3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup warm coffee or strong tea
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup rye or whiskey (see Note)
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (optional)
I like this cake best baked in a 9-inch angel food cake pan, but you can also make it in a 10-inch tube or bundt cake pan, a 9 by 13-inch sheetpan, or three 8 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease the pan (s). For tube and angel food pans, line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper. For gift honey cakes, I use "cake collars" (available from Sweet Celebrations) designed to fit a specific loaf pan. These give the cakes an appealing, professional look.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Make a well in the center and add the oil, honey, sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee, orange juice, and rye or whiskey.
Using a strong wire whisk or an electric mixer on slow speed, combine the ingredients well to make a thick batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan (s) and sprinkle the top of the cake (s) evenly with the almonds. Place the cake pan (s) on 2 baking sheets stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top), and bake until the cake springs back when you touch it gently in the center. For angel and tube cake pans, bake for 60 to 70 minutes; loaf cakes, 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet-style cakes, the baking time is 40 to 45 minutes. This is a liquidy batter and, depending on your oven, it may need extra time. Cake should spring back when gently pressed.
Let the cake stand for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. Then invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: If you prefer to not use the whiskey, replace it with orange juice or coffee.
Source: Recipe adapted (with permission) from, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking by Marcy Goldman
Publisher: Doubleday; (October 1998)
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall© 2003
Date: September 11, 2003-Updated on Sept. 26, 2003