Popular vegan cookbook author Hannah Kaminsky, shares her grown-up take on a celebratory dessert for the Jewish New Year, honey cake. Her version of this popular Rosh Hashanah cake is actually vegan and honey-free.
Not wanting to mislead, I would call this tender loaf a Rosh Hashanah Cake instead of “honey cake.” But for all any of my family knew, it was the original thing. Amber agave lends a slightly caramel-like sweetness, and that tiny drop of orange blossom water adds that tiny floral hint that honey always seems to carry. By adding a good deal of applesauce into the mix, you’ve got the two staples of the holiday right there in one easy to make cake, and with a thick slice after dinner or even for breakfast, it’s almost a guarantee that this new year will be a sweet one.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Rosh Hashana Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup amber agave nectar
- ⅓ cup oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon orange blossom water
- Preheat your oven to 350°F, and lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, agave, oil, vanilla, vinegar, and orange blossom water.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir just until combined. Do not overmix.
- Scrape the batter into your prepared loaf pan and even out.
- Bake the cake for 35 minutes, then tent it with foil. Agave causes baked goods to brown much faster than sugar, so you want to prevent it from becoming too dark. Bake for another 10 to 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely in the pan before slicing.
Thank you for this recipe. We are making honey cakes for every family in our congregation during isolation while we are surrounded by wildfires in the San Francisco Bay area. It’s great that we have vegan families who can enjoy a honey cake. The recipe was very easy to follow and make. It was not quite as cake like in texture as a ‘regular’ honey cake, but I may have mixed too much and will try again. Also added 1/6C too much oil by mistake. It needs more flavor, IMHO, so I’ll use 1T cinnamon and add some brown sugar in the next batch. I couldn’t find orange blossom water, so used a teaspoon of orange extract, which was just right.
Thank you for your feedback Joan and stay safe!