Category Archives: Holidays

Dear Marcy Goldman, Thank you for the most Delicious Majestic and Moist Honey Cake Recipe! xoxo Sherri

Dear Marcy Goldman, Thank you for the most Delicious Moist and Majestic Honey Cake! Thank you for sharing your recipe with us. I have always loved your cookbooks and any recipes I have tried.  xoxo, Sherri

Have you ever had a honey cake that was anything but dry and heavy? They are usually like hockey pucks. Not this one, it’s exactly what the name says it is and more. You’ll have to take my word on this, because I never liked honey cake, hated it actually. Last week I found myself somewhat like Elaine in the Seinfeld episode where she ate the $29,000 piece of cake and was dancing around as she ate it. If there was surveillance video of me in my kitchen last week, it would have showed the same. Of course she was missing her sugar fix in the afternoon, I was tasting a little of it every day, to see how long it could actually stay moist. I figured at some point, it had to get dry and heavy, but it never did. Maybe I’ll have to video tape myself and share that with you. If I get enough people requesting it, I just might! To put a number on it, if 25 people subscribe to my blog and comment on this post, I’ll do it!

So let’s rewind… why did I even make a honey cake when I don’t like it? Short answer, It’s Rosh Hashanah, it’s tradition, you can’t buy them in Columbus, Ohio and my husband loves them!

Long Sherri answer… I love family traditions especially around the holidays. Since moving to Columbus one of my favorite family traditions has been at Rosh Hashanah. I always set the holiday table with my sons’ shofars which they made as young children, beautiful flowers, my mother’s candle sticks, apples and mini honey jars. Even my wine bottle gets a little outfit! The excitement of the holiday prompts me to set the table well in advance just so I could have a few extra days to marvel at the table setting. It always makes me so happy. It’s also the time of year when my in-laws would visit for the holiday and stay for a few days.

My in-laws always arrived the day of Erev Rosh Hashanah right after lunchtime. As my father-in-law walked into the house, he would give me a big bear hug and comment how he could smell my cooking in the street as they pulled up. Year after year it was the same scene in my kitchen. The chicken soup was simmering away on the stove, the counter was filled with challahs fresh out of the oven, apple cake and mandel bread (my mother’s delicious recipe). Everything lined up like little soldiers.

The initial excitement of their arrival is one I looked forward to every year. It was even more special because I was the only one home to receive them and had them all to myself for a couple of hours. They came with suitcases and bags of gifts, but more importantly, the honey cakes! I seem to remember one year when my mother-in-law Joan brought five or six of them! I wish I could remember why she said she brought so many, but assume it was because her son loved them so much. Our first holiday without her, I still expected to see her walk through the door arms filled with honey cakes saying “I brought you some honey cakes, it didn’t come out too dry this year!”

It was something I never made (probably because I don’t like them) but more importantly it was her specialty. I’m a good daughter-in-law and would never have stepped on her toes. Last year, I decided to make my husband a honey cake – he does love them afterall. I didn’t have her recipe so what is a girl to do? Look through every Jewish cookbook and Google until she finds one that looks good. When a recipe has the words moist and majestic in it, especially for a honey cake, you look no further.

So thank you Marcy Goldman for bringing us all this most delicious cake! Just for the record, I made it last year as is but this year tweaked it just a little to accommodate my taste. I can now say I’m a honey cake lover, hence my Elaine dance in the kitchen! Remember, if you want to see my honey cake happy dance, make a comment on this post!

