Apples and honey are among the most popular symbolic foods served during Rosh Hashana, the two-day holiday celebrating the Jewish New Year that begins Sept. 25.
While there will be many honey cakes on holiday tables, peak apple season is a reason to make this recipe, from author Molly Gilbert's upcoming "Sheet Pan Sweets," part of the celebration.
Apple Fritter Cake
"This cake is an homage to my favorite doughnut — it's got the same dense crumb, baked apple pockets, and sweet maple glaze. And the best part? No frying necessary," writes chef and author Molly Gilbert in "Sheet Pan Sweets" (Union Square & Co., 2022).
For the cake:
• Unsalted butter or nonstick cooking spray
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. kosher salt
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
• 2 c. packed dark brown sugar
• 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 1 c. canola oil
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
• 1 tsp. pure almond extract
• 4 c. chopped peeled apples (about 3 large; I like a mix of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious)
For the glaze:
• 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
• 3/4 c. powdered sugar
• 2 tbsp. maple syrup
• 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
• 1 tbsp. whole milk
To prepare the cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with a rack in the center position. Grease a sheet pan with butter.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, melted butter and oil until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract and whisk well to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until the dough just comes together. Fold in the apples until evenly distributed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly to the corners with a large offset spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cake is deeply golden and the edges just start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Set the sheet pan on a wire rack and let the cake cool for 20 to 25 minutes.
To prepare the glaze: Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring often with a rubber spatula, until the butter turns a toasted, amber color (it will bubble and spit; when it quiets down, check for browning). Whisk in the powdered sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and milk until smooth.
Drizzle the glaze evenly over the cooled cake. Let set for 5 minutes.
Slice the cake into pieces and serve. The cake is best the day it's made, but will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.