This Apple Cider Bundt Cake is not only super easy, it's moist, tender and loaded with delicious apple flavor. The crisp candy-like glaze is the crowning glory!
Everyone seems to love a moist, tender Bundt cake. I love that they're easy to put together and don't require any fancy decorating. This Apple Cider Bundt cake isn't just easy, it's RIDICULOUSLY easy with just one bowl and no mixer needed. You just throw everything in a bowl and whisk as you add ingredients. The best part? In addition to all of the above, it's also RIDICULOUSLY delicious!
I guess I could have called this cake a Double Apple Cake because, in addition to apple cider, there's a generous portion of applesauce in the ingredient line-up.
Come to think of it, it could even be called a Triple Apple Cake because there's also a buttery, apple cider glaze that's brushed onto the cake shortly after it emerges from the oven.
The delicious glaze seals in the moisture and dries to a thin, crisp, candy glaze. So delicious and so pretty!
A buttery, apple cider glaze
You might be wondering if it's difficult to make the pretty glaze. I'm happy to say that it couldn't be easier. Simply combine a splash of apple cider and a few pats of butter in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Then cook the mixture in the microwave (on high power) for 1 minute to melt the butter. The final step is a scoop of powdered sugar then stir, stir, stir! That's it... brush it on the warm cake and wait for the magic to show up.
Why did my cake dome and crack at the top?
Every time I post a Bundt cake, I get two questions. First of all, why did my cake dome at the top? This is a perfectly normal phenomenon for Bundt cakes, it's the nature of the way a cake in a Bundt pan bakes. You can cut back on the doming with a silicone cake strip but it won't completely eliminate the problem.
If the doming really bothers you, you can always use a long serrated knife to remove the dome. That also allows you to have a delicious little snack that no one else will know about once you flip the cake over to serve it.
I'm okay with the dome although sometimes I use flowers around the bottom edge of my cake for a prettier presentation (as you'll note in these pics)
The second question that is often asked is "Why did my cake crack as it baked?
Again, it's the nature of a Bundt cake. It happens because Bundt cake batters are generally quite dense which makes the outside of the cake bake faster than the center. That causes the batter to rise in the center creating cracks on the top. But Bundt cakes are traditionally flipped over after baking to show the pretty shape of the cake so it doesn't matter anyway.
Fancy it up!
Although this Apple Cider Bundt Cake is beautiful on its own with the lovely, shiny glaze, sometimes life calls for a little something extra. A simple of powdered sugar makes an elegant statement. (I use a fine-mesh sieve for a light sprinkle.)
See what I mean? It takes less than a minute and brings this cake to fancy bake-shop status!
One last thing, if you don't have a Bundt pan, no worries! This recipe can also be made in 2 9x4 or 9x5-inch loaf pans. You can keep one and give one away or enjoy one and freeze the other for a rainy day!
And, if you don't tell anyone what this recipe's called you can legitimately serve it for breakfast or brunch. Just refer to it as Apple Cider Bread. I won't tell that you're serving cake for breakfast!
So put applesauce and apple cider on your shopping list and, if you have 10 minutes, throw this fabulous Apple Cider Bundt Cake together. You might just get the award for the most popular kid on the block!
Café Tips for making this Ridiculously Easy Apple Cider Bundt Cake
- You'll need a 12-cup Bundt pan (also called "Classic") to make this recipe. Before baking, check and make sure your Bundt pan will hold 12 cups. Some of the fancy Bundt pans will only hold 10 cups.
- I like to keep some of the kid-size apple sauce containers in my pantry. The little individual portions are each a half cup so there's no measuring cup dirtied for the applesauce. We don't generally eat applesauce on its own so I don't have excess applesauce sitting in my refrigerator, going to waste.
- I look for no-sugar-added applesauce that has an ingredient list consisting simply of apples, water and perhaps a bit of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) for preservation.
- This Apple Cider Bundt Cake will feed a crowd (16-20 people) but if you're not feeding a crowd or if you don't trust yourself with a delicious cake sitting around, there are two options.
- This cake freezes well. I like to freeze my cakes, uncovered for about an hour then tightly wrap them in plastic wrap to keep fresh. Freezing it unwrapped keeps the cake from getting smushed.