The tradition and excitement of years past fills my heart. My mother’s mandel bread fills my soul, alongside it sits this majestic and moist honey cake which I think my mother-in-law would have just loved. Shana Tova… Enjoy!
Majestic and Moist Honey Cake
adapted from Marcy Goldman’s Treasure of Jewish Holiday Baking. Here is what I changed… I omitted the cloves (I don’t like them), I used pineapple juice instead of orange juice because I always have cans of pineapple juice on hand, and never have orange juice! I cut down the sugar to see if I would miss it – I didn’t! Finally, I don’t care for the taste of whiskey and even in the cake it was a bit strong. My friend Susie and I baked honey cakes together last week and she suggested I try brandy. She uses it in a sweet potato dish she makes and said it adds a nice flavor. She was right; the brandy was a perfect choice, not as strong as the whiskey and when you eat the cake you wonder, what is that. FYI… I think my brandy is a little bit majestic as well. I started with ¼ of a bottle, have made 14 honey cakes this year and haven’t run out of brandy yet!

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I omitted this)
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup extra light olive oil
1 cup honey
1 granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup warm coffee
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (optional)

I made mine in a variety of ways. My favorite, was the mini loaf pans (5 ¾ x 3 ¼) which yielded 8 and are great to give as gifts. I have also made this recipe in three 8 x 4 ½” loaf pans. The 9” or 10” angel food pan makes for a very pretty presentation and Marcy Goldman’s favorite choice. Finally you can use a 9×13” sheet pan. This is pretty versatile if you ask me.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray. For tube or angel food pans, line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. In a separate bowl, mix the warm coffee with the brown sugar. This helps the clumps you can sometimes get. Then add all of the wet ingredients plus the sugar and mix together. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)

Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.

Spoon the batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using. Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top). Hmmm… I somehow missed this step, but they came out perfectly when I baked them on one cookie sheet, or directly on the oven rack.

Bake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. For angel and tube cake pans, this will take 60 to 75 minutes, loaf cakes, about 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet style cakes, baking time is 40 to 45 minutes. The minis only took 30 minutes. If you are using throw away aluminum tins, the bake time will be a little less for all of the above.

Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan and enjoy!


Honey Cake Biscotti/Mandel Bread with Chocolate Chips

Full disclosure, I spent more time trying to figure out the title for this post than I did baking the actual cookies! In the end, all I know is this Honey Cake Biscotti Mandel Bread with chocolate chips is super delicious!

I first saw this recipe in Paula Shoyer’s cookbook The Holiday Kosher Baker, and knew I had to try it. Paula calls them honey cake biscotti but after I tasted them, I felt the texture was really more like mandel bread. Just a quick mandel vs. biscotti clarification…  While most people are familiar with the more popular and sexy Italian biscotti made in a myriad of flavors which are crisp and dunked in coffee, the mandel is a traditional Jewish cookie and something your bubbe (a Jewish grandmother) enjoys with a glass of tea and bakes enough to share with everyone she knows – and I mean everyone! When you look at them side by side, they resemble each other and taste similar. The main difference is mandel is usually a little softer than, and not as dry as biscotti because it contains more oil. Biscotti are always twice baked whereas mandel can be sliced and served as a softer cookie or twice baked.
With the holidays quickly approaching, I’ve been spending time trying new recipes to share with family and friends (just like the bubbe!). I’m lucky to have a nice support system of taste testers! When I sent some to my son last week he said “I don’t know how you did it, but you somehow managed to make mandel bread taste just like honey cake.” I told him I couldn’t take all of the credit for that but thanked him just the same. I am really glad I tried this one; it’s a winner. They really taste like honey cake, it’s amazing! Thank you Paula Shoyer!

The original recipe calls for shaping them and baking them right away. I found the dough too loose so I put it in the refrigerator for an hour. This is how I prepare my mom’s recipe so I’m sure it’s just second nature for me to do it that way. You can also leave the dough in the bowl and place it in the fridge, then mold it into logs after you take it out. If it seems firm enough for you to skip the refrigerator, go for it and get it in the oven.

When baking with honey, here is a good tip… A trick to help the honey slide out of the measuring cup is to measure the oil first. Then when you put the honey in, it won’t stick to the glass. I love this trick! This is also good when using molasses, corn syrup or any other sticky liquid.

