As a medium-sharp vinegar, apple cider vinegar is easygoing when it comes to being substituted. It is almost always a quick 1:1 replacement. You may not find its exact fruity, acidic pitch in these substitutes, but you’ll make a vinegar chicken, or sal…
As a medium-sharp vinegar, apple cider vinegar is easygoing when it comes to being substituted. It is almost always a quick 1:1 replacement. You may not find its exact fruity, acidic pitch in these substitutes, but you’ll make a vinegar chicken, or salad dressing, or cheesy chickpea omelet here that lets the show go on. Call it an understudy, dinner edition.
So: Is there a “best” apple cider vinegar substitute? It really comes down to which element of apple cider vinegar you want to replace most: the fruitiness, sweetness, or the sharpness.
This hot spiked apple cider recipe hits all the cozy notes! Rum or bourbon perfectly complement the cinnamon, cloves, and star anise.
There’s nothing better than a warm drink in hand when the weather is chilly. Here’s a classic that’s required for fall, in our opinion: Hot Spiked Apple Cider! There’s something about the combination of sweet cinnamon and cloves with the subtle spicy finish of rum or bourbon that’s absolutely soul warming. The liquor melds seamlessly into the hot cider, making a smooth sip and a cozy finish. This recipe has just the right balance of spices with alcohol: and a side benefit: it makes your kitchen smell like a fall candle.
What’s in this spiked apple cider recipe?
Apple cider is a drink that’s been around for thousands of years, dating back to the Romans in 55 BC! This spiked apple cider recipe is simmered with mulling spices, then combined with bourbon or rum for a tasty finish. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
High-quality apple cider, preferably from your farmers market or local orchard. Look for unfiltered cider, which maintains the best flavor and color. If you’re in a time crunch and want to make your life super easy, you can always buy a pre-spiced apple cider and add rum to that.
Whole spices: cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. Make sure to use the whole versions of these spices, not ground, which is key to getting the best flavor. Star anise is the most unique of these spices to the American kitchen: it should be available at most grocery stores or you can buy star anise online.
How to make spiced apple cider: basic method
Making this hot spiked apple cider recipe is incredibly easy: all you need is time! Here are the basic steps:
Toast the spices: Toast the spices for a few minutes on the stovetop. This releases their fragrance (and makes your kitchen smell amazing).
Simmer: Add the apple cider and heat until warmed through, about 30 minutes. You can also use a slow cooker or Instant Pot: see below.
Filter: You’ll notice that particulate rises to the top of the cider while it’s cooking. Use a fine mesh strainer or sieve to strain it off (or you can pour it through a strainer into another pot).
Spike it: Add the rum or bourbon all at once, or add about 2 ounces to each 1 cup serving. Spiking each drink separately lets you serve both non-alcoholic hot cider and spiked cider at the same time!
Serving spiked apple cider for a party
Here are a few tips if you plan on serving this warming drink at a party!
Double or triple it: You’ll need to use a larger pot to accommodate.
Consider Crockpot or Instant Pot: Using a slow cooker to keep the spiked cider warm is great for parties. Head to our Slow Cooker Apple Cider.
Spike the drinks individually: When you’re serving a crowd, it’s nice to have the flexibility to spike the cider for each person individually. Then the drink works for both kids and adults.
Use bourbon or rum
What’s the best alcohol to use for a spiked apple cider recipe? Rum or bourbon are the best choices. Any type of rum works: white rum, aged rum, or dark rum (aged or dark will add more flavor complexity with vanilla and oak notes). Any type of bourbon works as well! The rum melds more seamlessly into the flavor of cider, making it our top choice. Bourbon is a close second, and has a slightly more prominent flavor on the finish.
