If there are two things I love, its fall and boozy desserts. Ok, there are a million more things I love, but when fall arrives I often think of cider donuts I would buy at the local cider mill, still hot with a little grease staining the bag, a hot cup of cider (spiked), or drinking mulled wine in front of a fire. I know that last part sounds cliché, but I really do have a fireplace in my apartment and it’s fantastic.
A couple of weeks ago, I reduced a bottle of apple cider I had in the fridge, waiting for the right time to try out a bourbon apple cider cocktail recipe a friend told me about when inspiration struck. I decided to make an apple cider cake with a bourbon cider glaze. It combined some of my fall favorites into one recipe.
The cake was pretty amazing. It was moist and had just the right amount of spice that reminded you of a cider mill donut and the glaze was sinful and delicious. I will admit to having one problem. I wasn’t able to get the glaze to soak all the way through the cake. I started with the cake in the pan, poking holes with a skewer throughout to allow the glaze to soak through the cake. Well it didn’t do that exactly. I did save a little glaze for the top of the cake once it was inverted. I think what I’ll do next time is to take the cake out of the pan, poke holes on the top of the cake and carefully brush the glaze on in layers until it’s soaked through. It may take a while, the results will definitely be worth it!
Apple Cider Cake with Bourbon Cider Glaze
for the cake
- 3 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- pinch of allspice
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 4 eggs , at room temperature
- 1/3 cup reduced apple cider
- 1 cup buttermilk , at room temperature
for the glaze
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ bourbon
- ¼ reduced apple cider
make the cake
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice and salt in a bowl, then whisk the mixture by hand to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. As you make the batter, stop the mixture frequently and scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Blend in the eggs one at a time. Combine the apple cider and buttermilk in a small bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk-apple cider mixture in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape down the bowl. Stop the mixture before the last of the flour has been incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the cake is golden and springs back when touched, 40 to 45 minutes.
make the glaze
Combine the butter, sugar, apple cider and bourbon in a small saucepan over low heat just until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, whisking to combine.
Remove the cake from the oven but leave it in the pan. Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a wooden skewer. Pour three-quarters of the glaze slowly over the cake, reserving the remaining glaze. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes, then flip it out onto a serving plate so the glazed part is on the bottom. Brush the top with the remaining glaze. If the glaze has thickened, re-warm it over low heat.
To make reduced apple cider: double the amount that is called for in the recipe and simmer over low heat until the cider has reduced by half. This will produce a more concentrated flavor.