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Natty bakes Honey Cakes

September 29, 2009
Not your Bubbie's Honey Cake

Not your bubbie's honey cake

As the high holidays conclude I thought that I would quickly share a honey cake recipe that I found last year on epicurious and baked again this Rosh Hashanah: the Jew year, i.e. a non-stop food fest for most families.

It is traditional to eat foods like apples, honey, tzimmes, raisin challah, and pomegranates during your meal to symbolize wishes of a sweet year to come. Of course it is the easiest to feature sweet and seasonal treats during dessert. At my family dinners there are always such great dessert spreads and usually everything from decadent homemade mousses to amazing creations from Phipps or Dufflets show up in the mix. Although honey cake is a tradition and always makes an appearance at Rosh, it rarely steals the show and typically sits there untouched or maybe at its peak looks like this.

Many people who have tried honey cake may recall it tasting a tad dull and dry—something you could maybe tolerate at a solo tea time session but wouldn’t really dream of serving if you had guests over. Wow. This sooooooo isn’t that. When I made this honey cake last year I was delighted & surprised by the yummy results. This is not your bubbie’s honey cake! This cake is quite rich & flavourful and includes some pretty exciting ingredients such as: coffee, orange juice and WHISKEY. I’m not lying, I think that it tastes the best when it’s been sitting around for a week or so. All the honey-ness and spiciness seem to come out and it becomes very moist. Here’s to a sweet (and boozy!) new year!

Majestic and Moist New Year’s Honey Cake


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup warm coffee or strong tea
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup rye or whisky
  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (optional)


  • Can be baked in an angel food cake pan, but you can also make it in a 10-inch tube or bundt cake pan, a 9 by 13-inch sheetpan, or three 8 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans.(last year I made mini loaves and this year I made 2 angel food cake shaped honey cakes)
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the pan(s)
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Make a well in the center and add the oil, honey, sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee, orange juice, and rye or whisky.
  • Using a strong wire whisk or an electric mixer on slow speed, combine the ingredients well to make a thick batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pan(s) and sprinkle the top of the cake(s) evenly with the almonds.
  • Place the cake pan(s) in oven and bake until the cake springs back when you touch it in the centre
  • For angel and tube cake pans, bake for 60-70 minutes; loaf cakes, 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet-style cakes, the baking time is 40 to 45 minutes. This is a liquidy batter and, depending on your oven, it may need extra time.
Bought this one to a Rosh dinner

Brought this one to a Rosh dinner

One Comment leave one →
  1. woods4 permalink
    October 3, 2009 1:25 pm

    never heard of anything like that before but it sounds amazing, might have to give this one a try!

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