• Jewish honey cake (lekach) (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

Traditionally baked by Ashkenazi Jews for Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), honey cake symbolises the hope of a ‘sweet’ and prosperous new year.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (190 votes)

This one is best kept for at least 3-4 days before serving as it becomes more moist and flavoursome with time. 


  • 200 g (1⅓ cups) plain flour
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 110 g (½ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 175 g (½ cup) honey
  • 125 ml (½ cup) light olive oil or sunflower oil, plus extra to grease
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) freshly brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1 orange, zest finely grated
  • icing sugar, to dust

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: 1 hour

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Brush a 27 cm x 8 cm (base measurement) loaf tin with extra oil to grease and line the base and sides with one piece of non-stick baking paper, cutting into the corners to fit.

2. Sift together the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda.

3. Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the eggs and sugar on high speed for 5 minutes or until very thick and pale and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted. Add the honey and whisk until well combined. Add the coffee, oil and orange zest and whisk again until well combined.

4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold together until just combined.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve in slices (see Baker’s tips).


Baker’s tips

• This cake is best kept wrapped in plastic wrap and then in foil or in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap and then foil, for 3-4 days before serving. It will keep for up to a week in total.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Nick Banbury. Creative concept by Belinda So.


This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Jewish column. Read tips on how to bake the perfect Bundt cake in her column.


View previous Bakeproof columns and recipes here.


Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook,TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.