Home · Recipes · Layer Cakes Apple Cider Layer Cake Author: Maryanne CabreraPublished: Oct 1, 2019Updated: Sep 29, 2023 View Recipe6 ReviewsThis post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy. Apple cider layer cake features yellow cake filled with cooked apples and frosted with apple cider buttercream. Apple season has arrived! You’ve picked some apples and maybe even pressed own your apple cider at the local apple orchard. Celebrate apple season and enjoy autumn’s flavors with this show stopping apple cake. It’s an impressive looking cake that may seem daunting to make. However, you can easily break down the steps over a couple days to lessen the load. This apple cider cake is perfect for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and even through the rest of the year. It’s a wonderful showpiece dessert to serve to loved ones. What is Apple Cider? Before we begin, let’s get clarify what kind of “apple cider” is used in this recipe. The labeling of “apple cider” versus “apple juice” varies from state to state. For the sake of this recipe, apple cider refers to unfiltered apple juice. It is juice that is a bit cloudy and thicker than your regular boxed apple juice. Don’t use hard cider, alcoholic apple cider, or sparkling apple cider for this recipe. If you want real deal fresh apple cider, it’s best to get the good stuff from an apple orchard or at a local farmer’s market. More Apple Cider Recipes Apple Cinnamon Rolls Brown Butter Apple Cider Donuts with Cider Glaze Spiked Apple Cider Apple Cider Sangria Layer Cake Components Apple Cider Yellow Cake : Yellow cake has a much richer flavor due to the amount of eggs, egg yolks, and butter in the batter. To ensure the cake is moist and flavorful, this batter uses a combination of oil and butter. Be sure to use a neutral flavored oil like grape seed oil or vegetable oil to allow the buttery notes to shine. Pressed for time, swap in your favorite yellow cake box mix. Use apple cider in place of the liquid listed in the box instructions. Apple Cider Buttercream: Mix softened butter with powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy. A few tablespoons of apple cider concentrate gives the buttercream a pop of apple flavor. To make apple cider concentrate: Bring 1 cup apple cider to a boi. Reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 20 minutes until cider has reduced to about 1/2 cup. Apple Filling: Cook chopped apples with butter, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and apple cider. Use a combination of Granny Smith and Gala apples. These two apple varieties cook at different rates, creating textural variety. Granny Smith will remain a bit firm, while the Gala will be soft and tender. The filling is thickened with arrowroot instead cornstarch. Learn the differences arrowroot versus cornstarch in this Apple Ginger Cake recipe post. Calvados Apple Soaking Liquid: Calvados is apple brandy produced in Normandy (Northern France). It is made from pressed apples (apple cider) that is fermented into a dry cider. The liquid is distilled into brandy and aged. Calvados intensifies the apple flavors of this cake. Very little alcohol is actually soaked into the cakes. You can’t get drunk from one slice (or even, if you eat the entire cake!). Simply omit the Calvados if you prefer to keep the cake booze-free. How to Assemble Filled Layer Cake If necessary, level cake layers. Place one cake layer on turn table or cake stand. Lightly soak cake layer with Calvados apple soaking liquid. Spread a thin layer of buttercream over cake layer. Use a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip to pipe a double ring of buttercream along the perimeter of cake. Add cooled cooked apple filling within the buttercream borders. Spread apple filling into an even layer flush with buttercream ring. Add second cake layer. Repeat soaking, piping buttercream border, and adding apple filling. Add final cake layer on top. A thin layer of buttercream to crumb coat the cake. Once the entire cake is frosted, pop in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to allow buttercream frosting to harden. If desired, add another layer of buttercream all over cake. Easy Cake Decor Ideas As shown in this post: Fit piping bag with a medium to large star tip. Fill piping bag with any remaining buttercream. Pipe little dollops of stars along the perimeter of cake. Decorate with sprinkles as desired. Go a buttercream spackle effect as shown in this nutty espresso cake or apricot chamomile cake. Otherwise, go for the “naked cake” look like this carrot cake or lemon layer cake where the exterior of the cake is partially exposed. How to Slice and Serve Cake Cake will be easier to slice when cold. Cold cake will produce cleaner slices. Allow cake slices to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving to allow cake and buttercream to soften. This 8-inch cake very generously serves 8 people. Ideally, slice the cake into 12 portions. Use a butter knife or ruler to lightly score the top of the cake to create markers for slicing. What does scoring mean? Scoring the cake means pre-marking the cake into desired serving sizes. Serve this cake with milk (cold or hot). The cake is on the sweet side (7 out of 10, with 10 being very sweet). It pairs well with unsweetened hot tea or coffee. Storage Instructions Assembled cake can be stored in the fridge (unsliced) for up to two days before serving. Once cake has been sliced open, store in an airtight container to prevent cake from drying out. Alternatively, cover exposed cake parts with wax paper or parchment paper. More Fall Cake Recipes Pumpkin Bundt Cake Apple Ginger Cake Chai Layer Cake Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake Apple Cider Layer Cake This Apple Cider Layer Cake features apple cider flavored yellow cake filled with cooked apples and frosted with apple cider buttercream.Yield: three layer 8-inch cake Prep Time: 35 minutes minutesCook Time: 35 minutes minutesAssembly: 30 minutes minutesTotal Time: 1 hour hour 40 