My mother’s mandel recipe has chocolate chips added, so I figured why not try adding chocolate chips in these – it was a good decision! Honey and chocolate are a nice marriage. You could also add white raisins and walnuts which are equally as delicious or leave them plain. This recipe is a great start to a sweet new year! Enjoy!

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon*
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I like to grate it fresh)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 extra large eggs (at room temperature)
½ cup extra light extra light olive oil
½ cup honey
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup warm coffee (regular or decaf)
½ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top

Optional version: You can also make this with raisins and walnuts by using ½ cup white or black raisins and ½ cup chopped walnuts or make them plain. This recipe is adapted from Paula Shoyer’s Honey Cake Biscotti recipe.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and sift together. In another bowl add the oil, honey, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla, coffee and whisk together well. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix gently to incorporate. If using chips or other addition, add in at this time.

Divide the dough in half and shape it into a rectangular log about 10 to 12 inches long by 4 inches wide. I placed mine in plastic wrap which helped to mold them and put them in the fridge for an hour.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Once the dough is chilled, place on the cookie sheet leaving 2 to 3 inches in between the loaves. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the loaves are set and a little browned on the bottom. Slide the parchment onto a cooling rack and let sit for 5 minutes. Place back on the cookie sheet and slice to the thickness you like. I like a thinner cookie so I sliced mine ½” but you could easily make them ¾ – 1” if you want them thicker like biscotti. If you want a softer mandel, don’t double bake them. If you want them crunchy, bake them a second time. Lower the temperature of the oven to 300. Place the cookies cut side down. Bake for 8 minutes take them out and turn them and bake them another 5 – 8 minutes until crisp. Let the cookies cool on the pan. Store them in an airtight container for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.

This recipe yields 30 to 40 pieces depending on the size you slice them.

*I first tried Vietnamese cinnamon at my mother-in-law’s house several years ago and have never used another cinnamon since! It is strong, rich and sweet, just the way cinnamon should taste. It has a higher oil content helping it disperse more thoroughly in baked goods. If you love the taste of cinnamon, you must try it! It’s a little more expensive than what you are currently buying, but well worth the money and a little goes a long way. I find it at spice shops, Sur La Table, and  specialty groceries. Here is a link to purchasing it online.

Hamantashen Ice Cream Sandwich… It’s A MATCH!

Hamantashen + Ice Cream = The most delicious Hamantashen Ice Cream Sandwich… IT’S A MATCH! Everyone calm down, I’m not a real matchmaker; I’m more of a food matchmaker. I guess I could start with a corny joke like a hamantashen and a scoop of ice cream walk into a bar, yada – yada – yada… ba dum bump! But I can feel my family start to twinge, so I’ll put my comedic career on hold for a little while.

Yes, you heard me right and oh yes I did put ice cream in the middle of my hamantashen! I hear you all out there judging me, with your “Oh no you didn’t.” But, oh YES I did. I know hamantashen can be a rich cookie with it’s pie filling, and chocolate but when you stop and think about it for a minute, it really sounds good doesn’t it? We put ice cream on pie. Isn’t hamantashen just a triangular little pie? Plus, didn’t 2016 bring us the babka ice cream sandwich from Russ and Daughters? And, what about the black and white cookie ice cream sandwich I recently saw on Instagram? If you ask me, hamantashen was just waiting for its turn to be asked to the dance. Hamantashen and ice cream, let’s tango!

So how did I decide to make an ice cream sandwich using hamantashen? This happy union came about after trying a new hamantashen recipe this year. On Tuesday, the hamantashen softened up a bit because of the cherry pie filling. When I ate one, something just screamed out “HEY, HOW ABOUT A LITTLE ICE CREAM WITH THAT?” See what I did there with the caps? Obviously the trick is to have the right dough and filling for it. If you read yesterday’s post, you know I have tried quite a few different recipes in my time so you can trust me on this. For example, I make a cream cheese dough which tastes similar to rugalach, ice cream would not be a good match for that.

