Honey Cake

What to do with a jar of honey that’s crystallized? Make cake. There are ways to deal with crystallized honey, putting the bottle in warm water for a while will make it smooth again for a while, but for the everyday dollop on some yogurt it can be a bit tedious. This is the first time I’ve made Honey Cake and it’s a great everyday cake for dessert or even breakfast. Although it’s traditionally served for the Jewish New Year. The original recipe calls for vegetable oil, which I didn’t have, so I used olive oil. Initially I thought the olive oil flavor was too dominant, but after the cake had a chance to sit, the flavors seemed to mellow and I didn’t notice it anymore. I also used walnuts instead of almonds, so feel free to use whatever you like, I just really love walnuts in baked goods! There are a variety of cake pan sizes listed below, for me this recipe worked out to one 9” loaf pan and one 9x9” square cake pan.

Honey Cake

  • 3 1/2 cups (440 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder 
  • 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 or olive 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) Walnuts (or sliced almonds)

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 used one 9" loaf pan and one 9"x9" square pan.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with butter. Line the bottom and sides of pans 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. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)

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 nuts. 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 tests done, that is, it 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.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen