Honey Cake recipe

Honey cake is a traditional item for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and I've made one for probably the last ten years or so. In simpler times I would make two every year: one for the home and one to take into work, as it's always been popular with my colleagues and I still get comments about it even though the last time I was actually able to provide some to them was September 2019!

The recipe I use is from my wife's mum, and she's not sure where it came from but it looks very similar to Flo Greenberg's; it doesn't really matter of course, as this is now our family recipe! One of the odd things is that this doesn't actually taste of honey much - the ginger and spices are much more obvious. I haven't tried it without honey to see what difference it makes, but I've used various different types of honey and that definitely makes no difference!

I rarely bake cakes, and I only make this once a year, which means it has taken a long time to refine my method. One thing I have learned is that although you can use an electric mixer to cream the eggs and sugar, after that you should mix all the ingredients together by hand.


  • 12 oz (340g) plain flour
  • 1 tsp (generous) baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 6 oz (170g) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz (227g) clear/runny honey (plus about 60-70g for glazing)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ¼ pint (142 ml) warm water


  1. Prepare a floured and greased (or lined) tin. I use a 2lb loaf tin.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together, apart from the sugar.
  3. Cream the sugar and eggs, using an electric mixer.
  4. Add the honey, oil and water to the egg mixture, mixing gently by hand.
  5. In a new bowl, alternate adding the dry and wet mixtures, mixing well but gently, by hand.
  6. Pour the combined mixture into the tin and put in the oven.
  7. Bake for about an hour, until it's done (i.e. the usual test: a knife or skewer comes out clean).
  8. Gently heat 60-70g more honey and brush it onto the top of the hot cake straight after it comes out of the oven.
  9. Leave in the tin for about half an hour before taking it out and allowing to cool on a rack.

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