Mom’s Jewish Apple Cake Recipe

By 6 m read

Jewish Apple Cake Recipe (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Oh, the fond memories I have of my mom’s Jewish apple cake recipe.  The cooler temperatures of autumn have arrived, the leaves are just beginning to change color, and I’m craving a big slice of this childhood favorite. This dense yet moist cake is layered with scrumptious fall apples, then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and baked to perfection. Mom tells me that this recipe was given to her by a friend many years ago, and now she’s passed it down to me…the way all good family traditions begin. Thanks mom!

 

Why Is It Called Jewish Apple Cake?

Although we were raised Catholic, this is a family favorite recipe. And I just recently learned that Jewish apple cake is popular in the area I grew up in. We lived in southern New Jersey, around the Philadelphia area, and apparently this is a popular dessert in the New Jersey-Pennsylvania-Delaware region, having been brought to the area by Ashkenazi Jews from Poland. It’s made without any dairy products at all, which makes it acceptable to eat with meals that contain meat during the Rosh Hashanah holiday (the Jewish dietary laws of kashrut forbid the mixing of meat and milk products in the same meal). This is just what I learned online, so if I’m incorrect in any of this, please let me know.

 

While my mom’s best Jewish apple cake recipe is pretty easy and straightforward, there are a few tips you’ll want to know along the way, so keep reading…

 

Tip #1

You’ll want to use a tube pan with a removable bottom for this recipe. It’s a pretty dense cake and you may not be able to remove it from the pan very easily if you use a Bundt pan instead.

 

What Kind Of Apples Should I Use?

You can use whatever apples you enjoy! For my recipe, I used a mixture of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp, to get a nice sweet-tart combination.

Jewish Apple Cake Recipe (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Ingredients

  • 5 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 12 thick slices
  • 2/3 c cinnamon sugar (2/3 c sugar mixed with 1-1/4 tsp cinnamon)
  • 3 c flour
  • 2 c granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 c neutral oil
  • 1/4 c orange juice
  • 2-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Vegetable shortening and extra flour for greasing pan
Jewish Apple Cake Recipe (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Jewish Apple Cake Recipe

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour tube pan.

 

Peel, core, and cut apples into 12 thick slices each. Place in a bowl, sprinkle over about one-third of the cinnamon sugar mixture, and toss together with your hands.

Jewish Apple Cake Recipe (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

While this cake recipe can be mixed by hand, it’s a very thick batter, so I decided to let my KitchenAid stand mixer to do the hard work for me. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl (except apples and cinnamon sugar mixture) and mix together until the batter is smooth.

 

Tip #2

This cake batter will be VERY thick (it’s one of the thickest batters I’ve ever worked with, aside from my mint chocolate ganache cheesecake, that is) and you won’t be able to simply pour it into the pan. Following mom’s recommendation (which works really well), use a large serving spoon to spoon the batter into the pan instead.

Jewish Apple Cake Recipe (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Spoon about half of the cake batter into the bottom of your greased and floured tube pan. Arrange half of the sliced apples on top of the batter, then sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Next, add the remaining batter, then another layer of apples, then finish the top with the remaining cinnamon sugar. The layers of batter will be quite thin, and even with all the layering, the pan will only be filled about halfway…don’t worry, it will rise while baking.

Jewish Apple Cake Recipe (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Bake in the oven for 1-1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out mostly clean (don’t overbake or it may become dry).

Jewish Apple Cake Recipe (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Tip #3: How To Remove The Cake From The Pan

Let cool on the counter for about 15 minutes. Then gently slide a butter knife around the sides to loosen the cake from the pan. Prop it up on top of a large can (like a large can of whole tomatoes) and drop the sides off the pan. Place it back on the countertop and run a knife between the cake bottom and the bottom of the pan. Carefully but quickly invert the cake onto a plate (to remove it from the tube), then invert it again onto another plate, so it’s right-side up.

 

Store covered on the counter for several days. Serve warm with a steaming mug of of coffee and enjoy.

Jewish Apple Cake Recipe (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Love apple recipes? Check out a few more of our delicious recipes now!

 

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Jewish Apple Cake Recipe (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Mom's Jewish Apple Cake Recipe

Oh, the fond memories I have of my mom's Jewish apple cake recipe. This dense yet moist cake is layered with scrumptious fall apples, then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and baked to perfection.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 5 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 12 thick slices
  • 2/3 c cinnamon sugar (2/3 c sugar mixed with 1-1/4 tsp cinnamon)
  • 3 c flour
  • 2 c granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 c neutral oil
  • 1/4 c orange juice
  • 2-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Vegetable shortening and extra flour for greasing pan

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Grease and flour tube pan.
  • Peel, core, and cut apples into 12 thick slices each. Place in a bowl, sprinkle over about one-third of the cinnamon sugar mixture, and toss together with your hands.
  • Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl (except apples and cinnamon sugar mixture) and mix together until the batter is smooth.
  • Spoon about half of the cake batter into the bottom of your greased and floured tube pan. 
  • Arrange half of the sliced apples on top of the batter, then sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. 
  • Next, add the remaining batter, then another layer of apples, then finish the top with the remaining cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake in the oven for 1-1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out mostly clean (don’t overbake or it may become dry).
  • Let cool on the counter for about 15 minutes. Then gently slide a butter knife around the sides to loosen the cake from the pan. Prop it up on top of a large can (like a large can of whole tomatoes) and drop the sides off the pan. Place it back on the countertop and run a knife between the cake bottom and the bottom of the pan. Carefully but quickly invert the cake onto a plate (to remove it from the tube), then invert it again onto another plate, so it’s right-side up.
  • Store covered on the counter for several days. Serve warm with a steaming mug of of coffee and enjoy.

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4 Comments
  • Gwen
    September 21, 2020

    Oh wow, what a beauty! I love apple cake but I have never seen one look so lovely! Pinning this, and I will try it after we visit the orchard first of October. Thanks for sharing!

  • Nadia
    October 8, 2020

    5 stars
    This cake was delicious! Made it took it to our neighbor’s house for dinner and we couldn’t stop talking about it. I did change a few things based on my family’s preference (and cake pans available). First thing I did was cut the sugar in half, my husband is not a super sweet dessert guy. I also used melted butter instead of oil (didn’t have enough neutral oil). I know that makes it not ok for Rosh Hashanah, but I wasn’t making it for that. The thing was I didn’t have a tube pan so I used a spring form pan. I wish I did have a tube pan, it would have cooked more evenly. The center of the cake with the spring form pan really did take a long time. It was delicious and definitely worth making. Thanks for such an amazing recipe! I’ve already shared it with lots of people!

    • maplewoodroad
      October 8, 2020

      Thank you so much! So glad you all enjoyed it so much and love your ingenuity in making it your own! This is my mom’s recipe and we always got excited when she would make it. Hope it becomes a tradition in your home too. 🙂