Gluten Free Apple Cider Bundt Cake

5 from 2 votes
A red circle with the letters GF

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This Gluten Free Apple Cider Donut Cake is flavored with apple cider and coated in cinnamon sugar. So not only does it taste like an apple cider doughnut, this bundt cake looks like one too! An easy gluten free cake recipe that’s perfect for fall.

Gluten Free Apple Cider Donut Cake Recipe image with title

Gluten Free Apple Cider Donut Cake

I’ve always loved apple cider, even more so than apple juice. It has the pure taste of biting into a fresh apple, only it’s extra apple-y.

I don’t recall when I had my first apple cider donut. It was probably at one of the local orchards where we would go pumpkin picking in the fall. There really is nothing like an apple cider donut. That same extra apple-y flavor in the cider bursts through in the donut. And then it’s coated in cinnamon sugar that gives it a sweet crunch on the outside of the soft cakey donut. Heaven. But here’s the thing. Apple cider donuts need to be fresh. After a couple of days, if they start to get the least bit dry or stale, the experience just isn’t the same.

Soooo, taking the story in a different direction, my dad used to be a UPS delivery guy. What does this have to do with apple cider donuts?

Plenty!

Sliced Gluten Free Apple Cider Cake

You see because he was a UPS guy for the same distribution center that delivered at my college. Meaning he knew the delivery guy that delivered packages to my campus. While most parents would send care packages of some sort of non-perishable, non-crushable food, do you know what my dad would send me?

You guessed it – apple cider donuts. Of course the weird girl who made Homemade Vodka Sauce for her roommates on pasta night would have fresh donuts delivered to college.

On a Sunday in the fall he would stop at his local apple orchard. While there, he would pick up a gallon of apple cider and a half dozen apple cider donuts. Then he would call me and tell me that I absolutely had to stop by the mail center on Monday afternoon. He’d package everything up to keep it all safe and sound. And on Monday morning he would give it to the UPS guy that came to my college.

By Monday afternoon I was sinking my teeth into fresh apple cider donuts. Let’s just say my roommates kinda loved me on those days. You see, as much as I would have liked to, I could not polish off a half dozen donuts while they were still at peak freshness.

Alas, I now have a gluten allergy, so no more apple cider donuts from the farm for me. But then when I saw this Apple Cider Doughnut Cake from Susan’s blog The View From Great Island, I had a plan.

I had some cider from when I made this recipe for a Spiced Apple Cider Moscow Mules. I had a surefire flour substitution for a gluten free bundt cake from when I made Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin Cake. Besides that, I also had a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour to test it out with that too.

Close up of a slice of gluten free apple bundt cake

What Makes this Gluten Free Apple Cider Donut Cake So Good?

  • Tastes like fall. With all the best flavors of fall, you are sure to love this gluten free apple bundt cake.
  • Moist and tender gluten free cake. It is made with apple cider and applesauce to keep it moist and tender with tons of apple flavor.
  • Crunchy cinnamon sugar topping. Then the cinnamon sugar gives it a sweet, crisp coating.
  • It tastes like apple cider donuts! This makes it taste just like fresh cider donuts from the orchard.

This gluten free cake absolutely is perfect for dessert, maybe with a scoop of Vanilla Bean Cheesecake No-Churn Ice Cream. Rest assured, I’m not going to tell anybody if you decide to have it for breakfast. I mean, it’s just like having a donut, right?

So have a slice with a mug of hot apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte. You’ll definitely enjoy it after a day or pumpkin picking or other fun fall activities. It is the perfect way to end a crisp autumn day.

Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!

Recipe Ingredients

For the gluten free apple cake

  • Gluten free flour – a fairly basic gluten free flour blend of brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch, plus xanthan gum. It has also been tested using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, omitting the xanthan gum.
  • Oat flour – you can buy certified gluten free oat flour. Or you can make your own by placing your oats in a blender (regular or high powered like a Blendtec) and whizz it up into a powder. I do like to sift this prior to adding it to a recipe to get rid of any hard bits that may be left or whole oats that didn’t get broken down.
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Apple cider – definitely use apple cider, not apple juice. And try to use fresh apple cider from a local orchard or one that is in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. This is not meant for one of those processed, clear ciders or a sparkling cider as you will not get that same fresh apple taste.
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Vegetable oil – such as canola or safflower.
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract

For the cinnamon sugar topping

  • Melted butter – I recommend unsalted
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

How to Make This Gluten Free Donut Cake

Scroll to the recipe card for the full set of instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease your bundt pan very well.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredient and whisk together until combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased bundt pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes.
  7. While it cools, mix the sugar and cinnamon together for the topping.
  8. While still warm, turn the cake out onto a plate and brush with melted butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Gluten Free Apple Cider Doughnut Cake from above

Brianne’s Pro Tips for the Best Gluten Free Donut Cake

  • Be sure to really grease that bundt cake pan. so that your apple cider doughnut cake doesn’t stick.
  • You can whisk together the dry ingredients. To ensure they are mixed well and lightened up, I actually prefer to sift them through a mesh sieve into a large bowl.
  • You will want to brush the cake with melted butter and sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar while it is warm or at least at room temperature. If the cake is cold, the butter will harden and not as much cinnamon sugar will stick. You really want it to stick so you get the same effect as rolling a freshly fried donut in cinnamon sugar.
Serving a slice of gluten free bundt cake on a white plate

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you use to keep a gluten bundt cake from sticking?

