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


  • 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


  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.


Deep dark chocolate bread

It took me a couple of tries to get this one right.

The first time I tried was last fall when I spent a weekend binge-baking recipes from Christina Tosi’s recently published Huckleberry cookbook.

The original recipes says it makes one loaf.  And even though I thought that single loaf pan was really, really, REALLY full, I went with it.  Luckily my spider sense told me to put a half sheet pan on the lower rack because there was a serious chocolate explosion in my oven.

I made a note to try two loaves the next time I played with the recipe.

Then several months passed and it wasn’t until recently that I was brave enough to risk having to scrub the inside of my oven.

Sure enough, this recipe was meant to make two loaves.  Total success!  My nickname for this cake is “bribe bread.”  If you need a favor from someone who likes chocolate, this will do the trick.

Chocolate Chocolate Teacake

slightly adapted from Zoe Nathan’s Huckleberry, Stories, Secrets and recipes from our Kitchen


  • 3/4 C/100 g pastry flour (can sub all purpose in a pinch)
  • 6 TBS/45 g all purpose flour
  • 6 TBS/30g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 C strong brewed coffee, cooled (I used espresso)
  • 1/2 C buttermilk at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 C/ 300g coarsely chopped dark chocolate, 60-70% cacao
  • 1/2 C + 2 TBS/ 140 g unsalted butter, cubed at room temp
  • 1 C + 2 TBS/ 225 g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 eggs at room temp


  1. Position a rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 2 9X5 inch loaf pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  3. Sift together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside.
  4. Combine the coffee, buttermilk and vanilla.  Set aside.
  5. Melt 3/4 C (130 g) of the chocolate.
  6. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  7. Incorporate the eggs one a a time, beating in between each.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl well.
  8. Pause mixer, add flour mixer and mix on low until just combined.
  9. Pour in the coffee mixture and mix on low until just combined.
  10. Fold in the melted chocolate.  Then fold in the remaining chopped chocolate.
  11. Pour batter into the prepared pans and bake for 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  12. Allow to cool completely before removing from pans.
  13. Dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired.



Though she be but little, she is fierce

I have long been a fan of the kumquat.  A childhood friend had a kumquat tree in her backyard and we’d dare each other to eat the tart little fruit, relishing in the novelty of eating the skin.  Last fall I posted a super tasty citrus loaf cake by Zoe Nathan. Her original recipe called for kumquats…not exactly in-season in November. So I made due and waited.

And then I started thinking.

In its directions, the recipe asks the baker to zest several citrus fruits including the kumquats. After I stopped laughing at the idea of zesting something the size of a large olive I thought, there’s got to be another way. So, I took to the internets and found a couple of recipes that use a kumquat puree. Not sure about anyone else, but in my book cutting and seeding a couple of cups of kumquats is much easier than attempting to zest them.

I used my Vitamix to puree the kumquats. Because I could. A regular blender or food processor will work as well. While the puree smelled amazing (I was tempted to dab some behind my ears), it did have just a hint of bitterness in flavor.   Luckily it baked right out.

I also saw the addition of cardamom in a couple of recipes. Cardamom!  That’s fun to say.

I love cardamom’s exotic floral scent and think it makes elevates this recipe just enough  This is a gorgeous loaf—both in looks and flavor.

You all know, I openly admit to my citrus fruit biases, but really, make this cake.

Like now before kumquats disappear until next spring.

By the way, I’m not sure what is going on with the tumbnail photo that is supposed to sit in the upper left of my posts.  I’m on the case!

Kumquat Loaf

adapted from Huckleberry stories, secrets and recipes from our kitchen


  • 1 C+ 2 TBS/ 255 g unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 C/ 200 g sugar
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 C kumquats quartered and seeded
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 C/ 160 g all purpose flour
  • 1/4 C/ 35 g pastry flour
  •  1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 TBS buttermilk
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp cardamom


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and line with parchment a 9X5 loaf pan.
  2. Quarter and seed kumquats.  Puree until smooth.  This should yield about 3/4 C puree (though you’ll only use 2/3 C).
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter,  sugar and salt  on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Incorporate the eggs and egg yolks one-at-a-time, blend well after each addition.  Scrape down sides of bowl a couple of times.  Add-in vanilla.
  5. Fold-in 2/3 C puree (save or discard remainder)
  6. Add-in the flours, baking powder and cardamom.  Mix-on low until ingredients are just combined.
  7. Scoop batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 60 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched and cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Once out of the oven, let rest for 5 minutes then remove loaf from pan.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.

