One of the beverages served from the time leaves start changing colors to well past the coldest days of winter is Christmas Apple Cider Cake! It can be served chilled, warmed, seasoned or even as part of a mixed drink.

But, did you know that Apple Cider is a key ingredient for making basic recipes for pies, cookies and cakes taste more like a traditional Christmas dish?

Christmas Apple Cider Cake

If you’ve ever read any of my cookbooks or articles in magazines and newspapers, then you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I love adding crazy fun flavor in simple ways.

And, Apple Cider is one of my favorite “cheater” ingredients. And, I need to give credit where it’s do! I used Apple Cider in several of my pork recipes, but my wife Allyson introduced me to using the tasty beverage in baking.

One of the first dishes she cooked for me when me met was her secret recipe for a Southern Apple Pie which she makes a couple of times every fall Christmas Apple Cider Cake. Yep – you guessed it, the mouth-watering flavor comes from reducing Apple Cider to add to her filling mixture.

The use of Apple Cider in pork and Allyson’s Apple Pie recipe started us down a path of using the beverage in other recipes. Especially when it comes to baking.

Apple CiderSo, when we ran across a recipe idea for Christmas Apple Cider Cake, we knew we had to try it. And, when we tried it, tweaked it, and shared it with friends who all gave a thumbs up… we knew we had to share it. We hope this quick and easy recipe for one of our holiday favorites becomes one of your family’s favorites as well.

Super Easy Christmas Apple Cider Cake

This recipe for Christmas Apple Cider Cake is very simple. The key is starting out with a premium boxed cake mix… yes – go buy a mix. Remember, I said this recipe was quick and easy! If you want to start from scratch and avoid the box mix feel free too.

Just adjust the recipe to use Apple Cider as your liquid. For those of you who want to start with a box mix, here’s what you need to do.

First, don’t worry about pans. You can make this as a sheet cake, cupcakes, or even as a Bundt cake. It’s your choice. Plus, the recipe includes chopped apples.

I suggest using tart apples instead of sweet apples. Tart apples retain shape and texture better when cooked. Sweet apples break down easily as the sugars break down during the baking process. The same rule applies to making Christmas Apple Cider Cake pies.


  • 1 box moist white or yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 cup apple cider, not diet or lite
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup peeled, then chopped apples (about 2 medium apples)

For The Cake Topping

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Crushed walnuts or pecans

Directions: First, heat your oven to 350° degrees. Next, prepare your cake dish, pans or sheet pan using non-stick spray or oil. In large bowl, combine the cake mix with the apple cider and butter. Add in the eggs, remaining ingredients while saving the apples for last.

Fold the apples in but do not let them sink to the bottom Christmas Apple Cider Cake. Pour into your prepared baking dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes depending on your oven. A toothpick will come out clean when inserted.

Allow the cake to cool and then brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar while butter coating is still warm.  Sprinkle with crushed walnuts or pecans.

This recipe is perfect for tweaking and making your own. When we use this as a cupcake recipe, we like to include crushed walnuts or pecans in the cake mix as well as the topping. We’ve also had people tell us that they have included other fruit such as berries and even pineapple! Go crazy, try new things and enjoy this dish with your family!


Author Bio: Kent “The Deck Chef” Whitaker is the former winner of the Emeril Live / Food Network barbecue contest. He’s a culinary writer and cookbook author – his newest title is Great American Grilling. He also writes about College football, the NFL and NASCAR for several media outlets. Look for him online at .