Updating the Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake

— by Margo Sugarman

I am not a huge fan of the honey cake. I have rarely tasted one that was not dry or sticking in the throat. The recipe that I had been using for honey cake all these years was “okay,” but nothing more. Now I decided it was time to update my recipe and give it a twist. Why not cupcakes? They are so in fashion that a honey cake version almost demands being made this Rosh Hashanah. So after a few less-than-successful attempts at adjusting my recipe and making it cupcake-friendly, I think I have done it. My loyal testers (my husband and kids) gave them a hearty thumbs up, and that is all I needed to proceed to the next step — sharing the recipe.

Full recipe after the jump.
This recipe is still based on the cake we used to eat at home, which my mother called “ginger cake,” and not “honey cake.” The reason was that she flavored it liberally with ginger powder, which gave the cake a really fragrant spicy taste, which I love. This recipe is still heavy on the ginger.

I made two different frostings to go with the cupcakes, another update to the traditionally dry cake. One is a honey glaze, and the other is a tofu cream cheese frosting (which is my favorite).

I have made the cupcakes parve, but you can use butter instead of margarine for a slightly creamier flavor, and you can use regular cream cheese instead of the tofu version.

Honey Cupcakes With Two Frostings


  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine/butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt

How to do it

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Line two muffin tins with #5 size cupcake liners.
  3. Whisk the sugar and margarine in a mixer on high speed until creamy. Add the eggs and whisk for a few minutes, until the mixture has lightened and has a fluffy consistency.
  4. Add the honey, and mix on medium speed to combine.
  5. Add all the dry ingredients, and mix on slow speed until just combined. (Resist the urge to eat all the batter…)
  6. Using a tablespoon, fill the cupcake liners no more than halfway up — the batter rises quite high in the oven, but does drop afterwards.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick can come out of the center of a cupcake clean.

Makes about 22 cupcakes


Honey Glaze

  1. Mix together 8 tablespoons honey, 8 tablespoons icing sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Slowly add hot water, until you reach a runny consistency — the mixture will be slightly translucent.
  2. Using a tablespoon, you can glaze the cupcakes when they are still warm, and they will absorb the glaze to become slightly sticky. You can also wait until they are cool, and then glaze.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Mix together 2/3 cup Tofutti cream cheese and 3 teaspoons of honey until smooth. Gradually add about 5-6 cups of icing sugar, until you reach a spreading consistency. (Note: With the Tofutti cheese, you will always have a slightly runny consistency. If you use regular cream cheese, you will achieve a consistency that is more stable, and can easily be piped out of a bag if required. If you want to pipe the frosting, you will need a larger quantity of it.)
  2. Spread frosting on completely cooled cupcakes.

Margo Sugarman is the creator of The Kosher Blogger, a website of keeping kosher and loving good food.

Perfect Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake

Bundt cake— by Ronit Treatman

Have you ever baked a honey cake that was too dry, gooey, or left a bitter aftertaste?  I have produced these and many other flops.  As a result, I embarked on a quest to discover a foolproof recipe.  I encountered it in Marcy Goldman’s A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking.  Her rich fragrant cake is the perfect treat to serve your guests or bake for your hosts when celebrating Rosh Hashanah.

More after the jump.
Majestic and Moist New Year’s Honey Cake
Adapted from A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking by Marcy Goldman

  • 1 cup of mild honey such as clover, acacia, or alfalfa
  • 1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup whisky
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup freshly brewed quality coffee
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Honey cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Coat the interior of a 10 inch Bundt cake pan with vegetable oil.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan.
  5. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes.  This cake is ready when the center springs back easily when touched.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to rest in the Bundt pan for 15 minutes.
  7. Invert the cake onto a serving platter.

When this golden cake emerges from the oven, your home will be filled with the exotic aroma of honey and spices.  The first bite will reveal a perfect, moist texture.  The flavor is a sublime balance of honey and spices.  This delicious, rich cake will be the crowning touch of any Rosh Hashanah meal or gathering.