Thursday, September 25, 2014

Grandma's Honey Cake

Today is Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish new year.  It is traditional to eat apples dipped in honey or honey cake to ensure that you will have a sweet new year.  I figure the sweeter the better so we will be doing both.  I'm not sure where this recipe came from.  It is simply in my recipe binder under the heading Grandma's Honey Cake.  I have a multitude of grandmas that this recipe could have originated with and while I'm unsure of who gets the credit for this one, I am sure that credit is deserved.  Honey cake basically tastes like a spice cake.  It is dense and spicy and sweet. 

Start out by dissolving some honey in some hot coffee.  Oddly enough, neither Josh nor I like coffee.  I always keep those individual instant packs of coffee in my baking cupboard so that when I have a recipe that calls for a cup of coffee I can "brew" one.  Back before I got smart enough to do this, I would drive through McDonald's and buy a cup of coffee for this cake.

In your mixer beat together sugar and vegetable oil.  Add in three eggs and beat until combined.  Zest and juice a lemon and an orange into the batter.  Drop in some orange marmalade too and mix it all together.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and your spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice).

You are going to alternate adding in the dry ingredients and the honeyed coffee, starting and ending with the flour mixture, until the batter is combined.  

Pour the batter into a baking pan that has been sprayed with baking spray.  My original recipe calls for an 8 1/2 x 12 inch baking pan.  Jake wanted to give a little honey cake to his teacher so I made a bundt cake and a mini loaf.  My pans were a little overfull so if you are going to go this route I would make two mini loaves and a bundt.

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes to an hour (about 30 - 40 for the mini loaves).  My bundt got a little overbaked because Luke took his own sweet time nursing and so I couldn't pull the cake out of the oven when my timer went off.  It was still delicious, just not quite as moist as usual.  I solved that problem by drizzling lots of extra honey on top.  I like to do this anyway but I was a little more generous with the honey this time.  Whether or not you are celebrating Rosh HaShanah, this honey cake is the perfect way to bring a little extra sweetness into your life.

Honey Cake
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbls. lemon juice
  • 3 tbls. orange juice
  • 1 tbls. lemon zest
  • 1 tbls. orange zest
  • 2 tbls. orange marmalade
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  1. Preheat oven to 325 and spray a large bundt pan, a rectangular baking pan, or two loaf pans with baking spray.
  2. Dissolve honey in hot coffee then set aside to cool.
  3. Beat together oil and sugar.
  4. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add lemon and orange zest, juice, and marmalade.
  6. Sift flour with the rest of the dry ingredients.
  7. Beat in flour mixture and coffee mixture a little bit at a time, alternating between the two.
  8. Bake for 1 hour.  Turn cake out onto cooling rack, turn it right side up, and cool completely.

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