32 Apple Cider Desserts (That Aren't All Doughnuts)
Cakes, cookies, and muffins with fresh-from-the-orchard flavor to kickstart your fall baking projects.
Summer blossoms are fading, making room on the trees for fall fruit. And by "fall fruit," we mean apples, of course. Apples make both amazing desserts and delicious cider, but what might be even tastier is apple cider desserts. Here are 32 ways to enjoy the concentrated apple-y goodness of cider in dessert form.
Baked Apple Cider Donuts
Baked Apple Cider Donuts by Everyday Eileen
Because the apple cider doughnut is the mother of all cider desserts, we picked a baked version to get you started. It's a cake doughnut which means the batter is similar to a quickbread and baked in a special doughnut pan. For the batter, this blogger mixes apple cider with buttermilk for flavor and richness. When the doughnuts are hot out of the oven, they're tossed in a butter and sugar mixture for a bakery-fresh experience. It's all the fun of a doughnut without the guilt of fried food.
Apple Cider Cheesecake Bars
Apple Cider Cheesecake Bars by Cook Like A Champion
This blogger squeezes as much out of the apple as possible to get apple essence into these cheesecake bars. The base is a classic shortbread. The second layer is a cream cheese and egg mixture, but she enriches it with apple cider, and the cinnamon-sugar and butter crumble topping is supplemented with bits of apple. This is a fall dessert you won't forget.
Apple Cider Caramel Carmelitas
Apple Cider Caramel Carmelitas by Recipes, Food and Cooking
This is another portable dessert you shouldn't wait to make. These layered bars feature caramel made with apple cider (alone it tastes like a caramel apple!). That means it takes a little more effort, but it's worth it - after all, apple cider only comes around once a year. The base is an oat and flour mixture that's baked before being sprinkled with chocolate chips, layered with the caramel and then sprinkled with more of the oat mixture. This one is a great lunch box treat — for kids and adults.
Paleo Apple Cider Donut Holes
Paleo Apple Cider Donut Holes by Lexi's Clean Kitchen
Apples are paleo-friendly, so if that's a diet you follow, this is the fall treat for you. They're very similar to traditional donut holes or munchkins, but instead of all-purpose flour, this calls for coconut flour and almond flour, and the sweetnes of the cider is supplemented by honey in place of sugar, but the baking soda and baking powder remain to puff them up into spheres. They're then dipped in coconut oil and a mixture of ground cinnamon and coconut sugar. It's gluten-free, dairy-free, and totally delicious.
Pumpkin & Apple Cider Oatmeal Creme Pies
Pumpkin & Apple Cider Oatmeal Creme Pies by Host The Toast
Little Debbie is kicking herself right about now for not coming up with this recipe. It's like a little taste of childhood wrapped in all things fall. The cookies are similar to the iconic oatmeal creme pies with the addition of pumpkin, but the creme WILL BLOW YOUR MIND. First, you make a syrup from your fresh apple cider (you just heat cider until it's reduced to a syrup), it's then mixed with powdered sugar, cream cheese, and butter. You then sandwich the creme between the two oatmeal-pumpkin cookies. It's the kind of sandwich you're going to want to eat every day of fall.
Apple Cider Pound Cake
Apple Cider Pound Cake by Buns in my Oven
We've hooked you with the picture, but wait until you hear what's in this apple cider pound cake. With cider in the cake and the glaze, you get the full fall effect. This blogger uses the standard method for the pound cake, but adds a full cup of cider in the batter. The glaze also uses a cup of cider, but it's boiled and reduced before a cinnamon-sugar mixture is added. Drizzled over the cake, it's the perfect end to a fall feast.
Apple Cider Muffins
Apple Cider Muffins by Real Housemoms
Apple cider muffins were designed for people who want the apple cider doughnut experience but don't have a special doughnut mold — and the muffin experience is definitely worth trying. The muffins contain the requisite apple cider (with the option of using apple juice if you're baking in the offseason), and while they're still warm from the oven, the tops are dipped in butter, followed by cinnamon and sugar, just like the traditional apple cider doughnut.
Keto Apple Cider Doughnut Muffins
Keto Apple Cider Doughnut Muffins by Wicked Stuffed
Of course, our low-carb friends shouldn't miss out on the fall fun, so we're including the keto doughnut muffin. But because this is a keto recipe, no actual apple cider is used; instead, it calls for cinnamon apple spice tea and mulling spices. Additionally, instead of wheat flour, it calls for almond flour, and instead of sugar, you can use your favorite sugar substitute.
Apple Cider Cupcakes
Apple Cider Cupcakes by Jennifer Meyering
If you want a full dose of sugar, you might want to skip the muffins and make a beeline to these cupcakes. The method is traditional, but this blogger swaps out milk for apple cider. For the frosting, she uses brown sugar and cinnamon in addition to the powdered sugar and butter.
Caramel Apple Cider Cookies
Caramel Apple Cider Cookies by The Girl Who Ate Everything
OK, we're throwing this one in for those of you who are having a hard time finding fresh apple cider. Instead of the liquid version, this recipe adds instant apple cider (you can find it next to instant hot cocoa at the grocery store) to the cookie dough. To make it a caramel apple cider cookie, you wrap each dough portion around a caramel, so each cookie has a gooey candy center.
Apple Cider Custard Bars
Apple Cider Custard Bars by The Crepes of Wrath
If you've always fantasized about an apple custard pie, this might be a good substitute. This blogger makes a traditional shortbread and tops it with custard, but instead of milk and cream, she uses apple cider. It's all baked in a pan and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Apple Cider Caramel Popcorn
Apple Cider Caramel Popcorn by Culinary Ginger
Fans of both caramel apples and popcorn, this one's for you. Making caramel sounds scary, but it's mostly just boiling down apple cider and then adding butter and cream. Once that's done, toss in the popcorn and you have a proper fall movie snack.
Baked Apples with Walnuts and Cider
Baked Apples with Walnuts and Cider by Pickled Plum
If you like your cider a bit stronger, these apples are cored and baked with hard cider (available year-round). Walnuts add crunch; cinnamon and sugar add flavor. The syrup that pools at the bottom of the pan when the apples are baked is wonderful over ice cream.
Apple Cider Cake
Apple Cider Cake by Inside BruCrew Life
This cake is like eating apples in stereo. This recipe calls for cider in the cake and the frosting — cake for a true apple enthusiast. It's also very rich. This blogger uses a cake mix, but she also adds pudding mix to the batter to make it extra moist. When you're all done, I can guarantee you'll regret making only one cake.
There are hundreds more ways to transform apple cider into dessert. Here are more than a few recipes to discover.