At the Rosh Hashanah meal, apples and honey symbolize the hope for a sweet new year. While this next-level cake isn’t traditional, it’s a fun dessert you can serve for the holiday or really anytime you want to impress. Scented with warm spices like cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and nutmeg, it requires just two bowls and no special equipment to whip up. And that’s not even the best part: When you cut into the loaf, entire slices of tart apples are revealed. At the very end, everything is drizzled with a salted honey glaze for a dessert that is sure to knock their socks off.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Stand each apple upright (with what would have been the stem-side up) on a cutting board. Working with 1 apple at a time, slice the apples vertically 1/4 inch thick, squeezing together the slices to keep the shape of the whole apple as intact as possible. Immediately place it into the prepared loaf pan, keeping the shape of the whole apple intact with the slices parallel to the long sides of the pan. Repeat with the remaining 2 apples.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, vanilla and 1/2 cup honey in another medium bowl until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the honey mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter over the apples in the loaf pan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure all the batter is used. Gently tap the pan 3 times on the counter to evenly distribute the batter throughout the apples.
Bake until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving platter.
Whisk the confectioners’ sugar with 1 teaspoon water, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon honey in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake. Serve at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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