There is no shortage of pumpkin cakes, pies and other baked goods during the fall and holiday baking seasons. Most recipes that include pumpkin include pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and brown sugar, giving the finished products a very similar flavor profile.While I love a classic pumpkin dessert, I also like my recipe to stand out a bit. To set some of my pumpkin recipes apart from the rest, I like to look for additional flavors that go well with pumpkin to make my baked goods stand out. This Pumpkin Cider Bundt Cake is just such a recipe, as this tender, spiced cake also includes pumpkin hard cider in the batter!
Pumpkin Hard Cider is a seasonal flavor that a handful of cider producing companies put out every year. They’re made with hard apple cider – yes, that is an alcoholic apple cider, if you’re not already familiar with it – as a base, but typically include some pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices to give it a perfect-for-fall flavor profile. While beer can add a savory element to baked goods, cider is sweeter and has a milder flavor profile, making it a better choice for this dessert. The cider adds another layer of spice to the cake and gives it a little more complexity. Plus, it’s a bit of a fun novelty to reveal to anyone you might be sharing your cake with!
The recipe itself is straightforward recipe that can actually be made in one large mixing bowl! If your mixing bowl is not microwave safe, you may need a second small bowl to melt your butter in, but it is still a very quick recipe to put together. The batter contains a generous amount of pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices, and it uses the hard cider to bring everything together. Your cider will foam a bit when you stir it into the batter, but believe me when I say that it helps to make a very light and tender cake!
I finished off the baked cake with a drizzle of spiced glaze, which I also made using a splash of cider. If you don’t have any cider leftover (because you sipped the rest while waiting for your cake to bake!), you can use milk or apple cider instead. I used Ace Pumpkin Cider, as I am a big fan of many of their hard ciders, but your local store may carry a different brand. If you can’t find a pumpkin hard cider, you can substitute a regular hard cider, as the flavor of apple will still add a nice dimension to this cake. And if you simply want to skip the extra alcohol (though there is not much), you can substitute in regular apple cider.
Pumpkin Cider Bundt Cake
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups pumpkin puree
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup pumpkin hard cider
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar and brown sugar until well-combined. Beat in eggs, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Stir in half of the flour, along with the baking power, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spices, and mix until well-combined. Stir in pumpkin hard cider, then stir in the remaining flour and mix only until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly touched.
Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When cooled, drizzle with Pumpkin Spice Glaze (below).
Makes 1 bundt cake; serves 10-12
Pumpkin Spice Glaze
2 tbsp pumpkin hard cider or milk
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, beat all ingredients together until very smooth. If glaze is too thin, whisk in an additional 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar.