(and preferably, baked goods)

A recipe for National Doughnut Day!

Based on a recipe from Bon Appetit, I basically just changed up the directions a bit to make things go a bit quicker. There are a lot of steps, and it does take a chunk of time (as well as some whisking elbow grease) but the final result is worth it: a not-too-sweet super-moist cake with just the right blend of spiced-cider goodness.

Cake Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups apple cider
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar

Topping ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Big pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter


Note: You’ll need to use a heatproof measuring cup for the cider.

Bring the cider to a boil in a saucepan and then reduce the heat to keep an active simmer. You’re aiming to reduce the volume to ¾ cup which can take 10-15 minutes. Begin pouring the cider back into the measuring cup at about 8 minutes and increase the heat if it hasn’t begun to reduce. Once it has reduced to ¾ cup, pour off ¼ cup into a small bool and allow the remaining ½ cup to cool in the measuring cup for 5 minutes, then whisk in the sour cream (instead of measuring the sour cream in a separate container, add it to the cider until the total reads 1 cup) and the vanilla.

While the cider is simmering, preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly butter a 9×5” loaf pan, then line it with parchment paper, leaving several inches of overhang on the long sides, and butter the paper.

(prepped loaf pan)

Melt the ½ cup of butter and let cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk eggs and sugar until pale and frothy, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in cooled melted butter, continuing until fully combined and no spots of fat remain. Don’t wash the saucepan; you’ll need it to melt the butter for the topping.

(frothy eggs and sugar ready for melted butter)

Whisk dry ingredients into egg mixture in 3 parts, alternating with sour cream/cider mixture. Batter will be on the thin side.

Pour into prepared loaf pan, set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for about one hour, until deep golden brown and tester comes out clean. Transfer loaf pan to a wire rack, poke the top with holes and pour 3 tablespoons of reserved reduced cider over it (saving 1 tablespoon cider for the topping). Let cake cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk dry topping ingredients together in a small bowl. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and then mix with final tablespoon of reduced cider.

Set the wire rack inside the baking sheet. Using the parchment paper overhang, lift the cake out of the pan and set it, still on top of the paper, on the wire rack. Brush all sides of the cake with the warm butter/cider mixture, then sprinkle the sugar mixture over the cake, using the parchment to rotate the cake and coat all the surfaces. Move to a serving plate or storage container and let cake cool completely before slicing.

Print the recipe here:

perfect as dessert or with your morning coffee!

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