This apple cider bundt cake tastes like fall! Not only is it full of warm apple spice flavor, it's also topped with an irresistible cinnamon sugar crust.
Apple cider donuts are one of my favorite things about fall. Just the idea of them makes me smile!
And while I love making homemade baked donuts, I thought it would be fun to take it one step farther this season and make a whole apple cider bundt cake.
This cake is on the dense side, but it's SO soft in texture. The cinnamon sugar coating almost acts like a crust. It really just tastes like one giant apple cider donut!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- If you don't have donut pans but still want that apple cider donut taste this season, this cake is a must.
- It's so easy to make! There are no complicated ingredients here, and no decorating required.
- The flavors are just so cozy and comforting on a chilly day. Between the spiced apple cider and the cinnamon sugar, it's just perfect.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Gluten free flour: My favorite gluten free flour blend is Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1. If you are using a different blend, make sure it contains xanthan gum. And because this is a cup for cup flour, you should be able to just use AP flour if you're not looking to make this cake gluten free.
- Baking powder: The baking powder helps give us a lot of lift with this cake, so make sure yours is fresh! This is an easy way to test.
- Brown sugar: I prefer to use light brown sugar in this cake recipe, but dark brown will work, too.
- Greek yogurt: Regular readers know I love to use Greek yogurt in my cakes. It adds richness, moisture, and binds everything together... just like eggs would! So it's a great egg substitute. Make sure you're using plain yogurt. I typically bake with 0% or 2%.
- Applesauce: You want to make sure to use unsweetened applesauce. We don't want any added ingredients.
- Apple cider: I think it goes without saying that apple cider is the start of the show here, so I'd really recommend against substituting it. It should be pretty easy to find in major grocery stores in the fall months. If you must, you can use 100% pure apple juice instead, but it's not quite the same.
STEP ONE: Start by combining the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt) in a bowl. Whisk it all up and set aside for now.
STEP TWO: Use your mixer to cream the butter with both sugars until it's completely smooth.
STEP THREE: Add the Greek yogurt, applesauce, apple cider, and vanilla. Beat on low speed to combine.
STEP FOUR: Add the dry ingredients and continue to mix on low until your cake batter comes together.
STEP FIVE: Transfer the batter to your greased bundt pan. Use a spatula to ensure it's evenly spread. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for at least 30 minutes before inverting.
STEP SIX: Once the cake has completely cooled, brush the melted butter all over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top and use your hands to press some onto the sides.
- My #1 baking tip is to weigh your flour using a kitchen scale. This is the best way to ensure accuracy (not all flours are created equal!). Too much or too little flour will make a big difference in the texture of your cake.
- Make sure to really coat your bundt pan with cooking spray. I like to use a paper towel to really spread it around and ensure that every nook and cranny has been greased. I don't flour my bundt pans.
- The suggested bake time is 50-55 minutes, but I recommend checking around the 50 minute mark because all ovens are different. Use the toothpick test to ensure your cake is ready to come out. If it's under-baked, it will likely sink and collapse as it cools.
- Speaking of cooling, be patient! You really need your cake to cool before trying to invert it out of the bundt pan. I leave mine in there for at least 30 minutes or even up to an hour.
- Another reason you need to wait: the coating. For that perfectly crunchy cinnamon sugar coating, your cake needs to be completely cool first.
Frequently Asked Questions
Apple cider is unfiltered and not processed, which means it will have some of that residue at the bottom and no added sugar or ingredients.
You should be able to make this cake dairy free by using non-dairy butter and yogurt. I would opt for a thicker yogurt, similar in texture to Greek yogurt.
Once the cake has cooled, place an upside-down plate on top, covering the cake. Hold the pan and plate together with both hands. In one swift motion, quickly flip both over so that the pan is now on top of the plate. If the cake doesn't immediately release when you lift the pan, leave the pan on top of the plate for a few minutes. The cake should drop onto the plate on its own.
Best Apple Cider Bundt Cake
- 2 ¾ cups (407g) gluten free flour blend
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (150g) light brown sugar packed
- ½ cup (113g) Greek yogurt room temperature
- ½ cup (128g) unsweetened applesauce room temperature
- ½ cup (120ml) apple cider room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon sugar topping:
- 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter melted
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a bundt pan thoroughly and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.2 ¾ cups (407g) gluten free flour blend, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with both sugars until smooth. Add yogurt, applesauce, apple cider, and vanilla and mix well.1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, ¾ cup (150g) light brown sugar, ½ cup (113g) Greek yogurt, ½ cup (128g) unsweetened applesauce, ½ cup (120ml) apple cider, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined.
- Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes in pan before inverting onto a plate.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, use a pastry brush to brush the melted butter on the entire surface of the cake.4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter
- In a small bowl, stir the sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle or press the mixture onto the cake immediately after brushing with melted butter.¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon