This tender keto apple cake has all the delicious flavor of an apple cider donut. Dusted with cinnamon and sweetener, it’s a perfect low carb fall dessert.
Nothing says fall is here like the smell of an apple cider donut. Let’s be honest, they’re pretty hard to resist at this time of year. But let’s also be honest about the fact that your blood sugar won’t thank you for it.
Thank goodness it’s easy to replicate those same flavors with keto ingredients. This Apple Cider Donut Cake is like one big giant donut, just waiting for you to dig in…without the resulting sugar high.
If you’re looking for something a little smaller, be sure to check out my Keto Apple Cider Donut Bites too!
Keto Apple Cake!
Apples are not the best choice on a keto diet, as they have a surprisingly high carb content. A typical medium apple contains 25g of carbs, 19 of which are sugar.
So sitting down and eating a whole apple is not recommended. But that does not mean you have to abstain entirely from apple deliciousness.
I sometimes like to use a little bit of real apple in a recipe that contains a number of servings, like in my Keto Caramel Apple Coffee Cake. Kept to a minimum, it lends authenticity without adding much to the carb count.
Apple cider donuts don’t actually contain any apples, instead relying on apple cider for flavor. Obviously, apple cider isn’t particularly keto friendly either, but again, using a little in a cake that serves 16 boosts the flavor and authenticity in a keto apple cake.
Baking with apple extract
Because we have to keep the apples and/or apple cider to a minimum in a keto apple cake, it’s important to use apple extract or flavoring as well.
I have this natural apple extract from Olive Nation, but One to One Flavors also sells a number of apple flavorings, including one specifically for apple cider. That might be a great choice for this keto apple cider donut cake.
I will say that no apple flavor I’ve tried is quite perfect, which is why I still added some real apple cider to this recipe. If you really want to avoid the apple cider, you can simply use more extract. It will save about 1g carbs per serving but the flavor won’t be quite the same.
How to make Keto Apple Cider Donut Cake
This is an easy keto apple cake that looks like a giant apple cider donut. How fun is that? Here are my best tips to getting it right:
- Use a bundt pan if you have one, for that fun donut shape. Bundt pans are wonderful because they add instant elegance to a simple cake recipe. But you could bake this in a 9-inch round cake pan as well.
- Be sure to grease the pan well and work the grease into every nook and cranny of the pan, to avoid sticking. The regular fluted bundt pans work best, as they look more like a donut and they don’t have deep crevices where the cake might stick.
- Using a good high powered blender or food processor will make this cake batter lighter and fluffier, but you can also just mix it in a bowl by hand.
- Yes, the protein powder is important, as it too makes keto cakes lighter and fluffier, and more like real cake. You can sub egg white protein powder, or plant based protein powders, but please do not use collagen protein as it makes baked goods gummier and hard to cook through.
- The apple cider in this recipe is just enough to boost the flavor without adding too many carbs (less than 1g per serving). If you’d prefer, you can do water and another ½ teaspoon to full teaspoon of apple extract. You can also use unsweetened applesauce instead.
- Brush the cooled cake all over with melted butter to help your cinnamon “sugar” stick to the outside.
- Make this an over-the-top keto apple cake by drizzling with my Keto Caramel Sauce. Absolutely heavenly!
More keto cake recipes for fall
- Keto Pumpkin Caramel Bundt Cake
- Keto Cranberry Bliss Pound Cake
- Keto Almond Ricotta Cake
- Keto Pecan Pie Cheesecake
- Keto Cinnamon Spice Cake
- Keto Pumpkin Crumb Cake
Keto Apple Cider Donut Cake
- ½ cup sour cream
- 5 large eggs (room temperature)
- ⅓ cup Swerve Brown
- ⅓ cup Swerve Granular
- 2 teaspoon apple extract
- 2 cups almond flour
- ⅓ cup coconut flour
- ⅓ cup whey protein powder
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ to ½ cup apple cider (or unsweetened apple sauce)
- 2 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 tablespoon Swerve Granular
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 10 cup capacity bundt pan well.
