Sweet as Honey Cake

In Latest, Let's Eat, The Blog by the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl0 Comments

Rosh Hashanah  is Jewish New Year and in 2015, it begins in the evening of Sunday, September 13 and ends in the evening of Tuesday, September 15.  Said to be the anniversary of the creation of the world, Rosh Hashanah is the first of the High Holy Days (or High Holidays), a ten-day period that ends with Yom Kippur — the holiest day of the Jewish year and also a time of fasting. Customs include eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a “sweet year ahead.” Other traditional foods include dates, pomegranates, as well as challah bread, depending on the region.

But this holiday isn’t just about eating, it’s also a time for reflection.  Folks recognize and admit the things they’ve done wrong over the past year. Rosh Hashanah allows people to recognize shortcomings, providing an opportunity to repent by seeking forgiveness from the those who were wronged during the previous year. It is not uncommon for Jews to apologize to people they have mistreated so they can start the new year fresh, with a “clean slate.” This acts helps serve as a  reminder not to repeat these mistakes in the coming year. In some families, charitable giving is also part of the holiday. The afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah people go to the closest body of water, and throw bread crumbs into the water to cast away their sins. It could be an ocean, river, creek or lake. Rosh Hashanah is an opportunity to improve the world and become better people. Whether you’re Jewish or not, that’s certainly something to consider as we go into fall.

Back to that sweet year ahead…. Our honey cake is entirely vegan, so there’s no honey. We subbed in a combination of brown sugar and agave to fulfill the sweetness of the new year. But we still represent with the apples, and this modern update also takes the cake into the gluten-free realm, so it can be enjoyed by all. Traditionally, honey cakes are round, to symbolize the continuation of life. For this recipe, we used a 10-cup bundt style cake pan, but you can also use flat cake pans or even a loaf pan if that’s what you have around.

A few ingredients you might not know —  egg replacer is a blend of plant starches that act as a binder in baked goods. Ener-G and Bob’s Red Mill both make great egg replacer powders. Almond meal or flour is basically finely ground almonds. If you can’t find it at the grocery store or natural food store, it’s available online – or make your own by grinding whole or sliced/slivered almonds in a food processor. Be careful not to overdo it, though! Be sure to stop when it’s a fine meal texture and looks like rough sand. If you keep going, you’ll end up with almond butter.

Enjoy your Rosh Hashahah celebration – or just make this cake to celebrate fall!


3 Tbs. egg replacer in 1/2 cup hot water (such as Ener-G or Bob’s Red Mill)

2 Tbs. vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance or Melt) or room-temperature/solid coconut oil

2/3 cup raisins

1 Tbs. chopped candied ginger

3 cups plus 1/2 cup and 1 Tbs. gluten free all purpose blend (such as King Arthur, Bob’s Red Mill, Krusteaz, or Trader Joe’s)

1/2 cup almond meal/flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill, NOW Real Foods, or Trader Joe’s)

2 Tbs. arrowroot powder

1 Tbs. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

pinch ground cloves

pinch ground allspice

pinch ground nutmeg

pinch salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup brewed black tea (we used organic Earl Grey from Mighty Leaf)

1 cup light agave

1 cup unsweetened, plain applesauce

1/2 cup canola oil

1/3 cup brown sugar

3 Tbl. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. vanilla

zest of one orange

zest of one lemon

Begin by mixing up egg replacer. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg-replacer starch with warm water until thick and foamy, set aside. Next grease and flour your cake pan. Rub the vegan margarine or coconut oil all over the inside of the cake pan. Be sure to coat any corners or patterns in the cake pan especially well. Add 1 tablespoon of the gluten-free flour mix to the pan and shake it around until all the margarine/coconut oil is covered in a light dusting of flour. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.

In another small dish, combine raisins and chopped candied ginger. Add 1/2 cup of gluten-free flour mix and work into the raisins/ginger with your fingers until all the the pieces are well coated. You can skip this step, but it helps to suspend the chunky bits in the cake batter, so that they don’t all sink to the bottom when it’s in the oven. Set aside when done coating all raisins/ginger.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl: 3 cups gluten-free flour blend, almond meal flour, arrowroot powder, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, ground cloves, ground allspice, ground nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, combine sugar, black tea, agave syrup, applesauce, canola oil, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and all citrus zest. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat until well smooth. Add prepared egg replacer. Mix again. Gradually begin to add dry ingredients in four equal pours. You can’t over mix gluten-free flour, so be sure that the cake batter is smooth with no lumps. This can be done by hand, but will take about 70-80 strokes with a wooden spoon to mix thoroughly.

When well mixed, fold in floured raisins/ginger. Pour into pre-greased/floured baking pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 20 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a serving plate. Cool to room temperature before serving with additional applesauce, agave syrup or a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl

the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl

the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl are working artists based in Baltimore. They write an eco-aware, flower power, neo-hippie, vegan blog that features travel profiles, original recipes and candid book & product reviews. They are excited to join forces with Sister Eden!

To visit the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl's website, click their byline. To read the rest of their posts on Sister Eden, click their tag at the top of the post.
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