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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.

side angled photo of Spiced Pecan Apple Cider Doughnut Cake without any cuts

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.

overhead photo of apple streusel

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.

overhead photo of Spiced Pecan Apple Cider Doughnut Cake before baking

So…the details.

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.

overhead photo of Spiced Pecan Apple Cider Doughnut Cake after baking on cooking rack

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.

side angled close up photo of Spiced Pecan Apple Cider Doughnut Cake with slice cut out

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.

overhead photo of Spiced Pecan Apple Cider Doughnut Cake with 2 slices cut

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.

close up side angled photo of Spiced Pecan Apple Cider Doughnut Cake with slice cut

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!

overhead photo of Spiced Pecan Apple Cider Doughnut Cake with multiple slices cut

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.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12
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.

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Ingredients

Streusel

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Bundt Pan: You can buy my bundt pan here
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horizontal photo of Spiced Pecan Apple Cider Doughnut Cake with pieces cut

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Comments

    1. Hey Stacey,
      Yes an equal amount of gluten free flour will work here. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Tieghan — love, love, love your food! Made this cake over the holidays and it was a huge hit! Wondering if this recipe could be converted to muffins? If so, what would you recommend the oven temp be and how long would you recommend they bake for? Thanks so much!!

    1. Hey Ashely! I would imagine baking as muffins could work well. I would try baking for 22-30 minutes at 375, just start checking for doneness around 22 minutes. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  2. I just finished baking this cake and I sampled a bit of the overflow, and I think I’m in love. I’m a guy who doesn’t like super sweet cakes, and this I think will hit the spot perfectly. I did modify the recipe a little. Half a cup of bourbon spread between the batter and the maple mix and 1/2 tsp of cardamom.

  3. 5 stars
    Just made this cake for dessert tonight. The whole
    Family loved it! The cake was super moist and the strudel was so good and added a little bit of crunch. My 4 year-old son helped cube butter and apples. He thoroughly enjoyed sprinkling the cake with the cinnamon sugar. We served with coffee ice cream and it was a hit!

  4. Hi, I made this cake, and then put it into the freezer the next day. I froze it for four days and then took it on a road trip for my adult daughter’s birthday. I was delish, and she appreciated it, but it totally crumbled. I could not cut a clean slice. I was hoping you could give me some insight as to why…? Should I not freeze it? I want to make it for Thanksgiving,and was hoping to do it ahead…maybe I should not freeze it…Thanks for your great recipes, Amy

    1. Hi Amy!! I have never frozen this cake, so I am not sure if this is why it crumbled or not. My guess is the freezing process took away some of the moisture and caused the cake to crumble. If you want to make ahead, you can bake the cake up to 3 days in advance. It keeps well at room temp! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am glad love this recipe! Thank you and I hope it’s enjoyed for Thanksgiving too! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    I just made this! OMG!! It’s every bit as good as you say it is and it was so easy. A little bit more involved with the streusel and maple layering but so worth it. It makes a lot of cake. I will for sure be making it again because I didn’t take any pics but I cut into it after cooling for 10 mins. It was yummy and I have lots to share with co-workers and friends. Thank you for the recipe!

  6. 3 stars
    For those doing it in a regular Bundt pan, let it cool for twenty minutes. Mine came out perfectly. Also try keeping the streusel away from the pan edge, streusels and fruit make it more difficult for a cake to release. I made this last night for company, I’ve dying to try it. It was good, but not exceptional. I wished there was more spice in the cake batter. I loved the maple syrup layer, that was the star of the cake and I wished there was more of it. But I don’t think I loved it more than my standard apple cake recipe I usually make.

    1. Hi! I am sorry to hear that these were not what you expected. Are there any questions I could help you with to make it better for you? Please let me know! xTieghan

  7. 4 stars
    After 10 minutes I let the cake cool and was going to get it out of the pan to do the cinnamon sugar topping but when I flipped it, it kind of fell apart. I put it back together and I let it settle into the pan and completely cool for a few hours and then I released it from the Bundt pan and topped it with the cinnamon sugar topping. Maybe other people had this problem?? Also I think it would taste really good with a cinnamon sugar glaze drizzled on top- I’m gonna try that next time. Delicious cake-made it for a dinner party and everyone loved it!!

    1. Hey Ann, others have not add an issue releasing the cake from the pan, but I am so sorry you did! Did you butter the pan generously before adding the batter? That really helps to ensure the cake does not stick. Again, so sorry you had a bit of trouble! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am gald you where still able to enjoy this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan ??

  8. I can’t wait to make this! Do you think the ratios will be okay if I don’t use the pecans (nut allergy)? I typically just leave them out when they are included in recipes, but I’m wondering if I should up my amount of apples in the streusel or adjust the streusel ratios?

    1. Hey Lex! Yes, the cake will work just great minus the pecans. I would just omit them and not change anything else with the recipe. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan ??

    1. Hi Tricia, do you have apple sauce or canned pumpkin puree? Either of these would work well! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan ???

  9. Made this last night and it was delish! Baked it in a Nordic Ware Skyline Bundt pan. The only thing I might do differently is to make three layers of batter and streusel as the middle layer was thick enough to make the structure a bit challenging when I cut it. But even if the pieces fell apart a bit they tasted wonderful!

  10. I really want to make this for my son’s upcoming bake sale. I’m sure it would be a hit! Do you think this can be made in loaf form instead? Like in a paper loaf mold from Sur La Table.

    1. Hi June,
      This can be baked into 2 (9×5 inch) loaf pans. I would bake 45-50 minutes. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan ???

    1. HI Savannah,

      This can be baked into 2 (9×5 inch) loaf pans. I would bake 45-50 minutes. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan ???

  11. Hi Tieghan,
    Oddly, I only have 2 6-cup bundt pans. Would those work or do I need a 10-cup only? I also have loaf pans, they’re just not as pretty 🙂

    Thanks,
    Kelsey

    1. Hi Kelsey! Just divide that batter between the 2 pans and bake 30-45 minutes. That will be great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan ???