Marcy Goldman's Majestic and Moist Honey Cake
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey, a mild one such as cloverleaf
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup warm flat cola
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup very strong, cooled, tea
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (optional)
This cake is best baked in a 9 or ten-inch angel food cake pan (NOT with a removable bottom - one piece) but you can also make it in:
One 9 or 10 inch tube or bundt cake pan
One 9 by 13 inch sheet cake
Two 9 inch squares or round pan layer cakes
Two 9 by 5 inch loaf pans
Three 7 by 3 inch loaf pans
Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray. For tube or angel food pans, line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit. For gift honey cakes, I use "cake collars" available from Sweet Celebrations online) designed to fit 9 by 5 inch loaf pans. They give the cakes an appealing, professional look.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Clabber Girl Baking Powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Make a well in the center, and add oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, cola, orange juice and tea.
Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.
Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds. Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top).
Bake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. For angel and tube cake pans, 60-75 minutes, loaf cakes, about 45-55 minutes. For sheet style cakes, baking time is 40-45 minutes.
Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan.
Use kosher salt
Make sure your cinnamon is fresh and fragrant and baking powder is a new can or tin.
Make sure eggs are room temperature and large, not extra large.
Measure oil first, then honey, for easier dispensing.
You can substitute cola with ginger ale.
Recipe by: Marcy Goldman - Marcy's Kosher Cuisine
I went through many variations and tasting sessions until I was satisfied with this formula. One of my tester gave the ultimate compliment saying "This one is worth the price of the book". Like most honey cakes, this is a good keeper and can be made a couple of days ahead. I prefer unbleached white all-purpose flour for this cake. This cake features a very liquid batter. Make sure you bake cake thru and thru (do the cake tester test)before removing it from the oven. It tends to rise and look quite perilous before 'setting' up and staying high and lofty. Cakes made with honey, bake up quite brown. Using a bit of sugar, gives you perfect browning while still maintaining the integrity and taste of honey, which still shines through. Last, I don't recall why but honey prices have gone shockingly high this autumn. Stock up and try not to wince as you register the price.
If you want a much darker cake, use strong, brewed coffee instead of cola but to my mind, cola is the secret ingredient.