From vegan centrepieces which don’t involve meat (and aren’t nut roast) to deliciously gooey maple pecan pie. This list of Thanksgiving recipes is perfect for your whole plant-based menu, no planning needed! 1. Butternut Squash & Carame…
From vegan centrepieces which don’t involve meat (and aren’t nut roast) to deliciously gooey maple pecan pie. This list of Thanksgiving recipes is perfect for your whole plant-based menu, no planning needed! 1. Butternut Squash & Caramelised Shallot Tart 2. Vegan Cauliflower Cheese Gratin 3. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts & Smoky Olives 4. Hassleback …
I love a GOOD scone. Strawberry, blueberry, chocolate chip, and peach scones are a few of my favorites, they are all so delicious. But during the fall months, I am all about Pumpkin Scones. The pumpkin scones are soft, moist, and spiced with the perfec…
I love a GOOD scone. Strawberry, blueberry, chocolate chip, and peach scones are a few of my favorites, they are all so delicious. But during the fall months, I am all about Pumpkin Scones. The pumpkin scones are soft, moist, and spiced with the perfect mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. The scones also…
Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without beverages—wine, whiskey, and bourbon may come to mind in some households, plus sparkling water and sodas for anyone not drinking the hard stuff. But there’s a whole category of not-boring nonalcoholic drinks t…
Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without beverages—wine, whiskey, and bourbon may come to mind in some households, plus sparkling water and sodas for anyone not drinking the hard stuff. But there’s a whole category of not-boring nonalcoholic drinks that make family-friendly substitutes for Thanksgiving cocktails. Mulled apple cider with cinnamon sticks, orange peel, and fresh ginger is a must, but what about hot chocolate, a cranberry mocktail with Red Bull energy drink, or an apple and maple cocktail made with a nonalcoholic spirit? Here are 10 of the best nonalcoholic Thanksgiving mocktails to make for Turkey Day.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off the official start of the holiday season, and nothing says “winter is here” like the perfect cup of hot cocoa. Serve homemade hot chocolate—made with both cocoa powder and chocolate pieces—to kids and adults alike after Thanksgiving dinner.
A meat thermometer might sound unnecessary, but ask any home cook or chef and they’ll tell you it’s one of the most important kitchen tools. There’s nothing worse than slicing into a marvelously marbled cut of meat or hefty bird, or diving into a baked…
A meat thermometer might sound unnecessary, but ask any home cook or chef and they’ll tell you it’s one of the most important kitchen tools. There’s nothing worse than slicing into a marvelously marbled cut of meat or hefty bird, or diving into a baked potato only to find that it’s partially cooked through.
A good meat thermometer provides assurance that you’re hitting the right temperatures every time you cook, no matter what you’re cooking. You can trust your gut and senses for a lot of things, but gauging temperatures in roasts and grills without cutting into them is no place for that sort of guesswork. Cooking to proper internal temperatures is also important for food safety (if you’re curious, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides this helpful chart).
This classic pumpkin cake recipe is moist and perfectly spiced! Top with cream cheese frosting for an irresistible treat.
Here’s a recipe that’s just right for the season: this classic Pumpkin Cake recipe! It’s everything you want a pumpkin cake to be: thick and moist, scented with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. The best part? A layer of tangy, fluffy cream cheese frosting is its ideal flavor match. It’s so classic and irresistible, you’ll want to make it for every gathering. It’s great for fall dinner parties, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or really anytime you’re craving pumpkin goodness! Let’s get to it.
Ingredients in this pumpkin cake recipe
This pumpkin cake recipe is exactly what we look for in this type of cake: beautifully moist and just sweet enough. It’s scented with just the right amount of pumpkin spices, and it’s not too rich. The recipe came about when we asked our 4 year old what else we should make with pumpkin and he said without missing a beat, “Pumpkin cake!” The cake base is similar to our Pumpkin Spice Muffins, and we created a new frosting recipe for the top. Here are the ingredients in this pumpkin cake:
Pumpkin pie spice
Baking soda, baking powder, and salt
Dark brown sugar and granulated sugar
The applesauce in combination with the pumpkin helps to make the cake incredibly moist without adding loads of oil or butter. The result is a just sweet enough, just rich enough cake!
