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Apple date honey cake

Apple date honey cake
Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

It seems like Rosh Hashanah customs were created by lovers of fruits and vegetables. Most families will begin Sunday night's holiday dinner with apple wedges dipped in honey to symbolize the hope for a sweet new year, and many serve ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes, plus cooling time for the cake | Serves 9 to 12
  • 2 1/4 cups (9 1/2 ounces) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup mild olive oil or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 cup dates, such as Deglet Noor (about 5 1/2 ounces), pitted, quartered lengthwise and diced small (1/4-inch dice)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts (about 2 1/2 ounces), chopped
  • 2 sweet-tart apples such as Braeburn (about 14 ounces)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • Sweet sesame sauce, for serving
  • Sauteed apples, for serving

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan, line it with parchment paper or waxed paper and grease the paper.

Step 2Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves into a medium bowl.

Step 3In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil with the diced dates and rub gently to separate them. Add the chopped walnuts and toss lightly with a fork to keep dates in separate pieces.

Step 4Peel and core the apples and slice them about one-eighth-inch thick. Cut the slices into one-fourth to one-third-inch pieces.

Step 5In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the eggs lightly. Add the white and brown sugars and beat until smooth. Beat in the honey. Beat at high speed until the mixture is smooth and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the remaining oil at low speed until blended.

Step 6With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture alternately with applesauce, each in two batches. Add the lemon zest and mix it in thoroughly. Stir in the apple pieces and the date and walnut mixture, mixing them in thoroughly.

Step 7Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 35 to 50 minutes.

Step 8Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Turn it out onto a rack and carefully peel off the paper and set aside to cool completely. Tightly cover the cooled cake until needed.

Step 9Serve the cake at room temperature as squares or bars. If serving it with sauce and garnish, spoon 2 teaspoons sauce on the plate alongside each piece of cake and add 2 apple wedges. Serve any remaining sauce separately.

Note: This cake contains no dairy products and thus is suitable for a kosher meal that includes meat. If you're serving the cake on another occasion, you can serve it with sour cream instead of making the sauce.


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