It’s September, which means fall is upon us. Apples, pumpkins, leaves changing (maybe not in Florida), and most importantly Rosh Hashanah! Celebrating the Jewish New Year is all about eating sweets, so you’ll have a sweet New Year. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, and this apple cake recipe has the perfect amount of sweetness for the New Year, and to celebrate any occasion! Because I make this cake around Rosh Hashannah time, it’s already dairy-free.
When you think of apples in dessert, you probably go straight to apple pie, right? Once you try this recipe, this will be your new favorite apple-based dessert! I first made this apple cake when I was a teenager when my mom’s friend gave me the recipe. Over the years I started tweaking it bit by bit and came up with what you’ll see below.
Let’s talk apples:
There are a wide variety of apples, but how do you know which ones are best to use for this cake? Use your favorite!
I tend to use whatever apples I have in my fridge, but I only buy two kinds of apples – Red Delicious and Granny Smith. Red Delicious is sweeter while Granny Smith is more tart. Both work perfectly in this recipe, it just depends on your preference. If you like really sweet desserts, use the Red Delicious or a different variation of a sweet apple. If you don’t like your desserts so on the sweet side, the tartness of Granny Smith apples really balances out the flavor.
How to make it:
Start off with 2 large apples. Peel them, core them, and thinly slice them. Place them into a bowl and drizzle the lemon juice on top. Mix it together.
In a separate bowl using your hand mixer whisk the eggs for about a minute until they’re frothy. Add in the white and brown sugar and mix together. Add in the vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.
Now we’re going to sift in our dry ingredients into our wet ingredients. I find it easier to place all the dry ingredients into a bowl and then add it in the strainer, otherwise, you’ll need a few extra hands to spoon and level the flour and add the rest of the ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in thirds so you don’t overmix. Overmixing the batter will cause the cake to be gummy and chewier than we want. It’s best to stop mixing with your hand mixer when there’s still some flour left, and move on to using a rubber spatula and gently fold the dough together until there is no flour left over. Keep in mind that you’ll have more of a doughy consistency rather than a thin cake batter.
Divide the dough into thirds. Take 1/3 of the dough and flatten it on the bottom of your greased cake pan. Take half of the sliced apples and evenly spread them over the dough. Repeat the process one and a half more times until you’re left with no more apples and dough, and the top layer is dough.
Bake the cake in a preheated oven for 55 minutes until golden brown.
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- Peel the apples and thinly slice them.
- Toss the apples in lemon juice and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add in your dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Add in both the white and brown sugars and mix together for about a minute.
- Add in the vegetable oil and vanilla extra and mix until combined.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in thirds. Sift a third of the dry ingredients, give it a mix and then repeat the process 2 more times until all of the dry ingredients are mixed in with the wet ingredients.
- Divide the dough into thirds, and take the first third of the dough and flatten it in the cake pan.
- Take the apples and lemon juice mixture and place half of it on top of the dough, spreading it out evenly.
- Repeat the layering process one and a half more times.
- From bottom to top, your layers should be dough, apples, dough, apples, dough.
- Bake for 55 minutes until golden brown.
Mixing the apples in lemon juice keeps them from browning. If you don’t want to use lemon juice, then make sure you hold off on slicing the apples to the very last step to keep them from browning.
The reason we sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in thirds is to prevent it from overmixing. If you overmix your ingredients, you’ll end up with a gummy cake, and who wants that?
Using 2 large Granny Smith apples is plenty for this recipe. If you’re using medium-sized apples then use 3 of them.
Feel free to use your stand mixer, I just find it easier to use a hand mixer. I feel like I have more control over the batter. But you’ll get the same finished product using either.
To make this cake gluten-free, make sure you substitute all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour.
Feel free to add some nuts or chocolate chips to this cake. Either or will be delicious.