The honey cake, a traditional Rosh Hashanah dish amidst a plethora of delicious symbolic new year foods, signifies the time of renewal and hope for a "sweet new year." Rosh Hashanah or "head of the year," beginning at sundown on Friday, September 18th of this year and ending at sundown on Sunday, September 20th, is a time of inner renewal and spiritual atonement.

As High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur approaches, we'll begin to prepare our Jewish new year tables as we reflect on the past year and eagerly look forward to the coming one. For festive flavors and hopes for sweetness in the new year, your holiday's celebratory meal should consist of a traditional homemade honey cake.

The honey cake is bursting with rich golden honey flavor and sweet autumn spices, that offer a dense-like cake, but with a delicate crumb. Tender and moist, with a perfect balance of sweet and robust cozy-like notes, the honey cake is an absolute must for your Rosh Hashanah celebration.



  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark brown
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons orange zest, about one orange
  • 1/4 cup rum or whiskey
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Grease one nine-inch tube pan or bundt pan with butter, dust with flour, and set it aside.

  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

  4. Next, add the melted butter, honey, sugars, eggs, vanilla extract, orange juice, orange zest, and rum. Mix on low to medium speed until well blended and no longer sticking to the bottom of the bowl.

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, rotating the pan as you pour to get an even distribution of batter throughout the tube pan. Use a silicone spatula to smooth out the cake batter. Then, evenly sprinkle the top of the cake with the sliced almonds.

  6. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When you press the cake with your fingers, the cake should spring back. Allow the cake to cool in the cake pan for at least 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Then invert the cake pan onto a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool completely. Baking times will vary depending on your oven.


  • one nine-inch tube pan cake pan or bundt pan
  • stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment
  • silicone spatula
  • wire cooling rack

Recipe Notes

Do I Need To Add Alcohol To My Honey Cake?

The rich honey flavor in honey cake pairs exceptionally well with either the warming flavor of whiskey or the toasty caramel notes of rum. However, opting out on the alcohol is absolutely okay to do! Adding additional orange juice brightens the honey cake's flavor profile with a delightfully delicious citrus tang.

Can I Add Apples To My Honey Cake?

Absolutely! When we think of traditional Rosh Hashanah foods, we often imagine apples dipped in honey. Marrying honey cake with apples would be a delightful sweet twist on the classic Jewish dessert.

To add apples to honey cake, simply peel, core, and shred four Granny Smith apples and fold them into the batter. Increase the baking time to 75-90 minutes. Baking times will vary depending on your oven.

Where Can I Purchase A Nine-Inch Tube Pan?

Our recipe recommends either a one nine-inch tube-pan or bundt pan. You can purchase a tube pan at your local Walmart, Target, or online. We recommend the Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick 9-Inch Fluted Tube Pan.

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