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A Honey Cake For A Happy New Year

My version of a honey cake that is sweet yet healthy.

I recently made this cake to take to a friend's house. I had just come back from the Rugelach demonstration at Amy Schottland's house and sweet things were on my mind.

Once I found out my friend was serving falafels, I decided to make a honey cake. I wanted mine to be a bit different and I immediately thought of a confection I used to eat years ago. My ex-boss's wife, who was Greek, would send a huge platter of cookies to the office to celebrate Greek New Year. One of the cookies had walnuts and was soaked in honey syrup. It was unbelievably delicious. I can still taste the moist cookie with the sweet honey like it was yesterday…. Whenever I go to a Greek store, I look for them, but I don't get the same satisfaction, since there's nothing like a homemade treat.

Using that cookie as my inspiration, I came up with this recipe.

I am not a professional baker but can hold my own when it comes to cakes. I do try to keep the treats healthy and always use white whole-wheat flour though regular flour can be substituted for this recipe. I added lots of flavor to the dry ingredients including cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and orange zest.

I also use raw sugar for most of my cooking and baking. In this case, I paired it with only 1/3 cup of extra light olive (another staple in my kitchen). The cake is quite healthy with very little fat and one egg. It also has another super food, a whole cup of walnuts (cinnamon being the other).

Once the dry and wet ingredients were mixed, I baked the cake for approximately 30 minutes.

In the meantime, I prepared the honey syrup. It consisted of raw honey (another healthy ingredient), water and orange juice. I wanted to mimic the orange flavor of the cake in the syrup as well. Once the syrup cooked down I doused the cake until all the liquid was absorbed.

It is important for the cake to sit at room temperature for a few hours. It helps all the syrup distribute well into the cake, making it super moist.

The cake was a big hit after dinner. It was light, yet moist. The whole-wheat flour provides a pleasant nuttiness to the baked confections- it reminds of the cakes I grew up with- when everything was not overly processed and ingredients tasted like they should. Best of all, the cake was healthy!

Make this sweet, delicious cake for Rosh Hashanah and have a Happy New Year.

Honey Orange Walnut Cake

  • 1 ¼ cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and orange zest in a medium bowl. Whisk to aerate. Keep aside.

  • ¾ cup raw sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra light olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup 1% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

Beat the sugar and olive oil in an electric mixture for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the milk and mix for 30 seconds and add the walnuts. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix well and pour into the round cake pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the done. Let cool and take out of pan onto a flat platter.

Honey Orange Syrup

  • 1 cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice

In a small saucepan, combine the honey, water and orange juice. Bring to a boil and cook on simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn heat off and slowly drizzle the honey syrup on to the hot cake. Repeat till all of the syrup is absorbed.

Let the cake cool before serving

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