Apple Cake (With Apple Cider Glaze)

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This apple cake with apple cider glaze has an intense apple flavor with 1 1/2 pounds of apples in the batter, a cider reduction, and cider glaze. It is a deliciously moist cake!

Apple cake on wire rack.

I know apples can show up in desserts year-round, but there’s something about September that just screams apples.(This recipe was originally published on October 9th, 2013. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)

Apple cake with ice cream.

What I like about this apple cake recipe.

  • Some apple cakes call for chunks of apples which can leave big pockets in the finished cake as they shrink and cook. This recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, calls for shredded apples. Shredded apple means an even distribution of fruit, flavor, and moisture.
  • Some apple cakes have an overwhelming cinnamon flavor which just overpowers the cake. This one calls for less than a teaspoon.
  • There is a cider reduction. Some of the cider reduction is added to the batter, some is brushed on the finished cake, and some is used for the icing. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where apples are harvested, you’ll most likely be able to find apple cider reduction or boiled apple cider which is basically boiled and reduced apple ciderDon’t worry if you can’t find it in the stores, we’ll make it here.
  • It’s made in a bundt pan. If you’re not a fan of frosting, you’ll appreciate the simple glaze. Plus it seems like a bundt cake always serves more than a traditional loaf or tiered cake. Expect to get at least 16 generous servings from this apple cake recipe.
  • This cake is easy enough to make in a bowl, so there’s no need to pull out the mixer. 

How to make apple cake

As always I recommend weighing and measuring out all ingredients before you begin baking. There’s nothing worse than getting started an realizing you’re missing 1 ingredient. Since a good baking scale is so cheap, there’s no reason to not own one. This kitchen scale has over 16,000 4 star recommendations, and is under $15!

Apple cake ingredients.

First make the cider reduction. Bring 4 cups of cider to a boil in a large skillet. A skillet is quicker than a saucepan as it has a greater surface area. This takes the most time; about 20-25 minutes to reduce 4 cups to 1.

reducing cider in skillet.

While the cider is reducing, measure out the remaining ingredients. The cider is reduced to one cup.

One cup of cider reduction.

Next, you’ll need to divide it three ways; 1/2 cup will be for the cake batter, 2 Tablespoons will be used for the cider glaze and the remaining 1/3 or so cup will be brushed on the warm cake before glazing. This adds an additional pop of apple flavor and gives it a nice sheen.

Three dishes with cider.

Make the cider glaze using 2 Tablespoons of the cider reduction and 3/4 cup powdered sugar. Set aside.

Cider glaze.

Once the wet and dry ingredients have been measured out, peel and shred the apples.

shredded apples.

Too soon, and they’ll turn brown. Fold the shredded apples into the batter.

folding apples into batter.

Pour batter into greased and floured bundt pan and smooth top. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 55 minutes to 65 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Smoothing top of apple cake.

Transfer cake to a baking sheet with a rack, this will help catch any spills. Brush one tablespoon of the cider.

Brushing top of cake with cider glaze.

Let cake cool 10 minutes, then invert it onto the wire rack and continue to brush remaining glaze over the sides and top of the cake.

glazing top of apple cake.

Let cool another 20 minutes, then drizzle cider glaze over cake.

glazing apple cake.

Allow cake to cool for 2 hours before serving. Cake will keep for up to 3 days loosely wrapped in plastic, at room temperature.

Apple cake on plate.

I think the apple cake is delicious warm with a cup of tea (or coffee) on a cool autumn afternoon, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream as a dessert.

Apple cider cake.

What to do with leftover apple cider?

Depending on how much cider you bought, you might have leftover. These cider glazed chicken breasts are an easy and quick weeknight meal. Hot apple pie is a spiced cider drink that’s spiked with apple brandy for a cozy autumn drink. Porc a la Normande (Pork with apples) is a tradtional French dish that uses just 1/4 cup of apple cider.

Apple cake

Apple Cake With Cider Glaze

This apple cake recipe is from Cook's Illustrated. It's deliciously moist with 1 1/2 pounds of apples and a cider glaze.
5 from 52 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 372 kcal




Cider Reduction

  • In a large skillet, bring 4 cups of cider to a boil. Reduce cider until you have 1 cup. 20-25 minutes. If it's less than one cup, add water to make 1 cup of liquid. This mixture will be divided. 1/2 cup goes into the batter. (See notes).

Apple Cake

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt or tube pan.
  • Mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl mix 1/2 cup cider reduction, brown sugar, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla until blended.
  • Peel, core and seed apples, then shred using a food processor or box grater.
  • Add cider mixture to dry ingredients, mixing just until blended. Stir in shredded apples.
  • Pour into prepared pan, smoothing top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes to 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Transfer bundt pan to a sheet pan with a wire rack. This will help catch spills. Cool 10 minutes, then brush with 1 Tablespoon cider reduction. Invert cake then brush the top and sides of the cake with the remaining cider reduction.
  • Cool glazed cake an additional 20 minutes, then stir prepared cider glaze and drizzle over cake. Let cool completely before serving.

Cider Glaze

  • To make cider glaze, mix powdered sugar, and 2 Tablespoons cider together.


  • The only part of this recipe that takes a bit of time is the cider reduction. 
    Reduce 4 cups of cider until you have about 1 cup. This will take about 20-25 minutes if you use a large skillet which has more surface area than a sauce pan.
  • Once you have 1 cup of cider, you'll divide it three ways, 1/2 cup will go into the batter, 2 Tablespoons will be for the glaze, and the remaining 1/3 of a cup or so will be brushed on the warm cake. 
  • Reserved the 1/2 cup for the batter and make the glaze first. 
  • This cake will keep about 3 days wrapped loosely in plastic at room temperature.


Serving: 1SliceCalories: 372kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 4gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 275mgPotassium: 218mgFiber: 2gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 424IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. 5 stars
    I LOVE this one! Everybody is always all about pumpkin during the fall. I mean, I like it, but I’m really on the apple train this time of year, so I cannot wait to make this!

  2. The apple cake looks incredibly delicious yum….I can’t wait to try out your recipe, can’t wait.

  3. There’s nothing worse than a dry cake and I know for sure this one wouldn’t be. This sounds like Autumn in cake form x

  4. 5 stars
    Tis delicious cake looks so good and I love apple anything! I have pined this recipe, to make for my husband and kids when we go apple picking!

5 from 52 votes (48 ratings without comment)

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