Honey Cake Recipe

María del Mar Sacasa

Honey, warm spices, coffee, apple cider, and whiskey— this cake will put you in a festive fall mood.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Serves: 12 to 14 servings

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  • 1 cup vegetable oil, plus additional for greasing pan
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup freshly brewed strong coffee
  • 2 teaspoons grated zest from 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (about 8 1/4 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups (about 17 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups honey, divided
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/3 cup whiskey or bourbon
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature


  1. For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Brush tube pan with oil.

  2. Combine cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger in large bowl. Stir in hot coffee. Set aside and cool to room temperature. Rub orange zest into granulated sugar until sugar is damp and no strands of zest remain. Add brown sugar and stir to combine.

  3. Whisk together flour and salt in medium bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups honey, 1 cup oil, cider, and whiskey to coffee mixture and whisk to combine.

  4. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat together eggs and sugar mixture in large bowl until well combined, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, then add honey mixture and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined.

  5. Pour batter into prepared pan (batter will be thin) and bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to rack and cool cake in pan 15 minutes, then invert directly onto rack and cool completely, about 1 hour.

  6. For the Glaze: Warm remaining 3/4 cup honey in microwave or small saucepan. Brush the sides of the cake, then drizzle remaining honey over cake. Serve.

Special equipment

tube pan, electric mixer, rubber spatula, cooling rack