Apple Cake with Honey Cider Glaze

Apple Cake with Honey Cider Glaze

I grew up in New England and the apples from my childhood were MacIntosh. They are deliciously tart and have a soft flesh that practically turns to applesauce on a hot day. It wasn’t until I moved to Minneapolis that my apple horizons were broadened and now I am spoiled by the riches of so many local varieties of apples.

As a result, I always use at least a couple different kinds in a recipe. I pick sweet (honey gold), tart (Haralson), saucy (MacIntosh still makes the cut) and firm (Prairie Spy). You’ll have your local favorites, but keep the flavor and texture profiles in mind when choosing. Infusing apples with a golden honey-cider caramel is like matchmaking two friends. Honey as a basis for caramel is a bold and absolutely spectacular flavor shift. 

Grating the apples into this apple cake also retains the moisture, packs in the flavor, but also adds a measured consistency of apple throughout the cake that I just love. 

Apple season falls right around Rosh Hashanah, a time to celebrate the Jewish new year with family and friends. This cake will quickly become an old family tradition for the holiday.

You can watch me make this on Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network! On the Apple Classics episode I visit an apple orchard to pick new apple varieties and use them in a few desserts.

A Slice of Apple Cake with Honey Cider Glaze
Apple Cake with Honey Cider Glaze
Apple Cake with Honey Cider Glaze

Apple Cake with Honey Cider Glaze

Apple season falls right around Rosh Hashanah, a time to celebrate the Jewish new year with family and friends. This apple cake with honey cider glaze will quickly become an old family tradition for the holiday.
5 from 17 votes


Apple Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) mild-flavored oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (130g) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract make your own
  • 3 tbsp hard apple cider
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups (300g) packed grated apples, plus 2 cups (300g) apple chunks about 4 medium apples
  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour, plus 1 tbsp. for tossing with apple chunks
  • 1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt

Honey Glaze

  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp hard apple cider
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • pinch kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 325°F / 165°C. Generously grease and flour a 12-cup / 2.8L Bundt pan. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, hard cider, and eggs with a spoon. Stir in the grated apples.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the 2 cups / 240g all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the apple mixture and mix only until it all comes together in a smooth batter.
  • Toss apple chunks and 1 tablespoon flour, then fold the apples into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Gently tap the pan on the counter several times to make sure the batter has fully settled into the nooks of the Bundt.
  • Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate.

Honey Glaze

  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Drizzle with half of the glaze over the still warm cake. Save the remaining glaze to drizzle over the cake when it is fully cooled and ready to serve.


You could also use bourbon in place of the cider in the glaze, as I do in Zoë Bakes Cakes!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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36 thoughts to “Apple Cake with Honey Cider Glaze”

  1. This sounds so delicious and perfect for the upcoming Jewish Holidays!!
    Do I need to make any adjustments for high altitude baking… I am at 7,000 feet in Santa Fe!
    Thank you so so much!

  2. 5 stars
    Zoe, this looks amazing and perfect with Fall coming up! Question: do you have a brand of hard cider you recommend? I’ve never purchased any before. I found “angry orchard” brand. Will that do?

    1. Hi Wendy! Zoë used Sweetland Orchard cider, which is more like a distilled liquor than a bubbly hard cider. She suggests anything with a strong flavor. Happy baking!

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you Stephani! I was unable to source distilled apple liquor here in Texas, so ended up just using the Angry Orchard brand (I set it out for a night so the carbonation would leave). I used Fuji and Honey Crisp apples and I doubled the recipe for the glaze. I added a few TBS of the glaze into some whipping cream and it was absolutely to die for! One of the best recipes I’ve made in ages. I HIGHLY recommend!! Just EXCEPTIONAL!

        Also, I did not have any whole wheat flour on hand, so just used all purpose for the whole recipe. It was perfect!

  3. Can you use all purpose flour instead of wheat for the additional 1 cup? My husband is on dialysis and the wheat flour is higher in potassium and phosphate so we have to use all purpose.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Lisa! Zoë has not tested it, but another commenter said she tried it with all all-purpose flour and it worked for her. Happy baking!

    2. Hi Lisa,

      Yes, I believe this cake will turn out just fine with the switch of flours. It may alter the texture and taste just slightly, but I think you will be pleased.

      Thanks, Zoë

  4. 5 stars
    thank you, lovely cake! Yes will have to keep the specific kind of apple I decide to use in mind for baking, love the bourbon glaze suggestion (or your preference) too to cut the sweetness!

  5. I plan on making this cake today. Does the liquor dissipate in the glaze? I have a 3 year old granddaughter that will be eating this and I don’t want to use liquor in the glaze if the alcohol does not cook out.

      1. 5 stars
        I appreciate your reply. Thank you. I ended up making the glaze without the bourbon in the glaze. I added a little brown sugar and vanilla. I did also make the bourbon glaze on the side for those that wanted it.

        The cake is fabulous. Everyone took some home! I will be making this again!

  6. I just found a recipe online called Best Jewish Apple Cake that i planned to make for my book club. We are discussing Last Summer at the Golden Hotel, about the Borscht
    Belt in the Catskills! I wanted to do some Jewish inspired food and this sounds amazing. I am thinking this is something I could use calvados in rather than hard cider. Thoughts?

  7. I’m in the middle of baking your recipe and it says kosher salt. Help!! I can’t find anywhere on you website or in the cake book section about ingredients explaining what this is. Do you mean coarse grain kosher salt or fine grain? Can other salts be substituted? Surely not measure for measure?

    1. Hi. This is a cake that actually holds up really well even a couple of days after baking, because the grated apples keep it so moist. I would save half the glaze to heat up and pour over the top before serving.

      Enjoy! Zoë

    1. Hi Steph,

      Yes, it will have almost a muffin texture, which will be wonderful. I would say to bake them about 25 minutes, but will depend on the size of your muffins tins.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  8. 5 stars
    So delicious! So much about cooking and baking is about sense memory. When I made this it took me back 50 years to the kitchen of my mom’s best friend who made a beautiful and fragrant apple cake for Rosh Hashanah. Thanks so much for this glorious cake and for the memories ❤️

  9. 5 stars
    Love, love, love this recipe! It is the perfect fall cake…it is the perfect anytime cake. It is moist & appley and just the right amount of sweet. I made the sauce with bourbon, oh my! I have made 3 of them in 2 weeks, all to rave reviews. I love your show and watching you bake! ❤️

  10. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Made this cake for my husband for his November birthday. The flavors are rich & cinnamon❤️Now I have requests from friends & family to make it again! Thank you, Zoe! Have a blessed Thanksgiving & Christmas

  11. This cake was divine! I used 4 small to medium sized Jonathan apples & 1 Golden Delicious apple that I picked at a local orchard. I substituted chopped pecans for the walnuts and I used Calvados instead of Bourbon in both the cake and glaze. I used the entire amount of glaze to top the warmed cake. My question is if I make another batch of glaze to serve along side the cake, do I just warm the glaze in the microwave or on the stove before serving or do you serve it cold?

    1. Hi Deborah! We are thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe. You can store additional glaze in the fridge for up to five days, just make sure to cover it tightly. Yes, warm gently in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving. Enjoy!

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