Apple Cake with Honey
I have essentially extended my Rosh Hashanah dinner until Yom Kippur, but this is the last of the recipes from our lovely dinner and one of the very few desserts that I have posted on this blog. I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth. My family didn’t really do dessert, there was ice cream in the freezer if anyone wanted it, occasionally cookies, but only if they were hidden from my father who earned the name Cookie Monster because he could go through a box in one sitting. My mom never really baked, my Oma didn’t either. My Nana would send her famous chocolate chip cookies to us in a foil wrapped Quaker Oats container every year at Christmas, something we always looked forward to. I learned to cook from my mother, who learned from hers, so that knack for the cookie or the sweets was never really picked up, though I would love that chocolate chip cookie recipe if I could get my hands on it.
My husband has a terrible sweet tooth, so I really depend on this for the desserts. This Apple Honey cake was my doing though. Sadly the sweets that I love, fruity and spicy, aren’t the ones that my husband craves which are creamy and rich. Though I know he enjoyed this cake, I was the one who ended up finishing it with my coffee with breakfasts in the days after I made it.
The flavors of this cake reminded me of the sour cream cake that my Oma’s next door neighbor would make for us for Christmas morning every year, now in her 90’s she will still send us a cake in the mail every year. The cinnamon and sugar in this apple honey cake tastes so much like childhood, and of course Christmas morning, which is probably one of the reasons that some of my favorite sweets are wonderfully spicy.
I used honey in practically all of my Rosh Hashanah dishes, guaranteeing sweetness for the New Year. At the start of the meal it is tradition to dip apple slices in honey, since there isn’t very much ritual at my table, I figured that I would save the apples and honey until the end and bake them in a cake together. This was a wonderful recipe and very easy to make, and I have to say, better than at the end of the meal it went beautifully with my morning coffee.
Apple Cake with Honey
from 1,000 Jewish Recipes by Fay Levy
- ¾ cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp strained fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional)
- 2 large sweet apples, such as Golden Delicious, peeled, cored and sliced paper thin
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan (I used an 8-inch springform pan, cakes were meant to be round), then flour pan lightly. Mix 1 tbsp sugar with cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
Beat eggs with ¾ cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add honey, oil, and lemon rind, and beat to blend. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add about half of the flour mixture to egg batter and blend together as low speed. Mix lemon juice and water in a small bowl and add to batter. Slowly blend in remaining flour mixture. Add pecans and blend on low speed.
Spoon ¼ of batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Arrange 1/3 of apple sliced on batter and sprinkle evenly with 1/3 of cinnamon mixture (about 1 heaping tsp). Spoon another ¼ of the batter in dollops over apples and spread very gently. Repeat with 2 more layers of apples, cinnamon, and batter ending with batter. (Top layer of apples may not be completely covered.)
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a tester inserted in cake’s center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack about 20 minutes. Run a metal spatula carefully around cake and turn out onto rack. Let cool. Serve at room temperature.