Magical Honey Cake

“Do you have a really good recipe for a honey cake?” This is a standard query of the pre-Rosh Hashanah rush. The following recipe was given to us by an enthusiastic amateur cook, Dalia Zarchiya, and has been our favorite for years. Pay attention: the cake should “mature” for seven days before serving. 

Ingredients (for 3 load pans)
  • 880 g (2 lb, 6 cups + 3 tablespoons) flour

  • 300 g (101/2 oz, 11/2 cups) sugar

  • 2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz, 11/2 cups) honey

  • 240 ml ( 81/2 fl oz, 1 cup) oil

  • 4 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee

  • 2 level teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/3 cup raisins

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F).

 

Combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the honey, oil and eggs and beat into a smooth batter with a whisk or a mixer.

 

Dissolve the instant coffee in 1 cup of boiling water. Stir the baking soda and then the coffee into the batter. Gently fold in the raisins and walnuts.

 

Pour the batter into greased pans and bake for about 45 minutes, until the top of the cake is dark brown and a toothpick comes out dry with a few crumbs adhering.

 

Allow the cakes to cool completely, wrap with aluminum foil and place in a cool, dry place (not in the refrigerator) to mature for 7 days.

 

Variation: If you don’t like the taste of coffee in your honey cake, replace it with one cup of strong dark tea.

photo: Eilon Paz ("The Book of New Israeli Food")