Bread of the Month: Falling for a cider-flavored loaf

[B]y August, after a long summer, I’m beginning to crave a taste of fall. Not in the pumpkin spice sort of way (did those PSL’s come out even earlier this year?), but more in the direction of an apple kind of craving. 

I saw a recipe for an apple cider loaf cake that I marked for an apple-y treat when the time was right, which was a soon as possible. While it was called a cake, I consider anything loaf-shaped and slice-able in the tea bread category. This luscious-sounding recipe for Apple Cider Doughnut Cake ( from Bon Appetit magazine included butter and sour cream and cinnamon and nutmeg and starred real apple cider, one of my favorite things.

The cider, which is used in and on the loaf, is boiled to reduced by boiling to thicken it a bit and intensify its flavors.

While the cider cools, dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg) are blended and set aside.

Granulated sugar and eggs are whisked together until light and foamy. Metaled butter is then beaten in.

Part of the cider is blended with sour cream and some vanilla, and then added alternately with the flour mixture to the egg mixture.

This makes for a lush, creamy batter, akin to a pound cake, and it’s spread into a butter-and-parchment-lined loaf pan.

[T]he loaf bakes in a slow oven (325°) for about an hour (although the recipe suggested an hour and 20 minutes). 

The loaf is immediately pricked all over the top with a toothpick. Some of the reserved reduced cider is spooned over to absorb in for more flavor.

After the loaf has cooled for about 10 minutes, it’s lifted out the pan using the parchment, when is then removed. The cake is brushed with melted butter and more cider, then coated (top and sides) with a cinnamon-sugar mixture, just like an apple cider doughnut.

[C]utting into the loaf after it had cooled completely, I could feel how tender and light it was. It sliced perfectly, golden and inviting. One bite in and I was taken with not only how moist it was, but how all of its elements were exacting in flavor — tangy sour cream, rich butter, spices and that apple flavor from cider within and without. What a perfect fall preview.

For the recipe, go to

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