Honey Cake: Succulent Slice of Rosh Hashanah Heaven

There’s a spot in the morning Shacharis service that reminds us that honey can’t be added to any offering. In ticking off the ingredients for ceremonial incense to be used in the Mishkan (Tabernacle), the prayer book states emphatically that if one “added honey to the mixture, he rendered it unfit for sacred use.”

But why? “Had even a miniscule amount of honey been added, nobody would have been able to resist its sweet smell.”

I for one am grateful that the ancient rabbis didn’t say a word about baking honey into a cake. Since the sweet smell of honey cake baking is equally impossible to resist.

Oh, I can hear the outcry now. Certainly we’ve all choked down desserts marketed as honey cake that are but desiccated mockeries of the name (Quick, more tea!). But when done right (more on that below), a honey cake should be the perfect denouement to a Rosh Hashanah feast while revealing much about the heart of the holiday it has come to represent.

Read More: @ jwa.org

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