minutes minutes Servings: 12 slices Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate Recipe IngredientsApple Cider Cake:4 cups (480 g) cake flour2 teaspoon kosher salt1 ½ teaspoon baking powder1 teaspoon baking soda1 cup apple cider*½ cup whole milk½ cup grapeseed oil, or other neutral flavored oil1 cup unsalted butter, softened, room temp2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract3 large egg yolks3 large eggsApple Filling:1 Tablespoon unsalted butter285 grams peeled, chopped apples * (2 medium apples)1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice6 Tablespoon light brown sugar, packed½ teaspoon kosher salt¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon¼ cup apple cider2 teaspoon arrowroot powderApple Cider Buttercream:1 ½ cup (340 g) unsalted butter, softened5 cup (568 g) powdered sugar2-4 Tablespoon apple cider concentrate *1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract½ teaspoon kosher saltCalvados Apple Soaking Liquid:3 Tbsp apple cider concentrate1 Tablespoon Calvados, (apple brandy) optional Instructions Cake:Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans. Line bottom with parchment paper. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, kosher salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a large 2 cup measuring glass, whisk together apple cider, milk, and grapeseed oil. Set aside.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Scrape down bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low-medium, add yolks and eggs one at a time. Allowing each yolk/egg to be incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down bowl as needed. Batter may look slightly curdled.Alternate adding flour mixture and wet mixture. Start by adding ¼ of flour mixture. Mix on low speed until almost incorporated. Add ⅓ of wet mixture. Once smooth, repeat adding another ¼ flour mixture followed by ⅓ wet mixture. Start and end with flour mixture. Scrape down bowl often to ensure thorough mixing. Once all the flour has been added, increase speed to medium-high for 15-20 seconds until batter is smooth.Evenly divide batter among prepared cake pans. Level using an offset spatula or by using the back of a spoon. Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Rotate pans midway through baking. Allow cakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Then, run a mini offset spatula (or knife) along the edges of pan to help loosen cake. Unmold and cool cakes to room temperature on wire rack .Apple Filling:In a small heavy bottomed sauce pot, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add chopped apples and lemon juice. Toss to coat apples in butter.Add brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Mix to combine. Add apple cider. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Simmer mixture for 5-7 minutes until apples are softened. *Keep in mind, the Granny Smith apples will be a bit firmer than the Gala apples.In a small bowl, stir together arrowroot powder and 2 teaspoon water. Mix until dissolved. Quickly pour and incorporate into apple mixture. Remove from heat. Transfer to a heat safe container and let mixture cool at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Apple Cider Buttercream:Beat softened butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons apple cider concentrate, vanilla, and salt. Mix until buttercream is smooth and fluffy. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing. Add additional tablespoons of apple cider concentrate until desired buttercream consistency is achieved. Calvados Soaking Liquid:In a small bowl, combine apple cider concentrate and Calvados. Set aside.Assembly:Fit piping bag with medium round tip. Fill piping bag with about ½ cup buttercream. Set aside.Level cooled cake layers as necessary. Place one cake layer on cake board, serving platter, or cake turntable. Brush or lightly drizzle soaking syrup over cake layer. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top using a small offset spatula.Using the filled piping bag, pipe a border of buttercream along the perimeter of the cake round. Pipe another inner circle of buttercream to create a double wall barrier.Add half of cooled apple filling within buttercream barrier. Place second cake layer on top. Repeat soaking cake, spreading thin layer of buttercream, piping border, and adding apple filling.Place third cake layer on top. Brush any remaining soaking syrup over cake layer. Spread buttercream around the cake to create a "crumb coat" layer to seal in any crumbs. Chill cake in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to set frosting. If desired, generously coat the chilled cake with additional buttercream for a smooth finish. Fit a piping bag with a medium star tip. Fill bag with any remaining buttercream. Decorate the top of cake with piped star boarder. Garnish with sprinkles as desired. Store cake in the fridge until ready to serve. NotesApple Filling: I used a combination of equal parts Granny Smith and Gala apples. They cook at different rates, creating textural variety. Granny Smith will remain a bit firm, while the Gala will be soft and tender. Other firm apples to use in place of Granny Smith include: Rome or Golden Delicious. In place of Gala substitute: Ambrosia or Fuji To make apple cider concentrate: Bring 1 cup apple cider to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes until cider has reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat and cool. Buttercream: Start with 2 tablespoons apple cider concentrate. Add additional tablespoons until desired frosting consistency is achieved. Serving and Slicing Cake: Cold cakes will produce cleaner slices. Let cake sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes perfect serving to soften. Author: Maryanne Cabrera Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanKeyword: apple cider dessert, apple cider cake, apple layer cake, apple cider buttercream Did you make this recipe?Show us on Instagram! Tag @littleepicurean and hashtag #littleepicurean.