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One of my favorite fall treats are apple cider donuts. It’s truly a highlight of our annual pilgrimage to the apple orchard in the north Georgia mountains. Actually, once we arrive, I usually head straight to the store on property to grab a dozen donuts and promptly dive in and have at least one before we start picking apples. To say I love them is an understatement. 

This recipe is simple, yummy and has just the right amount of cinnamon and spice to make it a fall favorite without being too much. My family likes this as a brunch option as well as for a tasty dessert.


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cake Mix – Good ole yellow cake mix. I like to buy a box whenever my fave grocery store has them on sale so I can make some semi-homemade magic whenever the mood hits me. 
  • Apple Cider – Nothing says fall like cider. This will help infuse moisture into the cake.  
  • Applesauce – Sweetened is best but whatever you have will work. Again…moisture.
  • Eggs – You’ll need large eggs.
  • Butter – I like salted butter but you could use unsalted. 
  • Brown sugar – Brown sugar adds a depth of flavor that is unmatched. 
  • Vanilla – Use 100% pure vanilla if you can. 
  • Sugar – Yes, white sugar…cuz this is a dessert.
  • Cinnamon – Adds a subtle fall backdrop to this cake.

Let’s Make It

Set the oven to 350 degrees. The cake is deep so we want to cook it low to give everything a chance to meld. 

Add cake mix, cider, applesauce, eggs, melted butter, brown sugar and vanilla to a mixing bowl. I used my stand mixer on low, but you could also use a hand mixer. 

Prep a 12-cup bundt pan with butter, cooking spray and flour. We want to make sure the cake comes out easily from the pan. 

Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, depending on your oven. Mine was complete in 40 minutes. To be sure it’s cooked through, insert a toothpick and when it comes out clean, it’s ready. 

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.

Flip the cake onto a wire rack covered with parchment or wax paper. This will help contain the sugar and cinnamon that will be dusted onto the cake. 

Combine cinnamon and sugar for the topping.

Brush the cake with melted butter then, using your hands, dust the sides and top of the cake with a sugar-cinnamon combo.


Storing the Cake

I keep mine in a covered cake plate on my counter. It keeps for about a week. Any airtight container will do. You could also store in the fridge, and could freeze to eat later.


This cake is a winner for all seasons. Enjoy!

Apple Cider Cake

The Meryl
This recipe is simple, yummy and has just the right amount of cinnamon and spice to make it a fall favorite without being too much. My family likes this as a brunch option as well as for a tasty dessert.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 Slices


  • 1 Box of yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp butter (melted)
  • 1 generous tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • 2 tbsp butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

To Prepare Pan

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp soften butter
  • 2 tbsp flour


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, apple cider, apple sauce, eggs, melted butter, vanilla and brown sugar
  • Mix with electric mixer (I used my stand mixer)
  • Prepare a bundt pan. Smear with butter. Spray with cooking spray. Lightly coat with flour.
  • Pour batter into pan; lightly tap pan on counter to remove any bubbles. Gently smooth top of batter.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  • Remove from the oven
  • Cool on rack for about 15 minutes
  • Turn the pan over to remove the cake onto a rack lined with wax or parchment paper
  • Combine cinnamon and sugar 
  • Brush butter onto cake surface
  • Using hands, generously sprinkle tops and sides of cake with cinnamon-sugar
Keyword Apple Cider, Apple Cider Donuts, Cake, Easy Desserts, Easy Fall Desserts, Fall Desserts, Fall Recipes, Semi Homemade