Friday, September 26, 2014

Classic Honey Cake

Honey Cake is a universal dessert; it is a celebratory staple in so many cultures. Whether light and airy, or rich and sweet, honey is an elemental flavor. In my mother's family, we make honey cakes to mark the Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah. It's a time of celebration, of family coming together, and... Well... Eating!

It is symbolic to eat honey and apples together on this holiday in hopes of having a sweet new year to come. Honey cake is a great variation on this theme. The thing is, you don't need this holiday as an excuse to whip up this cake! It's just a perfect fall season sweet, plain & simple!

My Honey Cake is filled with delicious strong dark coffee, sweet honey, and fragrant spices. It's a dense, sweet, and dark amber colored cake that pairs perfectly with a cup of tea. This is a cake of family memories, a recipe and flavor combination so old, yet so familiar, that it is a must for any baker!

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Classic Honey Cake
makes 2 medium loaves

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup fresh brewed coffee, cooled
2 cups dark honey
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 325F. Oil & line 2 standard sized loaf pans with vegetable oil and parchment paper.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spice in a large bowl. Mix and reserve.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar & eggs. Beat on medium high speed until thick and yellow about 2 minutes. Add the oil, vanilla, coffee, and honey to the mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until blended.

Lower the mixer speed to "stir", and add the dry mixture in several portions to the bowl, allowing each addition to be incorporated before the next. The batter will appear very loose, don't panic!

Portion the cake batter evenly into two loaf pans. You want to fill each pan to about 3/4 full, the cake will rise a bit.

Place in the heated oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until a tester tooth pick comes out cleanly. Be very careful to watch for burning on the top of the loaves, because of all the honey, they can overlook (dry out) very quickly!

After baking, place the loaves on a wire rack to cool for ten minutes, and then go around the sides of each pan with a butter knife to loosen the cake. Pull on either side of the parchment paper to "lift" the cake and allow them to cool completely on the rack.

After cooling, wrap each cake in several sheets of foil. This cake benefits from "resting " for a day before serving.


  1. I am a huge fan of loaf cakes and this one sounds delicious! I think it's because I can cut off a thin slice and not feel as guilty about it ;)

    1. I love loaf cakes as well, but I am always unable to stop at just one slice! This honey variation is a good one and perfect for breakfast... or snack... or for tea... you get the picture ;)