Are you looking for a deliciously sweet treat to serve for your next special occasion? Our honey cake recipe is a dessert rich in taste and history!
Continue reading to learn more about the origins of this old-fashioned honey cake and how you can incorporate it into your next celebration!
The Traditional Honey Cake Recipe
Ancient Egyptians baked a light honey cake made from sweetened yeast dough. And ancient Romans baked loaves of honey cake mashing it with barley. Not to be confused with Russian layered honey cake, the honey cake recipe that we’re familiar with today was born in 12th-century Italy, along with other variations established throughout Europe.
One of these variations eventually made its way to the Ashkenazi Jews, where it became a staple for one of their High Holy Days. The earliest recipe in 1105 was referred to as a fine-floured challah bread with honey. It earned the name “lekach,” which means to lick, in 1200, stemming from the German word lecken.
This dark, spiced honey cake quickly became a part of the study of the Torah within Medieval Ashkenazi Jewish culture. Over time, it went on to become a symbol of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana. At a traditional Rosh Hashana meal, sweet foods such as honey and apples are served to symbolize hope for a sweet year ahead.
Ingredients for Your Honey Cake Recipe
Most of the ingredients in this traditional recipe are common items you’ll already have in your pantry. On your next trip to the store, you’ll want to be sure to pick up an extra jar of honey. And if you aren’t a coffee drinker, grab some instant coffee so you can have it on hand when you’re ready to bake!
Otherwise, visit your pantry and set aside flour, sugar, brown sugar, honey, vegetable oil, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. While there, grab the powdered sugar and set that aside for the icing when it comes time to mix it together.
From the refrigerator, you’ll need eggs and your choice of milk, to be used in the icing.
Finally, brew 1 cup of coffee and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Supplies you’ll need for this recipe are mixing bowls, a whisk, and a bundt pan.
Making Your Honey Cake Recipe
Now it’s time to bake the ultimate honey cake recipe! Be sure you’ve got at least 2 hours set aside to complete your cake.
Combine Your Ingredients
To begin, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat 3 eggs with a whisk until frothy.
Next, whisk in ¾ cup honey, ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, ⅔ cup vegetable oil, ⅔ cup coffee, and 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla. Set the bowl aside.
For the dry ingredients, grab a medium bowl and sift together 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves.
Mix the flour mixture into the wet mixture by adding a little at a time and stirring completely. Combine until well blended.
Bake Your Honey Cake Recipe
It’s time to bake your honey cake recipe!
Begin by spraying a bundt pan with your preferred oil spray.
Pour the batter into the bundt pan so that it’s ⅔ – ¾ of the way full. Gently lift the bundt pan and tap it on the counter a few times to allow the air bubbles to escape.
Place the bundt pan in the oven and bake it for 40-60 minutes. If you’re using a dark pan, it will cook faster. Plan to begin checking to see if it’s done at the 40-minute mark so it doesn’t overbake.
The cake is done baking when the edges are dark brown, with an even brown across the top. The edges of the cake should pull away from the sides slightly. Insert a knife or toothpick into the center of the cake to ensure the middle isn’t wet. If it comes out dry, then the cake is done baking.
Allow the honey cake to cool for 10 minutes. Next, place a large enough plate to cover the entire pan on top. Then flip the bundt pan upside down onto a plate, carefully removing the bundt pan. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing.
Ice Your Honey Cake
While you wait for your honey cake to cool, mix together the icing ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk. If the mixture is too stiff, add 1 more tablespoon of milk.
Stir in ¼ teaspoon vanilla.
Place a plastic sandwich baggie inside a cup and fold the edges of the bag over the sides of the cup. Pour the icing into the plastic baggie.
Take the plastic baggie out of the cup and twist it closed so it’s secure. Using kitchen scissors, snip a very small section of one end of the baggie to create a piping bag.
Slowly squeeze the baggie over top of the honey cake and ice it using a zig-zag pattern. Allow the icing to dry for about an hour before serving the honey cake.
Store in an airtight container on the counter for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Enjoy Your Honey Cake Recipe!
This moist honey cake recipe is the perfect sweet treat for all occasions! How will you choose to serve honey cake?
Looking for more delicious recipes to serve alongside your honey cake recipe? Check out our Recipes section to find what you need!
- For the Cake:
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 brown sugar
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup coffee (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- dash of cloves
- For the Icing:
- 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 TB milk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs with a whisk until frothy.
- Next, whisk in honey, sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil, coffee, and vanilla. Set the bowl aside.
- Grab a medium bowl and sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves.
- Mix the flour mixture into the wet mixture by adding a little at a time and stirring completely. Combine until well blended.
- Spray a bundt pan with your preferred oil spray.
- Pour the batter into the bundt pan so it’s ⅔ - ¾ of the way full.
- Gently lift the bundt pan and tap it on the counter a few times to allow the air bubbles to escape.
- Place the bundt pan in the oven and bake it for 40-60 minutes. NOTE: If you’re using a dark pan, it will bake faster. Begin checking to see if it’s done at the 40-minute mark so it doesn’t overbake.
- The cake is done baking when a knife or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes.
- Next, place a large enough plate to cover the entire pan on top. Flip the bundt pan upside down onto a plate, carefully removing the bundt pan.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before icing.
- In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk. If the mixture is too stiff, add 1 more tablespoon of milk.
- Stir in vanilla.
- Place a plastic sandwich baggie inside a cup and fold the edges of the bag over the sides of the cup. Pour the icing into the plastic baggie. Take the plastic baggie out of the cup and twist it closed so it’s secure.
- Use kitchen scissors to snip a very small section of one end of the baggie to create a piping bag.
- Slowly squeeze the baggie over top of the honey cake and ice it using a zig-zag pattern.
- Allow the icing to dry for about an hour before serving the honey cake.
- Store in an airtight container on the counter for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.
- About the Author
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Laura L. Zimmerman is an author of both indie and traditionally published books. She lives in a tiny rural town in south-central Pennsylvania with her husband, daughters, four adorable kitties, and one energetic puppy!
After earning a BMUS with a Certification in Music Therapy, she decided to homeschool her children. Here she discovered a passion for learning and teaching, which led her to make writing a priority. She currently enjoys reading and writing YA sci-fi and fantasy, as well as middle-grade mysteries.
Having come from a family where cooking wasn’t a priority, she quickly discovered her love of cooking and baking soon after she married. Twenty-three years later it’s still a passion for her as she enjoys creating new recipes for her family and friends. She found her green thumb in the garden soon after her family bought their first house and appreciates the yummy food grown in her own backyard!
Laura can be reached at email@example.com