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Jewish Apple Cake

Apples are in season throughout the year, but most especially in the fall, when growers harvest all kinds of different varieties. Whether you’re headed out apple picking, hitting up a local farmers market, or just attracted by all the amazing apple varieties in the grocery store, it’s hard not to get inspired by all things apple.

One of our favorite apple recipes comes from an old college friend who lives on the east coast. It’s called a Jewish Apple Cake and is a popular recipe in many American church cookbooks. It’s also one those recipes that likely has several different interpretations depending on households, neighborhoods, and regions. We’ve all enjoyed apple cakes before, so how one would stand out from another might seem a bit difficult. Once you’ve tasted this cake, you’ll know why it’s such a popular recipe.

We love that it’s made with orange juice instead of milk; the acidity of the juice and the bright citrus flavor add great taste and texture to the overall experience. There’s not really a hard and fast rule about what kind of apple to use, so unless you’re following an old family recipe that calls for a specific apple, feel free to choose any baking apple, even a couple different varieties for a more dynamic flavor experience.

Layers could be another reason to love this cake, and for some reason, we always love a bundt cake, so two favorites merge together into one. The bundt shape gives this humble cake a little elegance, while the layers mean we get more opportunity to enjoy delicious apple flavor in each bite. What else makes this cake special? The fact that its meant to be shared with family and friends is one more good reason why this cake tastes so good.

Jewish Apple Cake

2 hours to prepare serves 10-12

Ingredients

  • 6 apples, any variety, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
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Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Generously coat a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Mix 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar together in a small bowl to combine. Toss apple chunks with sugar and cinnamon blend. Set aside.
  3. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and orange juice until well blended. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until fully incorporated into a batter.
  5. Pour half of batter into bundt pan, top with half of apple mixture. Pour second layer of batter over apples, then top with remaining apples.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Cake is ready when a cake tester comes out clean from the bottom and middle layer of cake.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar prior to serving.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

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