The Jewish New Year is almost here and I am always challenged to produce delicious, traditional food that also includes a vegan dessert. While I am neither vegan nor keep Kosher, my niece’s family keeps Kosher and her son (my godson) is deathly allergic to eggs and sesame. I could always make an apple tart or even my delicious vegan frangiapane apple tart, of course, but I get bored always making the same thing. I decided to experiment and came up with this Honey Cake recipe. Full disclosure – I actually used honey; however, to keep it vegan you could substitute date syrup and it would be delicious. I have included a link to a simple date syrup recipe below, although you can also find it online and in Middle Eastern grocery stores (look for Silan.)
Because honey cake tends to be pretty heavy and I am not using eggs, I needed to figure out how to lighten it up. I hope that you will agree that my version is delicious and will make a wonderful addition to any holiday table. I only wish you could smell how good this is!
Lisa’s Vegan “Honey” Cake
Yield: About 10 servings
3 cups of all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup unbleached cake flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1.25 cups granulated sugar
1.25 cups Canola Oil
1/2 cup sweet dessert wine (I used Ferrari Carano Eldorado Gold, but if you wish to keep it Kosher there is Yarden Heights Wine or even the gucky sweet extra heavy Malaga wine would work here)
1/2 cup slivered almonds, very lightly toasted
1/2 cup of raisins, soaked in 1/4 cup dessert wine or orange juice for at least 15 minutes
zest of one orange
Aquafaba from one 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas (That is the liquid from the can that has been strained. You can use the chickpeas for a wonderful salad or homemade hummus.)
2/3 cup honey or date syrup
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
- Sift your dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in all of the wet ingredients EXCEPT for the aquafaba.
- Add the orange zest, almonds and raisins and mix through to distribute everything evenly.
- In a standing mixer, add the strained aquafaba and on high speed, whip the liquid for about 20 minutes. The liquid will first foam and then will whip up to resemble egg whites. You want them to be as stiff as possible so beat them until when you pull up the beater, the aquafaba holds onto the beater. (Do NOT make the aquafaba ahead – it will not hold.)
- Quickly fold the beaten aquafaba into the flour/raisin/nut mixture. Don’t worry that it will collapse.
- Spray a 10-inch straight-sided, non-stick tube pan with a non-stick spray with flour and quickly pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly.
- Bake for about 1.25 hours or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. It may take a little longer. Allow to cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes and then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
- This can be made ahead and frozen. If you are not planning on freezing it, wrap it well once it is fully cooled or keep under a cake dome. The flavors will improve if made at least one day ahead. This should keep for several days.