Plated slice of easy apple bundt cake topped with caramel sauce.

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Get this apple donut in the oven in no time with a mix of cake spices. Filled with fresh apples and flavored with vanilla and warm spices, this cake is delicious when dusted with icing sugar or drizzled with salted caramel sauce.

Slice of simple apple donut and a scoop of ice cream on a white plate, both topped with caramel sauce.Slice of simple apple donut and a scoop of ice cream on a white plate, both topped with caramel sauce.

Our family went apple picking a couple weeks ago, which means a lot of apples and apple cider are taking up space in our refrigerator.

But don’t worry, I won’t let any of that apple goodness go to waste. In addition to making a couple batches of slow cooker apple butter, I’ve been working on some great new apple recipes to share with you all.

If you want to add some apple desserts to your Thanksgiving dessert menu, this is your lucky year.

Let’s start simple with this simple apple donut. This recipe starts with pie dough but tastes like you made it from scratch, making it the perfect quick recipe to bring to any fall party this year.

Apple donut cut into slices on a sheet of baking paper.Easy donut sliced ​​with apples on a sheet of baking paper.


I don’t believe anyone who tries to argue that making a recipe with boxed cake mix isn’t baking, and I don’t think you should either.

I love baking from scratch and have tons of cake recipes made 100% from scratch. But I also think there’s a time and place to use a tweaked cake mix recipe too.

Like this simple apple donut, for example. Fall is such a busy time of year, I don’t always have the time or energy to make a dessert from scratch. So I don’t mind resorting to a shortcut recipe for a quick and easy cake!

This is also a great recipe for beginner bakers! And the best part is that it still tastes like it was made from scratch, so no one will even guess that it started with a mix.

My simple apple donut starts with spice cake mix. We add lots of vanilla, warm spices and pieces of fresh apples. The final cake is moist, flavorful, and absolutely delicious on its own or topped with salted caramel sauce.

(Check out my Homemade Apple Pie or my Caramel Apple Pie with Salted Caramel Frosting if you’re looking for apple pie recipes made from scratch!)

Slice of simple apple donut on the plate with a bite taken from the corner of the slice.Slice of simple apple donut on the plate with a bite taken from the corner of the slice.


Whether you’re a novice baker or just a mom short on time and energy, this easy apple donut is a great recipe to keep on hand for all your fall gatherings.

Ingredients you will need

Since this recipe starts with spice cake mix, you only need a handful of other ingredients.

In addition to 15.25 ounce spice cake mix, you will need:

  • 3.4 oz package of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of warm water
  • 2 cups peeled, cored and diced baking apples

Even though the pie dough already has some spices in it, I like to add some of the homemade apple pie spices. The cardamom and ginger in the apple pie spices really complement the apples and add so much extra flavor to the pie.

If you have apple juice or apple cider on hand, you can use ½ cup of either of these in place of the water.

2 cups of peeled, cored, and diced apples is typically equivalent to 2 medium apples.

Ingredients for a simple apple donut arranged on a light work surface.Ingredients for a simple apple donut arranged on a light work surface.

Preparing this recipe

It only takes a few minutes to mix together my easy apple donut. Most of the time this recipe takes is free time while it’s in the oven!

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the cake mix, pudding mix, apple pie spices, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla for about 2 minutes. Add the diced apples, then pour the mixture into a container buttered and floured donut pan.

You can use a 10- or 12-cup baking pan; either works well for this recipe.

Bake the cake for 50-55 minutes. It is done with a toothpick which inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Leave the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Frequent questions

How do you store this apple donut?

Because this cake is so moist, I recommend storing it at room temperature for no more than 2 days. If you want to keep it longer, keep it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

You can also freeze the leftover slices of the apple donut. According to my post on how to freeze cake, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in a zip-top freezer bag before freezing.

Can I use yogurt instead of sour cream?

YES! In this recipe you can replace the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt.

Easy apple donut to cool on a wire rack and dusted with icing sugar.Easy apple donut to cool on a wire rack and dusted with icing sugar.

I don’t have any apple pie spices on hand. What can I use instead?

Apple pie spices are perfectly designed to complement the flavor of apples, but don’t panic if you’re out and don’t have time to run to the store or don’t have the ingredients to make your own.

You can substitute 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice – the spices and ratios are a little different than apple pie spice, but they still work great with apples.

If you don’t even have pumpkin pie spice, try adding 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of ground ginger. Add a pinch of ground nutmeg and ground cardamom if you have them on hand.

What kind of apples should I use?

You can use whatever baking apples you like and have on hand. Granny Smith apples are always a good option, but they’re not the only option!

Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Pink Lady, and Cortland are all great options for this apple donut. They have a sweet and sour flavor and a crunchy texture that holds up well after cooking.

Fork cutting a bite out of the corner of a slice of easy apple donut on a white plate.Fork cutting a bite out of the corner of a slice of easy apple donut on a white plate.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 12- or 10-cup bundt pan.

  • In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, pudding mix, apple pie spice, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla, and water with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes . Gently fold in the apples. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  • Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes; invert the cake onto a wire rack to complete cooling.

  • Serve dusted with icing sugar or topped with salted caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Calories: 347kcal, Carbohydrates: 43G, Protein: 4G, Fat: 18G, Saturated fats: 4G, Polyunsaturated fats: 6G, Monounsaturated fat: 6G, Trans fats: 0.1G, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 353mg, Potassium: 201mg, Fiber: 1G, Sugar: 29G, Vitamin A: 133UI, C vitamin: 1mg, Soccer: 61mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is calculated automatically, so should only be used as an approximation.

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