This Jewish Apple Cake is packed with cinnamon-coated apples (6 whole apples go into this apple cake recipe!) and is dairy-free which makes it perfect, not only for Rosh Hashanah but also for serving to those who are lactose intolerant.
The cake comes together very easily and smells delicious as it is baking in the oven. Serve after dinner with a cup of coffee, or why not slice a piece and enjoy for breakfast?
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Jewish Apple Cake
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and is celebrated during the autumn (the date changes year-to-year). My husband is Jewish, and this is something that I celebrate with him and his family.
We will usually visit his parents for lunch after they have all been to Shul (Synagogue). My mother-in-law cooks a dish called cholent – a Jewish slow-cooked stew made with beef, beans, and potatoes, with dumplings on top. I know both my husband I look forward to this every year!
After our meal, my father-in-law cuts up some apples which are then dipped in honey to signify a sweet new year – L’Shanah Tova!
Because my in-laws keep a Kosher home, dessert never contains dairy after a meat-based meal – we tend to have fruit. But my mother-in-law’s crazy good honey cake will come out a little later with a cup of tea. (Another thing we look forward to!)
Jewish Apple Cake is a dense cake made with apples and originated in Pennsylvania in the United States. It is also known as Dutch Apple Cake or German Apple Cake. Essentially it got its name because it is made without dairy and is popular at Rosh Hashanah. But it isn’t a Jewish recipe -what?! (Food can be confusing!)
Ingredients used in this recipe
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but here is a brief outline so you know what to expect from the recipe. I highly recommend always reading a recipe all the way through before starting.
- Apples – use ones that hold up well in baking like Granny Smith, Golden Delicious or Braeburn.
- White Sugar (Caster Sugar)
- Ground Cinnamon
- All-Purpose Flour (Plain Flour)
- Baking Powder
- Vegetable Oil
- Light Brown Sugar
- Large Eggs
- Orange Juice
- Vanilla Extract
- Powdered Sugar (Icing Sugar)
Equipment used in this recipe
Gather the following cooking tools to make this cake:
- Bundt Pan – this cake pan has a distinctive ring shape. The shape is inspired by a traditional European cake known as Kugelhupf, but Bundt cakes are not generally associated with any single recipe.
- Baking Spray:
- Small Bowl
- 2 Large Bowls
- Aluminum Foil
- Toothpick/Cocktail Stick/Skewer – for testing that cake is cooked through
- Wire Cooling Rack
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How do you make Jewish Apple Cake?
This recipe makes a delicious, moist cake that is packed with goes great with yummy cinnamon-spiced apples. It pairs well with tea or coffee so why not bake it for an autumn afternoon tea party?
As with most baking recipes, start by preheating your oven, but don’t grease your bundt pan yet, wait until the cake batter is ready to go into it.
Mix chopped apples with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
Then grab a large mixing bowl and whisk together oil, sugars, eggs, vanilla extract, and orange juice (the juice helps to keep the cake moist).
In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt then gradually add the wet ingredients to these dry ones a little at a time, mixing well.
Now grease your pan well – make sure you get into any nooks and crannies, we don’t want the cake, or any of the apples to stick!
Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan, then add half of the apples, followed by the rest of the cake mix, and finally the remaining apples.
Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, and return to the oven for another 45 minutes.
You can test that the cake is done by inserting a toothpick into (as near to) the center as possible and it should come out clean.
Tips to remove cake from bundt pan
After removing the pan from the oven, loosen the cake from the pan by running a knife around the edge of the pan.
Leave it to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, before inverting it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar and cut into slices. Enjoy!
Keep stored in an airtight cake tin.
Can You Freeze Jewish Apple Cake?
Yes, is the short answer! When the cake has cooled completely, wrap it in plastic wrap (cling film), and then wrap in a layer of foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.
Make It A Meal!
You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses? Here are some recipes to take a look at to make a complete meal!
- Appetizer: Chicken Soup
- Main Dish: Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs with Potatoes
- Side Dish: I don’t have a ton of side dishes on my blog (yet!) but I’ve got a mega list of 100 side dishes that I rounded up. The list was created for Christmas, but there is a ton of great sides to enjoy year-round!
- Beverage: Prosecco Cocktail with Blackberry
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy! Please feel free to check them out too.
More Dairy-Free Desserts
If you need more non-dairy desserts, here are some to try:
More Cake Recipes
If you’re looking for more cake recipes, here are some for you to check out. They are not dairy-free.
- Apple Pie Layer Cake with Cinnamon Frosting & Walnut Crumble Topping
- Rich & Creamy Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
- Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Apple Filling:
- 6 apples (use ones that hold up well in baking like Granny Smith, Golden Delicious or Braeburn), peeled, cored, and diced.
- ¼ cup white sugar (caster sugar)
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
For the Cake:
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup white sugar (caster sugar)
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (plain flour)
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Powdered sugar, to garnish
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- For the apple filling: Place apples, sugar, and cinnamon into a bowl and mix together well. Set aside.
- Whisk together the oil, sugars, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Set aside
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into another bowl and slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking as you do. Continue adding until all the wet ingredients have been incorporated into the dry.
- Spray a bundt pan well with baking spray.
- Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan, then add half of the apples, followed by the rest of the cake mix, and finally the remaining apples.
- Cover the cake pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- After the time is up, remove the foil and return to the oven for further 45 minutes.
- You can test that the cake is done by inserting a toothpick into (as near to) the center as possible and it should come out clean.
- Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cake from the sides, and leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To serve, dust with powdered sugar.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place for 2-3 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To freeze the cake, wait for it to cool completely, then wrap it in plastic wrap (cling film), and then wrap in a layer of foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.
The post is part of the Crafty October series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog is filled with free printables, crafts, recipes, and more for Halloween and Fall! You can check out Crafty October from 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 for tons of awesome Halloween ideas and inspiration!