Time to Get Cozy Together With Our Apple Cider Cake

Light that fireplace and grab those fluffy comfy socks because after you go apple picking, you're definitely going to want to make our latest recipe for your date night at home! Using locally picked Virginia apples and freshly pressed apple cider from Great Country Farms in Bluemont, this cake is everything wonderful about the autumnal season. Cinnamon and sugar mixed with drool-worthy Honey Gold apples equals total fall goals.

Next up in Sips & Bites, a food and drink series that is focused on beautifully and deliciously inspiring treats for wedding and home celebrations, we're sharing how to make a delicious apple cider cake that you and your sweetie will want to eat for dessert and even breakfast. (And if you have to eat gluten-free like us, then this recipe is also for you!)

Gluten free apple cider cake perfect for fall weddings or date nights in front of a fireplace
Honey Gold apples picked from Great Country Farms in Bluemont Virginia to make apple cider cake

Apple Cider Cake with Locally Picked Honey Gold Apples

Makes One 9-Inch Round Cake

Inspired by cozy fireplaces and the best of the autumnal season, this scrumptious apple-packed cake will soon become a fall favorite. Apple cider is yummy in a glass, but when you make a dessert with it, you get a softly sweet cake that pairs wonderfully with apple cider glaze (or even a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream).

Ingredients for gluten free apple cider cake recipe

Part One: The Apple Cider Cake

• 1 cup apple cider
• 3 medium-sized Honey Gold apples (or preferred baking apple variety)
• 1/4 cup butter, softened
→ For a healthier and more moist option, swap out half of the butter for unsweetened applesauce.
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 eggs
• 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup evaporated milk
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (for topping)

• Stovetop saucepan
Stand mixer or electric mixer
Measuring cup
• Knife
Mixing bowl
9-inch round cake pan
Cutting board
Cooling rack

This contains dairy. To make it dairy-free, you can swap out evaporated milk with full fat coconut milk. Your cake will have coconut flavor notes if you use this alternative! This recipe was also written to be gluten-free (since our editor-in-chief has Celiac Disease), but for those who can eat gluten, you can use your regular all-purpose baking flour of your choice.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease your cake pan with butter.

3. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup of apple cider to boiling over medium high heat. Continue to gently boil until the cider reduces by half and allow to cool to room temperature.

4. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and 1 cup of sugar together. Add eggs one at a time and mix on medium speed until pale yellow for about 2-3 minutes.

5. In another large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

6. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, stir evaporated milk into reduced apple cider liquid.

7. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and the evaporated milk mixture in alternating scoops. Mix until well blended.

8. Pour the batter into cake pan and set aside.

9. Cut your apples into about 1/8" thick wedges. On top of your batter, arrange the slices in a pattern of your choice. Concentric circles, vertical rows, and "board game spaces" are options to consider.

10. In a small bowl, blend ground cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of sugar together.

11. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top of the cake batter and sliced apples.

12. Place cake in the oven for 60 minutes, checking on it in 25 minute intervals. The cake is extremely moist and needs to bake sufficiently. The top of the cake will darken because of the cinnamon and sugar, so it can be deceptively baked. Insert a toothpick into the very center to check to see when cake is done. The toothpick should come out clean.

13. Allow cake to cool completely before adding glaze in Part Two.

How to make gluten free apple cider cake with local Virginia apples
How to make gluten free apple cider cake with local Virginia apples
Honey Gold apples from Great Country Farms in Bluemont Virginia
Ways to decorate an apple cider cake
Cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on apple cider cake batter
Baking an apple cider cake with local Virginia apples

Part Two: The Glaze

• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 2 tablespoons apple cider

Measuring spoons
Measuring cup
• Small serving plates


14. Starting with one tablespoon of apple cider at a time, whisk apple cider and powdered sugar together to make the glaze. Add more cider as needed. The glaze is perfect when it slowly drips off the end of your fork.

15. Cut your cake and plate. Drizzle your glaze back and forth over your slices and then serve!

16. Store your glaze and cake separately in an airtight container. If preferred, warm up your cake slices in a microwave before eating for an extra cozy feeling.

If you're an ice cream lover, this would be delicious with a fresh scoop of vanilla on top!

Gluten free apple cider cake recipe for fall weddings
Ingredients for apple cider cake

Pick Your Own Apples in Virginia and Support Local

For this recipe, we picked our Honey Gold apples from Great Country Farms in Bluemont, but there are so many wonderful orchards and local farms to support this season. Visit their websites to see which apple varieties are available to pick before you visit!

Cullipher Farm - Virginia Beach, VA
Carter Mountain Orchard - Charlottesville, VA
Dickie Bros Orchard - Roseland, VA
Hartland Orchard - Markham, VA
Stribling Orchard - Markham, VA
Great Country Farms - Bluemont, VA

Editor's Note: While there are so many orchards and farms from which to choose in Virginia, the ones we're sharing on our short list have clear, direct information about their apple picking on their websites and are consistently open every year for visitors to pick their own apples.

Gluten free apple cider cake with apple cider glaze drizzle
How to make an apple cider cake with Virginia apples
Delicious apple cider cake with apple cider drizzle perfect for fall weddings and date nights at home
How to make the perfect apple cider glaze with powdered sugar and apple cider

See More Cozy Autumn-Inspired Ideas
on Tidewater and Tulle

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DIY Fall Bridal Shower Coffee Cozies
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DIY Caramel Latte Soy Candles
10 Copper Wedding Must Haves for Fall Weddings
DIY Thanksgiving-Inspired Leather Eating Utensil Sleeves

Sips & Bites is Tidewater and Tulle's food and drink series that is focused on beautifully and deliciously inspiring treats for wedding and home celebrations.

Photography, Recipe, & Styling: Chelsea LaVere