Recipe: Magical honey cake

ROSH HASHANA TRADITION: The honey cake is richer when it is allowed to set a week.
ROSH HASHANA TRADITION: The honey cake is richer when it is allowed to set a week.
(Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times)
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Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, plus 7 days maturing time for the loaves

Servings: Makes 3 loaf cakes, about 12 servings each

Note: This recipe is adapted from “The Book of New Israeli Food” by Janna Gur. The cakes should mature for seven days before serving. Try this recipe with any of a variety of honeys; the flavor notes of the honey come through nicely as the cakes mature, making this recipe well-suited for more robust and unique honeys such as chestnut and acacia. If you don’t like the taste of coffee in your honey cake, replace it with 1 cup of strong dark tea.

6 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 cups honey

1 cup canola or vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 tablespoons instant coffee

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup raisins

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

1. Heat the oven to 340 degrees.

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

3. 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.


4. Pour the batter into three (9-inch by 5-inch) glass loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the tops of the cakes are risen and golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Place the loaf pans on a rack to cool slightly; remove the loaves to cool completely. Tightly wrap the loaves with foil and place in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) to mature for 7 days.

Each of 36 servings: 219 calories; 4 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 10 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 24 mg. cholesterol; 61 mg. sodium