Jewish Apple Cake
This week marks the Jewish New Year: Rosh Hashana. Rosh Hashana begins at sundown on September 20th and ends at sundown on September 22nd. Many who are observing the holiday will take off from work and stay home from school over the next few days. Jews all over the world are preparing to not only go to temple to welcome in the New Year, but also to gather around the table for a festive meal with family and friends. Rosh Hashana was always a favorite holiday of mine, and not just because I got to stay home from school or work, but because of the yummy food. Typical foods most Jews have on the table during Rosh Hashana are apples with honey, challah, pomegranate, and Jewish Apple Cake.
Dipping apples in honey signifies our hope for a sweet new year. Pomegranates are symbolic in that just as they are full of seeds, we hope that we’ll be similarly full of merits in the new year. We eat a round challah on Rosh Hahsana versus a long, braided challah, normally eaten on Shabbat, to represent that a year is round. A round challah is also different and sort of special just like Rosh Hashana. Finally, many Jews delight in Jewish Apple Cake on Rosh Hashana. This sweet cake again uses apples which are very symbolic of Rosh Hashana.
My mom has hosted a Rosh Hashana dinner every year, well, ever since I can remember. At some point I plan to host my own Rosh Hashana dinner much in the same way I plan to break out the china and host my own Thanksgiving dinner. But, there’s just something about my mom’s cooking. Something about her challah, her matzah ball soup (she better have that this year!), her brisket and her kugel! No matter what, nothing can compare to my mom’s cooking.
Even though I’m not hosting my own Rosh Hashana dinner this year, I wanted to take a stab at one of those iconic Rosh Hashana dishes, one in which I could be sure (well, almost sure) that my kids would at least try and my husband would love. So, I decided to make a Jewish Apple Cake. I had most of the ingredients in my kitchen and I had the apples growing right outside my front door. I mentioned to my oldest (who is 5 years old), that I was making a cake with some of the Granny Smith apples from our apple tree. His first question: “Mommy, is there chocolate in it?”
Although Jewish Apple Cake does not have chocolate as an ingredient, much to the chagrin of my 5 year old, it has deliciously tart Granny Smith apples juxtaposed by the sweet cinnamon and sugar. This cake is dense, yet really moist. I think it tastes best when warm (and sometimes with ice cream on top – shhhh, don’t tell my mother). This Jewish Apple Cake also has a secret, unexpected ingredient: orange juice! It’s subtle, yet you can’t deny it’s there. The taste of the orange juice also works so well with the tartness of the Granny Smith apples. My Rosh Hashana plan? Aside from a bit of praying and spending time with family, I plan to eat a lot of my mom’s apples and honey and challah and hopefully have Jewish Apple Cake for breakfast, lunch and well, dessert! L’ Shana Tova!
This Jewish Apple Cake recipe is dense, moist and over the top sweet! It's the perfect dessert to help welcome in the new year!
- 4-5 Granny Smith Apples Peeled, cored and sliced
- 3 Tsp Cinnamon
- 10 Tsp Sugar
- 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 3 Tsp Baking Powder
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
Preheat the to 350 degrees. Grease (or spray) a bundt cake pan.
Peel, core and slice 4-5 Granny Smith apples. Squeeze lime juice over them so they don't turn brown. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the cinnamon and 10 teaspoons of sugar. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients until a thick batter is formed. In the greased pan, pour in half the batter. Layer the half the apples in the batter and sprinkle half the cinnamon and sugar mixture over the apples.
Pour in the remaining batter and repeat with the apples and cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool. Serve immediately.
This cake freezes very well!!!