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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Honey Cake for Rosh Hashanah-Egg-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free

Honey Cake

Honey cake is one of the traditional desserts that we eat on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year! My mother always made her honey cake using a cup of strong black tea and added chopped walnuts to the batter.

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My cake is similar to my mother's recipe, but I've adapted the ingredients to be plant-based. Although some vegans do not eat honey, I do. 

I heard somewhere that they call honey-eating vegans,"bee-gans. " 

Honey cake

The cake brings back memories of when I was a young girl. We always had a slice of honey cake for breakfast with a cup of tea or coffee before we left for the synagogue for the religious holiday service. It's wasn't a super sweet cake and it tended to be a tad dry.  I'm not sure if that was intentional, or my mom's cake just came out dry! Well, we spread it with a little extra honey and were very happy.

honey and slice of cake

I made my honey cake and guess what, it is a tad dry. I found a way to moisten it up. I cut it into squares and stored it in a large  Zip Loc baggie. That night, the cake was somewhat moister!  I didn't add the walnuts because my grandkids are not happy when I do. 

It's a tasty dunking cake! We will enjoy it for breakfast on the holiday. I need to work on this one to make it moister!!

If you are looking for, or are just interested in reading about other Rosh Hashanah traditions and recipes, see my Rosh Hashanah post from 2106.

This honey tea cake is egg-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

Honey Cake for Rosh Hashanah

2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour 
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
1/2 cup of coconut crystals or sugar of your choice
1 cup of dark tea
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of avocado or olive oil
1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce 
1 teaspoon of lemon zest 
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Optional: 1 cup of chopped unsalted walnuts 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, cocoa, cinnamon, and coconut sugar. Using a whisk, mix well and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add the oil, applesauce, lemon zest, tea, vanilla, and honey and stir with the whisk. 
Slowly begin adding the dry mixture to the wet mixture, mixing with the whisk until all dry mixture is absorbed, but do not over mix. Add the lemon juice and stir.
Pour batter into an 8X8 brownie pan that has been lined with parchment paper on the bottom and grease the sides. Bake for 35-40 minutes in a pre-heated oven until testing with a toothpick comes out clean.

I used 1/2 cup of oil in the recipe. For a moister cake, perhaps try 3/4 cup of oil? 
Drizzle some honey over each slice before eating! 

Let me know if you try. You can leave a comment below- just click on comments.

Looking for a Gluten-Free Challah Recipe? Check out the 20 Top gluten-free Challah recipes as Gluten Free Easily.  Really an amazing round up from many gluten free bloggers!


  1. We love honey cakes. This sounds and looks so good with avocado oil and perfect with a cup of freshly brewed tea.
    When is the Jewish New Year?

    1. Angie,
      The Jewish New Year goes according to the lunar calendar which makes this year 5781. The date aligns on a different date on our regular calendar every year. This year is falls on Friday sundown to Sunday sundown Sept 18-Sept 20!

  2. I enjoyed reading about the Jewish New Year traditions. Such rich customs and traditions to pass on through the family! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Yes, there are many interesting customs and traditions depending on what part of the world you came from-

  3. I loved how you referred to be a Bee-gan! Lovely read I must say, traditions keep everything so bright.I make similar one but with jaggery instead of honey. Going by the face value of this cake, I must try!

    1. I know! I thought that it was very clever- the BEE- Gan

  4. Happy New Year. I hope you enjoy good health and good fortune in the coming months.

    best wishes from mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    1. thank you Mae.. and the same to you. It's nice to be blogging friends.

  5. I love honey cake, and this looks positively delicious. Happy New Year! Hugs.

  6. I am so glad to be able to wish you a Happy New a year. Enjoy!

  7. I've tried gf honey cakes and I've never been thrilled. Maybe this one will be the one! I hope so. Shana tovah to you, with wishes for a happy and healthy new year.

  8. Happy new year! Interesting about the ziploc trick!

  9. What a lovely texture of the cake. I am going to try that ziploc bag trick.


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