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Honey Apple Cake Perfect for Rosh Hashanah: Russian Recipe Revisited

This Wednesday is Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year. Although growing up in Russia I knew I was Jewish, religion wasn't a part of my life. When my family moved to the States when I was 13 years old, we went to a synagogue a few times, but it was hard for me to all of a sudden start believing in God.

Instead, I consider myself a cultural Jew: I ♥ Jewish traditions, most of the holidays {I stopped fasting for Yom Kippur several years ago}, music and Hebrew language.

It's traditional for Rosh Hashanah to eat apples dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet year to come. I can use all the sweetness I can get! And so despite not actually really liking honey, I follow this tradition.

This weekend I decided to make one dish that would perfectly fit two categories: Russian Recipes Revisited and Jewish Holidays. This is how Honey Apple Cake came about!

Ever since I remember, my mom has been making apple cake. She actually has the recipe memorized: the woman has amazing memory. In fact, my mom knows most of the phone numbers by heart, and even before she learned how to drive she knew the routes better than my dad. Alas, I did not inherit my mom's sense of direction.

But let's get back to this apple cake. The cake is incredibly easy to make and basically has apples covered with a simple batter. I changed my mom's recipe by sauteing the apples in a bit of oil and honey to make it perfect for Rosh Hashanah.

Honey Apple Cake
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon sour cream
baking spray
2 teaspoons oil
3 large Granny Smith apples, quartered, cored, chopped 
3 tablespoons honey

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. In a large whisk 3 eggs.
3. Add 1 cup of sugar to the egg mixture and blend together.
4. Pour 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into white vinegar - the two ingredients will react and bubble - add to the bowl with eggs and sugar and mix.
5. Slowly incorporate the flour into the above mixture.
6. Add 1 tablespoon of sour cream to the batter and set aside.
7. Spray a Bunt cake pan with baking spray.
8. Saute the apples in oil and honey for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool and then transfer to the Bunt cake pan.
9. Cover the apples with the batter.
11. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until the top is golden brown and the toothpick comes out clean and dry.
12. Let the cake cool, and flip on a serving plate. Enjoy! 

So the cake did not turn out perfect. Such is life. The batter did not go all the way to the bottom (which became the top) of the it doesn't look perfectly pretty.

My mom thinks that because I sauteed the apples, they became heavier than normal and did not float toward the top as the cake baked, thus not allowing the batter to sink down.

If you are going to make this recipe, you might want to pour just enough batter into the pan to cover the bottom of the pan before adding the apples and the rest of the batter.

This cake is great as dessert, but is also a perfect breakfast treat with a cup of coffee.

In the past, I've made this recipe using blueberries and peaches, which was awesome for the late summer days.

If you want a few alternative recipes for Rosh Hashana, try Honey Almond Cake with Orange Zest or Honey Nut Date Cake.
I hope you all have a very sweet Rosh Hashanah!


Megan said...

I love that I get to celebrate the Jewish holidays and some of the traditions now too. We're heading to Jeff's parents' for dinner tomorrow night. If I had time to bake, I'd bring this apple cake!

Amber DeGrace said...

The kids and I made this today - so good! We made it in a rectangle casserole dish and didn't have any problems with the apples sticking to the pan and not the cake. Thanks for a tasty recipe! <3