- The other option is to halve the recipe and use a loaf pan, as pictured above. The only tricky thing about halving this recipe is that it calls for 3 large eggs. The way I resolve this is to add one egg to the batter, then break the other one into a small bowl or measuring cup and give it a good whisking. Once the egg is whisked together it's easy to eyeball it and add approximately half of it to the bowl with the other ingredients. Another option is to use 2 medium eggs in lieu of 1½ large eggs, your choice!
- If you choose to halve the recipe, it will fit perfectly in a 9x4 or 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- Make sure you start this recipe with a LARGE bowl. It makes a LOT of batter. I learned that the first time I made this Apple Cider Bundt Cake. I started with my medium-large bowl and had to transfer it to a larger size when I realized how much batter was involved.
- It's important that you grease your Bundt pan well, getting into all the little nooks and crannies. I like to spray my pan generously with baking spray then use a small piece of paper toweling to rub it around and make sure every little part is coated. Then I lightly spray the whole thing one more time. Once, while testing this recipe, I was in a hurry and didn't follow my own instructions. Part of the cake stuck in the pan and I had to take a messy-looking cake to a family get-together. (They didn't seem to care though and wasted no time devouring the cake 😂.)
- Just a note about baking spray. It's different than non-stick cooking spray in that, instead of oil, it's a combination of shortening and flour which is perfect for greasing pans when baking. I like Baker's Joy but other baking sprays also work well. Baking spray can be found in larger grocery stores in the same area as the cooking oils and cooking spray.
- If you can't find or don't want to spend the money on baking spray, another option is to use a paper towel to rub shortening over the interior of the Bundt pan, again, making sure to cover all the surfaces. After the interior of the pan is thoroughly coated, add a small scoop of all-purpose flour then tip and tilt the pan to coat the shortening with flour. Discard any leftover flour that's left in the pan.
- The easiest and quickest way to make this cake recipe is with a whisk. Whisks are reasonably priced and are super useful kitchen tools. I use a medium-sized whisk for this Apple Cider Bundt Cake recipe.
- The best way to determine if this cake is done? You can use the classic toothpick trick - insert a toothpick or thin skewer into the center of the cake and pull it out. It will come out clean or might have a few small crumbs when the cake is done. The BEST way to be absolutely certain that the cake is done is to use an instant thermometer. It will read 200-210˚F ((94-99˚C) when perfectly done.
- This Apple Cider Bundt Cake calls for oil. People often ask if they can sub butter for the oil in cakes like this. Of course, you can, however, the cake won't be as moist. Oil gives the cake a moist, tender crumb that doesn't dry out. There is some butter in the glaze which sinks into the cake to give it a buttery flavor. So stick with the oil!
- What kind of oil to use for this recipe? Any neutral flavored oil will work well. Neutral-flavored oils are the ones that don't have a distinct flavor of their own, hence they don't compete with other flavors. Neutral-flavored oils include sunflower oil, safflower oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil, canola oil and corn oil.
Thought for the day:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
- 1 cup neutral flavored oil sunflower, safflower, grape seed, avocado, canola and vegetable oils will all work.
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup applesauce natural, no added sugar
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup apple cider
- 1 tablespoon butter I use salted
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
Preheat your oven to 325˚F. Place a piece of parchment paper or foil on a work surface and set a cooling rack on top of it (for easy cleanup).
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, apple cider, applesauce, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Whisk until well combined and the batter is smooth.
Add the baking powder, all of the spices and the salt. Whisk again until everything is well incorporated.
Add the flour and whisk just until incorporated and the batter is fairly smooth.
Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan (or 2 9x4 or 9x5-inch loaf pans) generously with baking spray. With a small piece of paper toweling, rub the baking spray to make sure all the grooves and crevices are coated. Spray the pan again lightly.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs on it OR (even better) an instant thermometer inserted into the center of the cake reads 200-205˚F.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto the prepared cooling rack.
While the cake is cooling for the 10 minutes in the pan, prepare the glaze: In a small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, combine the apple cider, butter and salt. Cover with a slightly damp paper towel and microwave on high power for 45-60 seconds or until the butter is melted.
Remove from the microwave and add the powdered sugar. Whisk until nice and smooth
Slowly brush the glaze all over the cake, including the center core. Keep brushing, using all the glaze. Some of it will drip off onto the parchment or foil but most of it should sink into the cake. Allow the cake to cool and the glaze to dry. Serve and enjoy!