Woodchuck Hard Cider Bread

Things have been a little quiet around B&B through the holidays. James and I made our three and a half day trek from New Jersey to San Antonio, arriving just in time for the family’s Christmas Eve celebrations.

I decided to take a little break and really enjoy my family. I’ve been having a blast with my nephew and niece, David and Ava. We’ve baked sandwich bread and muffins, we sit together at the dinner table each night, and my favorite part of the day is asking them each what their favorite part of the day has been. Hearing David talk about his latest art project, or Ava about learning to read – it’s priceless.

I made this bread just before we left New Jersey. I’ve been obsessed with Beer Bread for a long time. I love Jamie’s recipe, and I use it nearly every time we make soup or chili on a cold Winter night.

What happens when a thought becomes an experiment – I could not live without my recipe notebooks!

What you might find odd is that while I cook with beer all the time, I never drink it. I’ve never learned to love the taste of it as a beverage, but I think it’s a fabulous ingredient!

The bottled alcoholic beverage of my choice happens to be Woodchuck Hard Cider. Made with champagne yeast and fine apple cider in Vermont, Woodchuck Hard Cider is bubbly and sweet with just the right amount of spice. It certainly smooths all the rough edges for this girl after a long day of work.

One evening, James and I were chilling on our deck, each with a cider, and a thought popped into my head – maybe I could adapt that beer bread into a cider bread, and head in a sweeter direction. I knew it had to be Woodchuck, simply because of that champagne yeast.

I’m happy to say that Hard Cider Bread is exceptional – perfectly apple-y and moist. It’s somewhere between a quick bread and a pound cake, and because all the alcohol bakes off, it’s appropriate for breakfast or dessert.

If you’re looking for a super easy and quick sweet bread to take to a family function or potluck, this is the ticket. I guarantee you no one else will have tried Hard Cider Bread, so you’ll be the talk of the potluck.

Very soon, you’re going to see a bread pudding made from this bread. My mouth waters a little just thinking about it.

I hope that you’ve had an exceptional start to 2012, my friends.

Disclaimer: I have not been asked by Woodchuck Hard Cider to write this post or develop this recipe, nor have I been compensated in any way. I simply love their products. I think you will too.


  1. says

    I’m not a great beer or cider drinker but I love the idea of using them in a bread – this looks like it has an awesome texture. I can only begin to imagine how good it must taste!

    Happy New Year!

  2. Marcee .... ILLINOIS says

    A recent subscriber …. first-time comment. Enjoying B&B posts!

    Will try this recipe soon. All the ingredients sound so yum together. Love adding cranberries. To anything! Have you tried fresh?

    We all have issues w/nuts in our fam. No problem to leave out most likely.

    Yes to Irish butter ….. delicious! Last month I bought exactly that at Whole Foods. A new type …. w/less salt and fat content. Really good on toast & taters.

    HNY 2012!

    • says

      Hi Marcee – so glad to have you visit. Thanks for commenting! I love fresh cranberries too! I just didn’t have any on hand when I made this recipe.

      You should be fine to leave out the nuts, but if you want to add some crunch, try adding sunflower seeds. They’re seeds, so shouldn’t be an allergy issue I believe.

      That new Irish butter you’re talking about is from Kerrygold Irish Butter. I recently made 4 compound butters with that and actually won a contest from them. Try the Texas Gold compound butter. I could eat it on a shoe and be happy! http://www.bluebonnetsandbrownies.com/2011/11/01/compound-butter-recipe/

  3. says

    Oh my goodness, this is GENIUS! I am not a beer drinker, either… But, I keep a case of Guiness for chocolate cakes, chili, and things of that sort. Never thought to try using hard cider. I do love to drink it, too. Yum!

  4. Michele Holmes says

    I baked this yesterday…yummy! I subbed “Splenda” brown sugar and it worked just great with no “fake sugar” taste. Thanks for another great recipe!!!!!

    • says

      I have to bake it again! We ate it all before I could get the bread pudding made. But I think you’ll get exactly what I mean when you make it. It screams bread pudding the minute it’s out of the baking pan.

  5. says

    Wow that is a long drive in the middle of winter :) Love the bread idea with Hard Cider! BTW – your Commentluv doesn’t work there is an error there.

    • says

      Thanks for letting me know about Commentluv. It seems to break every now and again. It was a long drive, but it was also pretty fun. This bread is so good! I hope you try it.

  6. Debbie says

    Thanks for the recipe! I will be making this today with Jules Gluten Free Flour. I will let you know how it comes out. If it comes out well may I post it on Jules’s Facebook page with a link back to your site. This would be a great recipe as it egg and dairy free. You have already highlighted that it can be nut free with sunflower seeds. If it works then it could be made gluten free. Also the hard cider makes it gluten free friendly. I sometimes sub the hard cider in many recipes that call for beer.

    • says

      Debbie, how did this work with the Jules Gluten Free Flour? I might give it a try with some King Arthur Flour GF All Purpose flour.. I happen to have some on hand.

  7. says

    Looks like a recipe I will be trying. Instead of 4 tablespoons of baking powder called for in the recipe I will be using 4 teaspoons I can see in the picture of your notebook.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • says

      Bill, thanks for catching that. I’ve updated the post. Not quite sure how I made that mistake! I hope you enjoy the bread. It’s very tasty.

  8. Margaret says

    I just bought some of the 2012 Spring Woodchuck and was so disappointed. The “notes of maple syrup and brown sugar” made drinking it feel like licking a pancake–sticky! What to do with the remaining 5.5 bottles? A friend directed me here and I just made a double batch. I slightly reduced the brown sugar to compensate for the sweetness of the cider. The first loaf is in the oven now, but judging from what I licked off my fingers, it’s going to be great! Thanks!

    • says

      Margaret, I’d love to know how it turned out for you. I bet the Spring Woodchuck is fabulous in this bread. I like the Spring line, but then, I really like sweet ciders to dry ones.

      • Margaret says

        Well, as I said, I made a double batch, and I think the two batches might have turned out differently. The first was for a friend, so I didnt have any, but it looked good. However, I only had one pan, so the dough for the second batch had to sit an hour before I could bake it. By the time I baked it, the dough was thicker and stickier. I’m not a baker so I don’t really know if this was a problem, but the second loaf was a bit dense. However, it tastes great and it makes excellent toast with cream cheese. I’m definitely going to make more. Three bottles of Spring Woodchuck down, three to go!

        • says

          Margaret, extended “rising” can definitely result in a more dense bread, as can the temperature of the dough by the time it’s baked. If you do a double batch again, make sure you refrigerate the second batch, and probably cover it with plastic wrap too (pressed directly down on to the dough), and it should avoid the problem.

          However, the dense bread will make something else wonderful that I keep meaning to post – bread pudding! If you have leftover bread, think about doing that with it, okay? Super phenomenal.

  9. Julie says

    I’m a huge fan of cider, so when I saw this recipe I really jumped on it. I used Strongbow for my first loaf. Strongbow was my first love when it came to alcohol, so I always have a few handy. It had a rustic crust yet a distinct, light, delicate flavor, very delicious. The cranberries offered a great pop of flavor. I then made a double batch with Woodchuck Granny Smith Apple. Superb flavor and another rustic, crunchy crust. Plus my house smells great. Cherry on top- it’s vegan!!

  10. says

    I just made two loaves using your recipe as a base! One is with Angry Orchard Cinnful Apple seasonal cider, with golden raisins instead of cranberries. The other is Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider with a dab of pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice instead of cinnamon. They smell amazing and we’re all drooling waiting for them too cool off enough to taste!

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