bon appetit’s Apple Cider Doughnut Loaf Cake

I know you’ve seen it.

Page 56 of September’s bon appetit; the delicious looking but ridiculously named apple cider doughnut loaf cake (after the third word I was like ‘now you’re just stringing words together’).

Enrobed in melted butter and then liberally dusted with cinnamon sugar, this doughnut loaf cake tart pie may actually scream autumn louder than pumpkin spice latte.

I took it as a sign that I was meant to make this sooner rather than later when, on my first trip to Trader Joe’s since March, I laid eyes on their Pink Lady Cider.

The cider, reduced to a thick, fragrant syrup is what gives this doughnut cake loaf  brownie cookie its apple-y flavor.

I have to admit, I’ve never actually had an apple cider doughnut, so I can’t make comparison.  But, this moist, spiced treat holds up on its own regardless of how much it might taste like its namesake.

I appreciate that the magazine’s editors had space constraints and only so many inches to write-up the recipe (perhaps a more succinct name would have helped).  However, I found the recipe disjointed as originally printed (and even rewritten, be forewarned, it’s fiddly).  So, I’ve reorganized it a bit in my own version.

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake Loaf

bon appétit, September 2020

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 9 TBS butter total (8 + 1 TBS) plus more to butter pan (or use 1/2 C neutral oil for brad plus 1 TBS butter for topping)
  • 1 1/2 C apple cider
  • 1/2 C sour cream (buttermilk can be subbed)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TBS corn starch (or sub in same amount of flour)
  • 1 1/4 C + 2 TBS (172g) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, divided: 1/2 + 1/2
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg, divided: 1/4 + 1/4
  • 2 large eggs at room temp
  • 1 C (200g) sugar, divided: 3/4 C, 150g + 1/4 C,  50g

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees with rack in the middle.  Lightly butter an 8 1/2X4 1/2 or 9X5 loaf pan.  Line with parchment so that long ends overhang the sides.
  2. Bring cider to boil, allow to reduce to about 3/4 C.  Add 1/2 C to small bowl and set aside remaining 1/4 C in another bowl or measuring cup.  Set aside saucepan (you’ll use it again in a minute).  Allow cider to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. While apple cider reduces, sift together flour, cornstarch, soda, powder, salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 cut nutmeg (I grind my nutmeg right into the bowl and just eyeball it).  Set aside.
  4. Returning to your small bowl of cider (the 1/2 C), whisk-in sour cream (or buttermilk) and vanilla.
  5. Melt 8 TBS of your butter in the saucepan. Set aside for a couple of minutes.
  6. Whisk together 3/4 C sugar and eggs until pale, volumous and frothy (about 2 minutes).  In a steady stream, whisk melted butter into sugar and egg mixture until butter has emulsified (no visible fat) into the mixture.
  7. Add dry mixture and cider/sour cream mixture to sugar mixture in alternating turns, starting and ending with the dry mixture (3 adds of dry mixture, 2 of the cider).
  8. Bake batter in prepared pan set over a baking sheet for 60-80 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes up clean.
  9. Right out of the oven, use the same toothpick to poke lots of holes in the top of the baked load.  Gently spoon 3 TBS of reserved cider over top.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  10. While loaf is cooling for 10, melt 1 TBS of butter together to remaining cider.  Mix together 1/4 C sugar, pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg.
  11.  Once loaf has cooled for 10 minutes, grab the sides of parchment, carefully lift out of pan and set in a baking pan.  Brush butter-cider mixture all over the loaf.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over entire loaf, using parchment to shift loaf side to side.
  12. Allow loaf to cool completely.

 

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