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Honey Cake – Lekach

April 18, 2021
BotheredByBees / Peter Shanks; some rights reservedBotheredByBees / Peter Shanks; some rights reserved

Whatever else is on your grocery list for Rosh Hashanah, it is almost certain that honey will be at the top of it. The obvious symbolism of a sweet food auguring a sweet new year makes it a natural choice, whether as a dip for apples slices or pieces of the holiday challah—if, indeed, honey has not gone into the dough for the bread that traditionally takes a circular swirl shape this time of year. Clove-scented honey also makes supple syrup for the fried nut-studded knots of dough that are teglach. To me, what’s most important about honey is its role as the key factor in the richly moist, mysteriously dark and spicy cake that has been a holiday fixture in my family for three generations.

Featured in: Oh, Honey!


  • Parchment Paper
  • Peanut Oil
  • Honey
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Grated Citrus Rinds


  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush peanut oil thoroughly around bottom and sides of the pan. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom and sides of the pan and brush oil on one side of each strip. Fit paper into pan, placing un-oiled sides against the pan.

  • Step 2

    Using a heavy-bottomed 2- to 3-quart saucepan, bring honey to a boil, watching carefully every second. Honey boils up and over quickly which is why a large pan and vigilance are required. Let honey cool and then stir in coffee and 2 tablespoons of peanut oil.

  • Step 3

    Beat eggs with sugar until pale and thick and so that the mixture forms ribbons when dripped back on itself. Stir honey mixture into the beaten eggs. Resift flour with other dry ingredients and gently fold into batter along with grated citrus rinds.

  • Step 4

    Pour batter into the prepared pan and tap bottom of the pan gently on the countertop to release air bubbles.

  • Step 5

    Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until top is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan. This tastes best if allowed to ripen 24 hours before being served. Once thoroughly cool, cover top of cake with foil or waxed paper and store in a cool place. When serving, peel off only as much paper as necessary for the amount of cake you are cutting.