Honey — Sweeten in the New Year

Chef Babz Goldman

The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, began at sundown Sunday night. This has always been one of my favorite holidays. A jubilant holiday, the celebration is filled with ways to welcome in the sweetness of the New Year.

Never one to shy away from seasonal food, I find this New Years celebration no different. The most traditional food eaten and gifted is honey and apples. A practice my family actively celebrated, we would gift jars of local honey to my Hebrew school teachers and friends.

It’s traditional to dip apples in honey on Rosh Hashanah, symbolizing not only the sweetness of the New Year but also hope for a sweet year ahead. One of my favorite key aspects of Judaism and the traditions it encompasses is praying and hoping not just for ourselves but for the world.

In addition to fruit and honey, most Jewish households celebrate with a family recipe for honey cake. Another symbol of expressing wishes for a sweet New Year, honey cake can be made with a variety of autumn scents and tastes of the season. Recipes use all sorts of different ingredients, each family having their own variation or favorite combo.

Today I have included one of my favorite recipes for honey cake. There are so many ways to make a moist and delicious honey cake. I have included a few ingredients to choose from, but don’t let this limit you. It smells amazing in the kitchen and never disappoints a sweet welcome into fall.

Good luck and enjoy!

Autumn Spices to Mix and Match:






A Few Ingredients to Add a Dimension and Flavor:



Orange Juice



Honey Cake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

(Recommended pan size: 11×6 x 4 inch baking pan or for two small cakes, use 2 9-inch loaf pans. Line with wax paper or aluminum foil and spray with cake nonstick spray)

3 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

4 tbsp salad oil

2 cups dark honey

1/2 cup brewed coffee 1/1/2 cups nuts, walnuts, or almonds (optional)

Optional combination of spices:

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp powdered clove

1/2 tsp ginger

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and optional spices together.

Beat eggs, slowly adding the sugar. Beat until thick and light in color. Add oil, honey, and coffee or other optional liquid ingredient. Stir in the flour mix and or optional nuts.

Pour batter into pan or pans. If using one pan, bake for one hour and 20-30 minutes. If using two pans, bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Using a toothpick or cake tester, test cake in the middle and be sure it comes out clean. Cool on a cake rack and remove from pan. May be served immediately or even the next day if put into an airtight container. If dry pour a little liquor or orange juice onto it. It is also delicious served with honey onto.

The recipes and photo used in todays article are from the kitchen of Chef Babz with a little help from her favorite holiday cooking friend Sue.


Chef Babz Goldman