spiced and tastes like you just visited an apple orchard (in the best way). The brown butter and cinnamon sugar topping gives it a beautiful toasty cinnamon flavour. Like an apple cider donut cake!
- It’s easy to make! Just cream the butter, sugar, and oil, and add everything else in the order shown.
Apple cider VS apple juice
This bundt cake is made using apple cider which is much different from apple juice. Apple cider is made the same way as apple juice but it isn’t filtered in order to extend its shelf life like apple juice is. This gives it a much stronger and tangier flavour than apple juice.
I would not substitute it with apple juice because it just won’t taste as good! You really need that apple cider for all that flavour and tang.
How this cake is the perfect texture
I love the taste of butter in cakes but through loads of recipe testing I found that a combination of butter and a little bit of oil gives cakes the most beautiful texture! The butter gives the cake so much flavour and richness but the little bit of oil will help it stay moist for days. This combination makes the perfect moist and fluffy cakes every time.
The applesauce and apple cider also add lots of moisture and tang for a beautiful flavour!
The brown butter helps all of that cinnamon sugar topping stick to the cake and adds lots of flavour. If you don’t want to brown the butter, just use regular melted butter. It’ll work the same way.
Make sure that you measure the flour properly: weigh the flour to get the most accurate results. If you don’t have a scale, measure properly by stirring the bag and spooning gently into a measuring cup. Scrape the excess off the top with the flat edge off a knife without packing it into the cup.
Cream the butter, oil, and sugar really well to properly aerate it and make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature. This will also help.
It’s best to wait for the bundt cake to cool for 10 minutes before placing a cooling rack over the bundt cake and flipping the cake over to release. Give the bundt cake a couple of taps so that the cake falls out onto the cooling rack.
To get the perfect release, butter the pan well and shake a tablespoon of flour all around to coat evenly. Shake out any excess flour. Use a nonstick bundt pan and make sure the pan and coating aren’t too worn out
I found that 10-20 minutes was the perfect amount of time to let the cake cool in its bundt pan. You want to unmold the bundt cake when it’s still fairly warm to get the perfect release.
Full ingredients and recipe are in the recipe card below. Read through this section for all the ingredients substitution and baking tips!
Butter: Use a good quality real butter for the best results. It needs to be softened for both the cake batter. Let it sit at room temperature for about an hour to soften.
Vegetable oil: This will make the cake super soft and moist. You can use vegetable oil, light olive oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil, or any other mild tasting oil.
Brown + granulated sugar: This recipe calls for both brown and granulated sugar. You can replace the granulated sugar for brown if you want a deeper flavour. I would not replace the brown sugar for granulated sugar. The brown sugar is key to create a gooey cinnamon ribbon right through the bundt cake.
Large eggs: Use room temperature eggs so that they easily incorporate into the batter making it smooth and light. To bring them to room temperature quickly, place them in a bowl of warm water for five minutes. Dry them with a paper towel and you have ready to use room temperature eggs!
Apple sauce: Use an unsweetened apple sauce. If you’re using a homemade apple sauce, make sure that it’s pretty thick – like a sour cream consistency.
All purpose flour: Weigh the flour to get the most accurate results. If you don’t have a scale, measure properly by stirring the bag and spooning gently into a measuring cup. Scrape the excess off the top with the flat edge off a knife without packing it into the cup.
Baking powder: Make sure your baking powder isn’t expired or your bundt cake might end up very dense. Do not use baking soda instead, it works completely differently!
Baking soda: I also add a bit of baking soda to help the cake get nice and tall.
Ground cinnamon: Ground cinnamon goes into the cake batter and the ribbon of cinnamon throughout the middle. You can also replace the cinnamon with apple pie spice or pumpkin spice for a twist.
Apple cider: You can find apple cider in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Apple juice isn’t as flavourful as cider so it won’t be a good substitution. The flavour won’t pop as well in this apple cider bundt cake.
How to make the apple cider cake (step by step):
Step 1 – Grease the bundt pan with a tablespoon of cold butter (or oil) and shake a tablespoon of flour all around to coat evenly. Shake out any excess flour. This will prevent the bundt cake from sticking to the pan and make sure that it releases smoothly. Preheat oven.
Step 2 – Cream the butter, oil, and sugar In a large bowl or stand mixer until light and fluffy.
Step 3 – Add wet ingredients. Gradually add eggs, applesauce, and vanilla, beat well in between. It’s ok if the mixture turns lumpy.
Step 4 – Sift dry ingredients into the batter. Fold with a whisk just until no dry streaks of flour remain. Add apple cider halfway through folding. It is ok if the batter is a little lumpy.
Step 5 – Scoop and bake in the preheated oven until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the bundt cake out of the oven and let cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Flip the bundt cake on a plate and tap to release.
Step 6 – Make the brown butter. Melt unsalted butter in a small saucepan on medium low heat until it melts and comes to a simmer, stirring constantly. Keep stirring as the butter froths up. The foam will subside as the butter browns. Continue stirring for a few minutes, watching the butter the whole time. The milk solids (little white bits at the bottom) will slowly caramelize and turn a golden colour when it is ready.
Step 7 – Finish off the cake. Brush with brown butter. Taking handfuls of the cinnamon sugar mixture, press it into the cake. You can do this over a sink because it will get a little messy. Slice the apple cider bundt cake and serve!
Check out these recipes you will LOVE:
- Cinnamon Bundt Cake with Gooey Cinnamon Swirl
- Sharlotka Apple Cake
- Mini Blueberry Pies with Flaky Crust
Did you make this recipe? I would love for you to rate this recipe and hear what you think in the comments below!
Apple Cider Bundt Cake
- Standard non-stick bundt pan (12 cups)
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 5 large eggs room temperature
- ⅓ cup applesauce room temperature
- 3 ⅔ cup all purpose flour (430g)
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon ground
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ground
- ¾ cup apple cider room temperature
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon cinnamon ground
- Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C). Grease the bundt pan with a tablespoon of cold butter (or oil) and shake a tablespoon of flour all around to coat evenly. Shake out any excess flour.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter, oil, brown sugar, and salt until light and fluffy for a few minutes.1 cup unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, ¾ cup brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Add vanilla extract and eggs one at a time, beating well in between each addition. It’s ok if the batter separates towards the end.2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 5 large eggs
- Add applesauce, and beat until combined.⅓ cup applesauce
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon, and nutmeg into the batter. Fold with a whisk just until no dry streaks of flour remain. Add apple cider halfway through folding. It is ok if the batter is a little lumpy.3 ⅔ cup all purpose flour, 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¾ cup apple cider
- Scoop the batter into the pan and spread the top smooth.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 55-70 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the bundt cake out of the oven and let cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Place a cooling rack or plate over top of the bundt cake and flip the cake. Tap the bundt pan to release the cake. Carefully lift off the pan to reveal the cake. Let cool completely. Prepare the brown butter while it cools.
- Place the unsalted butter in a small saucepan on medium low heat until it melts and comes to a simmer, stirring constantly. Keep stirring as the butter froths up. The foam will subside as the butter browns. Continue stirring for a few minutes, watching the butter the whole time. The milk solids (little white bits at the bottom) will slowly caramelize and turn a golden colour when it is ready.⅓ cup unsalted butter
- Carefully pour the brown butter into a heat safe container to cool for 10 minutes. While it cools, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.½ cup granulated sugar, ½ tablespoon cinnamon
- Liberally brush the bundt cake with the brown butter. Taking handfuls of the cinnamon sugar mixture, press it into the cake. You can do this over a sink because it will get a little messy. Slice and serve!