Orange-scented, Gingered Honey Cake

By • December 9, 2013 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This is my mother's annual honey cake, traditionally served at the end of the Rosh Hashanah meal with hot tea. It differs from most honey cakes in the moist crumb and the addition of orange, both zest and juice, which softens and improves the flavor. In fact, I don't bother to eat any other version of honey cake. Having grown up in California, I think that a little citrus makes its way into nearly any recipe for anything and vastly improves it. The top glazes naturally because of the honey. This is for an extra-large honey cake that will serve a crowd. It is best if baked a day early and allowed to mellow.creamtea

Serves a crowd (can be halved)

  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons in total of the following spices: allspice, ground ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
  • a few grinds of freshly-ground black pepper (optional but good)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup safflower oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2T honey, warmed
  • 1 cup strong coffee, still warm
  • grated zest and juice of one large orange
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon candied ginger, chopped
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325º. Grease and flour a large 15 x 10 roasting or baking pan and line with parchment paper. Grease and flour paper.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and ground spices together onto a sheet of wax paper. Set aside.
  3. Combine coffee, honey and oil in a bowl. Beat well to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add sugars and beat until combined.
  5. In 3 additions, add flour mixture alternately with coffee/honey/oil mixture to egg mixture, beating after each addition. Stir in walnuts or diced orange peel or minced ginger. Scrape into pan, bake approximately 1 hour, until cake smells fragrant and springs back when touched with finger. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, peeling off parchment paper, to cool completely.
  6. Cut into squares and serve, preferably after it has mellowed for a day.

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