Gentle Orange-scented, Gingered Honey Cake

By • December 9, 2013 8 Comments

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Author Notes: This is my mother's honey cake, and a traditional Rosh Hashanah treat. It has a gentle hint of orange and spice, and a moist crumb. The flavors are soft and sweet. The top self-glazes from the honey in the batter. This recipe lacks the bitterness one often finds in other versions that results from too much coffee and spice; in fact it is the only one I'll bake. It makes a large honey cake that will serve a crowd. It is best if baked a day or more early and allowed to mellow; it just gets better and better.
Author's Note: Please try it as written before succumbing to the temptation to tinker with this recipe. It is just lovely and perfect as it is. - creamtea

creamtea

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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 tablespoon candied ginger, chopped (more if you love candied ginger OR same amount of candied orange peel
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  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 thoroughly combined.
  5. In 3 additions, add flour mixture alternately with coffee/honey/oil mixture to egg mixture, mixing after each addition just until incorporated. Stir in minced ginger and optional walnuts. Scrape into pan, bake 45 to 60 minutes, until cake smells fragrant and moist crumbs adhere to a toothpick inserted in the center. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely and remove parchment carefully.
  6. Cut into squares and serve, preferably after it has mellowed for a day.

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