Apple Cake

[Printable Recipe]

Apples and honey are traditional when celebrating Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year). My favorite Rosh Hashanah food (aside from plain ole’ apples dipped in honey) is apple cake. It has the same flavors of apple pie, but in a dense cake that’s not too sweet.


Deb on Smitten Kitchen calls for this to be baked in a tube pan, but the last thing I need is another piece of bakeware (just last night, I opened the cabinet and a round cake pan bonked me on the head). Instead, I baked this in a 10″ springform pan. It worked perfectly. I probably wouldn’t use a bundt pan for this. The idea is that you can get it out easily without destroying the apples on top.

From Smitten Kitchen


  • 6 apples (Deb uses McIntosh apples, I used Galas.)
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 c., plus 5 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2-3/4 c. flour, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c. orange juice
  • 2-1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan (or a springform pan, like I used) with butter and set aside.
  • Peel, core and chop the apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and 5 Tbsp. sugar and set aside.
  • Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, 2 c. sugar and vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
  • Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top.
  • Bake for about 1-1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean. (Mine took closer to 2 hours. I’m not sure if it’s because I used a springform pan or what. I’d check at 1-1/4 hours, then at 15 minute increments thereafter. If your cake isn’t done and the apples are starting to brown — as you can see mine did in the photo below — cover the pan loosely with tin foil for the remainder of the baking time.)


Don’t feel like you have to be Jewish to make this recipe! It’s very similar to a coffee cake, but has a distinctly fall feeling to it with the cinnamon and the apples. Cory likened the dense, moist texture to that of zucchini or pumpkin bread, which is probably a result of using oil instead of butter. It’s a great fall dessert, but that didn’t stop me from having a piece in the morning for breakfast either!


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