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.

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Comments (13)
  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

  7. 7
    Edmund June 25, 2022 at 12:54 am

    When purchasing honey, make sure to check the label to see where it was produced. Some honeys are imported from other countries and may not be subject to the same safety and quality standards as honey produced in the UK. Amazon only sells honey that is produced in the UK, so you can be sure you’re getting a quality product. I’ve been getting this one on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/puregold and I’m very happy with the quality and taste.

  8. 8
    Melissa October 30, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    Can I make this in a loaf pan by halving the recipe?

    • Isabelle Eyman November 14, 2022 at 11:09 am

      Yes! It won’t be exact, but this recipe should make about two 8x4x2½–inch loaf pans.

      • Melissa November 19, 2022 at 8:19 pm

        Thank you!

      • Melissa November 19, 2022 at 8:23 pm

        About how long should I bake it? And would an 8×8 square pan work better? (bake time?)

  9. 9
    Nancy September 6, 2023 at 12:32 pm

    This has no eggs and still comes out OK??

    • Casey McKee September 7, 2023 at 11:47 am

      Yes! The applesauce acts as a binding ingredient as the eggs would.



Chanel Dror