Jewish Apple Cake

photo taken by jmackinnell, on October 18, 2009, CC licensing

Jewish Apple Cake recipes show up not only in synagogue and other Jewish community cookbooks, but in church recipe collections as well. What makes them Jewish is the use of oil instead of butter and the absence of any dairy, so that the cakes could be served at a meat meal without contravening the laws of kashrut. This is another request from Benita Lee, who loves the version at a bakery in Boulder, Colorado, and asks about special instructions for high-altitude baking in Colorado.

Here is some information on adjusting this recipe for high-altitude baking: 1) grease baking pan very well and dust with flour or line with wax paper, because cakes have a tendency to stick to the pan; 2) at around 5000 feet (Boulder), do the following: reduce baking powder by 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon for each teaspoon in the recipe; decrease sugar by 1/2 to 2 tablespoons for each cup called for and increase liquid 2 to 4 tablespoons for each cup called for; raise baking temperature by about 25 degrees Fahrenheit; reduce baking time by about 5 minutes.

Some versions of Jewish Apple Cake, such as my recipe in Jewish Holiday Cooking, are topped with a layer of juicy, caramelized apples. Others, like the one in the Boulder bakery, are as Benita writes, "crispy on the outside and fluffy inside." This delicious recipe from Marcy Goldman's wonderful book, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking, not only matches Benita's requirements, but it's also a snap to prepare.

Sephardic or Askhenazi