Honey cake is a symbolic sweet treat enjoyed on Jewish New Year, also know as Rosh Hashanah, representing a sweet and prosperous year ahead. This old-fashioned spiced honey loaf cake is an incredibly moist and buttery tea cake that offers beautiful warming flavors and a delicate, fluffy texture. Perfect for afternoon tea, as a dessert, or sweet treat.
If you like this easy loaf recipe, make sure to check out my coffee and walnut loaf cake and lavender earl grey cake, and German baked cheesecake as well. Enjoy this moist loaf cake alongside a freshly brewed Moka pot coffee.
You only need a few staple ingredients to make this rich, yet fluffy honey tea cake.
- Flour – All-purpose flour works well for this recipe. For a more wholesome result use 1/3 wholemeal flour.
- Butter – Unsalted or salted butter are both suitable but unsalted works best.
- Brown sugar – Brings sweetness and molasses flavor to the cake.
- Honey – Gives this cake its signature flavor. Clover and orange blossom are great options for this loaf cake.
- Eggs – Give body and richness to the recipe. Use eggs at room temperature.
- Vanilla – Adds extra flavor and depth. Vanilla essence, extract, or fresh vanilla beans all work well.
- Baking powder – To leaven the cake.
- Milk – I use full-fat cow’s milk but you can substitute it with skinny or plant-based milk too.
- Icing sugar – Also known as confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar.
- Spices – Including cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg bring warming flavors to the cake.
Honey loaf cake in 5 easy steps
- Preheat the oven.
- Mix the wet ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients and combine everything into a smooth cake batter.
- Bake it fully and let it cool.
- Add the icing.
- Fully mix the wet ingredients before adding in the dry.
- Sift your dry ingredients before incorporating them.
- If mixing by hand, use a figure-eight pattern to mix, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Insert a clean knife into the center of the cake to see if the crumb has set. If the knife comes out clean, it’s done.
Just Honey – Skip the spice blend and make a pure honey cake. It’s a sweet delight!
Lemon or Orange Honey – Add 1 teaspoon of lemon or orange zest to the batter and/or 1/2 teaspoon of lemon or orange zest to the icing for a bright citrus flavor.
Honey Date – Stir ½ cup of chopped dates into the batter before baking for a bit of texture and delicious date flavor.
Honey Walnut – Add 1/2 cup of walnut pieces or nut pieces of your liking for some extra texture and a nutty flavor. You can also add 2 tbsp of nut butter for a nutty taste.
Apple Honey – Add 1 cup of finely chopped apple to the cake batter for a fruity twist on this simple spice cake.
Place the loaf cake in an airtight container and store it at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can freeze the cake in a freezer-proof container for up to 3 months.
Yes. You can reheat the cake but you’ll need to remove the icing first. Microwave it for up to 15 seconds and serve with cold icing.
Honey symbolizes sweetness, and consuming honey cake is believed to bring a sweet and prosperous year ahead. It is also a way to incorporate honey, a traditional food, into the holiday meal. The moist and flavorful nature of honey cake also represents the desire for a fruitful and enjoyable year.
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Spiced Honey Loaf Cake
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp butter softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the softened butter, sugar, and honey until well combined. Add the egg and milk and mix them in one at a time.1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup honey, 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk
- Add all dry ingredients to a sieve and slowly add them to the wet mixture.1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Combine everything well until you have a lump-free cake batter.
- Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin and bake the honey loaf for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
- Let the loaf cool down for 15 minutes and transfer it to a cooling rack.
- To prepare the icing, combine the softened butter and powdered / icing sugar. Mix them well until you have smooth and lump-free icing.1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp butter, 1 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- Once the honey loaf cake has fully cooled down, add the icing to the top of the loaf with a large spoon or knife. Spread it evenly across the whole cake and add a honey drizzle. Enjoy!