Whole Grain Jewish Apple Cake (Pareve) Recipe

Jewish apple cake

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 115 mins
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
375 Calories
12g Fat
65g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 375
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 236mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 65g 24%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 40g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 9mg 43%
Calcium 100mg 8%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 238mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you adore your grandmother's Jewish apple cake recipe, but always wondered what it would taste like if it had a healthy makeover, look no further. This version has less sugar and half the fat of the original. All-purpose refined flour is replaced with white whole-wheat flour, which is softer and finer than regular whole-wheat flour, but just as packed with fiber and nutrients.

Though the ingredients have been lightened up or swapped for healthier options, calling the result "light" would be a bit of a misnomer—like the original, this is a sturdy cake (in all the best ways) with a dense crumb. It's also still delicious and since it's so wholesome, it's even easier to justify eating leftover apple cake for breakfast.

Because of the association between apples and a sweet new year, this cake is a perfect addition to the Rosh Hashanah table or as a Yom Kippur breakfast dessert. If you are lucky enough to live in an apple growing region, it's also an ideal recipe for showcasing local fruit during the fall harvest holiday of Sukkot or for Thanksgiving dinner


For the Apples:

  • 4 large apples, or 6 small apples, firm, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

For the Cake Batter:

  • 3 cups wheat flour, either white whole-wheat flour, or a mix of all-purpose and white whole-wheat flour

  • 1 2/3 cups sugar

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup canola oil, mild-flavored, such as expeller-pressed canola, grapeseed, or walnut oil

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Apples

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Apple ingredients
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. (If you are using a dark or nonstick pan, preheat the oven to 325 F to prevent burning.)

  3. Grease a tube pan with a removable bottom.

    Grease pan
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Place the apple slices, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl and toss together gently until the apples are evenly coated with the cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.

    Spice apples
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for apple cake
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. Add the oil, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla, and stir with a sturdy wooden spoon just until you have a smooth, thick batter.

    Add eggs
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Pour about 1/3 of the batter into the prepared tube pan. If necessary, use a spatula to spread the batter so it covers the bottom of the pan.

    Pour batter in bundt pan
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  5. Layer about 1/3 of the apple slices over the batter. (If possible, try to avoid touching the sides of the pan with the apples to prevent sticking.) Continue layering the apples and batter so you have 3 layers of each, ending with the apples. For an especially pretty cake, arrange the final layer of apple slices in slightly overlapping concentric circles on top of the batter (the apple slices will spread out as the cake bakes). If there is any cinnamon sugar "syrup" remaining in the apple bowl, drizzle a little over the cake.

    Layer apple slices in
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  6. Place a cookie sheet or piece of foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any drips. Place the cake on the center rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean and the top of the cake is golden.

    Bake apple cake
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  7. Place the cake on a wire rack and allow to cool in the pan. When it has cooled completely, run a knife or offset spatula around the edge. Carefully remove the outside of the cake pan. Gently run a knife or offset spatula between the cake and the pan bottom to loosen. Invert the cake over a plate and ease it off the pan bottom (the cake will be upside down on the plate).

    Bake cake
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  8. Place a cake plate face down on the bottom side of the cake, and holding both plates, flip the cake, so it is right-side (apple-side) up.

    Place cake upside down
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  9. Serve and enjoy.

    Serve and enjoy
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • Choose firm, crisp apple varieties that stand up well to baking. We like to use a mix of sweet-tart apples such as Pink Lady or Lady Alice, Galas, and Fujis.