If there was ever a recipe that screams fall, it’s this Spiced Pecan Apple Cider Doughnut Cake. Made with salted apple butter, spiced cider, cinnamon, and nutmeg and layered with a buttery, cinnamony apple pecan streusel. There’s really nothing not to love about this autumn spiced cake. The true secret? A ripple of sweet maple throughout the center of the cake that keeps it incredibly moist and so delicious. Finish the cake with a (generous) sprinkle of cinnamon spice for a true apple cider “doughnut” cake. Best enjoyed while still warm, with a steaming mug of coffee…or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The perfect way to celebrate the autumn apple season.
It’s officially wedding weekend and it’s officially complete chaos. The family is all over the place running around prepping for my brother’s wedding tomorrow. I’m not going to lie, I think everyone’s on a little bit on edge. Don’t get me wrong, everyone’s happy and excited, but hosting a wedding with 200 people is not a small task. Naturally, there’s just a bit of stress in the air.
And yes, I’m still making the wedding cakes, and yes, I am still super nervous about it. Today is all about baking and assembling cakes. I’m going to do my best to share some stories of the process. But it can be hard to both film with my phone and focus on actually making the food look and taste great. So there will be more to come on that next week.
Fingers crossed all goes well. But no matter what, everyone will have fun, that’s just my family, we always make it work.
Until I have all the details of the wedding to share, let’s talk cake. Especially my first official autumn dessert. I know fall doesn’t start until the 23rd, but here in the mountains of Colorado, it’s very much fall. The temperatures have dropped greatly at night, the leaves are just starting to change, and the air is crisp. In fact, it snowed on the mountain tops on Wednesday night leaving a very pretty dusting.
It’s my favorite time and I’m loving all the fall recipes so very much.
This cake took some effort to get just right, but I’m pretty excited to be sharing it. Many times it’s the recipes I have to work hard to perfect that I end up being most excited to share.
This is not your average bundt cake. It’s not your average coffee cake.
It is so much better.
For starters, it kind of tastes like an old school apple cider doughnut…but in cake form…and minus all the grease from frying. In fact, this cake was inspired by last fall’s mulled apple cider doughnuts. All the same flavors, but in cake form, and with the addition of a “pecan pie” layer.
The cake batter itself is fairly simple. Butter, eggs, apple butter, flour, spices, and apple cider. A lot of apple cakes call for applesauce, but I much prefer to use apple butter. It’s has a deeper apple flavor, and in my opinion, is far better than apple sauce.
The batter is all mixed in one bowl and takes only a few minutes to throw together. I baked my cake in this bundt pan, it is very similar to this one, but these nordic ware bundt pans are my usual go-to’s. Either works really well and turns out so pretty.
Now, the streusel. It’s buttery, very heavy on the cinnamon, and tossed with brown sugar, sweet honeycrisp apples, and nutty pecans. Kind of basic, kind of not.
Next, the “pecan pie” layer. AKA the three magic ingredients that make this cake better than all other apple bundt cakes.
I really wanted the center of this cake to be as gooey as possible. I tried many different things, but in the end found that using a mix of maple syrup, vanilla, and 1 egg created an incredibly moist and almost gooey center to this cake. Looking at the photos you might not think this is a “gooey” cake, but once you bite in, you’ll understand. The “pecan pie” layer is drizzled over the streusel, then covered with additional cake batter. As the cake bakes, the mix melts down into the cake creating the most delicious, moist and flavorful bite.
Every. Single. Time.
While the cake is still warm, sprinkle it generously with cinnamon sugar. Nothing is better.
I really can’t describe just how good this cake tastes. You’ll just have to trust me here and give it a try.
And preferably this weekend, because it’s already mid-September and the apples are at their best. Find yourself an apple farm, pick fresh apples, bake this cake. The most perfect September weekend!
Bonus? The smells wafting through your house as this cake bakes are better than a fall candle. SO GOOD.
If you bake this over the weekend, you’ll have Monday morning breakfast all worked out. Because let’s be honest, this cake makes a great breakfast with a steaming mug of coffee. Or skip to the end of the day, and serve this cake as a sweet dessert with a scoop of ice cream. It’s great either way you serve it up, just be sure to serve it up. And soon!
If you make this spiced pecan apple cider doughnut cake be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Watch The How To Video:
Spiced Pecan Apple Cider Doughnut Cake.
Calories Per Serving: 1094 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup apple butter
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold butter cubed
- 2 honeycrisp apples, chopped
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar (1/4 cup sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon)
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 10 cup bundt pan with butter, making sure to get into all the nooks and cranies.
- 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the apple butter, beating until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and mix on low speed until just combined, being sure the batter is completely mixed.
- 3. Slowly add in the apple cider, making sure the mixer is on low speed. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Be careful not to over beat the batter.
- 4. To make the streusel. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add the butter and use your fingers to mix the butter into the flour until a crumble forms. Stir in the apples and pecans.
- 5. In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vanilla, and egg.
- 6. To layer the cake. Spoon half the cake batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle 3/4 of the streusel over top the batter, then drizzle the maple syrup mix over the streusel. Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel and carefully spread in an even layer. Sprinkle on the remaining streusel. Transfer to the oven and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake is browning, cover with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
- 7. Let cool 10 minutes and then invert the cake onto a plate. Brush the cake with melted butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
View Recipe Comments
Bundt Pan: You can buy my bundt pan here.
Loved this!! I made for a friends brunch and it was delicious. My grocery store ran out of apple butter so I did equal substitution of applesauce -worked perfectly!
Happy Monday! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad it turned out well for you! Thanks for your comment! xT
This cake is amazing!!! I HIGHLY recommend eating it warm.Instead of the cinnamon sugar topping I glazed it with a cinnamon glaze, and it was sooo yummy! The only thing I struggled with was the preparation of the cake and how long it took, but in the end it was worth it, and the company loved it! Thank you! I’m loving all your recipes so far, and they haven’t failed me yet! Abigail
Awesome!! 🍂 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a bunch for trying it out! xx
You’re welcome, Tieghan! I was wondering today, do you have an apple layer cake? Abigail.
So sorry, I don’t! But love the idea!!
Can I use a similar apple to honeycrisp? I was forgetful and didn’t buy a second apple at the store. Really sorry I keep asking you questions, I just really want this cake to go right because we’re having company over tomorrow. Abigail
No worries, of course any apple you like will work here! Let me know how the cake turns out:) xx
If I have a 12 cup bundt pan, what do I need to change in terms of measurement.
I would just keep an eye on it towards the end, you may need to reduce the bake time slightly. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx
Hi again Tieghan! I’m really sorry to bother you again, but I ‘m making this cake next weekend, and I have a few questions. First, can I reduce the maple by a couple tablespoons? And can I use applesauce? I’ve seen some people use applesauce in place of apple butter before. Thanks! Abigail
No worries! I would not reduce the maple syrup:) and I have never used applesauce in place of the butter so I’m not sure how well that would work for you! Please let me know if you give the recipe a try! xT