Tuesday, September 3, 2013

L'shanah Tovah! Honey Cake

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. One of the ways we celebrate the new year is by eating apples dipped in honey, a literal representation of our wish for a sweet new year. While we traditionally dip bread in salt, this time of year, we dip bread in honey for the same reason. As such, one popular food item is Honey Cake.

In Jewish school, we used to always make and sell these to our families and to the community.  Putting a wonderful combination of Type A and Type B adolescent girls into the kitchen under the supervision of one strong-willed, patient and firm woman will certainly include a fair share of mischief (cinnamon challenge, anyone?), but I looked forward to all of these - they were some of the most fun and challenging times I had in elementary and middle school.  Unfortunately, school and grown-up obligations get in the way of a lot of things, so honey cake is something I haven't had the pleasure of making for many years.. until now.

I've tried a few different recipes in the past, and none of them quite measured up to what I remembered making in Hebrew school: a dense, sweet, moist and delicious treat. Fed up with what I was finding, I decided to just make my own.

I'm so glad I did.  This one was perfect and exactly what I was looking for.  Instead of orange extract, I think I'm going to try orange zest to make it the flavor pop a little more.  If you don't like oranges, you can easily substitute lemons or leave it out altogether.

Rosh Hashanah is the start of the Jewish High Holiday season, and I'm hoping to have some more recipes to share along the way.  The rest of the holidays are around the corner, anyway, so - what's your favorite holiday recipe?

Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake

To print this recipe, click here 

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. oil
1 tsp orange extract
1/2 c. strong coffee, prepared
In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients except coffee. Batter will be very thick and hard to stir.

Add the coffee and stir to combine. Batter should be easy to stir, similar to cake batter.

Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 325°F for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cake should be a nice, golden brown color when it's finished.

Wishing all of you a happy, healthy and sweet new year - L'shana tovah! 

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