Wavocana Bread

Like any place else, there are certain truisms about growing up in San Diego.  The first week of school is always the hotest.  Dude can be used as a noun, adjective, verb and even the occasional expletive. And, nobody actually buys avocados, oranges, grapefruits or lemons (because if you don’t have one of these trees in your backyard, your neighbor does).  I’m not kidding, I don’t think I consumed a single store-bought avocado until I went to college.

Sadly, the urban jungle in which we currently live is not so generous with its fruit.  Which means I actually have to spend money on this egg-shaped delicacy.  Which also means that I do everything in my power to make sure they do not go to waste.

And that is where this week’s post begins.  I had uber ripe avocados.  I also had super ripe bananas.  And some walnuts.

Well, I say, when life gives you ripe, make wavocana bread.

That’s right, avocado, banana walnut bread.

I was a little disappointed at how subtle the avocado is in this recipe.  Though, it did add fantastic texture.

Moist, nutty and satisfying.  Dude.

Wavocana Bread

adapted from:


  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded
  • ¼ cup coconut oil in liquid form (can substitute canola oil)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, grease bottom only.
  2. Sift together dry ingredients: oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Scoop the avocado into a large bowl and mash lightly.
  4. Add oil and brown sugar to the avocado. Cream together using an electric mixer, until light and creamy.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Stir in bananas, then walnuts and dry ingredients.
  7. Stir in buttermilk and beat just until buttermilk is incorporated.
  8. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Wavocanana bread is quite moist and may not pass the “toothpick” test at this point. If you prefer a drier bread, bake a little longer.

La La La Lemon Cake

Anyone who has ever dabbled in the kitchen has an arsenal of recipes that always work.  Call them what you want: sure things, shoo-ins, ace-in-the-hole.  It doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that they turn out every single time.  Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake is one of those recipes.  As versatile as Ryan Seacrest (wait…did I lose you there…sorry).  Let’s try this again.  As versatile as a pair of black Manolo Blahnik pumps, this little gem does everything.  Call it a loaf and you can serve it for breakfast or at brunch.  Call it a cake and magically, it’s dessert.  Smother it in blueberry sauce and you can call it whatever you want.  People will still devour it.

Let’s talk a moment about that “Y” word in the title.  Yes. Yogurt.  Or Yoghurt.  Back when I was a little girl, my mom used to make frozen yogurt pie as a dessert.  Yes, she also used to feed us carob by the pound.  Explains a lot doesn’t it?  Anyhow, her yogurt pie was literally yogurt from the carton (usually berry), poured into a pie tin and then frozen in the freezer.  And while it tasted about as good as you think it would, it was healthy.  True, Lemon Yogurt Cake does have yogurt in it.  However, I make no pretense that it is healthy.  The yogurt makes it extra moist.  And extra good.  And that should be enough without pretending to add “healthy” to the whole thing.

I should note here that while the recipe below makes a single loaf, I always double it because really, what else are you going to do with plain, full-fat yogurt?  Doubling the recipe works great.

Lemons abound in this recipe.  They are in the batter, in the syrup and in them glaze.  Mmmmm….lemony….

This is also a no-machinery, two bowl recipe.  Dry ingredients get mixed into one bowl.  In another goes all wet ingredients but the oil.  And please, take the time to whisk in each egg individually.

After the dry ingredient are mixed in to the wet ingredients, adding the oil is the final step. It’s a little laborious, but be gentle.  And patient.

While your loaf is loafing in the oven, it’s time to make the syrup.  This is just a simple syrup: lemon juice and sugar.  Pour them into the pan, bring to a simmer, turn off the heat and let it cool (you could strain-out the lemon pulp but I don’t).

When the cakes come out, let them cool for about 10 minutes.

Then, while they are still warm you want to remove them from their cozy little pans, ambush them, and stab them all over with a bamboo skewer.  This is where the “adapted” part of the recipe comes in.  I’ve always done this.  However, when recently reviewing the recipe I realized that Ina’s recipe in no way suggests this form of violence.  There is a reason we always hurt the ones we love.  In this case it is to better distribute the syrupy goodness.

Once the cakes are liberated from their pans and resting on a cooling rack over a cookie pan (or a similar contraption that will allow the wayward syrup to drain), slowly pour syrup over loaf.


Things can easily end here.  Just let the loaf cool and you are in business.  I usually end here if serving this for brunch.  But if you want to add one more layer of lemon, a simple icing of confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice makes this recipe even better.

Lemon Yogurt Cake

Slightly adapted from Ina Garten


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease, flour and line pan with parchment.

Sift  together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl.  In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pierce cake all over with a bamboo skewer than pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.