Tipsy Honey Cake
Rosh Hashana means honey cake. To start the new year off with a sweet bite, traditionally we serve and eat honey itself or items made with honey. In my family, we’ve always made a version of this boozy honey cake. The finished cake doesn’t taste overly alcoholic, but it does add to the overall flavour of the cake.
What a list of ingredients! It’s long, but easy to put together and produces a moist and flavorful honey cake. My favorite honey to use for baking is buckwheat. It has a stronger flavour that holds up to the other flavours in the recipe. Having said that, over the last few years I’ve found it impossible to find buckwheat honey and have made it with several other types (most typically, clover honey) and it’s still delicious.
The cake recipes also calls for what we call ‘rye’ up here, but I’ve been told in the US is often known as “Canadian whiskey” or “rye whisky”. You can use rye, whisky or rum.
2 ¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup tea, brewed — strong and hot
1 cup honey
1/2 cup Canadian rye (whiskey)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup canola oil (or other light flavoured oil)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon orange zest
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice and ginger. I like to use a whisk to combine all of these ingredients.
In another bowl, combine the hot tea, honey, rye and orange juice.
Using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream together the oil and white and brown sugars. Add the eggs, mixing them in one at a time. Add the vanilla and orange zest.
Add one third of the liquid and mix on low speed. Add one third of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Repeat until all of the wet and dry ingredients have been incorporated.
Pour into a bundt pan that has been sprayed with vegetable oil and lightly floured. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. If the cake starts to brown too quickly, loosely tent a piece of aluminum foil over the cake for the rest of the baking time. Let cool completely and then turn the pan over and carefully unmold the cake onto a serving plate. Typically, the bottom of a bundt becomes the top when you take it out of the pan, but I really like the way the ‘bottom’ of this cake comes out and always keep it on the top when plating.
Wrapped well, the cake can stay on the counter for a couple of days. Freezes beautifully.