Honey & Spice Cake
This gem of a cake comes from Marcy Goldman’s much-loved cookbook, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. Many people say the recipe alone is worth the price of the book, and I have to agree: it’s the best honey cake I’ve ever tasted. (Although, my mother never baked on the holidays so, thankfully, she spared me from eating all those traditional dry, dense honey cakes.) This cake is tender and moist with tremendous depth of flavor—there’s coffee and booze in it!—and the taste of honey shines through. What’s more, it couldn’t be easier to make. You mix the batter the old-fashioned way—in a single bowl with a wire whisk—then pour it into pans and place it in the oven. Less than an hour later, you’ll have three amber colored loaves ready to enjoy or give away, and your house will smell like fall. Oh, and it keeps well for days; the flavor actually continues to develop and improve, so go ahead and make it ahead of time.
Begin by preparing your pans with nonstick cooking spray and a dusting of flour.
Next, juice a few oranges (or feel free to skip this step and just use store bought OJ).
Next, combine the flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices in a very large bowl.
Whisk to combine.
Make a well in the center and add the oil, honey, eggs, brown sugar, coffee, orange juice, orange liqueur and vanilla.
Whisk to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake until the loaves are set, domed and golden.
Let cool in the pans for about 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: The original recipe is entitled Majestic and Moist New Year’s Honey Cake, and is shown here baked in an angel food cake pan. My changes were to: reduce the amount of baking powder to 1 teaspoon (too much leavening agent causes the cakes to rise high and then sink in the middle); and swap out the whiskey for orange liqueur, only because that’s what I had on hand and I thought it would work nicely with the orange juice.
Honey & Spice Cake
- 3-1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned into a measuring cup and leveled-off with a knife
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup coffee or strong tea
- 1/2 cup fresh or store-bought orange juice (for fresh, you'll need 2 oranges)
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur or whisky (okay to substitute orange juice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- I make this cake in three nonstick 8x4-inch loaf pans, but it can also be made in two nonstick 9x5-inch loaf pans or an angel food cake pan WITHOUT a removable bottom or a 9x13-inch sheetpan.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the pan(s) with nonstick cooking spray and dust lightly with flour. If using an angel food cake pan, line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper.
- In a very large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Make a well in the center and add the oil, honey, brown sugar, eggs, coffee or tea, orange juice, and orange liqueur and vanilla extract.
- Using a strong wire whisk or an electric mixer on low speed, mix the ingredients until well combined. The batter will be pourable.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Place the pan(s) on 2 baking sheets stacked together and bake until the cakes are set, domed and spring back when you touch them gently in the center (the stacked sheet pans will prevent the bottom from browning too quickly). For loaf cakes, bake for 45-50 minutes; for angel cake pans, bake for 60 to 70 minutes; for sheet-style cake, bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake(s) stand for 15 minutes before removing from the pan(s). Run a butter knife along the edges of the pans to help the cakes release, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap the cake(s) in foil and store at room temperature for several days.
- Per serving (14 servings)
- Calories: 476
- Fat: 17g
- Saturated fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 76g
- Sugar: 51g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 5g
- Sodium: 219mg
- Cholesterol: 40mg
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