Citrus Honey Cake

citrus honey cake

Growing up, my dad often baked a honey cake for Rosh Hashanah dessert (we’d eat dinner then head to synagogue). This is pretty traditional – honey cake, along with other honey-sweetened foods, is eaten to signify a sweet new year. I’ve always liked the symbolism of that tradition. The only problem was – and all apologies to my dad here – he never quite nailed that honey cake recipe.


Fast forward about 30 years, and here I am with the internet and a dad-recommend Jewish food website. It’s also the cusp of Rosh Hashanah (starts tonight!), honey month here on S&S, and a connection to a tradition that I love. Who am I not to try out a honey cake, then?


Brilliantly, this cake was delicious – slightly sweet, citrusy, plenty moist and super fragrant.   Honey cakes can be a bit – um – dense, but happily this was a great texture; not light and fluffy, but definitely not too heavy. I know this because I ate multiple slices 😀. Whether you’ve got an upcoming holiday or not, this makes a great snacking cake or dessert.




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Citrus Honey Cake

  • Author: Yardena Gavish, via Jewish Food Society website
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


  • unsalted butter, for greasing pan
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 1 cup of sugar, divided
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup of neutral oil
  • ⅝ cup (7.5 oz) honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat a 12-cup bundt pan with cooking spray.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks with a ½ cup of the sugar, until they become pale and creamy, about 2 minutes on high. 
  4. Add the orange juice, oil and honey, vanilla and lemon zest, and mix well to combine. Add the flour and baking powder, and mix until just incorporated. Transfer batter to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Clean and dry the bowl to the stand mixer. Add the egg whites and beat on medium-high speed until frothy. Gradually add the remaining ½ cup of sugar continuing to beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks are formed. 
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter ⅓ at a time, until evenly combined.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with dry crumbs, about 40-50 minutes.
  8. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan, then proudly slice in front of your guests to reveal the white interior.


I made only very minor changes to the recipe – on important note, though. The original recipe only has you cook the cake fro 25-30 minutes, mine took almost double that time, which I’ve reflected here. 

  • Category: dessert
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