Imagine fall in a bite. This caramel apple cider bundt cake is like the cake version of apple cider doughnuts, with loads more apple flavor, and caramel.
My favorite seasons always have been the transition seasons, Fall and Spring. The weather is mild, there are so many activities, and the flavors are so vibrant with early fruits or the end of summer harvest. When apple and caramel season, i.e. Autumn, rolls around, I want to take the time to savor it as much as possible.
Can we all just promise to take a minute to enjoy this time? It’s not even October yet and I saw a full on Christmas display at the store yesterday. This is not acceptable, darlings. Can it wait until October at least? I shouldn’t have to be searching for pumpkins and cinnamon brooms in September. Put the peppermint down! Unless you’re a food blogger… because real talk, I already shot 2 of the holiday recipes coming your way in a bit because inspiration struck and they had to happen. But even I have the decency to hold off until November, for now is the time of the pumpkin and the apple!
One of the best things about apple picking is – of course – the doughnuts. Who doesn’t love those little puffy apple cider doughnuts? They’re super cute, and very very delicious. Maybe one day I’ll work on a recipe for those, but I bought a new bundt pan recently, so we bundt instead. This caramel apple cider bundt cake takes inspiration from apple cider doughnuts, but we took it to the next level with caramel! And there’s loads of apple flavor thanks to… apple sauce.
Every Fall, one of my top recipes is a no sugar added apple sauce I posted a few years ago. I make it every year, usually once. I’m up to 4 batches this year. FOUR large slow cooker batches, of which I have canned exactly 2 pints and 4 half pints. The rest has made tiny human tummies very happy. It also made me happy when I realized adding it to this apple cider bundt cake would give me a delicious apple flavor with little effort. So hooray for apple sauce.
You can make this cake without the apple cider caramel and just use a regular caramel, but since you already have the apple cider on hand, you might as well go all out. I’m just putting this out there in case you’re feeling a little short on time and want to minimize steps. Let’s enjoy every last crumb of the season, darlings!
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Place the apple cider in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 12-15 minutes until the apple cider has reduced to about a 1/4 cup. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- In a mixing bowl, combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large measuring cup or bowl, measure out your apple cider, apple sauce, 1/2 cup milk, and vanilla extract.
- In a larger mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping after each addition.
- Add the wet and dry ingredients. Start by adding 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half the liquid, another 1/3 of the flour, the rest of the liquid, and finishing with the last bit of the flour. Scrape the bowl as needed.
- Butter or oil and flour a 10-12 cup bundt pan. Use a pastry brush if needed to get into the crevices and don't forget the center column!
- Pour the batter into your prepared bundt cake pan and bake for 40-50 minutes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when touched.