Best wishes to you and yours for a sweet and peaceful New Year, from Farmers’ Market Desserts!
This cake is perfect for the Jewish New Year, when apples are traditionally dipped into a bowl of honey to augur a sweet year. The moist, nut-studded cake soaked in honey and cider syrup keeps extraordinarily well—in fact, it gets even better with time. Wrapped tightly, it can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to a month, making it perfect for breaking the Yom Kippur fast, as well. Be sure to bring it to room temperature before serving.
Use tart, flavorful apples such as Granny Smith, pippin, or Gravenstein, or better yet, ask your market vendor what’s best. Choose a flavorful honey, too—and dip a slice of apple into it to be sure you like the way the flavors combine. Plain yogurt or sour cream can be substituted for the buttermilk.
Season to Taste: Try substituting pears and pecans for the apples and walnuts.
Farm Journal: Marshall’s Farm Honey in American Canyon, California, sells an almond blossom honey that is out of this world in this cake. It lends a subtle bittersweet note that somehow fits perfectly with the solemn-sweet spirit of the holiday. Helene Marshall packages several products specially for Jewish holidays, including the charming “Rosh Hashonah in a Jar,” a mix of dried apples and raw, unfiltered honey.
- Vegetable oil or pan spray, for pan
- 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- ½ cup whole-wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup canola, grape seed oil, or other neutral vegetable oil
- 1 cup light brown sugar, gently packed
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup honey
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups peeled, cored, and cubed apples (1/2-inch cubes; about 3 apples)
- 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- ¼ cup apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack near the center. Butter a 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan. Dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
- Whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk together the oil, sugar, buttermilk, honey, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing just until streaky. Fold in the apples and nuts until everything is evenly combined. The batter will be thick.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
- Bake until a long toothpick or thin wooden skewer inserted midway between the inner and outer edges of the pan tests clean, about 45 minutes.
- Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 25 minutes. Using oven mitts if the pan is still hot to the touch, invert the cake onto a serving plate and let cool.
- While the cake cools, make the syrup: Stir the cider, honey, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to about ⅓ cup.
- Prick the warm cake all over with a thin wooden skewer or toothpick, then brush the cake with the syrup until it absorbs all of it.
- Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.