Thicker and tastier than pasteurized honey, raw honey is a star ingredient in this fragrant cake, along with chunky homemade apple sauce, cinnamon, and vanilla. Made with whole wheat flour and olive oil, it’s relatively healthy, as far as cakes go. It’s perfect for snacking, and also makes an excellent dessert on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when apples and honey are traditionally served. Butter really shines through in the frosting, so use a high-quality brand; nothing beats the flavor of butter from grass-fed cows.
Apple Cake with Raw Honey Frosting
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown or turbinado sugar
½ cup honey
½ cup olive oil (or a neutral vegetable oil, if you prefer)
1 cup chunky apple sauce, homemade or store-bought (in a pinch, use smooth apple sauce)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Adapted from Recipes to Nourish
1/2 cup high-quality butter, at room temperature or cold
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons raw honey
¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more if desired
Note: I used this apple sauce recipe, but left the peels on the apples for added texture.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9-inch round baking pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, honey, egg, olive oil, apple sauce, and vanilla. Gently stir in flour mixture until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Tap pan on counter to release air bubbles. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until batter is set and edges are golden brown. The cake may still appear slightly under-baked; it will continue to cook as it cools.
- While the cake cools, prepare the frosting – it can also be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge: With a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a standing mixer, or with a spoon if butter is soft enough, beat butter and honey until smooth and light. Stir in salt; add more for a less-sweet frosting.
- Once cake is fully cool, spread frosting on top. Slice and serve right away, or store in the refrigerator, covered with tinfoil or in an airtight container, for several days.