Crazy for Crust

Apple Cider Pound Cake

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Did you go apple picking this weekend? I hope you brought home some apple cider so you can make this pound cake!

Apple Cider Pound Cake - an easy pound cake that tastes like an apple cider doughnut!

Over the last few weeks I’ve been cleaning out my house and I’ve realized something about myself: I’m a pack rat. A major, certifiable, too-much-stuff pack rat. I’d call myself a hoarder but I’ve read that book and I can see my floor and there aren’t squatters in my attic, so I’m not a hoarder.

But, you guys…I’m on my way there. And I need to fix that, ASAP.

The problem is that I have a problem letting go of things. What if I need them one day?

What if I need those envelopes and leftover Christmas cards from the last 10 Christmases?

What if I need those outdated picture frames?

What if, one day, Jordan wants to craft with an assortment of marbles?


Easy Apple Cider Pound Cake Recipe

I think that’s why I like food so much. Food is consumable. It goes away. Make some cookies, eat them. Make a cake, share it. You can’t hoard food.

(Er, let’s just stick with that. No one look in my freezer, mmkay?)

Last weekend we took a break from all the messes and went apple picking. Because hoarding apples is never a problem – there’s always something to make with apples.

I never went apple picking growing up because there wasn’t an orchard close by. But now that I live outside Sacramento, we’re only an hour from “Apple Hill” which is an area full of apple growers. Every fall they throw open their doors and the hoards of yuppies drive in from the city to eat pie, pick apples, and buy goodies.

(Seriously, remember that movie Baby Boom? Where the people don their plaid shirts and drive up to the country to buy homemade baby food? I think of that movie every year we drive up there.)

Anyway, long story short (ha), our first stop is always at Rainbow Orchards. They have the BEST apple cider doughnuts. They’re cooked to order, hot, crunchy, and perfect. Oh, and it’s the one day a year that Mel eats a doughnut, so you know they’re good.

Rainbow also has the best apple cider. I always buy a quart and then I come home and bake with it. This year I came home and set out to recreate my favorite apple cider doughnuts without all the frying. Instead of a doughnut, I made an Apple Cider Pound Cake!

Easy Apple Cider Pound Cake Recipe

This is my favorite pound cake recipe. It started out as a lemon pound cake that made two loaves. It turned itself into orange pound cake and then banana, and then I decided I didn’t want a huge pound cake just for me, so I turned it into a single pound cake loaf made with champagne.

Now that I have the best pound cake loaf recipe, I’m going to turn it into all the flavors and I’m starting with Apple Cider.

This pound cake loaf is made with melted butter and sour cream (or Greek yogurt). The result? A moist and tender crumb that just melts in your mouth. The apple cider flavor is there and enhanced by a hefty addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. When this is in your oven, your house will smell like fall.

But just the loaf itself is not enough, nope. I’m a pack rat and I like to pack in the flavor! The cake is glazed with a simple syrup made of more apple cider and sugar. You cook it just until it boils and then brush it over the warm cake.

And THEN you sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar for a nice crunch, just like my favorite doughnuts.

Apple Cider Pound Cake - an easy pound cake that tastes like an apple cider doughnut!

Then you eat it all. Because you wouldn’t want to hoard your food…

3.43 from 35 votes
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Servings: 8 -10 servings

Apple Cider Pound Cake

Total Time:
1 hr
This Apple Cider Pound Cake is fluffy, moist, and tastes like fall! The apple cider and spices add great flavor, and the cinnamon sugar gives a crunch. It's like an apple cider doughnut in cake form!


For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter — melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup apple cider

For the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider

For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9x5" loaf pan with parchment paper, then spray it with nonstick cooking spray (the kind with flour) or grease and flour it.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt , cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Stir melted butter, sugar, and sour cream or Greek yogurt in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Add apple cider and dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Pour into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 34-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. (Mine took 39 minutes.)
  5. While the cake is baking, make the glaze. Heat the sugar and apple cider in a small saucepan over medium heat until it boils. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
  6. Stir together topping ingredients, sugar and cinnamon, in a small bowl.
  7. Cool pound cake for 15 minutes in the pan. Use a knife to loosen around the edges, then carefully remove the cake and place it on a cooling rack set over a cookie sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush the apple cider glaze over the top of the cake. Immediately sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Let cool before eating.
  8. Store loosely covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. I like to slice and freeze the slices in sandwich bags.

