A popular dessert served for Rosh Hashanah, this cake is sweetened with honey and flavoured with spices, orange zest and coffee. The honey symbolises hopes for a sweet New Year and also alludes to the Promised Land that flows “with milk and honey”. Honey is so highly regarded in Jewish culture that it is a permissible food according to Jewish dietary laws, even though bees are considered a non-kosher species. While it is traditionally served plain, we’ve finished our cake with an orange icing topped with pecans.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (39 votes)


  • 335 g (2¼ cups) plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 170 g (⅔ cup) brown sugar
  • 350 g (1 cup) sugar gum honey (see Note)
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) vegetable oil
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) orange juice
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) black coffee, cooled
  • 1 tbsp whisky
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 40 g (⅓ cup) pecans
  • honeycomb (see Note) (optional), to serve 


Orange icing

  • 270 g (1⅔ cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) orange juice

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 30 minutes

You will need a 2.5 litre bundt pan for this recipe.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Sift flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a bowl. Add orange zest and stir to combine. Form a well in the centre.

In a separate bowl, whisk together sugars, honey, oil, orange juice, coffee, whisky and vanilla. Pour into the flour well with eggs and whisk to combine; taking care not to overwork batter.

Pour batter into a greased 2.5 litre bundt pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

To make orange icing, place icing sugar and orange juice in a bowl and stir until smooth. Drizzle over cake, then scatter with pecans. Serve with honeycomb, if desired.


• Sugar gum honey is a eucalypt variety of honey and has a sweet, fruity taste. Substitute with any light-coloured honey.
• Honeycomb is available from select delis, greengrocers, health food shops and sweet shops.



Photography Chris Chen. Food Preparation Phoebe Wood. Styling Vivien Walsh.


As seen in Feast magazine, September 2014, Issue 35.