Jewish honey cake

This simple honey cake, also known as ‘lekach’, is a must-have sweet treat when celebrating the Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah. It’s best made a few days ahead, as the spicing and texture improve as it matures

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:55 mins
    plus cooling
  • Serves 9
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 310
  • fat 13g
  • saturates 2g
  • carbs 44g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 4g
  • salt 0.3g


  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 175g golden syrup
  • 50g runny honey
  • 50g soft dark brown sugar
  • 150ml strong tea, cooled
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • flaked almonds, to decorate (optional)


This moreish honey cake is best made a few days before you want to serve it, allowing the spicing and texture to improve. Leave the top plain or shower with flaked almonds just before baking to brighten up an otherwise simple-looking bake. You could also throw a handful of raisins into the cake mixture if you wish.


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line the base and sides of a 20cm square baking tin. Warm the oil, golden syrup, honey and sugar in a small pan to dissolve the sugar. Stir to combine, then leave to cool. Add the tea and beaten eggs.

  2. Lightly whisk the flour, baking powder, spices and a pinch of salt in a large bowl to combine. Make a well in the dry ingredients and mix in the wet ingredients, using a whisk or wooden spoon, until combined and lump-free.

  3. Pour the batter into the lined tin and sprinkle with the almonds, if you like. Bake for 50-55 mins, until the cake springs back when gently pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Don't open the oven for the first 45 mins of baking.

  4. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack. Wrap well and keep for three to four days before eating, so the flavour can improve. Cut into nine squares to serve.

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