This recipe is adapted from the 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook. It’s a hamantashen that definitely stands alone. When it is first baked, it is crisp on the outside and tender on the inside and is absolutely delicious. On the second day, when it softened a bit, the addition of ice cream put it over the edge. Plus, I don’t know about you  but I absolutely love anything with almonds in it, and this has a double dose. I hope you will try this with your favorite ice cream and let me know what you think!  Happy Purim everyone! Enjoy!
The recipe makes 4 dozen cookies using a 3” round cookie cutter, or 24 ice cream sandwiches

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup finely ground almond flour* (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
3 extra large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 stick softened unsalted butter (or margarine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
sanding sugar
egg wash**
Cherry pie filling (or other pie filling of your choice)

Good quality ice cream
Sliced almonds (I used honey toasted almonds from Trader Joes)
Chocolate or caramel sauce (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)

In a large blow, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add the almond flour and mix well then set aside.

In another large bowl, cream sugar and butter with mixer until blended. Add eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and mix well. Add the almond and flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides. If the dough is sticky, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your fingers. I did not do this step; I found the dough fine and then wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight. The original recipe says you can bake it without refrigerating first.

When you are ready to bake, position the racks to the upper and lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Roll the dough to a thickness of about 3/16”. My trick is to use paint sticks you get at the hardware store. I cover them with plastic wrap and use them as guides. I like that better than the rings you can put on your rolling pin. Using a 3” round cookie cutter, cut circles of dough and place them on the cookie sheets.

When all of the dough has been cut place about 1 ½ teaspoon of filling in the center of the circle. Brush the perimeter with the egg wash or a little water. Now you can either use the pinch method as I do and pinch 3 corners together, or use the folding method where you flap one side, then the next two till you form a triangle.

Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg wash. I sprinkled mine with some sanding sugar for that extra sparkle and crunch. Bake the hamantashen for 18 to 20 minutes (checking after 15) or until the cookies are golden brown. To ensure even browning, rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back. When done, remove from the oven and let them rest for 2 to 3 minutes on the cookie sheet then remove to a wire rack.

Now to make the match… Place one hamantashen bottom side down, add a scoop of ice cream of your choice, top with another hamantashen top side up so you can see the beautiful topping and eat it carefully. Of course you can place it bottom side up as well – make it your own. It’s so yummy it won’t last long! If you want to plate it, dress up the plate with some chocolate sauce, maybe some whipped cream, and almonds. However you choose to eat it, it’s a match made in heaven!

* I used Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour which I found in my local grocery. King Arthur makes a great one as well which you can purchase online. You can also make almond flour in a food processor, here is a how to link.

**For the egg wash I use the whole egg and put in a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, and a splash of water.

It was Almost like a Hamantashen Throw Down!

It was almost like a hamantashen throw down at my house on Monday, the only difference is there was no winner – just a really good time. Every year for the past few years, my friend Marcy and I get together to bake hamantashen for Purim. Hamantashen are the triangular cookies we eat during the holiday. Purim is a fun Jewish holiday which includes dressing up in costume, carnivals and drinking quite a bit! FYI, the drinking is so we can no longer tell the difference between good and evil – not such a bad thing once a year! As with all Jewish holidays, there is a retelling of the story of why we are celebrating and we always have very traditional and symbolic foods we eat. For Purim, hamantashen play a staring role. Let me set the scene… 6 different fillings on the counter, 5 dough recipes all chilled overnight and wrapped tight in plastic wrap, 4 fun hours of baking, 3 too many hamantashen eaten which gave me a bellyache, 2 friends happily talking the morning away, and finally 1 house that smelled absolutely delicious – and still does! Did I forget to mention approximately 200 hamantashen were made?

