Hawaiian honey, warm spices , fresh ginger, and citrus – this is a great cake to celebrate Autumn. The start of the Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. It celebrates the end of the harvest and a new beginning. This year it starts at sundown on September 18. It is a time of repentance, forgiveness, and renewal. Like all holidays, special foods are prepared as part of the celebration. For Rosh Hashanah, the main characteristics of the special foods are sweetness ( for a sweet year) and abundance ( for fruitfulness and prosperity). Traditionally, a honey cake is made and gifted to friends and family.
This spicy honey cake is a favorite of mine. It is especially good for gift giving as it keeps very well. Unlike some honey cakes which are dense and dry, this one stays light and airy. It is excellent served with a cup of hot tea or coffee at any time of the day. It has the added delight of using fresh citrus rind and ginger which adds a nice zing. I used calamansi rind and juice. Calamansi is a type of citrus with a flavor similar to a sweet lime or a sour orange. It is found in abundance now in Hawaii, but feel free to use orange or tangerine in it's place. We are also fortunate to have many of the spices grown right here on the island. If possible, grind whole spices for this recipe as that will add extra flavor. The smell of this cake is divine!
Try this recipe today using our 20% off code Lehua2020 today!
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup Organic Ohia Lehua blossom honey
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp grated rind of calamansi ( orange or tangerine can be substituted)
- 2 eggs
- 5 Tbsp calamansi juice ( or orange or tangerine)
- 2 tsp of fresh ginger root, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9x9 or 10 x 8 x 2 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, dry spices and baking soda. Use freshly ground spices if possible.
- Make a well in middle of the dry ingredients and add the Lehua honey, the olive oil, citrus rind and eggs. Using a large spoon or electric beater, beat together until smooth, then add the juice and chopped ginger root.
- Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until firm to the touch.
- Cool the cake before removing from the pan. Remove and wrap tightly in foil. Store at room temperature for 2 days before serving to allow for the flavors to mature.
- The cake stores very well for at least a week. It may also be frozen for a later date.