Honey Lemon Apple Cake

 For my hubby's birthday, I wanted to make a cake I'd never tried before. I asked him what his favorite kind of cake was, and he very unhelpfully refused to tell me. He said, "Whatever kind you make." 

I went back to my trusty recipe binder and found a recipe for an apple torte. Torn from the pages of Cooking Light magazine, the recipe featured apples cooked on the stovetop before topping a simple vanilla-flavored batter. 

This recipe would be perfect for Rosh Hashana as it features both honey and apples, two staples of the Jewish new year celebration. Honey and lemon juice flavor the apples, the batter contains vanilla and lemon zest, and cinnamon sugar is sprinkled over the top before baking.

I almost followed the recipe, but adjusted the amount of white sugar slightly. I reduced the sugar from 3/4 to 1/2 cup. The batter also contains some brown sugar, so I decided less might be more. After tasting, I decided this was a good call. The cake is plenty sweet.

I used unbleached flour instead of whole wheat because this cake is for my husband. He's not a fanatic about health foods, like I am. Normally I'd substitute whole wheat, and will probably try that with this recipe in the future. I love the taste of whole wheat flour with honey!


1/4 cup honey

2 TB fresh lemon juice

2 large apples, sliced about 1/4 inch thick (peeled)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

6 TB softened butter (unsalted)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 cup flour (unbleached or whole wheat)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cooking spray

2 TB white sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine honey and lemon juice is a non-stick skillet. Add apples and bring to a simmer over low flame. Cook 12-15 minutes, or until apples are soft. Remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, both kinds of sugar, and vanilla. Beat well until smooth. Add eggs and beat again. Add the dry ingredients and stir gently just until combined.

Spray 8x8 square baking pan with cooking spray. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Spoon the apples over the top in an attractive pattern (or rows! like I did) and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top.

Bake at 350F for one hour or until golden brown. Insert a toothpick into the center to make sure cake is done. Let cool before serving. Makes about 10-12 servings.