The Washington Post

Jewish Apple Cake

Jewish Apple Cake 12.000

Rey Lopez for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Staff Favorites Sep 29, 2021

This tender, tall apple cake features two layers of cinnamon-and-sugar apples and has long been a favorite in Voraciously staff writer Becky Krystal's family. Many other families have some version of this apple cake in their recipe collections, such as the related recipe from cookbook author Joan Nathan. No surprise why, because it's comforting and fairly easy to make.

The Jewish moniker appears to call back to similar Eastern European forebears, as well as the fact that it uses oil (and orange juice) instead of butter, in keeping with kosher dietary laws.

If you have the arm strength, this cake can be mixed by hand rather than using a stand or handheld mixer. To make a loaf version, see the VARIATION below.

Active time: 50 mins; Total time: 1 hour 55 mins

Storage Notes: The baked cake can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days. Individual slices can be wrapped and frozen for several months in an airtight container or zip-top bag.

12 - 14

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12-14 servings; makes one 10-inch bundt cake

  • 2 cups plus 5 tablespoons (460 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) canola oil, vegetable oil or other neutral oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) orange juice, fresh or refrigerated
  • 3 large apples (about 1 3/4 pounds/800 grams total), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices (see related recipe for using the peels)
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

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Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Coat a large (10- to 15-cup) Bundt pan with baking spray, or grease thoroughly with a thin layer of vegetable oil. Pay extra attention to the center tube, where sticking is especially likely.

In a small bowl, whisk together 5 tablespoons (60 grams) of the granulated sugar and the cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a large bowl and a handheld mixer, beat the remaining 2 cups (400 grams) of granulated sugar, the eggs and oil on medium speed until thoroughly combined, creamy, slightly aerated and lighter in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix on medium until incorporated. Using about a third of each, mix in the flour mixture and orange juice in three alternating additions on low, beating well after each. Give the sides of the bowl one scrape with a flexible spatula to ensure everything is incorporated; the batter will be thick.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer (the total weight of the batter is about 1,150 grams, so aim for roughly 575 grams per layer, if you care to measure). Place half of the sliced apples in a ring around the batter in a fan pattern — a little overlap is no problem. Sprinkle half the sugar and cinnamon mixture over the apples. Pour on the remaining batter, level it and repeat the layering with the rest of the apples and sugar mixture. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let rest for 10 minutes. Use a small, flexible spatula or a round-edged knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and then turn onto the rack. Let the cake cool completely, then store or cut and serve, dusting with confectioners' sugar before serving.

VARIATION: To make this in a loaf pan, start by halving the recipe (or plan to make two cakes). Grease a 9-by-5-inch or 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil and line with a sheet of parchment with enough overhang to form a sling. Place half the batter in the pan, add a row of apples down the middle and sprinkle with half the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat with the rest of the batter, another row of apples and the remaining cinnamon-sugar. (You won't need as many apples for this version.) Proceed with the recipe and bake for about an hour (start checking at 50 minutes), or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool, cut and serve, without inverting the cake as in the original recipe.

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Recipe Source

From Voraciously staff writer Becky Krystal.

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 14): 307

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 6g 9%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 53mg 18%

Sodium: 190mg 8%

Total Carbohydrates: 60g 20%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 38g

Protein: 5g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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