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Recipe for Honey Almond Cake with Orange Zest for Rosh Hashanah: Shana Tova

I would never get an award for the best Jew.

I eat pork. I love shellfish. After a dinner of steak, I don't mind eating a dessert that has dairy in it.

Several years ago I gave up fasting for Yom Kippur, because instead of having a reflective day, I'd be miserable because all I could think about was not being able to eat and drink.

I have only dated one Jewish guy...and even he was only 1/2 Jew.

But all that doesn't matter to me. I attend cultural events at 6th & I synagogue, I love the traditions behind Jewish holidays, have fond memories of the two times I traveled to Israel, and matzo ball soup (even if it's from a mix) is one of my favorite soups ever.

This Wednesday is Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year. I decided to bake a honey cake to represent a  sweet and happy upcoming year (fingers crossed it'll be true!).

But here's a thing: I actually don't like honey. And I've never baked a honey cake before. Luckily, Gayle tweeted me a recipe for Honey Almond Crunch Cake from Food Network.

When it comes to cooking, I rarely follow recipes: I just come up with my own creations. Baking is another story: I try to stick to a recipe as much as possible, but it's oh so very hard for me! In this case, I increased the amount of nuts and added zest from one orange. I also, by mistake, used 3 instead of 1 eggs....luckily, the cake still came out tender and was quite a success with one adorable 2 year old.

{Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, “Butter Sugar Flour Eggs” by Gale Gand, Rick Tramonto, Julia Moskin: Clarkson N. Potter Publishers, 1999}
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted  (I used 2/3 cups of almonds)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • zest of one orange (my own addition)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour 3 tablespoons of melted butter into a bread loaf pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of brown sugar, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of honey and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

2. In a large bowl whisk the egg, remaining brown sugar and orange zest. Add the rest of the melted butter and honey. Gradually mix in buttermilk.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix till smooth.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes. Let the cake cool for about 5 minutes and invert it onto a plate.

I was so glad the cake wasn't ruined due to my lack of recipe-reading ability! Some of the almonds got stuck to the bottom of the pan, but overall I'm very pleased with the results.

Shana Tova to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah.


Unknown said...

It's like an upside-down almond cake! It'd be so perfect with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. Shana Tova! Fingers and toes crossed :)

Belinda @zomppa said...

It's what's in your heart, right? This cake is...hmm...hmm...hmm!

Avocadorable said...

I can't help leaving a comment here...i really love your reason why you stopped fasting! My husband also is a jew who eats shellfish and pork like nobody's business, and we celebrate Rosh Hashanah only when we are invited to somebody else's dinner...and when they start fasting, we go home. So bad.
Anyway, Shana Tova, and hope your new year will be sweet like honey cake!

Delicious Dishings said...

I come across honey cake recipes at this time of year every year, but Jeff never wants me to make any of them because he doesn't like honey. Want to send me some of yours? :)

Unknown said...

Happy New Year daaaaahling, may the upcoming year be as sweet as you are *kisses*
Honey is an acquired taste. I used to hate it. I learned that honeys vary very much in terms of taste though. Maybe there is one out there that you'll really like.
I think this cake is very lovely. I feel like making it. Do you recommend it? The nut topping is beautiful!
*kisses* HH

Tasha said...

I have a hard time too sticking to a baking recipe- I always have to make a few changes. This cake sounds wonderful and the almonds make it so pretty.

Zo @ Two Spoons said...

Love upside-down cakes, but have never thought to use almonds on the base - what a wonderful idea! Caramelised almonds...oh yeah.

Laura @MotherWouldKnow said...

Beautiful cake - love almonds in cake. Happy new year to you. As to who is going to get an award for being a "good" Jew, I'd nominate you! It's Jewish spirit that counts - and you've got tons of it.

nicole said...

I like that this is an upside-down cake, I don't think I've ever seen a cake with nuts on top done like this.

I like how you put some nuts in the corners of the plate. I bet this would taste great with ginger in it and with some orange marmalade or a berry syrup!

Erin said...

Gorgeous and delicious looking. Happy holiday!

Telebrands said...

Thanks for the honey almond cake recipe. This looks like a nice recipe to save for the holidays.

Carol B. said...

It just came out of the oven and smells wonderful. I used plain yogurt instead of buttermilk. I used 2 eggs, added 1 tsp cinnamon and baked it in an 9x9 inch square pan for 45 min.

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite type of dessert - a simple, moist teacake. I love how the almonds go on the bottom of the pan.

Tabby Giant said...

Gosh! This is heavenly. The sweetness of honey and the crunchiness of the almond blend on this cake. I would love to try this out. Thanks for the recipe.

Doll Cottage said...

This is one great looking cake! Thank you for sharing the recipe with us! I can't wait to try it out!