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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.