Apple Cider Donut Cake

Sharing this cake just before Fall ends! Last month a coworker of mine visited an apple orchard in upstate New York, and brought back the most delicious apple cider donuts!!!

My natural reaction was to make a cake inspired by those cinnamon-sugar covered bundles of joy. This cake is made with apple spice cake layers, a cinnamon buttercream, and is topped with baked apple cider donuts!

To create the baked donuts, I used Sally’s Baked Apple Cider Donut Recipe! Her recipes are always so delicious, and this recipe didn’t disappoint!! However, if you have access to great apple cider donuts, you could always buy them too to simplify the process.

apple cider donut ingredients-2

I started by making the bakedΒ apple cider donuts. Following Sally’s tip, I reduced 1 1/2 cups of apple cider down into 1/2 cup of liquid, to really concentrate the flavor. I then prepared the batter as instructed, and poured it into a large piping bag.

I heavily greased my donut pans and my silicon sphere molds, and baked the donuts for 12-14 minutes (my pans are on the larger side, so my donuts required a few extra minutes in the oven).

dunking apple cide donuts-2

Once baked, I dipped the donuts into melted butter, and tossed them in cinnamon sugar. I placed them in an airtight container, and then began baking my apple spice cake layers!

Begin by preheating oven to 350Β°F. Line four 7 inch pans (for taller layers) or 8 inch round pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix together all dry ingredientsΒ in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined. Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans, and ensure they all have the same amount of batter. This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.

Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8 inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7 inch cake pans (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.

While the layers cool, make the cinnamon buttercream! Beat the butter with the cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.

Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.

If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Once the cake layers are fully cooled, it’s time to assemble the cake! Using a 10 inch grease-proof cake board, begin to stack the cake layers by spreading a generous and even layer of cinnamon buttercream onto each layer with a large offset spatula.

ACD crumb coat staged-2

Cover the cake in a thin layer of the cinnamon frosting (crumb coat) to trap any run-away crumbs. Chill the cake in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes, until the buttercream is firm to the touch.

Next, add a thicker, second layer of vanilla buttercream. Use a bench scraper to smooth the sides of the cake. You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sidesΒ here. Use a small offset spatula to smooth the top of the cake.

adding donut holes to base of ACD cake-2

Pipe a bit of buttercream onto the back of each apple cider donut hold, then gently press it against the base of the cake. Repeat this process, entire base is covered.

finished cake staged with rings-2

Next, stack the apple cider donuts on top of the cake, creating a donut pyramid! Pipe buttercream onto the bottom of each donut, to help keep them in place once the cake is cut into.

This cake simply screams Fall, and tastes just as delicious as the amazing apple cider donuts that inspired it πŸ™‚

sliced apple cider donut cake-2

Apple Spice Layer Cake Recipe:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup egg whites (about 7 egg whites, or 5 whole eggs), room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup apple cider concentrate (heated on medium heat until it reduces to 1/2 cup of apple cider concentrate)
  • 1 Tbsp tasteless oil (I use vegetable oil)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350Β°F. Line four 7 inch pans (for taller layers) or 8 inch round pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.

  2. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

  3. Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

  4. Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

  5. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans, and ensure they all have the same amount of batter. This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.

  6. Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8 inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7 inch cake pans (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.

Cinnamon Buttercream Recipe:

  • 2 cup (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered (confectionary) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream), room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Β tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 Β tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Beat together the butter, cinnamon, ground cardamom and ginger on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.

  2. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
  3. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Baked Apple Cider Donut Recipe (Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Published by

Chelsweets

I work in finance during day, and like to think of myself as a baker by night! Follow me here at Chelsweets.com, on instagram @chelsweets, and on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/c/ChelsweetsBakery ) to see my creations :D

10 thoughts on “Apple Cider Donut Cake

  1. The recipe calls for apple cider concentrate but it’s not included in the instructions. Also, the instructions say to add vanilla but vanilla is not included in the list of ingredients. Maybe the instructions say vanilla but should actually say apple cider concentrate?

    1. Just updated the recipe to list the quantity of vanilla. In the ingredients section at the bottom of the recipe is explains how to make the apple cider concentrate). Let me know if you have any other questions πŸ™‚

  2. This cake looks amazing…thanks for sharing! Two questions…in the recipe, you don’t mention when to add the apple cider concentrate. I assume it should be added with the buttermilk? Also, I am a little confused by this ingredient: 1 1/2 cup apple cider concentrate (heated on medium heat until it reduces to 1/2 cup of liquid). Do you mean 1 1/2 cups apple cider, heated until reduced to 1/2 cup of apple cider concentrate? Or do we actually reduce 1 1/2 cups apple cider concentrate down to 1/2 cups of super-reduced concentrate?

    Thanks for your site…I enjoy seeing your work!

    1. that’s exactly what I mean! i was trying to keep it short, but I’ve updated this to make it more clear πŸ™‚ and thank you!!

  3. When is the apple cider concentrate added to the cake batter? I’ve read through the instructions twice and I don’t see the direction to add the concentrate, unless I’ve somehow missed it.

    1. my pans are 2 inches tall! for the cake in the photos, I used 8 inch cake layers, which actually were less thick than my normal cake layers!!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.