We all know I’m an Italian girl through and through, but today and tomorrow I’m featuring a couple of traditional Jewish recipes in honor of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana, which began last night at sundown, and concludes tomorrow at sundown. I’ve become increasingly interested in Jewish cuisine over the last year or so, and actually purchased the cookbook Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited a few months ago. I read it cover to cover and thoroughly enjoyed learning about the background behind so many of the recipes. So I was totally excited when my Chief Culinary Consultant suggested putting together a traditional Jewish meal for Rosh Hashana since we are here in Florida and his grandfather (who happens to live down here) is indeed Jewish. This honey cake was our dessert (and might be breakfast for a couple of days too!).
Our menu for the Rosh Hashana dinner was:
Apple slices with honey for dipping (traditional and symbolic of a “sweet” new year)
Challah bread (I have a great homemade recipe here)
Matzo ball soup (my Chief Culinary Consultant’s mom made that with a recipe from a friend of her’s)
Apricot Chicken (recipe from Simply Recipes)
Noodle Kugel (recipe coming tomorrow!)
This honey cake is the epitome of moist, and absolutely bursting with flavor. It is perfectly spiced, and the honey flavor is balanced with the combination of coffee, orange juice, and… whiskey! (Woo for boozy baking! If, for whatever reason, you prefer not to bake with alcohol, you can add an extra two tablespoons each of coffee and orange juice.) Basically, this is an amazing honey spice cake and would be perfect to serve to guests any day of the week. Or, treat yourself to a special Sunday dinner dessert – no guests required!
Everyone enjoyed the meal, and it was awesome to experience new and traditional foods. I definitely plan on making a number of these again!
Quick note: Since I made a bundt-style cake, I sprinkled the slivered almonds onto the bottom of the pan and then poured the batter on top. When I unmolded the cake, the almonds were baked nicely into the top and sides of the cake. I decided to sprinkle on a few more for decoration so you could see them. When the cake comes out of the pan it’s still warm and super-moist, so the extra almonds stuck right to it!
One year ago: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Filling[/donotprint]
- 3½ cups (437.5 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground allspice
- 1 cup (218 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 cup (339 ml) honey
- 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (110 g) light brown sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (237 ml) brewed coffee, warm
- ½ cup (124 ml) orange juice
- ¼ cup (59 ml) whiskey
- ½ cup (54 g) slivered or sliced almonds, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray. Even if your pan is non-stick, still spray!
- In a large bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Make a well in the center and add the oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, coffee, orange juice and whiskey, if using.
- Using a strong wire whisk or with an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together until all ingredients are well-blended, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using. (If you are using a bundt pan, sprinkle the almonds into the bottom of the pan before pouring the batter in). Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top).
- Bake until the cake springs back when you gently touch the cake center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, almost clean. For tube and bundt pans, this will take 60 to 75 minutes, loaf cakes, about 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet style cakes, baking time is 40 to 45 minutes.
- Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftover cake can be stored at room temperature, covered tightly.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
(Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
I love your Kentucky butter cake recipe and have made it half a dozen times with my nordicware bundt pan. It has released beautifully every time. So I was excited to try this recipe in the same pan. I was really surprised by a few things: 1) the instruction to grease but not flour the pan, 2) that you should put the almonds at the bottom of the pan before spooning in the batter, and 3) the batter was pretty liquid-y. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised when it didn’t release well at all from the pan and it was quite the eyesore at my family Thanksgiving dinner. It tasted good despite its ugly looks at least.
This is the BEST traditional Honey Cake recipe! Never fails :)
Excellent recipe. This will be my fourth year making it for the celebration of Rosh Hashana.
Hey! Love this recipe and your pictures, but just a friendly encouragement to give credit to Marcy Goldman as the creator. Shana tova!
Something is very wrong with this recipe. Way too much liquid and baking powder. The cake rose up over the bundt pan. What a mess.
Bakers, save yourselves the mess and
Dissapointment of making this cake.
I bake enough to know there is too much liquid
For the amount of flower. Still I went ahead .
Perhaps I can learn something .
The taste of the batter was great.
It has baked around the pan ( loaf) while the
Center remained depressed and uncooked.
I would love to hear the comments of other
Bakers , specially the comments of the
Person who posted it.
Will be looking for another recipe and start all over again.
Maybe Smitten Kitchen can help you. Same recipe but instead of 1 Tablespoon of baking powder, she only used 1 teaspoon. She wrote her whole experience in making this cake here :-) I hope this will help you. This cake is very delicious.
I do really love chocolate cake, I’m so excited to bake like this. I’m sure my family will love it too!
Thanks for the tasty recipe! I made this for Rosh Hashanah this year and it was a hit. I stole your bundt pan idea too because the round shape was fitting for the holiday symbolism (circle of life).
Really sweet, perfect for the occasion. Looks perfectly done with its fluffiness and moisture. Would love to try this out on weekend. Thanks for the recipe.
