L’shanah tova! Happy New Year Honey Cake!

This past weekend I celebrated Rosh Hashanah (Jewish new year) with Brett and his family. 

I love participating and learning about the holidays that Brett, his family, and so many of my nearest and dearest celebrate. My FAVORITE part of these holidays? The food and the family meals!

This weekend in particular, I was secretly hoping that Brett’s mom “Nancy Pants” would make matzo ball soup. She makes some delicious balls and is the reason I started eating this soup at all! She read my mind and made me matzo ball soup AND Brussel sprouts (another thing I didn’t know I liked until I tried Nancy’s)Image

Jealous? You should be. I’m feeling a little under the weather today and wish I had some of this in front of me instead of just a picture and RHONY 😦

I got the recipe though! and will blog it as soon

Anyways, while the family was at synagogue for (long) services I decided I would try to bake something for the occasion. I attempted a Honey Cake. Honey cake is something traditionally eaten on the Jewish New Year, as eating honey is supposed to encourage a sweet New Year (more so if paired with apples..next year honey AND apple cake!)

I made some improvisations on this cake using the ingredients I had on hand in an attempt not to bother a little hipster computer programmer and her puppy hard at work upstairs.

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I used mostly whole wheat flour instead of white all purpose flour. I also nixed the ground cloves because I was too lazy to attempt grinding down the whole cloves I found in the Benowitz Kitchen (Marc I’m sorry if I ruined or misplaced anything!!!!) 

I’ve never had Honey cake before so I am a little unsure what it is supposed to taste like but mine was full of spices that remind me of fall, very moist, and crispy around the edges. 

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Try this cake out! Even if you aren’t jewish! its easy!

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

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3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup all purpose flour and 2 1/2 whole wheat and didn’t taste a difference) 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I nixed this, still tasted good to me
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup warm coffee or strong tea
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup rye or whiskey
1/2 cup slivered or sliced or crushed almonds (optional)

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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 

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. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)

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  • 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.

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Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using. I put crushed almonds on one loaf and none on the other.  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).

ImageBake 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.

Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan.

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Enjoy the fall, and have a SWEET NEW YEAR

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