For the topping: a lighter cream cheese frosting!
This pumpkin cake recipe is at its best with that classic topping: cream cheese frosting! Something about the tangy, creamy texture makes magic with the fluffy cake below. For this pumpkin cake, we created a lighter version of cream cheese frosting. Here’s what to know about it:
This frosting has half the butter of a traditional cream cheese frosting recipe. This means it’s a little bit softer of a texture than the standard, but just as delicious!
This frosting has less sugar than the standard cream cheese frosting. This also gives it a looser texture. Because of this we’d recommend using it for applications like a sheet cake, but not for piping cupcakes.
Alternate topping: powdered sugar!
The easiest way to top a pumpkin cake recipe? Douse it with powered sugar! This makes it a much lower calorie option, and it’s easier because you don’t have to mix up the frosting. It’s still delicious, but for top deliciousness we’d recommend making the cream cheese frosting.
Let the cake cool completely before frosting
As with any cake, let this pumpkin cake cool completely before frosting it! If you’re impatient like we are, here’s how to cool a cake quickly:
Cool the cake at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Refrigerate until it’s room temperature, about 15 more minutes.
Pumpkin cake storage & make ahead instructions
Want to make this pumpkin cake ahead? Or want to save leftovers? Here’s what to know about storage:
Cake lasts 3 to 4 days refrigerated. It holds up well! Just bring to room temperature before serving: this is the best way to taste all the flavors.
You can freeze the cake for up to 3 months. Bake it and let it cool completely, then tightly wrap the unfrosted cake before freezing. Let it come to room temperature before frosting it!
More pumpkin recipes
When it’s pumpkin season, there’s nothing we crave more! Here are a few more desserts, breakfasts, snacks and drinks that make ideal pumpkin recipes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 x 13″ or equivalent baking dish.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, oil and applesauce. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth into an even layer.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool until for 30 minutes, then refrigerate about 15 minutes until it comes to room temperature. (Or allow to cool and refrigerate it, then frost before serving.) If desired, dust with powdered sugar before serving or proceed to the cream cheese frosting (recommended).
Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting: Beat the room temperature butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes until completely smooth. Reduce the speed to low, then add the vanilla. Slowly sift in the powdered sugar until thickened. Refrigerate the icing until frosting the cake.
Spread the frosting on top of the cake to the desired thickness (you can use the entire batch or less if desired). Stores refrigerated for up to 3 to 4 days; bring to room temperature before serving. Freeze the completely cooled unfrosted cake tightly wrapped for up to 3 months.
Do you love butterscotch? I am a BIG fan. My Oatmeal Scotchies are one of my all-time favorite cookies. They are so good! I decided to make a fall version of my favorite cookie and came up with Brown Butter Pumpkin Oatmeal Scotchies. These cookies are …
Do you love butterscotch? I am a BIG fan. My Oatmeal Scotchies are one of my all-time favorite cookies. They are so good! I decided to make a fall version of my favorite cookie and came up with Brown Butter Pumpkin Oatmeal Scotchies. These cookies are INCREDIBLE! You need to add them to your fall…
Mulling spices are simple to make and make wonderful holiday gifts. Use mulled wine spices to make a festive holiday drink that creates the most beautiful fragrance throughout your home. These spices can be used for wine, brandy or as mulled cider spic…
Mulling spices are simple to make and make wonderful holiday gifts. Use mulled wine spices to make a festive holiday drink that creates the most beautiful fragrance throughout your home. These spices can be used for wine, brandy or as mulled cider spices. When we think about fall drinks, maybe pumpkin spice lattes are the […]
Pumpkin Bread is loaded with warm spices and full of delicious pumpkin flavor. This recipe will become one of your absolute favorites! There is just something about quick breads that make me happy. They’re one of my absolute favorite things to bake no matter the season. They come together super easily, they’re often delicious for …