For a regular bundt cake, the recommendation is always to spray the pan with one of the special non-stick sprays meant for baking that have flour in them. Or the recommendation is to butter and flour the pan. I have not found gluten free flours to work as well for this as standard all-purpose flour. And obviously, if you are gluten free you can’t do that.

And unlike making a layer cake like Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Cake or a sponge cake for Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Roll, parchment isn’t really an option in a bundt pan.

I actually find that good old Crisco shortening tends to be the most effective choice for greasing a bundt pan when making a gluten free bundt cake. Yes, shortening. I don’t love to use a lot of it either, but I swear it’s the thing that works.

Your best bet is to use your fingers or a paper towel and really work the shortening into the crevices. One option is to try coating it in sugar, but I did not try that here so I can’t confirm it will work for this cake.

Then after the Gluten Free Apple Cider Donut Cake comes out of the oven, let it cool in the pan on the rack for 15 to 20 minutes before turning it out. While you don’t want it to be so hot that it crumbles, but you also want to let it cool completely so that the shortening firms up and makes it stick.

If you turn the pan over and find that is doesn’t slide out easily, give it a few more minutes. You can also help it along by using a small offset spatula to loosen up if you have a couple of spots that seem to be sticking just a bit. But don’t go too crazy or you’ll just make the cake crumbly and messy.

Can you use apple juice instead of apple cider?

Apple juice and apple cider are technically two different things. Both are the juice of pressed fresh apple. But apple cider is brown and almost opaque, with a deep tangy apple flavor. Apple juice has is basically apple cider that has been filtered to remove the pulp, leaving it with a paler color that is nearly transparent, as well as a lighter, more crisp flavor.

For this recipe, I used apple cider. You can use apple juice as the liquid in this recipe. However, if you are truly craving the flavor of a real gluten free apple cider doughnut, then apple cider is the way to go. And I don’t mean sparkling cider or hard cider. You’ll want to use the real stuff from a local apple orchard or the refrigerated section of your local grocery store.

How do you store gluten free apple cider donut cake?

This cake keeps for a few days at room temperature. To extend the life a couple of extra days, you can put it in the fridge. This may cause it to dry out just a bit. It’s nothing a dollop of whipped cream can’t fix.

This gluten free apple bundt cake also freezes well. I’d just recommend freezing before you add the topping and letting it thaw slowly. First, start thawing it in the fridge till it is no longer frozen solid. Then bring it to room temperature before putting on the melted butter and cinnamon sugar.

Gluten free apple cinnamon bundt cake with a slice in front

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Gluten Free Apple Cider Donut Cake
5 from 2 votes

Gluten Free Apple Cider Donut Cake

A delicious apple-flavored bundt cake coated in cinnamon sugar, just like apple cider donuts from the farm. Perfect for fall.
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 1 hr
Servings: 16 slices

Ingredients

For the cake:

For the topping:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F
  • Coat your bundt pan very well with shortening being sure to get into every crevice.
  • Into a large mixing bowl, sif together the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, oat flour, xanthan gum, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In another bowl, combine the apple cider, applesauce, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the greased bundt pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out nearly clean (perhaps with just a few small crumbs).
  • Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes.
  • While it cools, mix the sugar and cinnamon together for the topping.
  • Turn the cake out onto a plate and brush with melted butter, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar, coating all sides as best as possible.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

You can replace the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch with 2 cups of a gluten free flour blend. If the flour you use contains xantham gum, you can omit the 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum. This recipe has been tested with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.
You can purchase oat flour or make your own by placing oats in a blender and blending to a fine powder, then sifting to remove any remaining large or hard bits.
Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Apple Cider Donut Cake
Amount Per Serving (0.0625 of the cake)
Calories 317 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 34mg11%
Sodium 130mg5%
Potassium 176mg5%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 90IU2%
Vitamin C 0.4mg0%
Calcium 33mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

 

8 Comments
  1. Jamie

    5 stars
    AWESOME RECIPE! Directions are easy to follow and the cake came out great. The cake cooks up well and is moist and flavorful. I can’t even tell it’s gluten free. I used the individua flours but I appreciate that a one to one option was included in the notes. This recipe is a keeper!

  2. Ines Kallmeyer

    This recipe looks and sounds soooo good – I used to love apple cider donuts too until the gluten problem was discovered. But I also have a problem with oats, even if they are certified gluten free. I can eat the other flours you listed. Do you have any suggestions for oat substitutes – maybe quinoa flakes ground into flour or sorghum flour? Thanks very much for any help you can give.

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