Aunt Belle’s Spicy Honey Cake

I used to shiver at the thought of honey cake. The old Rosh Hashanah dessert, every year, year in, year out. Too sweet, too sticky, too oozing with whatever it was that it oozed with.

Tastes change. I now love honey cake and don’t think it’s too sweet at all. I do use a good honey, not the store brand, and I can taste the difference. 

So, now that it’s time for Rosh Hashanah and all things honey, it’s time for me to get out Aunt Belle’s recipe. She was known for only this one recipe and it is a good one. She made her honey cake spicy. And citrusy. And this, too, makes the big difference. The seasonings and refreshing flavors or orange and lemon cut the ultra-sweet honey rush.

This is a good cake (which you can freeze, by the way).

Here’s the recipe. But in case you hate to bake, you can buy a good honey cake for the holidays here:

Aunt Belle’s Spicy Honey Cake

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1-1/2 tablespoons grated fresh orange peel

2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon peel

2 cups honey

1 cup strong coffee

1/4 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease two 9” x 5” loaf pans. Line the pans with parchment paper, then lightly grease the paper. Set the pans aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg together into a bowl. Stir in the orange peel and lemon peel and set aside. Heat the honey, coffee and vegetable oil together over low-medium heat for a minute or two, just enough to blend them together easily. Set aside to cool. In the bowl of an electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar for 2-3 minutes or until well blended. Stir in the honey mixture and blend it in thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and blend it in thoroughly. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans. Scatter some sliced almonds on top. Bake for about 1-1/4 hours or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes then invert onto a cake rack to cool completely. Makes 2 cakes