If you celebrate Rosh Hashanah today, it’s not too late to make this honey cake. Although I am not Jewish, I embrace any and all holidays that honor new beginnings.
Because, today is the first day of the rest of your life!
I love that trite phrase. Like most platitudes, it rests in a truth that is universally recognized. When a friend or a loved one dies, we may ponder this more deeply, but then become caught up in the daily dramas of life. Today is what we’ve got, folks. I hope you make the most of it and take time to raise your spirits, (or your glasses) to hope and love and sweetness and gratitude. Our life on earth is precious and sadly, it is not unlimited.
So bake this sweet cake (it’s easy—one bowl, no mixer required!) and share it with your loved ones.
Happy new day, happy new year, friends. May yours be filled with blessings.
Honey Spice Cake Recipe
Makes one 10-inch Bundt cake
While honey cake is a traditionally served on Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year), this one—packed with spices, a surprising hint of bergamot from Earl Grey tea, and plenty of orange flavor—will be welcome at your table during all the coming months. Olive oil in the cake ensures that it will not be dry, and Chinese five-spice powder (a combination of cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel, and pepper) adds an interesting twist on traditional cake spices. It’s worth acquiring the spice to add to muffins, carrot cake, or your favorite spicy dessert. If you prefer, you could substitute the alternate spices suggested in the recipe. All you need is a bowl and a whisk to make this easy cake. Whether Rosh Hashanah is your traditional holiday, or one that you adopt, it is a sweet way to celebrate the new year.
Vegetable shortening (for the cake pan)
Flour (for the cake pan)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder (or substitute 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup olive oil
1 cup honey
1/2 cup brewed Earl Grey tea
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
THE GLAZE AND SUGAR TOPPING
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar or natural cane sugar
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Generously grease a 10-inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle it with flour and tilt the pan to coat it with flour, tapping out the excess.
2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, Chinese 5-spice powder, and cinnamon until blended.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until light. Whisk in the oil, honey, tea, orange rind, and vanilla. Whisk in the dry ingredients, and mix until evenly blended.
4. Pour the batter into the pan and rap it a few times firmly on the countertop. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a thin skewer inserted into the center of cake into the center comes out clean. (If you have an instant read thermometer, the cake is done when it registers about 210 degrees.) Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Unmold the cake and let cool completely on the wire rack.
5. In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the honey and orange juice for about 10 seconds, just long enough to liquefy them. Brush the glaze over the cake and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Sally Pasley Vargas