Mine were baked, packed up and shipped out yesterday or handed out to local friends. Hers were frozen and will be baked today then brought to Connecticut for some very lucky people! Among the varieties: a cream cheese dough reminiscent of rugalach, a traditional dough, a secret recipe dough, a chocolate dough, and finally a new one I tried from the 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook which calls for almond flour. I almost said my new favorite but then deleted it. Like my mother always said “I have ten fingers and I love them all the same – don’t ask me to choose!” That is how I feel about most hamantashen recipes I’ve made.
I’m not sure if I ever mentioned this before or not, but mother had some kind of obsession with hamantashen recipes. Not necessarily baking them – collecting them! For whatever reason, she included about 3 of them in the little 15 page handwritten cookbook she made for me when I got married. The crazy thing is while she was an avid baker, I don’t remember her ever baking hamantashen when I was growing up except for the time with the sisterhood from our Temple. So it was very surprising she added so many into my book. This being said, I guess it should be no surprise I have inherited her obsession. I never really thought of it like that, but clearly after reading my own words, what else would you call it? The only difference is I don’t write about them and collect them, I actually bake them!

Today I’m sharing Carole Walter’s recipe which my friend Marcy brought with her. Oddly enough is extremely similar to my mother’s except my mom used shortening (which is exactly why I know she never made them – she never used shortening!) and she always baked with jumbo eggs. Carole uses butter in her recipe and large eggs. The preparation is a little different as well. Sorry mom, but Carole is the winner in this throw down not only because I’m not a fan of shortening – because I don’t think my mom ever made them! However, I do think my mom would approve and besides, there is always room for one more hamantashen in your life – and in my mother’s case, one more recipe to add to the list! I hope you try this recipe which is adapted from Carole Walter’s cookbook simply called Great Cookies! The name says it all, they are great cookies and very delicious, with a nice bit of crunch on the outside and soft on the inside. Whatever filling you choose… Enjoy!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt (I would add one tsp. like my mom next time)
1 cup (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter or margarine cut into cubes
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
sanding sugar (optional)
Egg wash*
Fillings of your choice (I used cherry pie filling, lemon curd, and poppy seed)

This recipe makes 40 – 2” cookies


Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse two or three times to combine. Add the butter and pulse five times then process 5 seconds to form meal like crumbs.

Place the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla in a small bowl and mix with a fork to combine. Pour the mixture into the processor and pulse four or five times, then process until the dough begins to clump together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and with floured hands, form into two disks, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days. (This dough may be frozen for up to 4 months)

When you are ready to bake, position the racks to the upper and lower 1/3 of the oven. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll the dough to a thickness of about 3/16”. My trick is to use paint sticks you get at the hardware store. I cover them with plastic wrap and use them as guides. I like that better than the rings you can put on your rolling pin. Using a 3” round cookie cutter, cut circles of dough and place them on the cookie sheets.

When all of the dough has been cut place about 1 ½ teaspoon of filling in the center of the circle. Brush the perimeter with the egg wash or a little water. To fold or to pinch? That is the question! Now you can either use the pinch method as I do and pinch 3 corners together, or use the folding method where you flap one side, then the next two till you form a triangle.

Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg wash. I sprinkled mine with some sanding sugar for that extra sparkle and crunch. Bake the hamantashen for 15 to 18 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. To ensure even browning, rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back. When done, remove from the oven and let them rest for 2 to 3 minutes on the cookie sheet then remove to a wire rack.

Store in an airtight container with wax paper between layers for up to 3 days. These cookies may be frozen.

*When I make an egg wash I use the whole egg and put in a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, and a splash of water. Carole uses egg whites only. Either will work fine.

Jarred’s Holiday “Layered” Apple Cake… Best wishes for a New Year filled with all of the ingredients for good health, happiness, and peace

SONY DSCThis post was originally titled Jarred’s Holiday “Layered” Apple Cake.

