In the kitchen with Sharon

Sharon Hughes Staff columnist

Sharon Hughes Staff columnist

This is a picture of Lesley Lightner’s apple cider doughnut cake.

Courtesy photo

Hello! In the kitchen with me this week is my good friend Lesley Lightner. I saw that Lesley had this recipe on Facebook where she had just made this wonderful cake. I sent her a message and said, “Lesley, would you share this with all our readers” and she said, “Of course, I will be glad to.”

I love it when everyone likes to share instead of saying it’s a family secret. I love sharing anything I make so everyone can enjoy.

When I make a recipe I don’t make it exact because I always add my own surprise ingredient, just to be different or add something I like better. Example: If it calls for walnuts, I might add pecans, or if it has raisins, I might leave them out. But since I love raisins, I leave them in. I have learned to improvise through the years and I know most of you have, too.

I hope all of you enjoy this recipe Lesley shared with us. When you see her tell her thank you. Thank you so much Lesley, and keep sending those great recipes.

Have a great week and please send your recipes to [email protected] or call me at 937-393-3456.

Apple Cider

Doughnut Cake


For the cake

One 15.25-ounce box of yellow cake mix. I used Betty Crocker Yellow Super Moist.

3/4 cup apple cider; NOT apple juice

1/4 cup water, room temperature. Note — If you want a stronger apple cider taste, omit the water and use one full cup of apple cider.

1/2 cup apple sauce. We used cinnamon apple sauce, not chunky.

3 large eggs, room temperature

1/4 tsp. cinnamon, or more if you like it really cinnamony.

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

For the cinnamon

sugar topping

2 tablespoons cinnamon depending on how much cinnamon you prefer

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup melted butter (unsalted)

For the dipping glaze (optional)

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup apple cider


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl,beat the dry cake mix, apple cider, apple sauce, water and eggs. Add in the cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla to the cake mix batter.

3. Pour the mix into a well-greased and floured bundt pan (we use Baker’s Joy. It has flour in it to make sure it doesn’t stock).

4. Place bundt pan on center rack and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Test with a toothpick by sticking into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean it is ready. Remove from heat and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

Apple cider dipping glaze (optional)

1. While the cake is cooking, prepare the apple cider glaze. Add powdered sugar and 1/4 cup apple cider to a small bowl and whisk to desired consistency.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar.

3. Once the cake has cooled, brush the entire surface with melted butter. Rub cinnamon sugar mixture on until evenly coated.

4. Serve with apple cider glaze dip (or drizzle glaze on top of the cake) and enjoy!

Sharon Hughes is the advertising manager at The Times-Gazette. She is also a mother, grandmother and chef.

Sharon Hughes Staff columnist Hughes Staff columnist

This is a picture of Lesley Lightner’s apple cider doughnut cake. is a picture of Lesley Lightner’s apple cider doughnut cake. Courtesy photo