This sweet and tender plant-based Jewish honey cake from the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen is a delicious end to any dinner and especially good for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. It is lightly sweetened with honey or natural date syrup and made with real, whole ingredients – a dessert you can definitely feel good about baking and eating.
Traditional Honey Cake Recipes
Traditional honey cakes usually have the most honey in the recipe name and only a small amount in the actual cake batter as a flavor enhancer. They get most of their sweetness from white sugar which is notoriously bad for our health.
A Word on Natural Sweeteners
Unlike plain white sugar, natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup are rich in minerals and antioxidants that protect our bodies from the damaging effects of free-radicals. Besides, there is no need to resort to white sugar when baking cakes – liquid sweeteners such as raw honey or natural date syrup will give your cakes both a deliciously moist texture and a lovely earthy/caramel flavor.
If you’re interested in reading more on the issue of sugar versus natural sweeteners, you can take a look at this article. If you’d like to feature more naturally-sweetened, sugar-free desserts in your weekly repertoire, make sure to check these recipes.
This plant-based honey cake is dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and oil-free. It has a very tender and scrumptious crumb, proving that you don’t need tons of butter or oil to make a delicious cake. Instead, this recipe includes applesauce, plant-based milk, and honey/date syrup all of which gives the cake a wonderful texture.
It presents beautifully, especially when baked in a bundt baking pan.
It can be served both slightly warm from the oven or cold from the fridge and pairs great with a cup of afternoon tea or coffee.
This recipe also includes pumpkin pie spice which rounds out the cake with some warm, underlining spice, as well as sweet currants for additional texture and chew.
About the Ingredients in this Plant-Based Jewish Honey Cake
Honey: Honey is a natural liquid sweetener that is packed with antioxidants and micronutrients. High-quality honey is rich in flavonoids – plant pigments with antioxidant properties that protect your health and reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, asthma, and stroke. Honey also has some antiseptic and antibacterial properties which make it a popular choice for flu season. Moreover, eating locally sourced honey is a good way to fight off seasonal allergies. If you cannot find a local honey, here is a high quality all purpose kosher raw honey.
Date Syrup: As honey is not a vegan product, you can also make traditional “honey cake” with natural date syrup. Date syrup is just as delicious as honey and contains lots of vitamins and minerals. This date syrup is vegan, kosher and gluten free.
Whole-wheat flour: While all-purpose white flour might be the more popular choice, whole-wheat flour comes with way more health benefits. It is made from whole wheat which means that you are reaping all of the benefits from the wheat kernel, mainly fiber and micronutrients. Eating a diet high in fiber can protect against diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and a whole host of digestive issues.
Pumpkin pie spice: Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of warm spices including cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and allspice. The most pronounced note is cinnamon, the epitome of fall that can curb your sweet tooth and also helps to regulate your blood sugar levels. A good-quality salt-free pumpkin pie spice blend will go a long way of boosting the flavor of your cakes, pancakes, or morning oats, without having to add too much sweeteners.
Honey Cake Tips
To make this cake vegan: use date syrup instead of honey in the cake and the glaze.
To make the cake citrus-flavored: grate the zest of a lemon or an orange and add the citrus juice to the glaze
Use this same recipe to make honey currant muffins. Children and adults love them!
To make this cake gluten-free: try substituting the whole-wheat flour with an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and pumpkin pie spice; whisk to blend.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, non-dairy milk, honey, and vanilla. Add the dry to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Don’t overmix.
Lightly oil the Bundt pan with Earth Balance. Pour the cake batter into prepared baking pan.
Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F (160 C) and bake for 45 more minutes. Top should spring back to the touch when finished.
Cool completely before inverting onto a plate.
To prepare the glaze: In a small saucepan, combine the honey with the cornstarch and whisk to remove any lumps. Bring to a simmer over medium heat while stirring constantly. Cook for a few minutes until it thickens. Remove from the heat to cool.
To garnish the cake: Either dust the cake lightly with powdered sugar or evenly drizzle the cake with the honey glaze.