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Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted February 2010 with better photos and additional information.
Jewish apple cake is an exceptionally moist cake with apples that are layered both in the center of the cake and on the top. It is a dense, yet tender cake full of apple goodness. I make it frequently because so many people like it.
Why this cake is called Jewish apple cake
I never questioned the name of this cake that my mom made and gifted frequently through the years. I assumed since she grew up in a section of the city that included many Jewish families, someone in that community shared the recipe with her or her mom.
During an internet search, I came across some information about the name. Jewish apple cake is made with vegetable oil rather than butter like many American cakes of this type. Using vegetable oil, makes the cake acceptable after a meat meal under the Jewish dietary laws that prohibit mixing meat and milk.
Whether this is an important element in your baking or not, I know you will enjoy this classic cake.
Here’s how to make Jewish apple cake
Preparing the apples for Jewish apple cake
Mini loaf cakes
- Since they freeze well, it is easy to pop one out of the freezer to thaw quickly when a friend stops in for a visit.
- The smaller loaves help with portion control if you are like me and might be tempted to eat from a whole cake, just a slice or two more than I should. 😉
How to freeze Jewish apple cake
If freezing, you will want to cool the cake(s) completely then wrap well to prevent freezer burn or taste changes. I place each loaf into a cellophane bag and secure with a tie and then place several loaves into a freezer-safe bag. Double wrapping with plastic wrap or foil is also a good choice.
Here is my handed-down recipe:
Jewish Apple Cake
- 5 or 6 apples, pared, cored & sliced about 1/4-inch thick
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons Sugar
- 3 cups Flour
- 2 cups Sugar
- 1 cup salad Oil
- 4 Eggs
- ¼ cup Orange Juice
- 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 2½ teaspoons Vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
Grease or spray an angel food pan. If desired, sprinkle the inside with a little granulated sugar.
In a small bowl, combine 5 tablespoons of sugar with 2 tsp. cinnamon
Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the sliced apples.
In the bowl of the stand or handheld mixer, add 3 cups of flour, 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup salad oil, 4 eggs, 1/4 cup of orange juice, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, 2 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix until well combined.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared angel food cake pan.
Arrange half of the apples over batter.
Cover the apples with the remaining batter.
Top with the rest of the apples.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in pan 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of the pan to loosen. Turn out of pan to a plate or cooling rack.
To make mini-loaf cakes, I used six 5 x 3-inch pans and bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Jewish apple cakes packaged and ready to be delivered to friends.
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