Honey Cake Muffins


I make honey cake every year for Rosh Hashanah, using my Aunt Belle’s family-famous recipe.

Every once in a while I change the recipe — a different honey, an additional spice (or less seasoning), and so on, just to see if we like it better or I should just stick to the original. I’ve even adapted the recipe to make it with date honey.

They’re all delicious. I love honey cake and I look forward to it every year as a special holiday treat.

Last year I decided to make honey cake into muffins. So — breakfast or afternoon snack instead of for dessert. They are sweet — it is honey “cake” after all — but not as sweet as the recipe I use for dessert. The muffins are also mellowed a bit with oats.

During the year I made these muffins again, several times, using several different spice blends. The recipe below is the more traditional Rosh Hashanah flavor, but you could delete the cinnamon and nutmeg and use one teaspoon Hawaij spice instead. They’re a convenient riff on honey cake; freezable too.

Honey Cake Muffins

  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2/3 cup quick oats

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoon grated fresh orange peel

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • 3/4 cup honey

  • 1/2 cup cold coffee

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 large eggs

  • old fashioned oats, optional (or use chopped nuts)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease 10 muffin tins. In a bowl, mix the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, orange peel, cinnamon and nutmeg together until uniform in color. Heat the honey and coffee together over low heat briefly, so that they are easy to blend with a whisk. Add the vegetable oil and eggs and whisk the ingredients until they are uniform in color. Stir in the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Spoon the batter into the greased muffin tins. Top, if desired, with old fashioned oats or chopped nuts. Bake for about 18 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 10








Banana Applesauce Cupcakes


One of the greatest pleasures in life is cooking with children.

Children are enthusiastic, creative and joyful abut anything they've cooked or baked.

These cupcakes are a melange of my grandchildren's ideas about what to make for dessert. It had to be dairy free. We had a few bananas and some leftover applesauce that we wanted to use.

The cupcakes were yummy. Even the adults thought so.

Decorations, including the one lone banana slice in the center, by the kids, of course, .


Banana Applesauce cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin tins. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and whisk the ingredients to blend them thoroughly. Place the sugar, vegetable oil and applesauce in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat the ingredients at medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until well blended. Add the eggs and beat them in. Add the bananas, apple juice and vanilla extract and beat at medium speed for about 2 minutes or until well blended. Spoon equal quantities of batter into the muffin tins. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Makes 12


  • 1 cup margarine, shortening or mix of coconut oil and margarine 
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • apple juice as necessary

Place the margarine, confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl (or use an electric mixer) and beat with a hand mixer at medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until well blended and creamy. If the mixture seems too thick to spread as frosting, mix in a teaspoon or two of apple juice.

Makes enough for 12 cupcakes


Banana Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting

I am allergic to bananas, so I never eat them or any food that contains banana.

BUT, I buy bananas all the time. Ed eats some and the grandkids eat some. But mostly I buy them because I love the fragrance of a peeled banana and love cooking with bananas just so that I can have a whiff or two.

Over the years I've developed quite a number of banana bread and banana cake recipes, including some dairy-free, some with chocolate chips, some with dried fruit, some with chocolate flavored batter, some with coconut, some with mango, some with streusel. You get the point. I enjoy these goodies vicariously as I watch other people eating them. 

A few days ago, as usual, I had a few unused bananas. I am also trying to use up all the flour in my cabinet before Passover. So there was a double purpose to creating some new banana concoction and the result was cupcakes. My tasters have told me that the cake part is delicious. I tasted the thick and creamy frosting and give it two thumbs up.


Banana Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting(P)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh orange peel
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 medium very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Brown Sugar Frosting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12-15 muffin tins (or line them with cupcake papers). Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and orange peel in a bowl and set it aside. Beat the sugar and vegetable oil with a handheld or electric mixer set at medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mash the bananas and add them to the sugar mixture. Beat thoroughly until the ingredients are well blended. Add the flour mixture, stirring only enough to moisten the dry ingredients and blend them in. Stir in the orange juice and vanilla extract. Pour the batter into the prepared tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool on a cake rack. Frost with Brown Sugar Frosting.

Makes 12 large or 15 medium cupcakes

Brown Sugar Frosting (P)

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread or pareve margarine
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • orange juice (1-2 tablespoons)

In a large bowl or an electric mixer, beat the buttery spread, coconut oil, brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract together at medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until smooth and thoroughly blended. Gradually add orange juice, using enough to make the mixture spreading consistency.