Honey cake is a classic dessert that has been enjoyed for generations across various cultures. Known for its rich, sweet flavor and moist texture, this cake is perfect for special occasions, holidays, or simply as a treat with a cup of tea or coffee. The key ingredient, honey, not only adds sweetness but also a depth of flavor that makes this cake truly special. Here's how to make a traditional honey cake that's sure to become a favorite in your household.


  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee or tea, cooled
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup whiskey or brandy (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan, or line it with parchment paper for easy removal.

  2. Mix the Wet Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the honey, sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.

  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.

  4. Combine and Mix: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, alternating with the coffee (or tea), orange juice, and whiskey (if using). Begin and end with the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. If you're adding nuts and raisins, fold them into the batter.

  5. Bake the Cake: Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The top should be golden brown and the cake should spring back when lightly pressed.

  6. Cool and Serve: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, you can dust the top with powdered sugar or drizzle with additional honey before serving.

Tips for a Perfect Honey Cake

  • High-Quality Honey: Use a good-quality honey for the best flavor. Different types of honey (like wildflower, clover, or orange blossom) can subtly change the taste of the cake.
  • Moisture: The combination of oil, honey, and coffee (or tea) helps keep this cake moist. Be sure not to overbake, as this can dry out the cake.
  • Flavor Enhancements: Adding orange zest, a splash of brandy, or a handful of dried fruits can enhance the flavor and make the cake even more special.
  • Storage: Honey cake can be stored at room temperature for several days. It often tastes even better the day after it's baked as the flavors have more time to meld together.

Serving Suggestions

  • Tea or Coffee: Serve slices of honey cake with a cup of tea or coffee for a delightful afternoon treat.
  • Whipped Cream or Ice Cream: Top with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an indulgent dessert.
  • Fruit Compote: Pair with a homemade fruit compote, such as apple or berry, to complement the cake's flavors.
  • Holiday Tables: Honey cake is a traditional treat for Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), symbolizing hopes for a sweet year ahead.

Honey cake is a timeless dessert that brings warmth and sweetness to any occasion. Its rich flavor and moist texture make it a beloved favorite, whether enjoyed on a special holiday or as a simple, comforting treat. Bake this delicious honey cake and enjoy a slice of this sweet tradition.