Rosh Hashanah special! Honey apple cake

Rosh Hashanah special! Honey apple cake

Ahead of the Jewish New Year we pick out some yummy foods to cook inspired by two classic desserts

For Ashkenazi Jews, Rosh Hashanah tables tend to feature one of two desserts: honey cake or apple cake.

The former (lekach) is sweetened with honey and flavoured with strong coffee and spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

The latter (apfelkuchen) comes chockablock with tender apples that give the cake an extra moist crumb. But really, why choose?

This version combines the best aspects of both desserts into one cake that celebrates the full, complex sweetness of the autumnal New Year season. It tastes lovely right away, but the flavours deepen and blossom the second day.





  • 2 1/4 cups [315 g] All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves

    Reprinted from Little Book of Jewish Sweets by Leah Koenig, published by Chronicle Books, priced £12.99. Available now.
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 cup [180 ml] Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup [120 ml] Strong Brewed Coffee
  • 1 1/3 cups [265 g] Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup [170 g] Honey
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 11/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 cups [430 G] Finely Chopped, peeled Baking Apples (3 or 4 medium)
  • Confectioners’ sugar for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C] and lightly grease a 10-in [25-cm] Bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 11/2 tsp of the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and salt into a large bowl.
  2.  In a stand mixer or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the oil, coffee, 1 cup [200 g] of the brown sugar, and the honey on medium speed until fully combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla, beating to combine after each addition and scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add the flour mixture in two additions, beating on low speed until just combined.
  3.  Stir together the apples, the remaining 1/3 cup [65 g] brown sugar, and the remaining 1 tsp cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  4. Spread about half of the batter evenly into the prepared Bundt pan and spoon the apple mixture evenly over the top. Spread the remaining batter over the apples. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. (Start checking at 50 minutes to avoid overbaking.) Remove from the oven. Set the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes to allow the apples inside to cool and set.
  5. To unmold the cake, run a sharp knife between the cake and the pan, then gently invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. Just before serving, transfer the cake to a serving plate and dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Serve at room temperature. Store covered at room temperature for up to 5 days, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.

Reprinted from Little Book of Jewish Sweets by Leah Koenig, published by Chronicle Books, priced £12.99. Available now.

Food for thought 

Fress to impress

London Hilton on Park Lane has rustled up a fashion-themed afternoon tea, taking inspiration from the late legendary couturier, Karl Lagerfeld, to coincide with London Fashion Week. The menu includes a handmade mandarin praline ‘handbag’ and coconut macaroon, accompanied by a selection of organic Hope and Glory teas. The Fashion Afternoon Tea starts from £39 per person. Available until 22 September.

Honey month 

In the run up to Rosh Hashanah, September is also appropriately Honey Month and to celebrate, St Ermin’s Hotel in Westminster is handing out a free copy of beautifully produced book ‘The Good Bee, A Celebration of Bees – And How to Save Them’ by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCullum to the first 100 diners who book a table for afternoon tea! St. Ermin’s Honey Afternoon Tea is available with unlimited Prosecco for £45per person. Youngsters can enjoy the fun garden adventure-themed Buzzy Bees Tea at £18 per person, including a gift of bumblebee deely boppers! 

Berry nice 

Toast just got a lot more exciting: Bonne Maman has introduced two new seasonal flavours. Strawberry and Verbena is a ripe strawberry flavour with a hint of natural green freshness, while zingy Raspberry and Lychee combines the juicy and deep flavours of these two sweet fruits. Bonne Maman will also soon be launching the more autumnal Orange and Cinnamon Marmalade and Quince Jam. Available exclusively in Waitrose in 220g jars, priced £2.59,


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