Easy Honey Cake Recipe for Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah)

Honey Cake is traditional to the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah because of its sweetness. The tradition on this holiday is that you are supposed to eat something sweet to start off the new year right. Honey Cake is also really popular because it’s a true taste of fall. I love this particular recipe because it is so moist, and it really doesn’t have a lot of oil or fat in the recipe (many Honey Cake recipes do). It has a wonderful hint of strongly brewed coffee, apple cider and lemon zest, adding terrific flavors. I also love that you can make this recipe ahead of time as the flavors get stronger everyday. This recipe is adapted from the wonderful cookbook “Adventures in Jewish Cooking” by Jeffrey Nathan. It is truly a great cookbook!

Note: The platter in the photo is from my favorite “Earthborn Pottery”

Easy Honey Cake

Cook Time:

1 hour, 10 minutes

Prep Times:

20 minutes


8 servings


Cooking spray or 1 tablespoon butter
13/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
2 tablespoons apple cider
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
Powdered sugar (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 300F.

2. Lightly grease an 81/2- x 41/2-inch loafpan with cooking spray or butter. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.

3. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the honey, coffee, apple cider, oil and lemon zest.

5. Beat the eggs, granulated sugar and brown sugar at high speed with an electric mixer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add honey mixture and beat at low speed until blended. Beat in half of the flour mixture, beating until smooth. Add remaining flour mixture and beat until combined. Transfer batter to the loafpan.

6. Bake in preheated oven 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Unmold on a serving platter and remove the parchment paper. Store at room temperature up to 3 days.

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