Orange-scented, Gingered Honey Cake

By • December 9, 2013 5 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 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.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 tablespoon candied ginger, chopped
  • 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 combined.
  5. In 3 additions, add flour mixture alternately with coffee/honey/oil mixture to egg mixture, beating after each addition. Stir in minced ginger and optional walnuts. 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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