Mini Apple Cake for Rosh Hashanah

 
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When I think about Rosh Hashanah, apple cake isn’t really the first thing that comes to mind. Or the second, for that matter.

This is, admittedly, a peculiar way to start a post with both “apple cake” and “Rosh Hashanah” in the title…but it’s the truth. Apple cake just never found its way to my family’s table when I was growing up. Instead, the dish I most readily associate with the New Year is my grandmother’s kugel. Creamy and noodly and raisin-y, that was our yearly “thing” (a fact that hasn’t changed much in the last 27 years).

The point is, when I set out to make an apple cake for this Rosh Hashanah shoot, I felt totally comfortable—and not at all sacrilegious—messing around with the traditional recipe.

It also just so happened that I’d recently purchased a mini bundt pan and 8 katrillion apples.

You do the math.

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There’s lots more I could say about these little icing-coated beauties—like, they smell like a dream and taste like heaven and look DIVINE, for starters—but I’d rather just share the recipe with you so you can see for yourself.

Find that below…and if you do end up making these for Rosh Hashanah this year, drop me a line on Insta (or below in the comments) to let me know!

P.S. You don’t actually have to use a bundt pan to make these—they’d look just as lovely in a regular muffin tin. I just loved that the bundt shape mimicked the look of a traditional apple bundt cake.

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Mini Apple Cakes for Rosh Hashanah

Adapted from Leah Koenig. Makes 13-25 mini cakes, depending on the size of your pan.
I was able to make almost exactly two batches in
this pan.

What You’ll Need:

For the cakes:

  • 3 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3.5 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (for sprinkling on top)

For a dairy glaze [pictured here!]:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese (regular cream cheese—not “whipped”!), softened

  • 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

For the glaze [optional, not pictured here]:

  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy creamer

What You’ll Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, light brown sugar, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

  2. In a second medium bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time. Next, pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and combine. Using a baking spatula, fold in the apples and prepare for a seriously thick batter.

  3. Grease a mini bundt pan or muffin tin, then spoon the batter into individual cups, leaving about 1/4 inch room on top (this allows the cakes a little room to “grow”). Bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes. The cakes are done when a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean—but remember, this is supposed to be a very moist cake, so you really don’t want to over-bake it and end up with hard, crumbly cakes!

  4. Let the cakes cool for at least 10 minutes in the pan, then invert them onto a wire rack to continue cooling until they’re room temperature. (If you don’t cool the cakes all the way, you’ll end up with a melted, unsightly glaze…and you don’t want that).

  5. While the cakes are cooling, make the glaze.

    For the dairy glaze: Mix together all together using a hand or stand mixer.

    Alternatively, for the pareve glaze: Mix together all ingredients using a whisk; continue to add half-teaspoons of creamer if the consistency seems too thick. You want it to be relatively thick, though, or else it won’t look quite right and will make a mess of your dessert table.

  6. Pour the glaze into a plastic bag or piping bag; snip the end so that there’s a small hole through which it can be piped. Evenly dust the cooled cakes with one coating of confectioner’s sugar (I did this by pouring the sugar into a small strainer, one tablespoon at a time). Then pipe with icing in a design of your choice, and serve! It’s best not to make these ahead of time.