Jewish Apple Cake

Jewish Apple Bread

Fall is my favorite season – I love the crisp air, football games, scarves, boots, crunchy leaves, and pumpkin spice lattes. And most of all, I love fall baking – what better season is there to appreciate apple cobbler fresh from the oven? And what other season can you get away with drizzling caramel on everything, or depleting the supermarket bounty of pumpkin puree?

I’ve been so swamped with schoolwork, studying for one last SAT, and writing sitting in front of a blank page waiting for inspiration for my college essays, that I haven’t even done any fall baking and it’s already October. Thank God I am never, ever, ever (a la Taylor Swift) taking the SAT again after today – which calls for celebration, in the form of Jewish apple cake!

jewish apple cake

My mom first bought these round cakes with a crunchy outside filled with tender apple slices from Whole Foods. They came in a paper liner, which I would scrape the crumbs off of because it was that good. I scoured the Internet for a copycat recipe, but never found one that was specifically for the Whole Foods version. I did find out though, that this cake is not called ‘Jewish’ because it is particularly religious, but because it is made without dairy (orange juice and oil instead of milk and butter). It’s also apparently more regional than cultural.

jewish apple cake

P.S. I had the kitchen window open when the loaves were baking, so there was this glorious breeze and the cinnamon and apple scents wafted all over the house and I really just can’t get over how perfect the weather was for making this cake. Also I took these pictures during the sunset and got this gorgeous golden wash of light.

Recipe: Jewish Apple Cake


  • 4-5 large granny smith apples
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 C + 4 TB sugar, divided use
  • 3 C flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 C vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C orange juice
  • 1 T vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, and grease 2 8.5×4.5″ baking pans. Set aside.
  2. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples and toss with the cinnamon and 4 TB sugar, until all the surfaces are coated.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and rest of the sugar. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl in 2-3 additions, incorporating each time. Mix on medium speed until smooth, then divide the batter into two bowls.
  4. Pour half the batter from one of the two bowls into a greased pan. Generously layer apple slices on top, then pour the rest of the batter on top of the apple slices. End with pressing a single layer of the apples into the batter. Repeat with the other loaf pan and the second bowl of batter. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top (optional), and bake for about 1 hour 15 min, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Number of servings (yield): 2 loaves

Adapted from Curiously Ravenous and With a Grateful Prayer & Thankful Heart

5 thoughts on “Jewish Apple Cake

  1. this is such a delicious recipe! i’ve made it a few times following the recipe but this time I tried making a healthier version (so my diabetic grandma could have more) which was also delicious. I used whole wheat flour and Baker’s blend Truvia instead of regular sugar. And the biggest tweak of all….my oven stopped working so I made this in my toaster oven at 300 degrees for an hour. Still came out amazing though, thanks Christina!!

  2. It says to add 4TB of sugar and 2 cups sugar. Later when reading it mentions salt, which is mot a listed ingredient. Am I to assume that the 4TB of sugar is salt? It seems like a lot so I jut wanted to check.

    1. Good catch! I accidentally left out the amount of salt, which should be 1 tsp. The 4 TB sugar is to toss with the cinnamon and apples, and the 2 cups goes in the batter, which is why they were listed separately. I’ve edited the recipe to hopefully be more clear. Thanks for pointing that out!

  3. just baked this cake and it’s heavenly — the best apple cake ever. i’ve changed a few things (used butter instead of oil, powdered sugar instead of granulated, vanilla and not plain sugar to cover the apples, added grated orange rind to the apples and used all-purpose gluten-free flour with a little coconut flour as i didn’t have enough GF flour for the recipe). can’t wait to give your other recipes a try!

  4. This is a great recipe, thank you. My husband is particular about his food, especially, what I fix from scratch. If he says it’s good, it’s great! I usually get it’s fine, so it passed with flying colors. I did use half oil/half applesauce. Next time I may try adding some nutmeg or mace, just for fun. Off to try some more new recipes, after 27 years, we need to add new, healthy foods! Thank you!

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