This looks fantastic! I can see how moist it is. I’m sure this was a huge hit!
I’ve never made or eaten a honey cake, but now I’m dying to try one!! Thanks for the inspiration~
Congrats on Foodbuzz top 9!
Sounds like a terrific menu.
I was hooked just looking at the pictures of this before even reading the recipe as I could tell it had all the baking spices in it that I love as much for the aroma in the house when baking as when eating! Beautiful looking honey cake.
WOW! This looks so tasty . Wish I could have a slice or two…
happy new year from tel aviv.
Looks so delicious. I bet you all enjoyed the cake, craving for it :) Happy new year
How nice that you’re featuring Jewish dishes…I love it! This is a great recipe, too! Thanks!
I loooooooove honey cakes. They’re just so velvety and rich with honey and butter flavor. Totally decadent. If you love the flavor of honey, you should try a Devon honey cake. I found it a long time ago in Victoria magazine. It’s a very dense, but extremely tender cake – I’m not sure how to describe it, but the texture is more like what you’d find in a crepe (only about 1″+ thick) rather than cake-like. But it’s sooo good. Always gone before the day is over.
Devon Honey Cake
6T honey plus 1T
1/2C sugar (or brown sugar)
1T water plus 2-3t hot water
3/4 cake flour
1/2C powdered sugar
Combine the 6T honey, butter and sugar (or brown sugar) in a saucepan and heat until melted. Remove from heat and mix in 2 eggs and flour. Pour into a greased and floured 7-8″ cake pan. Bake at 350° for 40-45 mins (less for the 8″ pan). Cool for 1 minute, then drizzle with glaze.
Glaze: Combine remaining 1T honey, 2-3t hot water water, and powdered sugar to make a smooth glaze.
What a beautiful cake!
I made 2 loaves today – one with almonds, one without. Used dried cherries and bourbon instead of raisins and whiskey. Also I only had half the honey left in the house so I used agave nectar for the rest. It is a bit less sweet than it would be but it is still terrific. Happy Rosh Hashanah to all those who follow!
My favorite cake recipes are always the ones that don’t include frosting. I prefer a nice moist cake any day!
What a wonderful cake, it should be plenty of flavor, and the smell should be so wonderful too. Thanks for sharing.
I appreciated that you gave alternate pan sizes, since my Bundt pan disappeared after living in 5 locations in 10 years. What a beautiful cake, full of flavor and tradition!
What a delicious ending to a delicious sounding meal!
Quick question as I plan on baking this in about a half hour! I was thinking of making an Apple Brandy-Honey glaze to go on top. I was wondering how you think that would go flavor-wise with it? Seems there’s already a lot going on in the cake but I just love adding that final touch.
Kristin, Your glaze sounds delicious! I think it would be great. Let me know how you like it!
Thanks! I will keep you posted. I already made the Rugelach (for this first time) this morning! I hope my mother-in-law will be impressed tomorrow…
My glaze came out really good with it! Just whisked together confectioner’s sugar, melted butter, apple brandy, some half & half, and honey. Eyeballed and tasted along the way until it tasted good enough to me! I actually stirred in the rest of the sliced almonds in with it before I drizzled all over the cake.
I am posting a picture of it now on your facebook page…
love the recipe and website, i will come back here more often!!
You would be a meshugana not to add this to your repertoire ;) Totally making it – yum!
L’shana tova–that must have been quite the meal!
What a delicious looking cake, I love this!! :)
This looks amazing. Anything cake = yummy
i was looking for a new recipe…my search is over!
i am going to make this for yom kippur. thanks michelle!
That sounds like an amazing Rosh Hashana meal! And this cake sounds lovely too! I wouldn’t mind having the leftovers for breakfast for the next few days!
I’ve never heard of honey cake but I love all the flavors going on with the honey, coffee, whiskey, and OJ.
This looks great – honey makes everything yummier :)
Looks fantastic! I love honey anything :)
Oohh, this sounds fantastic!!
This cake sounds delicious. I’m excited to see your noodle kugel recipe tomorrow. It’s one of my favorites, but I don’t make it too often b/c the recipe I have is really unhealthy!
I’ve actually never made honey cake but it is the traditional rosh hashannah dessert. Hope you enjoy celebrating the holiday:-)
I wish I had some of this cake right now. It would go so perfect with my coffee. You make the most awesome foods. Sigh…. I need this cake right now!!
This is a lovely recipe all the way around. It will be great with a cup of coffee or tea.
I have a ton of honey to use up. This sounds lovely! Thanks!
This cake looks delicious – so perfectly moist and bursting with flavour. What a great end to a meal!
That looks gorgeous and so moist. Indulgant range of flavours too.
I’m excited to see you making a Rosh Hashanah meal! Yours hits on all my favorites. I will have to give your version of honey cake a try- boozy desserts are the best!