Prep time: 1 hour
Total freeze time: 10 hours
When my aunt passed on her Jewish Apple Cake Recipe to my mother years ago, I don’t think she ever imagined it being recreated as an ice cream cake. Every fall, I looked forward to my mom filling our home with the smell of this family favorite dessert baking in the oven. But while it’s true nothing quite says autumn like baked apples, cinnamon, and sugar, this recipe is just too good to save just for cold days.
Besides, we’re not ready for summer to end, right?
This is a simple recipe. It’s best, though, to make on an afternoon when you have a good amount of time to spend around the house because it involves moving the cake in and out of the freezer, so each layer can set. But, it is well worth the wait!
My ice cream of choice for this recreation is French vanilla. It reminds me of the light golden color of the batter in the original, and the flavor pairs perfectly with the star ingredients—apples, cinnamon, and sugar. One spoonful of this ice cream and you’ll never see Jewish apple cake the same way again.
9 inch springform pan (I found one on Amazon for $12)
Stand mixer (if you don’t have stand mixer, a potato masher and some energetic stirring may do the trick here!)
Large mixing bowl
Flat beater attachment
Wire whip attachment
Food processor or blender
Freezer safe tray or plate
Sauté pan (preferably non-stick)
Small sauce pan (preferably non-stick)
One small bowl
Large and small spatulas
Ice cream scoop
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 teaspoons sugar
4 gala apples, peeled and thinly sliced
3 quarts French vanilla ice cream
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ quart heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the apples, cinnamon, and sugar. Use a wooden spoon to stir the ingredients together until the butter has completely coated the apples, then cover with a lid. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for ten to fifteen minutes. When the apples are very soft, take the lid off the pan and remove from burner.
While the apples are cooling, take a freezer safe tray and place a sheet of wax paper on top. Remove the bottom from the spring form pan and snap the ring back in place. Place it on the wax paper and put the tray in the freezer.
Remove 1.5 quarts of ice cream from freezer to defrost. Place on the counter for ten minutes. But, consider setting the timer so you don’t forget about it. It’s important to only leave the ice cream out long enough for it to soften. It should still be slightly firm in the middle when you are ready to begin scooping it into the mixing bowl, because when you add the blended apple it will make it even softer.
Once the apples are no longer steaming, place them in the food processor and blend until smooth. Scrape the sides as needed with a small spatula. It will have the consistency of applesauce when finished. Pour the blended apples into a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to cool.
While the apples cool, get started on the filling: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add sugar and cinnamon. Stir until all ingredients are just combined. Remove from burner to cool.
Place a large mixing bowl on the stand mixer and attach the flat beater accessory. Scoop a few spoonfuls of the softened ice cream into the bowl and beat on medium speed. Repeat this process until all the ice cream has been mixed to about the consistency of a thick soft serve. Remove one of the bowls of blended apples from the refrigerator and add to ice cream. Return the mixer to medium speed for a few seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and give the ice cream a quick stir to ensure the ingredients are mixed evenly. Remove the tray with the springform pan from the freezer and place it on the counter. Use a large spatula to spread the ice cream in the bottom of the spring pan and return it to the freezer to set for two hours.
Wash the mixing bowl and attachment for the second container of ice cream.
Remove tray from freezer and add the cinnamon-sugar filling on top of the layer of ice cream. Return the tray to the freezer for ten minutes or until hardened. Remove the second container of ice cream and place on counter to defrost.
After the cinnamon and sugar filling has solidified, repeat the process with the remaining 1.5 quarts of ice cream and apple mixtures. Remove the tray from freezer and pour the last layer of ice cream on top. Secure a sheet of wax paper over the cake using rubber bands and return to freezer. Let the cake set over night.
For the whipped Cream: Before serving the ice cream cake, place a large mixing bowl in the freezer for five minutes. Once the bowl is chilled, add the heavy whipping cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Place on the stand mixer and mix on high with the wire whisk attachment until stiff peaks begin to form.
Remove the cake from the freezer. Slide an icing spatula between the cake and the pan all the way around the cake. Then, pull the pan up to remove it. Use the icing spatula to spread the whipped cream on top of the cake and serve.
Hold the dairy Don’t worry my dairy free lovelies, there is plenty of ice cream to go around! Substitute the French vanilla for almond or coconut milk vanilla ice cream. Some brands that offer non-dairy alternatives are So Delicious and Halo Top, but you may be able to find other options at your local grocery or health food store. So Delicious also carries a whipped topping made from coconut oil.
What family recipes are you inspired to revisit? If you’ve ever created your own twist on a favorite dessert, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!