Zingerman's Honey Cake

The Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, is often celebrated with the sweetness of honey, a symbol of the joy of life and optimism for what’s to come. Zingerman’s Bakehouse, a beloved institution in Ann Arbor, Michigan, contributes to this food tradition with their deeply flavorful buckwheat honey and rye cake.

The bakers at Zingerman’s chose the particular ingredients on this list – rye flour, buckwheat honey, and black tea – because they represent the Eastern European roots of many Ashkenazi Jewish foods. All three of these ingredients, plus spices and citrus, add unique flavor and wholesomeness to this distinguished dessert.

While the cake is delicious served plain, slightly warmed slices topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream will guarantee you an extra-special new year celebration.

Prep
15 mins
Bake
35 to 40 mins
Total
1 hr 5 mins
Yield
one 6" bundt cake
Zingerman's Honey Cake

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast them for 8 to 12 minutes, until golden. Remove the almonds from the oven and set aside.

  3. Mix the rye flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.

  4. Whisk together the egg and sugar in a separate large bowl, then stir in the oil, honey, and black tea.

  5. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients slowly, mixing until smooth.

  6. Add the zests, raisins, and all but about 1 tablespoon of the almonds to the batter, stirring until well combined.

  7. Grease a 6-cup Bundt pan. Don’t have this pan? See another option in “tips,” below. Sprinkle the reserved tablespoon of toasted almonds evenly over the bottom of the Bundt pan.

  8. Pour the batter into the pan and bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the surface is firm to the touch.

  9. Remove the cake from the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

  10. Store the cake, covered, at room temperature for up to three days. Or freeze, well wrapped, for up to a month.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you don’t have a 6-cup Bundt pan, this cake can also be baked in an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. Rather than sprinkling the almonds into the bottom of the pan, use them to top the batter after you’ve poured it into the lightly greased pan. Bake the loaf cake for 50 to 55 minutes.