I associate honey cake with Jewish holidays and my mom. Since childhood, honey cake has been one of my favorites. I especially enjoy it with a glass of milk, café au lait or caffè latte.
- This year, I wanted a richly flavored cake, so I used espresso and a strongly flavored German honey, Forest Honey made by Breitsamer (on sale at TJ Maxx). Read more about it here. I added walnuts and currants, but I'm just now remembering that my mom liked to use walnuts and white raisins.
- The slivered almond decorations are my invention.
- The flavor improves over time so it's OK to make it a few days ahead.
- This recipe is for sea level. The version I first made decades ago included my mom's high altitude adaptations, but somewhere along the way, I lost the recipe card with those changes. Right now, I live at sea level, so it's kind of a moot point.
- My mom also changed around the spices from the original.
From Momma who adapted the recipe from The Art of Jewish Cooking by Jennie Grossinger
3½ cups sifted flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup salad oil
2 cups dark honey
½ cup brewed coffee or espresso
1½ cups nuts, walnuts, or almonds (optional)
½ cup (or more) currants, raisins, or white raisins (optional)
slivered almonds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- It's best to prepare the pans now. Any batter that uses baking soda will begin to rise as soon as the soda gets wet, so for best rising, you want to get the batter in the oven as soon as you can. The original recipe says to line your pan with aluminum foil. I follow my mom's method and just grease and flour the baking pan. This time, it stuck. If you are serving it directly out of the pan, that really does not matter. I think I will try parchment paper next time.
- I use a 9"x13" pan. The recipe does not mention this size pan. It suggests an 11"x16"x4" pan or two 9" loaf pans. For the 9"x13" pan, prepare the surface all the way to the top edge because that's how high it will rise.
- Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs, gradually adding the sugar. Beat until thick and light in color.
- In a separate bowl, mix the oil, honey, and coffee.
- Add one-third of the liquid ingredients. Mix well.
- Add one third of the dry ingredients. Mix well.
- Repeat the last two steps twice.
- Add the (optional) nuts and currants/raisins. Mix well.
- Turn the batter into the pan(s).
- Decorate the top with slivered almonds, if you wish.
- Bake the single large cake about 1¼ hours, 50 minutes for the two smaller cakes, or until browned and a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool on a cake rack before removing from pan.