Food / Photography / STUDIO e*

Sweet Beginnings

It’s the eve of the Jewish New Year.

I can’t quite believe that another year has flown by.  I’m struggling to recall where I was or what I was doing this time last year . . .

I do know that we were not yet living in our new housie and that I wasn’t cooking in a gorgeous mint green kitchen flooded with sunlight, or with herbs, lemons and veggies grown harvested from my own garden!

There are so many things to be grateful for and at this time of the year, we stop to reflect on the past, the year ahead and the opportunity to improve, grow and rejoice.

On the Jewish New Year, we dip apples in honey to celebrate what we hope and pray will be a sweet new year.  Last year, I decided to add honey cake to my festive menu.  I came across this recipe on the lovely blog Smitten Kitchen and loved it.  I’ve included the recipe below.

May we all be blessed with good health and happiness in the year ahead.


Elana Castle_HoneyCake_HISI


Majestic and Moist Honey Cake
Adapted from Marcy Goldman’s Treasure of Jewish Holiday Baking


3 1/2 cups (440 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder [see Update above]
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons (about 8 grams) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup (235 ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (340 grams) honey
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (95 grams) brown sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 cup warm (235 ml) coffee or strong tea
1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh orange juice
1/4 cup (60 ml) rye or whiskey
1/2 cup (45 to 55 grams) slivered or sliced almonds (optional)

Fits in three loaf pans, two 9-inch square or round cake pans, one 9 or 10 inch tube or bundt cake pan, or one 9 by 13 inch sheet cake. I made mine in two full-size loaf pans plus two miniature ones.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray.  (For tube or angel food pans, line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit).

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice.

Make a well in the center, and add oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee or tea, orange juice and rye or whiskey, if using.

Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.

Spoon batter into prepared pan(s).

Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using.

Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top).

Bake until cake springs back when you gently touch the cake center.  (For angel and tube cake pans, this will take 60 to 75 minutes, loaf cakes, about 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet style cakes, baking time is 40 to 45 minutes.)

Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan.



3 thoughts on “Sweet Beginnings

  1. Judging from the ingredients this should indeed be a most delicious moist cake.
    “Es gezunter heit”. Eat in good health. Enjoy with family and friends.
    Shanah Tovah. Wishing you a happy, healthy and sweet New Year.
    Fondest love

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