- In a high-powered blender or food processor, combine the sour cream, eggs, sweeteners, and apple extract. Blend until smooth. Add the almond flour, coconut flour, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Blend again until smooth.
- Add ⅓ of the apple cider, and blend. If that batter is still quite thick, add the remaining apple cider and blend. The batter should be of a thick but pourable consistency.
- Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove and let cool at least 30 minutes in the pan, then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, brush all over with the melted butter. Stir the Swerve and cinnamon together and sprinkle all over the cake.
This cake came out moist and delicious. I didn’t have apple extract so I used unsweetened applesauce. I used the full amount of apple cider (1/2 cup) I found this amount made the batter more pourable which I think kept the cake from being to dense.
Ann S. says
I couldn’t find apple extract so I used apple pie spice. It turned out great! I am just eating my first piece and I love it!
This is my third recipe off your site and so far, the two of the three I have eaten are great. The third is cheese skillet bread going into Thanksgiving Day stuffing…also your recipe. Thanks for so many great alternatives
Wendy S Feggestad says
How to really convey just how AMAZING this Apple Cider Donut Cake escapes me! One of my all-time favorite fall treats is Apple Cider Donuts, and boy do I miss them. They’re definitely not a wise choice with T2 diabetes. I had everything on hand except the apple cider (of course), so I followed Carolyn’s option to use water and increased the apple extract to 3 tsp. This cake is the real deal, and has just become a weekly staple. Good luck everyone in adhering to the suggested serving size LOL!
Anna Morton says
SUPER moist and delicious!
If this is done in a 9inch pan, would I need to use two pans or just one? Thank you.
Just the one, I would imagine. But I clearly didn’t make mine that way…
Dianne Vanderlist says
What can I use instead of Almond flour because of nut allergies please, that is with so many recipes.
Sorry, this is an almond flour based recipe. But I have a whole section devoted to nut free. https://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/category/nut-free/
Angela Calabrese says
can you use any other extract flavor? vanilla or maple?
Of course! It won’t be apple cider donut cake that way but would still be tasty.
Can I make this into regular size donuts? If so, any guess on how many it would make? I only have one 6 well donut pan.
This would make a lot (A LOT!) of regular donuts. Try this recipe instead, it will probably make 12 but you could cut it in half if you wanted. https://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/low-carb-apple-cider-donut-bites/
This looks delicious! If I’m not on a keto diet, can I sub more unsweetened applesauce for the apple extract? If so, how much? I can’t find apple extract anywhere!
Sorry, I have no idea, I don’t use applesauce. I suspect it will throw off your wet to dry ratio.
Olive Nation makes an excellent Apple Extract. You can find it on their website or on Amazon.
I’m going to make this today for my birthday. I have, of all things, homemade hard apple cider,my third batch, which because of the fermentation has no carbs, all the sugar gets eaten up by the yeast. There are some brands out there that are likewise very low carb, Seattle Dry and Ace Dry are two that I’ve enjoyed. None of them are sweet, I like them that way, but that can be remedied with a little liquid sweetener for the recipe.
I would have never thought of this recipe and have wanted to try an apple cider donuts since I went to the union square market with my son, alas I am gluten/dairy free. I sub Kitehill yogurt for the sour cream.
Love your recipes, even when I have to change it up a bit. Thanks!
If I crash and burn I’ll let you know.
Great to know about the cider!
Dianne Vanderlist says
Never heard of home-made hard apple cider what is that?
Used my Kitchen Aid mixer to blend the batter as I don’t have a big enough food processor. The crumb came out like a light coffee cake. Used unsweetened apple sauce (apple cider comes in a gallon this time of year here). Keeps well in the fridge. Made caramel sauce and whipped cream for toppings. Huge hit. Carolyn is the best of the best.
What would be an alternative for the whey protein powder? How about collagen protein powder with MCT oil?
Please read the tips section, as I address that.
Jamie T Greer says
Love the consistency and ease of this blender cake!!
Can I change up the flavors ie. lemon
I would lose the cinnamon and use lemon extract but should I keep the apple sauce?
Change it up and sub water for the apple cider.