Honey, please do!

These are a take on the honey cake often served at Rosh Hashanah.  I am cognizant that from a timing perspective, I’m off by not just the Rosh Hashanah holiday, but also the Western calendar and the Lunar New Year.  Since I’ve missed a hat trick of New Years and the fiscal new year is still a couple quarters off, how about we celebrate the start of February?

Speaking of new years and February, I had a little bit of a revelation this early 2020.  Each year I ride the struggle bus through January.    It’s dark, I’m tired from the holidays and generally not in a ‘let’s get this party started’ mood come January 1st through, well, let’s be honest, 20th.  I’m tired of beating myself up over it.  So, going forward, I’m declaring January as the transition month to the new year.  I’ve decided it’s just fine to spend the first couple of weeks focused on putting one foot in front of the next as I shake off the holiday indulgence and stress.  I’ve also decided it’s great to gently nudge and nurture my ideas for goals on the next trip around the sun rather attempting to do it in the hectic lead up to the first day of the year.

So my friends, happy new year.

The apple butter (or apple sauce) helps to keep these moist. And, the spice profile is just sassy enough to make things interesting.

I’ve made muffins for this post but also give the bundt instructions below.  These would be really nice served for a new year’s (you pick) brunch to be topped with additional apple butter, cream cheese or maybe just a little good butter.

Honey Cake Muffins

Cooks Illustrated


  • 2 1/2 C (12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 C water
  • 6 TBS unsweetened apple sauce or apple butter
  • 1/4 C (2 ounces) vegetable oil (I used grape seed)
  • 1/4 C ( 2 ounces) orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 C (20 ounces) honey
  • 1/2 C Trader Joes honey almonds (optional).


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees.  If making muffins, line 24 cups with liners (I got 23 muffins from this recipe–you could squeeze to 24 I think).  If making a cake, heavily spray a 12-cup non-stick Bundt pan with baking spray, then flour or, get some Bak Clean–it’s worth the sticker shock.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, water, applesauce or apple butter, oil, orange juice and vanilla.
  4. Whisk wet mixture into dry mixture until fully incorporated.
  5. Evenly portion  batter into cups or pour batter into Bundt pan. Top with slivered almonds if desired.
  6. For muffins, bake 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.  Bake 45-60 minutes if doing Bundt.
  7. Let cool in tins for 10 muffins, then gently remove and allow to cool completely on rack.