Friday, September 18, 2009

Cleo Coyle's Buttermilk Apple Snack Cake for a Sweet New Year!

Congrats to our final gift card winner! Molly Ebert of Indiana won our last $25 Williams-Sonoma gift card. Stay tuned for more of our contests coming up in the near future...


On the Gregorian calendar, the New Year will be celebrated on January 1. On the Chinese calendar, the date for turning over a new leaf will be February 14. And on the Jewish calendar, the New Year (5770) is ushered in this very evening!

Rosh Hashanah literally means “first of the year” in Hebrew and it commemorates the creation of man—within the larger Biblical story of the creation of the world. It also begins the High Holy Days, a ten day period that culminates in the somber observance of Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement.

In synagogues across the world, the Jewish New Year is celebrated with many traditions, one of which is the blowing of the ram’s horn. The “shofar” is the name for this horn, and it’s blown like a trumpet to symbolically awaken the listeners from their slumbers and alert them to the coming judgment of God. In general, this is a time of year to reflect on the year you’ve had--especially mistakes and missteps—and contemplate how to do better in the year ahead.

Rosh Hashanah is a holiday rich in meaning and tradition. As with all holidays, food plays an important role. Apples are commonly eaten (dipped in honey – yum!) to symbolize a wish for a sweet year ahead. Honey cake is also a favorite.

Even though my Buttermilk Apple Snack Cake is not Kosher, I thought I’d share it with you today because of Rosh Hashanah’s apple tradition.

I love this cake because it’s easy to make and also very light, tender and buttery, with a delicate flavor of apple and the rich, bright note of buttermilk.

While it's a delish snack cake to eat any time year (and goes very well with a freshly brewed pot of joe), I think it’s especially comforting to slide into the oven on a fall afternoon when there’s that crisp chill in the air, the sun begins to set a little earlier than you're used to, and you’ve just come in from raking leaves, a long walk in the park, or picking those newly ripened apples...

To get my recipe for
Buttermilk Apple Snack Cake,

The recipe will appear in PDF format.
You can print it out or save it to your computer.

For more of my recipes or to find out more
about the books in my culinary mystery series,
click this link to my virtual home at

Finally, if you’d like a truly Kosher recipe for an apple cake, click here. The ladies who created this recipe know their stuff. They managed a catering company in Columbus, Ohio, for over twenty years.

In closing, a common greeting at this time is “Shana Tova” for a good year or “Shana Tova Umetukah” for a good and sweet new year. So...

Shana Tova Umetukah

~Cleo Coyle
author of the Coffeehouse Mysteries
"Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."


  1. Oh oh oh! This looks sooooo good. I think it would make excellent breakfast material, actually. Thanks, Cleo!


  2. Thanks so much for the lesson. I knew I should have paid more attention to such things in school! As an adult I finally learned to appreciate knowledge about all traditions and about history. Thanks, Cleo!

    That Apple Snack cake looks good enough to grab off the screen... maybe I'll need to get out today to pick up some buttermilk.


  3. I have a few apple trees in my yard. This would be perfect to use them! Buttermilk adds such a nice tang to baked goods.

  4. Between the shredded apple and the buttermilk, this must be moist! Sounds like a great idea for school lunchboxes, too.

  5. I love apple desserts. Can't wait to try this one. And thanks for the history. Always so nice to get a slice of history with a slice of apple.

  6. This sounds wonderful! I'm looking forward to trying it. It would be great with homemade apple butter!

  7. Elizabeth - You are so right. This is an excellent breakfast cake. Really good with coffee.

    Julie - Thanks for the love on the photos. The tricky part was keeping the cake uneaten long enough to take a few snaps! LOL!

    Janel - I'm with you on the buttermilk. I'd never think of drinking it straight but I really enjoy it in recipes. Next Friday I'm posting my recipe for Buttermilk Fried Chicken. (So the rest of that quart of buttermilk you buy for this cake won't go to waste!)

    Krista - You nailed it, Domestic Diva!! This is a tender, moist cake so no frosting or glaze is needed. Of course, that means it's not fancy, either, so it's not the best cake to show off for company, but it's great little snack cake for lunch boxes, breakfast tables, and afternoon coffee breaks. Also, there's only a hint of apple in this cake. Folks who want more of a true apple-y apple cake need a different recipe (hint, hint!)...I'm checking back tomorrow to see if you have one for me!!

    Avery - I'm with you on the apple desserts. It's just that time of year, isn't it? There are so many apples in NYC groceries and green markets, I don't think we can post enough apple recipes! BTW I'm LOVING your first Cheese Shop Mystery.(Anyone who wants to learn more about Avery's upcoming mystery series - the first book is publishing next year - should definitely check out her Web site: Avery

    Donna - Oooooh, apple butter is a great thought to intensify the apple flavor. Thanks so much for stopping by today! BTW - Your books are wonderful! (Anyone who wants to learn more about Donna's books should go here:

    "Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  8. You've convinced me that I might be able to accept that it's fall...

  9. Oh, yum. It looks fantastic. I can't wait to
    try it. And I love all of the info on Rosh Hashanah -- fascinating!

  10. Sounds yummy. I love cooking with apples. They add so much to a dish, whether it is a dessert, entree, or snack.

  11. Jessica - aka Gourmet Girl!! You crack me up! LOL!

    Jenn - Rosh Hashanah is such a wonderful holiday. Like St. Patrick's Day here in NYC (when everyone turns Irish!), everyone is Jewish this weekend! Shana tova!

    librarypat - You're so right about apples - especially the entree part. We should do a Mystery Lovers Kitchen version of "Iron Chef" with apples as the secret ingredient!

    "Where Coffee and crime are always brewing..."
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  12. Cleo, what a fun homage to autumn, and a nice bit of background info, too. Thanks for sharing.