A Sweet Honey Cake for a Sweet New Year

It is that time of year again.  Rosh Hashana Yom Kippur and Sukkot – the fall holiday trilogy.  We start with two days (except for this year when it was three) of honey cakes, pomegranates and apples in honey, spend one day fasting to make up for the intense food consumption (it totally does not make up for it – ask my scale) and then spend a week eating more honey related things, squashes and other fall favorites outside in our decorated mini-houses.  Can you see the imbalance here?  Too much food, hmm?  Maybe we should throw in another fast day at the end or something.  But then, we wouldn’t be real Jews if we didn’t eat our own weight in food during a holiday.

So in the spirit of the honey-drenched holiday, here is a honey cake recipe.  I try new recipes every year looking for a moist, but not overly sweet version of the holiday favorite.  Unfortunately Rocker Dude is not a fan of the honey cake and therefore will not help in taste testing.  So no pre-gaming.  We bake the cake for the actual holiday and hope for the best.

Honey Cake

Last year I made a honey cake that was loaded with liquid – juice and booze.  It was delicious but a bit too sweet.  So I searched the interweb and found another recipe that was purported to be lighter (due to whipped egg whites) and not too sweet.  It was game time.

This cake is really easy to make – whip the egg whites first and then mix all the ingredients in a separate bowl.  Fold egg whites into the other ingredients and bake. Even my mom would consider making this cake (my mom is a long-time champion of the one-bowl baking experience).

And the verdict: delicioso! (I have been watching waaaay too much Dora the Explorer.)  Three days after baking, the cake was moist and light and not sticky.  Two days after that it was just as good.  There is still another week an a half before honey cake season ends for the year (it’s a very short season) – make this cake!

Honey Cake (from Allrecipes.com):


4 eggs, separated

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup honey

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

3 teaspoons instant coffee granules

1 cup hot water


Mix coffee in hot water, and then cool.

Whip egg whites until stiff.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the yolks with the sugar until creamy. Add the oil and then the honey, beating after each addition. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Sift and then measure 3 cups of flour. Combine with salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Add these dry ingredients alternately with the coffee to the honey mixture, stirring only until blended. Do not overmix.

Fold egg whites into the batter in three additions. Pour into 2 greased 8 inch square pans, or one bundt pan.

Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of cake comes out clean.