Prep Cook Yield Ready In
20 minutes 60 minutes 55 mini cakes 90 minutes

Mini Honey Cakes for Rosh Hashanah

A beautiful recipe to serve for the New Year.

These bite-sized cakes are actually biscuits dipped in honey syrup. They take a bit of patience to make but keep for ages, so you can make them the week before Rosh Hashanah. They are perfect as a gift or to serve for afternoon tea. This recipe was published in Monday Morning Cooking Club’s second book, The Feast Goes On.


  • 3 cups (15 ¾ oz/450 g) plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup (250 ml) light olive oil
  • 3/4 cup (5 ¾ oz or 165 g) caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) sweet sacramental wine or port
  • finely grated zest of one orange
  • strained juice of one orange (1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup (1 ¾ oz or 50 g) pistachio nuts, toasted and finely chopped

For the honey syrup

  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cup (12 oz or 350 g ) honey
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed (3 ½ oz or 100 g ) light brown sugar
  • finely julienned rind and juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C). Line 2 baking trays.
  2. For the honey syrup, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into a saucepan, add the bean and the remaining ingredients. Slowly bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil and sugar until well combined, then stir in the wine or port, orange zest and juice.
  4. Gradually pour the oil mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to form a rough dough. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer and using the dough hook, beat for around 5 minutes until smooth, shiny and glutinous, adding extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
  5. Roll mixture into small walnut-size balls and place 3 cm (1.2 inches) apart on the prepared baking trays. Lightly flatten each ball with the back of a spoon to make a slight indent and bake for 12 minutes or until firm.
  6. Remove the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick from the warm syrup, pour into a shallow dish and soak the cakes in the syrup for 30 seconds on each side.
  7. Using two forks, lift the cakes from the syrup and place on a wire rack positioned over a tray. Sprinkle with the pistachios and allow to stand for 1 hour.
  8. The cakes will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 – 3 weeks.

Keep on Noshing

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