Honey and apples are a natural pairing. Together they give this refined sugar-free cake a touch of wholesome sweetness. Enjoy it on Rosh Hashanah, and throughout the coming months as the perfect way to use up all the autumn apples!
“Dip the apple in the honey, make a bracha loud and clear. Shana tova u’metukah, have a happy sweet new year!”
The table is full of the satisfying crunch of apple slices. Honey makes a sweet and stick mess all over our hands as drizzle it on apples and challah. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning in the sweetest way my childhood self could imagine. Now, though, it’s predominantly marked by introspection, with just a touch of honey on the side.
It’s my third and final year at the University of Maryland. Possibly even my last year in school, although I don’t believe I’ll ever stop being a student in some sense of the word. If you asked me two years ago, I never would have imagined that this is the path I would be taking. Some days I still don’t. Adulthood is suddenly racing down the tracks with no signs of slowing down. Life is all systems go, full speed ahead, and I’m facing it head-on.
Rosh Hashanah could not have come at a better time. Despite missing class and the impending late nights studying so that I don’t fall further behind, my mind needs the break.
Pardon me while I laugh quietly at myself. Today’s third batch of apple honey cake just came out of the oven, so you can imagine that not much work is being done. I’ll simply whip out my handy “life of a food blogger” excuse. Scheduling recipe-testing into my day is practically a get-out-of-jail-free card for homework. Plus, it’s the most likely activity in my planner to get checked off by the end of the day.
Come on, though, can you blame me now that you see this cake??
Truthfully, it’s only like this (read: kind of relaxed) because I’m still at school. Otherwise, I doubt there would be time for this. If your home is anything like mine, then you’ve experienced the pre-holiday craze. Everyone rushing around to complete those last-minute preparations. There are showers to take, the table to clear and set, menus to double check. By now all that’s left are the finishing touches. Also known as dessert.
Hopefully, even if you did forget about dessert until it’s almost too late, you won’t run out to the bakery to grab whatever is left on the shelves.
It’s Rosh Hashanah! Sure, there’s nagging voice is saying “remember when” about all the times we wish we made a different decision, so let’s put our best foot forward. Starting with the food we put into our bodies. After all, we are what we eat and I, for one, would like to be real, high quality stuff. The type of stuff that others respect and want to be around. That’s why you won’t find any processed, fake products in my corner. Whole grains, natural sweetener, and fresh fruit are where it’s at this year.
So here I sit, inhaling the sweet scent of baked apples. (There may be a corner missing from each batch… Can I blame the mouse in the cupboard? Or my roommates? That is why people have roommates, isn’t it?) I’ve got group projects and tests on my mind, a serious case of the sniffles, and a growing list of things to do before driving home tomorrow night.
But hey, life is sweeter when there’s apple honey cake around.
As Rosh Hashanah approaches, I’m forging a new path for myself. Taking the road less traveled. The truth is that it’s taken me a long time to reach a point where, for the most part, I feel in tune with myself. I know what I like and what I’m not okay with, and can finally be frank about it when the situation arises. Not only with others, but more importantly with myself. The moment I finalized my plans for school, a weight lifted off my chest, and I’m confident it’s the right decision for me. People have told me they think I’m crazy, but that doesn’t bother me anymore. There will always be someone to tell you that you’re wrong.
Well, I beg to disagree. What the future holds is still a mystery, yet I wouldn’t change that. Do I wonder where I’ll be next year? Absolutely! I’d be crazy not to. Putting aside the haunting (and daunting) what ifs, I have faith that things will work out.
We’re almost ready to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. Take a moment to think about how the past year was for you. Choose an area you’d like to improve. This year, we’re going to have our cake and eat it, too.
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram to share!
- 1½ cups spelt or whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 apple, peeled and finely diced
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup melted coconut or olive oil*
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients, including the apple.**
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients. Fold wet into dry, mixing well to fully incorporate.
- Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.
- Store wrapped tightly and in an airtight container/bag at room temperature for 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
**Mixing the apple with the dry ingredients first keeps the apple from sinking to the bottom of the cake while baking.