Baking · Cake · Nation Cake Challenge

Israel: Honey Apple Cake

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Last Wednesday, as many of you may know was the festival of Rosh Hashanah, otherwise known as the Jewish New Year.Now as with many religious celebrations, food plays a major role, and many edible delicacies have traditional symbolic meanings. One of the most well-known traditions is that of eating honey cake in order to symbolize a sweet new year (a tradition intitially founded by the medieval Ashkenazi Jewish people, but now universally accepted through most of the population).

Honey cake

Honey cake is a bit of a love it/hate it type of dish – the sometimes cloying sweetness can often put it into the same category of Christmas Pudding – I eat it because it’s Christmas, but can’t honestly say I would eat much of it otherwise! Therefore, I decided that I wanted to make a new honey cake, one that still envoked the traditional symbolic flavours, but one that cut through the honey’s sugary-ness. I am please to say that I think I have created a good one here. The honey cake itself is full of grated apple (also a traditional ingredient to represent a sweet new year), topped with a rosewater flavoured glace icing, and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds (representative of fruitfullness and new life). 

Honey Apple Cake


  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • 4 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored, and shredded
  • 1 cup + 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tbsp water


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Beat the eggs until foamy before whisking in the honey, caster sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients together before mixing into the eggs. Add the apples to the mixture and mix well.

Grease your cake tin and pour the batter into the pan, ensuring that it comes no more than 3/4 of the way up the side of the pan. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes (75-90 minutes for a full size Bundt tin), until the cake is brown and coming away from the sides of the tin, testing with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes and then turn out on a plate, leaving to cool completely.
When the cake is cool, sift over the 3 tablespoons of icing sugar. Make the white icing by mixing together the remaining icing sugar, vanilla essence and water together, before drizzling over the cake. Decorate with scattered pomegranate seeds.

3 thoughts on “Israel: Honey Apple Cake

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