Back when I created my blog, What Jew Wanna Eat, over 10 (!) years ago, I asked my Bubbe to send me a few of her recipes to get started. Of course, she took the request seriously and immediately had my mom scan dozens of recipes—all in her shorthand on index cards—and email them to me. Not everything was written in an internet-ready format, so I started to fill in the gaps and adapted the recipes to make them my own. I added a splash (or 10) of wine to her braised brisket, pumpkin and fig to her rugelach dough and a lemon curd filling (Bubbe’s favorite flavor) to her blintzes. One recipe I knew I had to share exactly how she makes it was her apple cake. Moist with lots of apples and cinnamon, it’s always a High Holiday favorite.
Over the years, I have tweaked it a little bit, adding cardamom and various glazes, and this year I was inspired to reinvent it even more. I made the cake in a loaf pan instead of a bundt pan, so it feeds the smaller crowd we’re likely gathering with this year. Then I added mini chocolate chips because who doesn’t love chocolate? (Make sure to use mini ones, as they are light enough to suspend in the dough instead of sink to the bottom.) And then, my favorite part: a naturally neon pink frosting thanks to pomegranate juice! I can’t get enough of the vibrant color and taste. Pomegranate seeds symbolize the 613 commandments in the Torah and remind us to do as many good deeds in the new year as there are mitzvot, making this cake a delicious and meaningful part of your holiday tables.
Chocolate Chip Apple Cake With Pomegranate Glaze
Prep time: 20 minutes. Cook time: 60 minutes. Makes about nine servings.
- For the cake:
- ½ cup neutral oil (such as canola)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- For the glaze:
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice (I squeezed a sliced pomegranate through a sieve to get juice, or you can use prepared juice)
- ¼ cup pomegranate arils (from one pomegranate)
- Prep an 8.5×4.5-inch loaf pan by buttering the inside or spraying with a non-stick spray and lining the bottom with parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl with a whisk or hand mixer, whisk together the oil, eggs, vanilla and orange juice.
- In a separate large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches, and mix just until combined. Do not over-mix. Then stir in the chocolate chips.
- Peel the apple and slice into thin (about ¼-inch) slices. You should have about 1 cup of apple slices. Toss the apples in the brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan, making sure it’s spread out evenly. Then top with a layer of the apples and then the rest of the batter. Shake it a little to even the batter out in the pan.
- Bake the cake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If the top starts to brown too fast, top with a tented piece of aluminum foil.
- Cool for at least one hour in the pan (if you can wait; I did not do this!) and then move to a cooling rack. Whisk together the powdered sugar with just enough pomegranate juice in a small bowl until you have a thick but pourable glaze. You want it to be thick to form a nice layer on the cake. Drizzle or pour on the cake and top with pomegranate arils.
- You can make the cake ahead of time but do not frost. Store at room temperature for up to three days or freeze for up to two months. Once frosted, store leftovers (if you have them!) in the refrigerator for up to five days.