With Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, quickly approaching, many of us are gearing up for September’s season of back-to-back holidays and non-stop entertaining. To share her healthy take on a classic Rosh Hashana staple (and an all-around fantastic early fall desert) Kenden Alfond of Jewish Food Hero joins us today.

From Kenden: Honey Cake is a traditional dessert from the Jewish Ashkenazie tradition eaten for Rosh Hashana. We put honey into our mouths at Rosh Hashana to taste the hopes of a sweet New Year ahead of us. I wanted to make a healthier, dairy-free version of the classic cake, so I’ve adapted a traditional recipe to include healthy ingredients that are all plant-based. This healthier honey cake feels as good in our bodies as it tastes in our mouths. It’s lighter than traditional honey cake, while raw honey and spices give it a special earthy sweetness that everyone is sure to enjoy. And because it’s dairy free, it can fit into any kosher holiday menu.

Healthier Honey Cake

Serves one 9 ½-inch bundt cake

This Healthy Honey Cake Is The Perfect Rosh Hashanah Dessert

By Camille Styles

20 minutes


60 minutes




  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or 1 cup whole wheat flour + 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • 1 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the glaze:

  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk to blend.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine the applesauce, non-dairy milk, honey and vanilla. Whisk to blend. Add the dry to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Don’t overmix.
  4. Lightly oil the bundt pan with earth balance. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan.
  5. Bake in 350 F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 and bake for 45 more minutes. Top should spring back to the touch when finished.
  6. Cool completely before inverting onto a plate.

Prepare the glaze:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the honey with the cornstarch and whisk to remove any lumps. Bring to a simmer over medium heat while stirring constantly. Cook for a few minutes, until it thickens.
  2. Remove from the heat to cool.

To decorate the cake:

  1. You can dust the cake lightly with powdered sugar or evenly drizzle the cake with the honey glaze.
  1. 1
    Rena | August 31, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Sounds really healthy! Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂
    xx Rena

  2. 2
    huesofdelahaye | September 1, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I never knew look so delicous and healthy at the same time, this actually makes me want to get back into baking.

  3. 3
    Sabrina | September 7, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    lovely, delicious and even lighter than the original, thank you for this wonderful honey cake tweak!

  4. 4
    Rachel | September 23, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    This looks wonderful and relatively easy. Is it possible to freeze this cake if I make this this week, 6 days before Rosh Hashanah?

  5. 5
    Julia Ham | January 22, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    I think it 1/2 tsp salt might have been too much. The cake came out great, except that it was a little salty. I made the glaze (delicious) which balanced it out just a bit, but next time, I might reduce to 1/4 tsp of salt or less. Can’t wait to make this again.

    Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  6. 6
    noor | March 8, 2021 at 10:42 am

    can i use 2 cup whole wheat pastry flour and not use any regular whole wheat flour? thanks

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