By Gabriela Apeloig, Co-founder of Apeloig Collection

We dedicate this post to our grandmother, Nusia Apeloig, who b''h is now 91 years old. We feel so very blessed to be able to enjoy her company.

Honey cake is often served during Rosh Hashanah because honey symbolizes wishes for "sweet" things to come.

Once I married and moved far from my hometown Caracas, Venezuela, I found myself wanting to make my grandmother’s delicious honey cake for Rosh Hashanah. I called my grandma to ask for the recipe. She slowly dictated the entire thing over the phone, making sure to tell me absolutely everything I need to know. She went step by step, not sparing a single detail. She even got out her seamstress tape to make sure our pans were the same size so my honey cake could be identical to hers.

Back then, I didn’t have much baking experience, so I carefully wrote down everything she told me. When it came to ingredients, she instructed me to use “a glass of this, a glass of that…” So that’s what I wrote down, and that’s exactly what I did. When all was said and done, my cake didn’t look or taste anything like my grandmother’s had; it was a mess! So the next time I visited my hometown, I went to see my grandma to find out exactly how she makes my favorite honey cake.

And then it all became clear to me! I immediately understood what went wrong with my cake. She uses an old marmalade jar to measure the ingredients.

“Is that your "glass," I asked her, “is that the same as a measuring cup?” My grandmother is originally from Poland and Spanish, the language in which we speak to each other, is not her mother tongue. I had assumed her one “glass” was one cup. I searched through her kitchen, only to find that she didn’t own a measuring cup—so the mystery lived on. On my next visit to her house, I brought my own measuring cup. I found out the marmalade jar was equivalent to 1 ½ cups. Mystery solved!

Ever since, I’ve made my grandmother’s honey cake not only on Rosh Hashana, but year-round. My whole family loves it; it’s the favorite breakfast, snack and dessert at my house! It’s funny how every child loves her mother’s or grandmother’s honey cake and no one else’s! They might all look alike, but different ingredients make each one special in their own way.

I’ve tried other recipes and found that I dislike them if they have walnuts, whiskey, cinnamon, vanilla….or I think they are too hard or not chewy enough...and the list goes on. The bottom line: I just think my grandmother’s is perfect!

If you don’t have a favorite, and you want to try the BEST honey cake EVER try this recipe:


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups sugar

5 eggs

1 1/2 cups honey

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp ground cloves

4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cups freshly brewed strong coffee 

1 lemon (juice) 

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  • Separate the egg whites from the yolk
  • In an electric mixer beat the 5 egg whites until they are stiff with snowy texture and put them aside
  • In a new bowl, beat in the electric mixer the 5 egg yolks with the sugar until the sugar is well-blended
  • Mix the honey and lemon juice together to thin out the honey, then add to the mixture
  • Add the baking soda, ground cloves, and oil
  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly, making sure that there are no lumps and no ingredients are stuck to the bottom of the bowl
  • Add the brewed coffee
  • When preparation is nicely homogeneous add the beaten stiff egg white mixture
  • Finally, add flour slowly until the batter becomes thick

Grandmother’s Traditional Presentation:

I prefer to eat the cake the traditional way because that way, the moist part (the tastiest in my opinion) comes out on top.

  • Use a 9 x 13 in. rectangular cake pan
  • Lightly grease the pan with oil and line the bottom and walls with parchment paper that is also lightly greased. 
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan
  • Bake for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes until the cake is golden brown or until a wooden stick comes out completely clean
  • Once the cake is ready, remove it from the pan, keeping the parchment paper on.
  • To make sure the cake retains its moistness, wrap the parchment paper in aluminum foil.

Tradition Meets Design Presentation:

If you present your honey cake this way, it will be equally delicious. The only difference is that the moist part will be on the bottom rather than the top. This style of presentation is more elegant, so it’s great for dinner parties and other special occasions. 

  • Use a Honeycomb Pull-Apart Pan
  • Lightly grease the honeycomb pan with oil
  • Pour approximately half of the batter into the pan and pour the remaining batter into a 9 x 5 in cake pan  
  • Bake for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes until the cake is golden brown or until a wooden stick comes out completely clean
  • Once the cake is ready, remove it from the pan
  • To retain moistness, wrap the cake in aluminum foil.

 

You can cut each hexagon and wrap them individually to give them to your friends and family as a Rosh Hashanah gift to wish them a sweet new year.

 

Note:

The cake becomes moister and its flavors deepen a day or two after it's made.

From Apeloig Collection, we wish you all a Happy and Sweet New Year!