I find the need to repost this recipe every year as is it is a timeless classic. It is exactly similar to so many out there who claim theirs is the best (of course, mine is!). Whether it’s my mom’s apple cake, grandma’s delicious apple cake, a clipping from a magazine or old newspaper, one from your favorite cookbook or blog, or Marcy Goldman’s everybody’s Jewish apple cake, it makes no difference – they are all delicious, and pretty much the same. So whichever recipe you use, I hope the scent of apples fill your home with the sweet aroma of the New Year ahead! Oh, and of course you should use my recipe, it’s the best one! Enjoy!

Now for the repost… In the Fall, I always find myself with a plethora of apples. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ve already gone apple picking twice – yielding almost 50 pounds of apples! At this time of year I find myself adding apples to almost everything that I bake. There are apple pancakes, my mother’s applesauce, apple pies, crumbles and crisps, and my baked apple doughnuts, among the top contenders. However, if you’re looking for something very special and easy – it’s apple cake.

“Jarred’s Holiday Apple Cake” has been in my recipe binder for the past 18 years. I know the exact amount of time because it was 18 years ago when I sent out holiday cards to family and friends with a personalized recipe inside the card. It’s not an old family recipe that was handed down to me, it was personalized and printed by the card company and titled “Jarred’s Holiday “Layered Apple Cake” after my then one year old son. Oddly, in all of those 18 years, I never made the cake!


I figured it was something made up for show by the card company. Last year, my sister-in-law Barbara was telling me about the delicious apple cake she made and how easy it was. I asked her for the recipe and she  laughed and said, it’s Jarred’s apple cake. I was very confused. Had my son become a baker and I didn’t know it?

Apparently, she had been using the recipe from the card for a while and loved it! So I guess it really worked after all! She said it also freezes great if you want to make it ahead of time. I don’t think it would make it to the freezer in my house, but it’s good to know! This year I made it, and she was right; it’s terrific and super easy! So here it is, straight from the card which reads… Best wishes for a New Year filled with all of the ingredients for good health, happiness, and peace. Enjoy!


For the smaller versions, I used 6 one pound aluminum loaf pans. These are nice to give as gifts, or to freeze for a later date.


These could not be cuter! When using the smaller loaf pans, I only made one layer of apples in the center.

2 cups sugar (I cut it down to 1  1/2 cups)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup vegetable oil (I use sunflower oil)
4 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice (or pineapple juice, which I prefer)
2  1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Now for the apples:
4 to 6 apples* peeled and sliced (yield about 6 to 7 cups)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 10″ tube pan** and set aside. I sprayed the pan generously with canola oil but you can use butter if you are not keeping it dairy free.

In a small dish, mix 5 teaspoons of sugar with the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon together and set aside. This will be used in the layers over the apples.

Peel and slice the apples, mix with lemon juice to keep the apples white and set aside. I use an apple slicer that cores, peels and spirals the apple into rings then chop it from there. I reserved one apple to decorate the top.

Beat together until smooth the sugar, oil, eggs, orange juice and vanilla. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together just until incorporated.

In the tube pan, pour a layer of batter, then place a layer of apples, and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Repeat layering pattern until all of the batter and apples are used. I ended up with 2 layers of apples and 3 layers of batter. Try to keep the apples in the center of the pan, so they don’t stick to the sides. The original recipe says to top with sugar and cinnamon mixture which is what I did for my smaller cakes. The big cake I topped it with rings of apples and sprinkled it with about 1 to 2 tablespoons of plain white sugar. You can do it either way – both delicious and pretty.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/4 hours to 1 1/2 hours or until a cake tester comes out clean.  I like to check it every 30 minutes and turn it 1/2 way through the baking time.

*I used a combination of granny smith, jonathan and golden delicious because that is what I had on hand. Any good baking apple of your choice will work very well in this recipe.

**This recipe will also make 6 miniature loaf pans (1 pound size) or 3 regular size loaf pans (2 pound size). I only made one layer of apples in these versions and they bake in about 40 to 55 minutes.