Serves a Crowd

Spiced Honey-Apple Cake

September  5, 2013
2 Ratings
Photo by drbabs
  • Prep time 45 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes 11X14"cake
Author Notes

Honey Cake is traditional for Rosh Hashanah, and you eat apples with honey to ensure a sweet year. This cake serves tradition and sweetness. Happy New Year!

2019-- I've updated the ingredients so that the cake can be made in an 11X14 (ish) ceramic baking dish--potluck friendly! Once again, Happy New Year! —drbabs

Test Kitchen Notes

Absolutely delicious! This cinnamon honey apple cake recipe offers a heavy warmth of mixed spices that couples well with the honey and sweet apple. I found the directions clear and easy to follow. I would definitely make this again. —Colleen C

What You'll Need
  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored, sliced about 1/2 inch thick (I used Honeycrisp.)
  • 10 ounces unsalted butter + more for the pan
  • 6 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (288 grams)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus more for the top of the cake
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk or soured milk
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Butter an 11x14 ceramic dish. Core and peel apples, and cut into 1/2" slices. Set aside 14-16 slices for the top of the cake. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large pan and continue cooking till brown and nutty-smelling. Sauté apples in browned butter until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of honey, and continue to cook until apples are browned and liquid is reduced. Set aside and let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. In a medium liquid measuring cup, stir together vanilla extract and buttermilk.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the rest of the butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in 3 eggs and add 4 tablespoons of honey. Beat until thoroughly blended.
  4. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the bowl, stirring gently after each addition. Finish stirring by hand, ensuring that there are no pockets of flour and the batter is thoroughly combined.
  5. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Cover with sautéed apples and spread the other half of the batter over the apples. Smooth the top, and place the reserved raw apple slices on top. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the top.
  6. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake may slightly pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Barry Bourgault
    Barry Bourgault
  • drbabs
  • ninadora
  • lotusjoy6

11 Reviews

ninadora October 20, 2019
This cake is really delicious! I used a combination of tart and sweet/tart apples from the farmers market and the complex flavors of those against the sweet spicy cake is incredible! The brown butter sauté Takes this cake to the next level! My family went nuts for this cake at Rosh Hashanah!
drbabs October 23, 2019
I’ve tried and so far failed to get the original recipe. The new version is much better, so I’d suggest you try it in a rectangular baking dish. I’m really sorry.
ninadora October 13, 2019
I love this cake, but I returned to make it again and the recipe is gone for a 9 inch tin! I need that recipe!
drbabs October 13, 2019
Oh gosh, I’m sorry. I’ll see if I can find the original one for you, and if so, I’ll message it to you.
ninadora October 20, 2019
Thanks!!! I really appreciate it. This cake is so special, I want to be able to make it again!
Barry B. January 9, 2019
This is a definite keeper recipe. Will do it again, my friends also loved it. One thing I did was to cut the apples in thin slices but kept them full circles. I think it was easier to get an even layer of the apples on the first layer of batter. Just use a big skillet to saute the apples. I laid the rings half on the previous one. My oven usually cooks 5-10-15 minutes faster than called for but this I had to cook for longer and put tin foil over the top when it looked like that part was done. The apples were a perfect texture and the taste spot on. DO this one you won't be disappointed.
drbabs January 9, 2019
Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it!
lotusjoy6 October 28, 2016
could you freeze this?
drbabs October 28, 2016
I don't know. Most cakes like this do freeze well, but I think the apples in the center will change texture after defrosting.
lotusjoy6 October 29, 2016
thanks - good point - sounds delish tho
salena October 6, 2016
This was a delicious cake, easy to make, and it will keep a few days. The slices of apple on top make it look "fancy."