Recipe Review: Cider Cake by Paul Hollywood

So I decided to make a dry cider cake. This is not a recipe I would make regularly but In the spirit of the holidays, I decided to check for an amazing cider cake recipe. When you think of holidays, cinnamon, apples, and baked goods come to mind alongside some warm cider. 

Cider Cake

I searched for a cider cake recipe and I found a cider cake recipe by Paul Hollywood on the internet, With his reputation, I had no doubt that I would make this cake. 

The description of this recipe made it clear that this was more of a tea cake as it was not overly sweet and it has notes of apple, cider, and cinnamon.

Cider Cake

The recipe and Instructions

This recipe closely resembled a regular butter cake. The only different things were the cider and cinnamon that were included In the ingredients list. If I removed the cinnamon and cider and added some milk and vanilla, this was a simple butter cake.

This cake is made using the creaming method. Here, you cream the butter and sugar until they are fluffy then add the eggs one at a time. Scrape the batter after each addition. After this, you add the flour and cider, alternating between the two and ending with the flour.

Then you turn the batter into your baking tin and bake for 30-40 mins. My cake was done at the 30 minutes mark so I suggest checking your cake after 30 minutes and not waiting for the 40-minute mark. 

While baking this cake, my home smelled like cinnamon, everywhere smelled like spice, however, I could not smell the cider. If you bake this cake in the early hours of the morning or late at night, it will give your home a warm, cozy, holiday-esque feel. 

After the cake was baked I let it cool before sprinkling on some powdered sugar.

SN: Mix in your flour and cider into your batter by hand. I used a mixer and I had to be very careful when mixing. The introduction of any loose liquid invites the possibility of gluten development.  I was initially afraid that I overmixed my cake but I did not.

Cider Cake

The Texture

The cider cake by Paul Hollywood is soft but slightly dense. Not dense enough to be called a chocolate cake though.

The Flavor

The first taste of the cake gave me a cinnamon overload. This recipe called for 1 tsp of cinnamon and that was a bit much. I believe ½ a tsp would be better. The taste of the cider is barely noticeable. I tried to taste the cake reflectively, trying to get some cider notes but all I could taste was cinnamon. The butter was invisible in the flavor profile. 

The cake as a whole is not very sweet. It is not your regular cake and it is rightfully called or described as a tea cake. I like the slight sweetness but this is not for everybody. A taste tester told me they didn’t like this cake because It was not sweet enough and I even dusted my cake with powdered sugar. 

if you will be serving this cake to children or people with a sweet tooth,  i recommend a glaze made with cider or apple juice and some powdered sugar. Do not add cinnamon to the glaze though. You can serve the glaze separately and allow your guests to decide if they need the glaze. 

While people who do not like sugary things will like this cake, children may not share this sentiment.
Is this the best cake I have baked? NO, as I was reminded by a taste tester (such high standards in this house).

Cider Cake

Do I recommend this recipe?

Yes but I recommend that you cut the quantity of cinnamon in this recipe into half so that the flavor of the cider can shine through.
It is a great tea cake, not a dessert cake. Pair this with the cake with some sweetened whipped cream. Pour on some cider or apple glaze, add a tiny bit of brandy or rum for an enhancement of the apple flavor.

I used this cake to make cake pops and they were nice. The cake pops were not cloyingly sweet because the buttercream added sweetness to a cake that was not overly sweet, to begin with.

Know your audience before you make this cake, children and sweet lovers may not appreciate this cider cake. 

Thank you for reading my review. Check out more posts from my holiday eats series by clicking the holiday eats labels and find my reviews and recommendations for things you should make during the holiday period.

If you have any recipes you feel I should review, leave it in the comment section.


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