Russian German Honey Cake Recipe (from my friend Josephine)
I held off sharing this Honey Cake Recipe for a long time because of its origins. You see, I got it from my friend Josephine, who got it from her Russian-German Grandmother (after MUCH arm twisting and spying). The cake didn’t look like the flat square Honig Kuchen I saw in my Dr. Oetker. Now… 25 years ago, I didn’t know that there was such a thing as Russian Germans, but today, it makes total sense, so I’m putting it in the site. Obviously, this recipe has gotten changed and adapted over the years from it’s origins in Russia or Germany. The addition of brown sugar, for example, is something you probably won’t find in a “German” Honig Kuchen recipe. This recipe has traveled a lot of miles. (I have an image of a woman traveling across the Atlantic with the recipe on a creased and smudged sheet of paper tucked into her bag). When you get down tasting it, you can thank that brave woman for passing it along. This is just a really good, and fairly simple cake.
The flavor of honey shines through in this cake, so do the spices. And it’s EXCELLENT with a cup of coffee. And although the amount of sugar seems really high, don’t skimp! The cake is not overly sweet! (Yes it’s more than most German cakes, so I suppose you can reduce if you want, but remember, it makes 2 loaves) Perfect for the Holidays… and the odd Wednesday when you want cake.
Honey Cake Recipe
Even though the ingredient list looks long, this Honey Cake Recipe is very easy to make. Just add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients… mix it all up, pour into 2 Loaf pans and Bake (one to keep, one to give away). You can make it look “fancy” by sprinkling some sliced almonds on the top before baking…. or you can sprinkle powdered sugar over the cake before slicing.
Some of the ingredients sound… um… odd….. Orange Juice AND Coffee? Don’t question it, it works. (And it’s a great way to justify eating Cake for Breakfast). Bake it low and slow, and enjoy how the house smells.
German Russian Honey Cake Recipe
- 3 1/2 cup Unbleached Flour
- 1 Tbl. Baking Powder
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda
- 4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp. Cloves
- 1/2 tsp Allspice
- 1 cup Oil not olive
- 1 cup Honey
- 1 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Warm Coffee
- 1/2 cup Orange Juice
- Few Tablespoons Sliced Almonds
- Preheat Oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
- Prepare TWO 9 x 5 inch Loaf pans- Spray with non-stick stuff, line bottom of the pans with parchment paper, then spray again.
- In bowl of a large Stand Mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Stir it a bit.
- Set the mixer to low. Add the rest of the ingredients slowly. If you have a splash guard on your mixing bowl, this would be a good time to use it. Otherwise... wear an apron. And go slowly.
- Scrape down the sides and under the beater, then mix some more.
- The batter will be sort of like melted caramel when it's ready.
- Pour into prepared baking pans.
- If you like Almonds... sprinkle the top of the batter with the almonds.
- Bake at 325 for about 1 hour and 10 minutes
- Honey Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. If it comes out wet, give it another 5 minutes.
- Let cool in pan on rack for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Slide a knife around the sides to loosen... and turn the loaf out. Flip right side up onto the cooling rack.
- Let cool
- Slice and eat.
- This cake tastes even better the next day
Small Honey Cakes for Gifting!
In the past I’ve baked lots of LITTLE Honig Kuchen, and given them as gifts with some cookies. The recipe is the same… just bake for 45 -50 minutes (and keep an eye on them) You should get 5 or 6 little cakes, depending on the size of your pans.
Make Honig Kuchen
Mix the wet and dry ingredients. It will look like this…. and have a consistency of melted caramel
Prepare 2- 9in. x 5 in. Loaf Pans with parchment paper (I also spray some non-stick spray in for insurance)
Sprinkle with sliced almonds if you like
Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes at 325 F (check if it needs more time by sticking a toothpick in. If it comes out clean, it’s done… if it comes out wet, give it 5 more minutes)
Let cool in pan for 15 minutes… then remove and cool on rack completely
Wrap up/Store Air Tight and wait a day
Slice and Serve
Sharing this with my daughter Sonya who lives in Vancouver,B.C.Hoping that some of our family traditions will continue after I am no longer able to contribute.The Honey cake will definitely be on the table..Thanks for posting it.
Any chance you have the recipe with metric measurements? Somehow I don’t believe the original version used cups for measurements. Even though this is Russian-German, I never knew any German (including my grandmother and mother) who used cups for measurements.
I’m sorry… I got the recipe like this
Been having trouble with my computer. I tried writing a email to a friend, and after writing a long letter, it disappeared before I was done writing. This whole month started off with nothing but troubles. I love your letter. Love your sense of humor. Tried downloading the recipe for the Honing Kuchen, well, my trouble s just keeps going. It would not let me download. If my computer guy can’t fix these problems, then I wont be able to get on here. I just tried ordering a Insta heater( need some heat in my bathroom) my debit card was declined. I just gotten a new one, have no idea what the problem is with my new card.
All these weird problems popping up sure killed my Christmas mood. I’m now wondering what will happen when I start baking some Christmas cookies. If they don’t turn out, I will throw them over the fence into my neighbors land. Maybe his cows will like them. Its like your problem with your dog eating the Christmas ornaments. That gave me a good laugh. Throw your dog over the fence Karen, lol.
Wishing you and everybody on here a very blessed and happy Christmas and a healthy happy New Year.
BTW, I called my bank and asked what the problem was with my debit card. Guess what, the said no problem at all. I made sure I punched in the correct numbers and I did. Maybe its a bum deal and I should not buy it. Just going to take my showers in a cold bathroom. OK alle, happy holidays. Gigi.
Frohe Weihnachten Gigi!
Is this “Honig Kuchen” an American version? It’s too much sugar for any German recipe.
I will leave the sugar out.
This is how I was given the recipe… It does sound like a lot, especially for a German cake. Let me know how it works with less
My great-grandfather immigrated with his family from Russia when he was 9 years old in 1905. But they are 100% German descent. my ancestors were part of the German colonies in Russia. They moved to Russia in the late 18th century. I imagine that recipe might have changed over the centuries. Also I think when they immigrated to America there were probably some changes in the recipe. They didn’t have much in Russia but things were a bit better for them in America. And if they were involved in sugar beet farming I could see why they would use more sugar than they had in the past. Anyway I love your site. I’m always looking for a traditional German recipes. My great-grandfather married a German girl. Her family immigrated to US mid 1800s. But her family was from Mecklenburg-Strelitz area on her mother’s side and Statene, which of course is now part of Poland, on her father’s. I also have Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry. so I have a bit of German blood in me. I like to celebrate it!
However I agree with others comments that this seems like an awful lot of sugar. Me and my sister were talking the other day about how we like the European cookies/biscuits better because they didn’t have so much sugar in them! I will look at one of the other honig kuchen in recipes.
I agree, the amount seems high, but I wonder if it’s to compensate for the high cost of honey?
You might try reducing the sugar and see how you like it. I had a slice with breakfast with my morning coffee today, and loved it.