A Taste of Honey (Cake)

It's that time of year again--just as school is really beginning to start up (we began anatomy on Friday), the air is cool and crisp, the leaves are just starting to turn yellow and orange and red, and mountains of squash and apples are appearing at the market.

I have always felt like Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, fell at just the right time (it begins at sundown tomorrow).  While January 1st is right the middle of winter and the school year, September/early October always seemed like a more appropriate time to think about what the past year has been and what the next year will bring. I am positive that this coming year will be one of the best and most exciting I've ever had....

It is tradition to celebrate a "sweet new year" by dipping apples in honey and having a honey cake as part of the Rosh Hashanah dinner.  Honey cake is one of my favorite Jewish desserts (my mom used to send one to me in a care package at Rosh Hashanah).

This is a recipe from a good friend of our family, and I am convinced that is the best honey cake I have ever had. (Wary of honey cake? Deb at SmittenKitchen wrote: "But every honey cake I have been forced to try has been wretched (apologies if it was yours). They were dry and never sweet enough. They were coarse and totally unloved.")

This honey cake has none of those issues; it is sweet and unbelievably moist, and just gets better each day it sits on the counter. While I agree that honey cake can be truly terrible (I've had those too), It's a honey cake I crave year-round, but save up for when Rosh Hashanah rolls around each fall.

Honey Cake
  • 1/2 c oil
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/3 c honey
  • 1 c strong coffee
  • 2 3/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice

Preheat oven to 325ยบ. In a large bowl, beat eggs together. Add the oil, sugar, honey and coffee and mix for a minute or two.  In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, and mix until just combined.  Bake in two small size, greased and floured loaf pans (or 4-5 mini loaf pans) for 50-60 minutes (30-40 for smaller ones).

The trick to getting nice rounded tops and not having them sink in the middle is not filling the pans too full!

If you can make them 2-3 days ahead of time, go for it--they get better with age.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Anna. Just posted this as part of my New Year's greeting on facebook!

    Shana tova from all of us to you,