Instant Pot Apple Cider Donut Cake—moist cake made with applesauce and apple cider and then topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Addicting!
Each week in 2020 I’m sharing a recipe inspired by one of the 50 states. So far I’ve covered…
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- See all the state recipes in one place
If you have an idea for a state I haven’t covered yet please email me [email protected] –remember it’s a recipe that has to be made (at least in part) in the Instant Pot.
Today’s recipe is inspired by the First State, Delaware. On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, and has since been known as “The First State”. When I think of Delaware I think of the Delaware River, how small it is (2nd smallest state), Rehoboth Beach and my neighbors a few doors down who are the only people I’ve ever known from Delaware.
Instant Pot Apple Cider Donut Cake
Today’s recipe is a spin-off of the apple cider donut. If you ask around about what to eat in Delaware in the fall, chances are everyone will point you to their favorite apple cider donut bakery. There’s nothing like the taste of cider and cinnamon and carbs on a chilly fall day.
This cake has amazing apple flavor thanks to the apple cider. I know you’re not supposed to eat uncooked batter but I surely licked the batter bowl clean. It was sooooo good. The cinnamon and apple just tasted so good. Try making Instant Pot apple cider donut cake this fall! I know you’ll love it too!
What equipment do I need? For this cake the pot-in-pot method is used. You’ll need the following equipment:
- Instant Pot*: a 6 or 8 quart will work fine. The 3 quart pot is too small.
- Trivet/Sling with handles*: This will allow you to drop the cake pan into the pot and then retrieve it when it is done cooking.
- Half size bundt cake pan*: A large full size bundt cake pan won’t fit inside your Instant Pot but a 6 cup bundt cake pan fits perfect. I would not suggest using a normal cake pan for this recipe since the hole in the middle of the bundt cake pan really lets the cake bake evenly.
If you’d like to see how the pot-in-pot method works watch this video where I make another Instant Pot apple cake recipe! Both are good but I think the apple cider donut cake is the better of the two. And if you are a visual learner please subscribe to my YouTube channel. I post Instant Pot stuff weekly.
More Instant Pot Cake Recipes…
Instant Pot German Chocolate Bundt Cake
Instant Pot 4-Ingredient Banana Bread
Instant Pot Apple Cider Donut Cake
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
Moist cake made with applesauce and apple cider and topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Addicting!
For the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider (not apple cider vinegar 😜)
- 6 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 6 Tbsp applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- Optional: 1 Tbsp melted butter, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the frosting:
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp apple cider
If you want glaze instead of frosting:
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Spray a half size bundt cake pan* liberally with non-stick cooking spray. Pour 1 cup water into the bottom of your Instant Pot.
- In a mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the sugar, apple cider, oil, applesauce, vanilla and eggs.
- Add egg mixture to flour mixture and whisk until combined. Scrape batter into the prepared bundt cake pan.
- Cover the bundt cake pan with foil. Place the pan on a trivet/sling with handles* and lower the pan into the Instant Pot.
- Cover Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 45 minutes. When time is up wait 5 minutes and then release the pressure and remove the lid. Remove the pan. Invert the pan onto a plate/platter and remove the cake from the pan.
- Optional step: Spread melted butter with a pastry brush all over cake. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the cake.
- Make your choice of a glaze or the frosting by whisking/beating the ingredients together well until smooth. Drizzle the glaze on or spread the frosting over the cake once it has cooled.
I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. You can make this in your 8 quart as well. Just add 1.5 cups of water into Instant Pot instead of 1 cup.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Instant Pot
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
John F Errera says
I was wondering if you can recommend a cooking spray. I have the Nordic ware 6 cup Bundt pan but I have seen so many manufacturers warn against using cooking sprays (like Pam I assume) because of the sticky residue.
I can’t wait until October to make this cake!
Oh shoot, I just use Pam. But maybe I should be buttering the pan and using flour.
Made this tonight for a late night snack. Followed directions exactly and the cake came out great. Used cinnamon applesauce of course, just to make sure I got all the cinnamon I could get. Did the drizzle thing with powdered BochaSweet just to cut the carbs a bit. It was a little more runny than the glaze in your picture but tasted great. Thanks, as always, Karen.
So glad it worked well for you! I love this one.
Hi Karen! This cake is everything I ever wanted. I am an apple cider super fan. I am also obsessed with my Instant Pot. This is the first cake I’ve ever made in my Instant Pot. The cake was absolutely delicious but I don’t think mine cooked all the way through. It was still gummy in consistency in top when I removed the foil and when I cut into it I felt it was still a little too moist to be considered done. Is this actually what the cake is supposed to be like? As I said, I still ate and loved it, just not sure if I should add a few minutes extra next time.
The cakes that come out of the instant pot are definitely not normal cakes like come out of the oven. They are dense and moist. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But I like them!
I don’t know that that is necessarily the case. I’ve made a couple of cakes using mixes that come out fluffy and like they were baked in the oven. This was a completely different texture from that.
