Aunt Jane’s Apple Cake

Growing up, apple cake was a special treat to be enjoyed each September in honor of the Jewish New Year. Each year, regardless of who was hosting our Rosh Hashanah dinner, my Aunt Jane would make a version of this cake that was absolutely to die for. I would look forward to having this cake each year. As an adult, many years later, out of the blue, I visited Aunt Jane to learn how to make this cake. The catch? It turned out that she measured everything with her hands! I kept trying to stop her so that I could get the proper measurements because our hands weren’t the same size. What I am sharing here is my best guess at Aunt Jane’s Apple Cake using our Eastern Shore Honey.

slice of Aunt Jane's jewish apple cake on white plate with gold pinstripe and gold fork on table

Sweet Aunt Jane

Aunt Jane was an amazing, strong woman. She was a professional volunteer. I believe that she served as an inspiration for me to serve and volunteer for various non-profits since my youth. Aunt Jane spent a good part of her adult life helping mentally handicapped persons, not by writing checks or fundraising, but by picking up “clients” (as she referred to them) and taking them bowling, shopping or getting them wherever they needed to go.

She also volunteered at her local community hospital several days a week. Aunt Jane passed away a few years back and I am so glad that I have these warm and sweet memories of her to share with you.

How to make Aunt Jane’s Jewish Apple Cake

It’s easy to make this Apple Cake recipe. Let’s first take a look at the apple cake’s ingredients:

  • Granny Smith Apples
  • Sugar
  • Waxing Kara Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Orange Juice

These ingredients come together quick and easy! You’ll need to mix up the Apple Cake Filling. Mix the apples with some sugar, honey, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and get them coated. I like to add a little bit of lemon juice too, to prevent the apples from browning. Set them aside.

Now, first things first. In your mind, think of making this cake in 3 sections. If you are clear with that, everything else will fall into place. Once your ingredients are gathered, it’s time to move on to making the apple cake. It begins with preheating your oven to 350°F. 

Making Jewish Apple Cake

dry ingredients and wet ingredients in respective bowls, just before mixing

Step One: Mix all dry ingredients together

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, sugar, salt together

Step Two: Whisk together all of the wet ingredients

In a medium bowl, with a hand mixer combine oil, eggs, honey, vanilla and orange juice

Making jewish apple cake batter

Step 3: Fold

Fold together the wet and dry ingredients and grease and flour a tube pan

apple cake batter

Step 4: Layer 

Layer the batter, then add apples, then top with batter. Decorate the top with apples

Making jewish apple cake with chopped apple, batter and spring form pan

Step 5: Put the Apple Cake in the oven

Bake approximately 60 minutes in the oven. Allow cooling in the tube pan for 15 minutes before attempting to remove the apple cake.

Customize Aunt Jane’s Apple Cake

A recipe is not truly perfect until you’ve added your own touch to it. That’s why we encourage you to play with your food. Let your inner chef come out and play and change up this recipe. Have fun! Here are some ideas:

  • Add in nuts or berries
  • Give the cake a drizzle of homemade Cashew Cream Icing
  • Experiment with the Honey you use
  • Experiment with the flour you use, I tried gluten-free flour this time and it was thicker and dryer
slice of Aunt Jane's jewish apple cake on white plate with gold pinstripe and gold fork on table

Aunt Jane’s Apple Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: apple cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 448kcal
This recipe comes straight from the hands of my Aunt Jane. It's a perfect apple cake to make for the Jewish New Year, but enjoy this cake anytime you are in the mood for it. It's delicious!
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  • 4 Granny Smith Apples peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 c flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c Waxing Kara Honey Plus 1 tbsp.
  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 c orange juice


For the Apple Filling

  • Mix apples with 2 tbsp. of sugar, 1 tbsp. honey and cinnamon in a medium bowl (If apples are sweet use less sugar)

For the Cake

  • In a large bowl sift flour, baking powder, sugar, salt together
  • In a medium bowl, with a hand mixer combine honey, oil, eggs, vanilla and orange juice
  • Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well
  • Grease and flour a tube pan
  • Layer batter, then apples, then batter, then apples
  • Create a decoration of apples on top if you’re feeling creative and sprinkle with a little sugar
  • Bake approximately 60 minutes in a 330-degree oven. Note: I found that raising the temperature to 350 for the last 10 minutes helped with firming up the cake.
  • Cool in pan for 15 minutes, remove on racks and allow to cool 


Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 44mg | Potassium: 264mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 126IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 2mg

2 thoughts on “Aunt Jane’s Apple Cake”

    • Hi Jo! Add the honey with all the other wet ingredients. Thank you for writing, I tweaked the recipe a bit to make that more clear in both the instructional areas! Happy Baking!

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