Apple Cider Cinnamon Rolls

Apple Cider Cinnamon Rolls (21 of 22)w

Champagne Pound Cake

Champagne Pound Cake (1 of 6)

Orange Pound Cake

Orange Pound Cake (2 of 6)w

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  1. I cannot WAIT to hit the apple orchard. The best caramel apples in the universe come out of the orchard that is a 26-mile drive from our house. It’s worth the trip!
    This is probably the coolest pound cake recipe EVER. It has a cinnamon sugar topping! And the inside looks so perfect. I want!
    BTW, fight that hoarding urge, my friend. Otherwise you wind up with a room full of old newspapers, socks, and greeting cards. It’s not a good place to wind up. Buy new socks!

    • Exactly! I just read the Japanese tidying book and it’s really hitting home for me. I’ve taken so much stuff out of my house the last few weeks and it doesn’t look like anything is gone, which is scary.

  2. This looks soo delicious! 🙂 I have loads of apples in the basement right now to eat in the winter, but with apples hoarding is a good thing, right?!

  3. I’m a pack rat as well. I mean, what if I need those geometry notes from high school? Or the ribbon I earned in gymnastics when I was 10? Your apple cider pound cake looks phenomenal. We just got a quart of apple cider in our CSA this week but I may need to buy another quart to make this pound cake (since I want to drink some too… or make apple cider donuts). 🙂

  4. Looks like I need to buy some cider 🙂

  5. Wow this cake looks stunning, I love it how you used the cider, perfect for fall! I can’t wait to go apple picking, that definitely symbolizes fall for me, pinned! 

  6. I happen to have a quart of apple cider and planning to use some to make dinner tonight.  Now I have a great dessert idea!  

  7. This cake looks amazing and I would love to make it, but I don’t have any yogurt or sour cream.  Could you please suggest a substitute I may try instead?  Maybe another tablespoon of butter?

    BTW, I am somewhat of a packrat also.  I am trying to be better with getting rid of things (progress!) — but admittedly it’s also been great to use things I already own without buying anything new.  🙂

  8. This pound cake looks epic! Love the cinnamon sugar topping 🙂

  9. This pound cake looks epic! Love the cinnamon sugar topping 🙂

  10. I have never been apple picking but it is something I have always wanted to do!! And now this beautiful apple cider pound cake is giving me another reason to go SOON!

  11. The way you described those donuts, I want one! And I also want a slice of this cake! I can see the flecks of cinnamon-sugar on the outside and the texture of the crumb of the cake itself, looks perfect!

  12. Yummy! Now being on some fall !

  13. I’ve yet to go to one of the many orchards here in NJ, but I have a feeling it won’t be much longer…I’m going to need some cider for this tasty pound cake! Um, and is it just here or do all apple orchards have the best fall-inspired items in their shops? I always have to stop myself from buying one of everything…

  14. YUM, Dorothy! This looks so amazing. I have been obsessed with apple cider this fall. I want this!!

  15. Dorothy, this is crazy awesome.  Apple cider in pound cake?!  Yeah.  I’m all over it.

  16. I’m a hoarder too!  hey, you want some out dated picture frames? I have plenty 🙂  this pound cake looks amazing and I really need to try this.  Perfect for Fall!

  17. That is one gorgeous cake! The crunch of the glaze with the cinnamon and sugar on top is calling my name. I’m so jealous that you can pick apples.  We don’t have apple farms here in Ft. Lauderdale. I’m excited though, because you gave me the idea to bake with apple cider!

  18. My parents unexpectedly dropped by yesterday with, yes, a half gallon of apple cider for me.  I THINK THIS IS A SIGN!  

  19. Wow, great pics! Makes me want to bite my screen. And never worry, if you ever need some out dated picture frames or extra socks, I’ve got plenty here!!! lol

  20. I grew up just outside of Fairfield (my mom grew up in Citrus Heights) and we’d go to the Sierra foothills every year for apples, too!! My mom (82 years old) still goes and makes the world’s best applesauce from those apples. My dad’s favorites are Macintosh, but Sebastopol has the best ones – cooler temps, I think. I’m going to give this pound cake a try, close my eyes when I bite into a slice and let it take me back a few decades. Thanks for sharing!!