The info: 1) First time making IP cake 2) First time hearing of/using a half-size Bundt cake pan
The review: Yes, this is a dense cake, but it’s supposed to be. Very delicious. Had to eat 2 pieces back to back, to make sure it was 😛 I made it with the glaze option since I didn’t have cream cheese. Instructions were crystal clear and thanks for the water note on the 8 qt IP.
Thanks for your review! So glad you liked it!
Margaret Wyant says
I made this and it was very dense. almost like it didn’t rise at all. is that the texture that it should be? the flavor was very good. i followed the directions very closely. i was expecting it to be more “doughnutty”.
Definitely the Instant Pot has a different texture with baked goods than with an oven. Since it’s moist heat instead of dry heat things are denser and moister. Some people love that and some do not.
Ours came out a bit dense, any suggestions? The flavor was still great but it didn’t quite have that cake donut consistency.
I don’t have any suggestions but just a comment that since the Instant Pot is using moist heat to cook instead of dry heat like an oven it’s not going to be that light and airy texture. I should add that to the recipe card above. Thanks and sorry!
It was very tasty. A few changes I made were: used only 1/2 cup of sugar vs. 3/4 cup. I sifted the dry ingredients. Once the cake was done, I placed it on a rack to cool rather than cooling on a plate. Once it was cool, added the butter, cinnamon, sugar mixture. Next time will use half the amount of cinnamon/sugar. Also made the glaze, but ended up only using about half or less, of that. Plan to make another one this weekend. Perfect for fall.
Good changes! Thanks Sharon!
Can this be made Gluten Free?
Hi Lynn, I have not tried this with gluten free flour. I honestly am not familiar with gluten free baking and then to throw the Instant Pot in the mix might be disastrous. I would look for a gluten free apple cider doughnut cake and then bake in the oven. Perhaps this one: https://cupcakesandkalechips.com/gluten-free-apple-cider-donut-cake/
I just vacationed in Rhobeth Beach Delaware and it seems like such a nice area & state to be in!
That sounds like a perfect getaway Brooke! We will put it on our bucket list 😊
It’s a great place for summer vacay lots of Nice places to shop & eat all over, so many lovely rental properties they have too walking distance to the beach & Avenue there. I didn’t want to leave 😃
Judy Moore says
So glad you enjoyed our little state! Next time you plan an end of summer/fall trip you gotta stop by Fifer’s Orchard. You can easily make a whole day fly by & you will leave feeling like you’re part of the family. We have lots of wonderful places packed into Delaware. Check us out when planning your next visit: delaware.gov
Hope you enjoy us again soon ❤
Judy Moore says
First I want to say – your recipes are fantastic! Second;
Come see us! We have a lot of greatness packed into our little state. When you’re planning your trip, check out delaware.gov & see what we have going on. Rehoboth Beach is a great place to visit. Brooke is 100% correct. There’s something for everyone. Fifers Orchard is a must. You won’t want to leave & you’ll find yourself daydreaming about all the recipe ideas. If you like nature, we welcome you to our Bombay Wildlife Refuge, where you can enjoy birdwatching, collecting leaves or a leisurely stroll among the sounds of nature.
It sounds so dreamy Judy! Will come sometime in the fall!
Have you tried this with a sugar free alternative? Such as stevia or monk fruit?
I haven’t! I really don’t bake ever with these sweeteners so I am unsure on how it would affect the finished product.
Can this be baked in the oven? I don’t have that size bundt cake pan and really can’t afford one right now. I have the regular bundt pan (and I’m sure I would have to increase the recipe since it is larger). I really want to make this!
I was going to ask the same question. I hate to purchase another pan just for this cake recipe. Perhaps double the recipe and use a full size bundt pan? Temp and time?
Hi Elizabeth, I took my version of the recipe from this Martha Stewart recipe: https://www.marthastewart.com/1513135/apple-cider-doughnut-cake
It is for a full size bundt cake pan. I would follow the directions for that. You can swap out the whole wheat flour and olive oil for all purpose flour and vegetable oil. Then you can make the cinnamon cream frosting I posted on my recipe but double it.
CLAUDIA DAVIS says
I know this is your intention but since I do not have that 6 cup Bundt pan yet and my mom loves Apple cider donuts, I taking your recipe and making it into muffins or mini muffins in the oven depending which pan I grab first!
Yum! Those sound fabulous!
Could this recipe be used it the egg bites pan? Cooking time?
I bet it could! You’d have too much batter probably though. I would try 15 minutes on steam.
Nice idea! How long did you cook them in the muffin tins?
Lori Sari says
This looks amazing! I haven’t made a cake in the Instant Pot yet. I think I need to invest in the half size Bundt pan!
I like to use it for a few recipes! Here are some others to try if you do indeed get a pan:
Lori Sari says
Just got one for my birthday! Going to try either the Apple cider cake or the banana bread (or both)! 😂
Yes! Do both!