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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. Tieghan, I actually calculated the calories for this cake and it’s 540 per slice, if that’s helpful. I did the calculations myself, and since I saw some complaints, I thought I should let you know the amount. If anyone’s worried about the amount, they should know that’s it’s a cake, not a salad. Thanks for all your hard work, Tieghan! As a 13 year old who aspires to be a food blogger one day, you inspire me so much! Thanks again! Abigail

  2. 3 stars
    I made this today and I was so disappointed! This is not an easy cake to pull together with all the various ingredients, but it sounded so good I went for it. I followed the directions to a T and still it was a disaster. The cake did not release from the pan (even though I buttered every single
    Nook and cranny with precision. After ripping in half, I salvaged what was now to be the top that was stuck to the bottom of the pan and tried to do my best to perform some sort of resurrection. In the end, regardless of the look it still just didn’t wow me in the taste department. It’s a spice cake with apple chunks. And seriously, 1094 calories per slice? I love everything I have made from you Tieghan, but this one missed the mark for me.

    1. Hi Jerranna,
      So sorry to hear this recipe was not enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try! Please let me know if there is anything that I can help with! As for the calories, I always recommend that if the nutritional information is important to you, you use your own personal calculator. Ours is automatic and controlled by google. It’s not something we’d prefer to be using. We are required to. I’m sorry for the trouble, we do our best! xT

    1. Hi Kim,
      You could do that, but will all of the cinnamon sugar I don’t think a glaze it necessary:) I hope you love the recipe! xx

    1. Hey Penny,
      Totally, walnuts would be delicious! I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  3. 5 stars
    This was great, very flavorful! Was yummy! My oven baked too hot so I need to shorten the time. Will definitely make again.

  4. Hi, do you think I can substitute half of the butter in the cake for applesauce? Just trying to save a few calories since there’s also butter in the streusel and coating.

    Thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious and fun to make. Full of flavor and spice. Love how the apples give texture. Not too overly sweet. My family loved it. I went with a maple glaze instead of cinnamon sugar coating because my family loves all things maple. Would definitely make again. Thanks, Tieghan.

  6. Hi Tieghan.
    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe (and all you other recipes, I love them all!). Due to my son’s dietary issues, I need to replace the butter and eggs: would coconut oil (room tem) work? How about flax eggs as a sub for the regular eggs? I read someone suggesting apple sauce (you said 1/4 cup) instead of an egg. I was wondering about the flax egg, though, knowing they don’t have the same binding ability… Thanks so much! I would really want to make the cake for my son, he keeps asking me about it since he say the picture the other day…

    1. Hello! I have not tried this recipe with those replacements but I am sure they will work just fine! xTieghan

  7. Can I just tell you how much I LOVE your blog?

    Your recipes are fantastic and your photos are so beautifully moody and rich. Thank you so much for the hard work you do.

  8. I am hoping to make this for xmas morning breakfast. Do you think I could assemble the cake the night before and stick it in the fridge and then throw in the oven in the morning>?

    1. Hey Erin,
      Yes, that should work well. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  9. Hello! This looks delicious! I’m wanting to make this for Thanksgiving, and feel this is a nice compromise between apple pie and pecan pie. I’m planning on making this the day before. Does this store well at room temperature? I’m also thinking about making something smaller to distribute to my neighbors. Do you think this would translate to muffins? If so, would you have any tips/suggestions for muffins (such as oven temp, baking time)?

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      I think that would be fine to do:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    First and foremost, thank you. Your recipes are wonderful and have provided countless happy moments during the past several months of sheltering indoors.
    Second, I would like to try to make this spiced pecan apple cider cake in a 9×5 loaf pan and am wondering if you can advise on any adjustments to the amount of each ingredient, the baking temperature and cooking time.