Honey cake is more than just a Rosh Hashanah tradition. (Photo: Karen/Flickr)

I bake honey cake a few times a year. My recipe comes out of a very old, Eastern European cookbook that’s falling apart, pierced with holes left behind by some insect, and stained with old marks of oil, chocolate and who knows what else that was cooking in my parent’s kitchen. My father bought the book the year I was born, and he baked many, many honey cakes from the recipe in it. So I carry on the tradition. And the recipe yields a moist, old-fashioned cake, the kind you cut into squares and serve with hot tea. Enjoy!

Old fashion honey cake

PrintPrep15 minutes Cook Time1 hour Yield16 slices


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 2 tbsp slivovitz, brandy, rum, or whiskey


  • Preheat oven to 310° F (155° C). You will need 3 bowls: a small one to hold 1 cup for the raisins and nuts, a large one to hold the wet mixture, and another large one to hold the sifted dry ingredients.
  • Dust a little flour over the raisins and nuts, coating them lightly.
  • Beat the eggs until light.
  • Add the sugar gradually, while beating, until the mix is creamy.
  • Stir in honey and oil.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients; add to the egg mixture.
  • Add booze, mix.
  • Stir in the raisins and nuts. Mix quickly but thoroughly.
  • Pour the batter into a greased, floured rectangular pan or one lined with baking paper. Bake for 1 hour.
  • Cut the cake into square shapes while it’s in the pan.

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