Honey cake

Honey Cake Recipe. Gluten-Free Adaptation Included

Honey Cake:

Rosh Hashanah couldn’t be too far off. It is to the High Holidays what latkas are to Chanukah. This honey cake is for keeps! I actually succeed in turning quite a few people on to my honey cake. It is moist and spicy and easy to love; I trust it will make you forget all the indignities of past dried-out and brittle honey cakes. I make it several ways, all scrumptious, but this is one of my favorite. This one is definitely not for regifting.

Check out my Rosh Hashanah Recipe File!

This recipe is only a part of my Mega Rosh Hashanah Recipe File,you’ll be mighty excited for all the fabulous festive recipes I have gathered, both Sephardi and Ashkenazi!

Hey do you like my mold?

A little kitsch, once in a great while, never hurt anyone. And these bees wont sting, so you’re safe!

As long as we are on the subject of honey, try my honey cookies too!

The secret ingredient in my honey cake is orange marmalade

The marmalade is what gives my cake its lustrous color, and you love the contrast between the orange peel and the honey

No problem making it gluten-free.

Proceed with the recipe, using the gluten-free flour (or flour combo) of your choice, to total 3 cups just as with regular flour, and include 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. I recommend not making a cake out of it, but using much smaller molds. Pour the batter into muffin molds, and bake about 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.


  • 1 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar or sucanat
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup orange marmalade, try your best for all-fruit
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup strong coffee, decaf OK, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons rum or brandy


  • 3 cups flour: all purpose, whole wheat pastry or spelt (spelt my favorite)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon each cinnamon, allspice and ginger
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional: many people have a custom of not eating nuts on Rosh Hashanah)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Whisk the first set of ingredients in a food processor.

Mix the second set of ingredients in a bowl, and add in 3 additions to the egg mixture, using the pulse button, mixing each time only until combined. if you are adding the almonds, fold them in by hand with a spoon.

Pour the batter into a greased tube pan or 10 inch pan, or 11x14 inch pan, and bake 1 hour, or a little longer, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Invert on a rack to cool.


20 replies
  1. Andy Crossan
    Andy Crossan says:

    Can you clarify which is the first set and which is the second set of ingredients?
    I am guess wet vs. dry but want to be sure.
    Thanks – it sounds delicious.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Andy Good catch. The skipped line was mysteriously zapped off, thanks for alerting me to it, it has just been corrected. You’ll see it will be perfectly clear now. I just made this cake at a cooking demo I was invited to: It gets so many raves!

  2. Jacki Goldberg
    Jacki Goldberg says:

    I just saw the recipe for your honey cake. Do you really use a food processor to mix the wet ingredients first? I usually use a mixer? Thanks for a quick response please as I would love to try this for Rosh!

  3. Susan Schaffer
    Susan Schaffer says:

    Your honey cake is my oven as I write. I realized that I omitted the sugar. Is there a glaze you would suggest, incase I need that extra flavor.
    So far it looks great.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Susan wondering if it might not be simpler to make another cake. I know it’s upsetting. In a pinch, melt the sugar with little water or orange juice and cook it a couple minutes, until it look syrupy. Then prick the cake all over with a long toothpick or skewer, making sure you reach the bottom. Then pour the hot strip very slowly and evenly. Let me know if that worked!

  4. Yehudis
    Yehudis says:

    I just read your amazing, detailed response, re: the GF variation, to my husband, because I was telling him how incredible it is that you provide such attentive feedback to your fans!! Thank you so much. I was stuck, not wanting to use any other recipe for honey cake, so I used the GF flour along with your suggestions. It was a huge hit, and no one could believe it was GF (although it was obvious to me b/c of the texture). I am not sure if its outcome would necessarily have received your personal seal of approval but the fact that it disappeared was great (a double batch!), and I will continue to try to refine my GF baking techniques. I do it at times when we have GF guests to accomodate. Thank you again, Levana!

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Liz I don’t have one. A friend made my cake in her mold and sent me the picture. She said she just got it online. How was your Yom Tov? xoxoxo

    • Olga Altman
      Olga Altman says:

      This cake is great.Will do it for coming Rosh Hashanah(big success last year)
      The form is from “Nordicware Bakewere”,i ordered one today.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Yehudis, no, wouldn’t take the exact same recipe and substitute GF flour. If you are just playing around with GF, I would say this is not a good recipe to start with. That said, there are ways to tweak this recipe to make GF muffins (not a cake) out of it, I would need to play around with it. If really and truly you must use GF flour, the first good “tutorial” I would recommend is my chapter on all muffins and quickbreads in my new cookbook, which makes enormous previsions for our GF friends, plus those recipes are all tried and true, tested and retested. Here’s the link to my book https://levanacooks.com/cookbooks/ I also have a nice chapter right here on my blog, take a look https://levanacooks.com/muffin-recipes-all-variations/

  5. Lévana
    Lévana says:

    Hi Beth, isn’t this cake the best? No, please don’t add or subtract anything from it: I developed this recipe, just as I do all my recipes, and I can tell you this one has a real delicate balance , and gave me a really hard time, I was delighted when I finally hit the spot.
    Looking to include candied fruit in a cake? Then add them to my tropical fruit cake, recipe on this blog, here you go https://levanacooks.com/tropical-fruit-cake-recipe/ . this one I know for sure, although it is delicious as it is, will not suffer from the additions. Let me know how it comes out :-)

  6. Beth Bross
    Beth Bross says:

    I made your orange honey cake recipe for Rosh Hashana & got wonderful comments as to how good it was. It reminded us all of the excellent honey cakes of our childhood. Would I be able to put candied fruit into the batter without spoiling the given recipe? Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe with us.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      I wouldn’t! The bitterness of the marmalade is a great counterpoint to the honey. That contrast wouldn’t bs there with the apricot preserves. I do love apricot jan, only not for this dessert:-)

  7. CS
    CS says:

    I attended last Monday night’s demo and took back a slice of this cake for SYR, my co-blogger, she’s never been a fan of honey cake, but she raved about this one.

    Everything SYR ever thought she disliked, Lévana’s cooking magic manages to change her mind… time and again!

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      I have received many messages this week from readers telling me I have cured their honey-cake phobia. I’m so glad! No charge for the consultation:-)

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *