I developed this cake to celebrate honey for a sweet Rosh Hashanah. I've never liked the traditional honey cake (often similar to fruit cake) until I came up with this one. It’s based on a Martha Stewart recipe that I made parve (non-dairy) and adapted to better showcase the honey. I used soy milk, but almond milk should work well. Use plain (not vanilla-flavored) milk and don’t go for the non-fat versions. Before you bake the cake, drizzle the batter with extra honey which caramelizes in the oven, helping the cake develop a crispy edge. I’ve tested the recipe with and without a stand mixer and both work well – so go ahead and make this one by hand if you’d like.
I use a 10-inch springform pan, but have also had good luck with two 8X4-inch loaf pans. Be careful not to jar the cakes (especially when making loaf pans) because the cake might fall. —zahavah
packed dark brown sugar
plain unsweetened soy milk (don’t use vanilla flavor or non-fat; plain almond milk should work well too); or just use regular milk if you don't need the cake to be non-dairy
vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the pan
Prep. Preheat oven to 350?F. Grease and flour a 10-inch springform pan.
Mix. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix eggs and sugars on high-speed with the paddle attachment until pale and thick, about 3 minutes. No mixer? Use a whisk and a little muscle – this will probably take 3-5 minutes depending on how strong you are! Add the soy milk, oil, 3/4 cup honey (reserve the remaining 1/4 cup for later), lemon zest, and lemon juice and keep mixing until everything is combined.
Fold. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl (I use a fine mesh strainer to get out any lumps), and whisk together to mix. With a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet in two batches until well mixed. Try not to overwork the batter.
Fill. Fill the greased and floured pan(s) with the batter. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of honey over the batter, getting most of it around the edges.
Bake. Bake the cake – about 50 minutes for a round cake, 40 for two loaf pan until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Try not to open the oven until almost the end of baking because this cake does have a tendency to fall a bit in the middle if you move it too much. You should be able to see through the door when the center is no longer jiggly – give it another few minutes and poke it with a toothpick. I tend to start looking (through the door!) about 10 minutes before time is up. When it comes out, the top should be slightly sticky because of the honey.
Cool. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and carefully remove it from the pan. The cake freezes well.