Apple Pound Cake with Honey Whipped Cream
Hello! I’m Lisa, JWA’s newest food writer! I was previously a food writer for the Toast, and my main baking influences are the Ashkenazi Jewish and New York foods I’ve grown up with, combined with my rudimentary food science research and a skewed confidence vs. ability ratio. My main writing influence is my love of telling everyone what I’m doing at all times.
As my first post at JWA, I am tackling the legendary but polarizing Rosh Hashanah dessert: Honey Cake. An informal poll of every Jewish person I spoke to over the course of a week told me that no one likes it. The strongest emotion I’ve felt about honey cake has been a luke-warm “well, sure.” However, for my inaugural blog post, I was determined to create a recipe that incorporated some of the flavors and ingredients of honey cake.
As a jumping off point, I use a cream cheese-based pound cake recipe I’ve made a few times from my Joy the Baker cookbook. I modified all ingredient amounts and added a number of ingredients for consistency and flavor. I also added two prominent flavors in traditional honey cakes—coffee and cinnamon. The resulting cake is delicious, moist, flavorful, and perfect for Rosh Hashanah.
I recently made this for my extended family and the reactions ranged from “pretty great” to “this isn’t the chocolate dessert I asked for.”.
Note: this recipe is dairy, since I am a vegetarian.
Apple Pound Cake:
1 ½ cups diced apple (I used braeburn, but it’s up to personal taste)
½ - 1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
6 oz. cream cheese
¾ cups butter
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 egg whites
⅓ cup coffee
Honey Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons honey
9 x 5 loaf pan (or rough equivalent)
Mixer (for whipped cream)
Preheat your oven to 325° degrees. Take out your butter, eggs, and cream cheese to soften to room temperature. Take out a little extra butter as well for buttering your pan. Get your tv or music ready, or gather people you’re willing to chat with while you bake. I opted to watch the new season of Great British Bake Off (but honestly got too invested and found it very stressful).
Make sure to also have your coffee already made, since it needs to be cooled down so you’re not pouring hot coffee into eggs.
Wash, peel, and dice your apples, then put them in a bowl. Toss in a little bit of cinnamon, at least ½ teaspoon, but more if you prefer a stronger cinnamon flavor. Make sure to get an even coating on your diced apples! Set aside.
Mix together flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a new bowl. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or spatula and arm muscles, beat softened cream cheese for several minutes. I put mine in the stand mixer and let it go for 3 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides.
Cut softened butter into rough cubes. Add into the mixer bowl holding the cream cheese. Pour in sugar, then beat all together until light and fluffy. I used the stand mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes, wandering around my kitchen aimlessly in the meantime.
Add in 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla, depending on how much flavor you want, and mix another 30 seconds.
Start adding in your eggs. If you’re using a stand mixer, you can keep the mixer going on low as you slowly add in the eggs. I add in the whole eggs first. Crack eggs into separate small bowl and pour into the mixer. Mix for at least 20-30 seconds between each egg.
Someone once told me this was the kosher egg cracking method, and a recent Google search has led me to conclude that this is medium-true.
For the remaining two eggs, separate egg yolks from egg whites, pour in egg whites. Mix again.
Pour in ¼ cup of cooled coffee and mix for another 30 seconds.
Add dry ingredients into wet, very slowly mixing. When the dough is almost mixed, stop mixer and fold in the rest by hand. Make sure you have a consistent dough throughout, since the bottom tends to remain poorly mixed until you put some work into it.
Fold in the apples! Make sure you have a consistent distribution of apples throughout the loaf.
Congrats, you’re done with your dough!
Prepare your baking pan. Take the softened butter in a paper towel and rub around the inside of the pan until covered. Pour a bit of flour into the pan, and by tilting the pan and hitting the sides, get an even coating around the pan. Dump out excess flour. Then, cut two strips of parchment to fit the length and the width of the pan, lining the pan. I know this seems like a lot of work, but when you’re super easily getting this out of the pan with no stress, you will thank me.
Pour your dough into the pan until it is about an inch from the top. Shake the pan to make sure dough is even across. I then sprinkled some leftover apples over the top and shook some cinnamon over it, but this is totally optional.
Set your timer for 60 minutes. After the first 30 minutes, turn the pan around in the oven, and bake for another 30 minutes. You will probably bake for another 5-10 minutes after that. Test by poking with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done.
Take the pan out of the oven and let it sit for at least 5 minutes before lifting (with the parchment paper) out of the pan onto a cooling rack.
I know it’s better not to cut into a warm cake, but I couldn’t wait—I tried this while it was still very warm and it was so good I couldn’t talk to anyone for several minutes.
Honey Whipped Cream:
This is a simple variation on a regular whipped cream recipe. First, put the bowl and beaters/whisk into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Take bowl and beaters/whisk out, and add heavy cream, honey, and vanilla to bowl. Mix on high for at least 1 minute. You will see the texture change, so keep a close eye on in. Beat until just past the cream starts to hold stiff peaks. Put into the fridge covered with cling film or foil until you are ready to eat whipped cream.
Serve apple pound cake with whipped cream! It’s truly delicious, and brings out the crisp, sweet honey and apple flavors of a new start and a new year.
How to cite this page
Yelsey , Lisa. "Apple Pound Cake with Honey Whipped Cream ." 21 September 2016. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on December 1, 2023) <https://jwa.org/blog/apple-pound-cake-with-honey-whipped-cream>.