An Adorably Cute and Sweet New Year: Zingerman's Honey Cake

My husband often plays golf on Sundays, and one recent Sunday he texted me in the early afternoon asking if one of his friends he was golfing with could come over for dinner. I said yes and then remembered that it was Rosh Hashanah. Our friend Phil who was coming over for dinner is Jewish, and the reason Tom invited him to dinner is because Phil's wife and children were spending the holiday with family out of town. So I decided I should make a dessert appropriate for the occasion.

It so happens that earlier that day I had seen a recipe for Zingerman's Honey Cake (this recipe is not in the Zingerman's Bakehouse cookbook). The recipe was appealing for several reasons. First, I had all of the ingredients on hand and the recipe comes together quickly. This was important because I only had a few hours before dinner and I didn't have time to go to the store. Second, the recipe yields a half-size Bundt cake, and I wanted a relatively small dessert since there were only going to be three of us at dinner. Finally, I rarely get the opportunity use my 6-cup Bundt pan and was happy to find a recipe that would let me put it to use.

This recipe doesn't require a mixer. You combine the dry ingredients (rye flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ground ginger, and nutmeg) in one bowl; combine the liquid ingredients (egg, sugar, oil, honey, and cooled brewed black tea) in another; and mix the dry into the wet. The recipe calls for buckwheat honey, which is a very dark honey. I didn't have any, but I used avocado blossom honey instead; it's almost black in color and tastes similar to molasses. Finally, I mixed in orange zest, lemon zest, golden raisins, and toasted sliced almonds. I poured the batter into my six-cup Bundt, which I had greased well and sprinkled with toasted almonds.
I unmolded the cake while it was still warm and it came out of the pan without any problems. I liked the small size and thought it was adorable. The cake was at room temperature when I served it and it was delicious. Even though the cake doesn't contain much ginger, I thought that it tasted like gingerbread -- moist, generously spiced, and very delicious gingerbread. It tasted great plain but would have been phenomenal with either ice cream or whipped cream. 
The almonds were my favorite part of this cake and the crunchy texture of the nuts makes this cake stand out from other gingerbreads I've made. This cake was substantial and hearty and I would absolutely make it again. It's a lovely cake for Rosh Hashanah, or any time you have last-minute dinner guests!

Recipe: "Zingerman's Honey Cake," recipe available at King Arthur Flour.