  21. I feel your pain. I’m always trying to keep my pack rat tendencies in check because my husband HATES it! Although I’d rather just ignore the fact that my closets are bursting while I indulge in this delicious treat!

  22. I’m pack rat too.  I just cleaned out my office, aka the catch-all.  I found all the response cards to our wedding, it was 13 years ago today.  I also found my original Swatches from middle/high school in the original cases and lot of other treasures.  Needless to say, many, many bags were removed and either donated, throw out or recycled.  

  23. This looks scrumptious! I’m thinking it may be great to have for Thanksgiving even – something different than pie on our dessert table for picky guests! 😉

  24. Shut the front door!! This is genius, Dorothy. I’m making apple cider pound cake as soon as I get some free time. Love it!!

  25. I have not gone apple picking yet, but it has been raining here 24/7 for the past 2 weeks.. so venturing out into the cold, windy world isn’t really appealing!  But, once this weather clears up the first thing I plan on doing is hitting up the orchard!  And I am TOTALLY going to be baking up this apple cider pound cake!  This looks craaaazy good!  Loves it!  Pinned!  P.s I am a total pack rat too!  But, I just tell myself that i’m simply not wasteful.  Ha.  😉  

  26. lol. Consumption of food is my favorite part about food too 🙂 Thanks for the recipe! It’s fall-ish and makes me warm inside. Bet it’s delicious too.

  27. Oh boy! I could eat the whole loaf, no joke! I am obsessed with apple cider!! 

  28. I’m making this right now and it smells incredible!!  But I’m going on 45 min and it’s not even close to done.  Edges seem to be browning fine and not burning but center is nowhere near done.  Concerned why it’s taking longer than the longest cook time in your recipe?

    • It could be oven difference! Let me know how long it ends up taking yours and let me know. I took it out with a few crumbs stuck to the toothpick – but my oven is new and maybe it’s cooking faster than it should!

  29. the texture of this cake looks fantastic! I just bought a bottle of apple cider yesterday so I am totally making this! 

  30. We went up to Apple Hill yesterday! And brought back 3 jugs of cider, 12 cider donuts, and I don’t even know how many pounds of apples. Guess I need to save a cup of the cider and make this cake. Gee, darn.

  31. Okay this looks like the best pound cake ever!!  I wish we lived near some apple orchards because I bet it is a beautiful sight!

  32. I really really wish we were close to an apple orchard. I Googled it again this year and we’re not. I am DYING for a good cider donut. 

  33. This pound cake sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to give it a try! I’ve never baked with cider! Here in Missouri, we enjoy seasonally picking lots of fruits (except citrus) and ALWAYS pick more than we planned. 🙂 I try to have recipes ready to bake/cook what we don’t immediately eat or freeze. I occasionally attempt to do something about my pack rat clutter but then give up. Way too many people are embracing that Japanese cleaning book. Maybe it was sponsored by Goodwill? 😉

    • Totally – I have SO. Many. Apples!!! I actually started reading that book and while I won’t be thanking my purse every day, I do think there are some good points in it. It kind of spoke to me in so many places. But yes, it’s extreme, for sure!

  34. Yum! This post makes me want to go apple picking!

  35. Did you use fresh or ground nutmeg?

  36. It would be ok if I just hoard the entire loaf to myself, right?  I am loving this fun fall pound cake so much!!!!

  37. Will this recipe turn out good muffins/cupcakes?

  38. This looks amazing! Any suggestion to make this lactose-free? Can you substitute margarine for the butter?

  39. Hi! I really want to try this recipe, but am not sure about the cloves – I have whole cloves, do I need to use ground cloves instead? Thanks!

  40. Made this cake exactly as written. But my cake took 1 hour to bake completely done. My cake seemed to be a little more brown than the picture, maybe because I used a glass pan? Also seemed a little dry. Helped a little to drizzle warm boiled cider on each piece we had. Not sure if I will make again.

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