Baking my way towards the New Year
There were a few cakes that my mother always baked. At any point in time over a period of decades you could probably pull a rectangle of this honey cake out of my mother’s freezer.
My mother got this recipe from the Kehillath Israel sisterhood cookbook. This honey cake was submitted by Jen Margolis. Jen was one of the grande-dames of Boston Jewry. Jen was older than my mother, beautiful and smart. My mother really admired Jen.
My mother always topped this cake with a paving of sliced almonds. The white almonds are beautiful on top of the cake and add a really nice crunch, but one of my kids is allergic to almonds so I skipped the almonds this time.
This is an easy cake to put together. You could ask your fifth grader to bake it if they were reasonably comfortable following a recipe. It’s a step up, and not a very big step up from a cake mix cake.
Jen Margolis Honey Cake
preheat oven to 325
Prepare a 9x13 pan, I used parchment paper but you can grease and flour a pan if you don’t have parchment paper. You can also bake this cake in loaf pans, but you have to figure out the math for the yields and numbers of loaf pans.
beat four eggs in a large bowl until light in color.
add 1 cup sugar and continue beating
put 2 T of oil in a measuring cup and then add to eggs. Then measure 1cup honey into the oily measuring cup and add honey to eggs.
Continue beating until the mixture is thick
Make a double strong cup of coffee. If you are my mother add 2 tsp of instant coffee to a cup of hot water. Add a tsp of fresh orange or lemon rind to the coffee. Add a tsp of booze with flavor…the original recipe called for wine. My mother used to use Manishevitz, I believe that this is a post Prohibition addition, The original probably called for whiskey, I used rum because I had some handy. If you are a teetotaler, add vanilla.
Sift the following dry ingredients into a bowl
2 -3/4 Cups flour
I see reading over the ingredient list that I used the wrong amount of leavening, but it came out great, so I will give you what I put in, 1 tsp baking powder-
Jen called for adding 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp of baking soda. So add either amount
Then add the spices, and it’s a tsp of each one, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves
Alternating adding the wet mixture and the dry mixture into the egg mixture. Beat well after each addition.
bake for 50-60 minutes, until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. This cake freezes well. It’s perfect with tea. I used to dribble hot tea on my slice of cake until it made my cake soggy. It was wonderful.