This Jewish Apple Cake is a wonderfully dense and moist cake batter studded with tons of cinnamon-sugar coated apples. It’s the perfect fall dessert for any occasion!
I know that fall doesn’t OFFICIALLY begin until next Friday (September 22nd), but I’m totally in the camp that once Labor Day is in the rearview mirror, all bets are off on apple and cinnamon and hot chocolate and jeans, hoodies, and blankets. Bring it all on!
I’m ringing in apple season this year with this absolutely spectacular Jewish apple cake. It was sent to me last summer by a reader, Linda, who said she had been making it for years and that it’s a big family favorite. Thank you, Linda, for sending this amazing recipe over! There are countless recipes for Jewish apple cakes floating around online, and you may have your own version, but if you’ve never tried one, this is an absolutely phenomenal apple cake that’s perfect for any fall occasion.
You start with a TON of granny smith apples (perfect if you plan an apple picking trip!) and toss them in sugar and cinnamon. While they’re taking a cinnamon-sugar bath, mix up the cake batter. The mixing method is a little different, as you add the eggs last, and it’s a thick batter, but trust me, this works!
When Linda emailed me the recipe, she said that she intentionally “ribbons” her batter in layers over the apples without covering them completely so that the cake has apples all throughout and not distinct layers of cake and apple. It totally worked with mine (as you can see), and I just loved having chunks of apples in every single bite!
The crumb of this cake is compact but OH SO velvety smooth and super moist. Linda talked about how much her family loved the crust on this cake and I agree – I think it was my favorite part! The texture of the cake really reminded me of the Russian pound cake that my aunt and grandma used to make around the holidays (I need to resurrect that cake!).
Linda said that this particular recipe is from Chef Robert Bennett of Classic Bakery in Cherry Hill, New Jersey; when I Googled “Jewish apple cake” I found tons of recipes nearly identical to this one, so it may be one of those recipes that has been floating around in grandmas’ kitchens for decades!
If you need something a little extra special in the dessert department this fall, give this Jewish apple cake a try – it’s dessert comfort food at its best.
And if you have your own recipe for Jewish apple cake, I’d love to hear how it’s similar or different to this one! Tell me all about it!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
Prepare the Apples: In a large bowl, toss the chopped apples with the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
Prepare the Cake Batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir to combine with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, mixing well after each addition (the batter will start out very thick, but will get looser and easier to mix as you continue to add the eggs). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.
Add a thin layer of the cake batter to the bottom of the pan, then add one-quarter of the apples on top of the batter. Ribbon one-quarter of the remaining cake batter over top of the apples; the batter should not completely cover all of the apples (it will spread when baking). Repeat three more times with the remaining apples and cake batter, ending with a layer of cake batter, but again it will not totally cover the apples, that's okay!
Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature before serving. Leftovers can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.
I used a slotted spoon to transfer the apples so that not too much juice transferred, but there still was some and it didn't appear to negatively affect the cake at all.