With Rosh Hashana around the corner, honey cakes are back on the menu. There are so many varieties of honey cake and every Jewish mother claims the best recipe. I like my honey cakes moist, dense and flavoursome but with complexity to balance the sweetness. This is the cake we make at my house. It is a recipe adapted from my husband’s grandmother. I add coffee, cloves cinnamon and cardamom to give some spice and bitterness as a contrast and foil to the sugariness and sweetness of the cake. We serve this as part of dessert with delicious cardamom tea with fresh mint. The honey glaze is optional but provides a nice glossy finish to the cake – it does make glad wrapping tricky so do it after you uncover the cake. The cake can be frozen unglazed and it is best made a day before serving.
Yummy Honey Cake
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 tbspn cocoa
2 tbspn instant coffee
2 cups SR flour
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tspn bicarbonate soda
1/2 tspn ground cloves
1 tspn cinnamon
1/2 tspn ground cardamom
1 cup hot water
1 tbsn honey extra for glazing
Preheat oven to 170C.
Line a large cake tin – around 28/30cm. (Alternatively you could split the mixture between 2 smaller tins or make 1 cake and a tray of muffins)
Mix together all the ingredients except the flours, coffee and cocoa.
Dissolve the coffee and cocoa in the hot water.
Alternately add the flour mixture and the water mixture into the rest of the ingredients until all combined.
Bake for around 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool then melt the extra honey and use a pastry brush to glaze the cake.