This Spiced Cider Apple Cake Recipe with Brown Butter Frosting is a perfectly moist and tender fall cake flavored with apple cider and spices which gets frosted with the most addictively creamy maple brown butter frosting. Fall baking has never tasted so good! If you love other fall desserts, you will adore my Caramel Cake, Sweet Potato Pie and Pumpkin Cake!!
Disclosure: I partnered with McCormick for this Spiced Cider Apple Cake post, but all opinions expressed here are my own. I am grateful for authentic partnerships like this.
The BEST Apple Cake made with Spiced Cider- Perfect for Fall!
It’s apple season y’all. From McIntosh and Honey crisp to Granny Smith and Braeburn, the Fall season produces the absolute best of this delicious fruit. Pleasantly crisp, sweet and juicy apples are made to be enjoyed in endless ways, and I’m excited to bust out a few new recipes. This Spiced Cider Apple Cake Recipe is perfection. It adds layers of sweetness, spice and creaminess with the addition of brown butter frosting. Made with butter, brown sugar, apple cider and some additional spices, this cake is beautifully balanced while also celebrating the best of Fall flavors. This is truly a recipe you will find yourself coming back each Autumn!
Ingredients for Best Apple Cake Recipe
As with every recipe, it’s important to begin your recipe with high-quality ingredients that work together to produce the purest and tastiest flavors.
The key ingredients for creating a Moist Apple Cake are the following:
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Large Eggs
- Vegetable Oil
- Apple Cider
For delicious cakes like these, I try to use the best butter I can. It is crucial that it is room temperature so it mixes perfectly to create a silky batter.
For this cake, I also use two different types of sugar. A mixture of both Granulated Sugar and Brown Sugar adds two different flavors. I love the addition of brown sugar because the molasses adds so much depth of flavor and additional moisture to the cake.
Large eggs add stability to the cake recipe; the yolks add moistness and the whites dry to give the cake more structure.
To make sure this is a very moist cake, I added both oil, milk and of course apple cider so it gets that great fall flavor.
Best Spices for Making Spiced Apple Cider for Apple Cake Recipe
There are a few other crucial ingredients that make this cake one of the best you’ll ever have. The apple cider adds the tart apple essence without the large chunks of apple that I know some people can find unpleasant in their cakes.
The cinnamon balances the sweetness of the cake by adding in a subtle amount of spice. The milk, although not uncommon in cakes, tenderizes and moistens the cake to create that melt in your mouth element. All together they create a well-balanced and not too overly sweet cake.
I love using McCormick Extracts when baking. Made with premium ingredients, these extracts are the perfect way to brighten up all your favorite recipes. This recipe specifically calls for McCormick Maple Extract and McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract. Made with real maple and vanilla beans, each extract adds rich, sweet and subtle flavor to the cake and the buttercream recipe. I promise that with these two extracts, you’ll never go wrong.
How to Make Brown Butter Frosting for Moist Apple Cake Recipe
Lastly, let’s talk about that brown butter frosting. By browning the butter, you create a lovely nutty, caramel like tone that adds a new dimension.
The butter, cream cheese and heavy cream make for a fluffy, light and creamy buttercream you could eat by the spoonful. Does it get any better than that? Each fall day is made better with a hefty slice so enjoy each bite full of apple, cinnamon and brown butter goodness with hints of vanilla and maple wonder throughout.
Other Fall Baking Recipes Beyond This Easy Apple Cake Recipe
If you love other apple and perfect fall baking recipes, check out these:
- This Caramel Apple Cheesecake recipe is seriously unbelievably addictive! It is a fall baking must!
- I can’t get through fall without these Apple Fritters!
- Simple baking can’t get any easier than these Baked Crumble Apples!
- If you ever want to switch up the frosting on this cake, try my Caramel Buttercream!
- Butterscotch and apples are a match made in heaven in these Butterscotch Apple Bars!
Spiced Cider Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
For the Cake
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp McCormick vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp McCormick ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp McCormick allspice
- 3/4 cup apple cider room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk room temperature
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper on the bottom and prepare the sides with a non stick baking spray.
- Add the butter, both sugars, oil, and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl on medium high speed and mix together about 4-5 minutes until light, fluffy and well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
- While cake continues to mix, add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice to a bowl and whisk together to combine.
- Slow mixer down to lowest speed and slowly add dry ingredients to batter.
- Next pour in apple cider and milk and mix on low speed until silky batter is just combined.
- Once ready, carefully divide batter into three cake pans making sure they are even. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes then flip to remove from pan onto cooling racks. Allow cake layers to come to room temperature.
For the Frosting
- In a medium sized light colored pan, melt butter over medium heat and occasionally stir.
- Allow butter to brown until tiny brown specks appear and a nutty aroma develops (this is after about 6 or 7 minutes following a foaming period). Once butter has browned, remove from heat, and immediately pour into a heat-proof bowl. Refrigerate until solid.
- Once butter is solid, add butter and cream cheese to bowl of your mixer and mix on medium speed until combined.
- Next turn the mixer down to low and slowly add confectioner’s sugar and salt in small portions until all is added then turn the speed to medium high to combine.
- Lastly add heavy cream, vanilla extract and maple extract and mix until nice and fluffy.
- Frost completely cooled cake layers and serve.