RECIPE: Forget pumpkin spice - it’s apple cider season, y’all

I recently spotted my first apple cider doughnut of the year, and just like that, my mood flipped from humid summer slog to cozy fall fun. Sure, the thermometer still reaches sky-high, but in my mind and kitchen, it’s apple season. Let’s make a cake.

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, is right around the corner. Apple cake is a traditional celebratory dessert for this holiday. This recipe uses apple cider (inspired by the aforementioned doughnut) in the batter, infusing every bite with rich autumn flavors.

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It’s important to use apple cider, which has more robust apple flavor, than apple juice, which simply tastes sugary. You can use the cinnamon and nutmeg indicated here or substitute your favorite warm notes like cloves, all spice, ginger or cardamom.

Apple cake becomes more moist the longer it sits, reaching its ideal texture two days after baking — if you can resist that long. The rich, dense flavors pair with strong coffee or hot mulled cider. If you’re feeling really decadent, you can top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. After all, calories don’t matter in soon-to-be sweater weather.

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