A couple of weeks ago, Alison of Mama Wants This posted a recipe for Honey Cake. I decided that this would be the perfect thing for my son Jack and I to bake next.
Alison tried a different honey cake recipe, but she linked to this more complicated recipe, and that's the one I decided to try. (Alison, it really was pretty easy! Give it a try the next time. You'll love it!)
It makes a good amount, so I had some to share with neighbours. In fact, I made it into muffins to take to his preschool the next time we baked it and they were a HUGE hit!
I'll repost the recipe here for convenience, but the credits for this version go to Smitten Kitchen. This version is adapted from Marcy Goldman’s Treasure of Jewish Holiday Baking.
I made a few minor adjustments of my own which I noted below the recipe.
Majestic and Moist Honey Cake
from Smitten Kitchen
adapted from Marcy Goldman’s Treasure of Jewish Holiday Baking
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
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 almonds (optional)
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 plus two miniature ones.
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.)
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.
Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using. 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).
Bake 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.
Cook's Notes from Cookie's Mom
I had to adjust the baking time, possibly due to the altitude here in Calgary. I suggest baking large loaves for 45 minutes (mini muffins for 20 minutes) and then checking them every five minutes or so.
I did not include the alcohol, because I thought the taste might not appeal to kids. I used well steeped Earl Grey tea. In fact I made two pots of this tea, added some honey and then refridgerated the rest. I sipped and served some as iced tea, and used some for future batches of this fabulous cake!
Jack and I left out the almonds for the batch of muffins we made for his preschool friends (his school is a 'nut free zone'). Many of the kids wanted seconds, so it's good this recipe has such a high yield!
This is one of my new favourite cake recipes. It's delicious and moist - a cross between a 'cake' cake and a tea bread, which means it can be enjoyed any time of day! It's a desert. It's a snack cake. It's a great addition to a brunch menu. It's a 'maybe just one more teeny, tiny slice'-in-the-middle-of-the-day-when-no-one's-looking good! Enjoy!