Honey Cake

By Helen Nash, JTA


2 tablespoons unsalted margarine, for greasing the pans

2 1/3 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting the pans

2 large eggs, room temperature

Scant 2/3 cup sugar

1 cup strong brewed tea (made with 3 tea bags), cooled

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup honey

1/2 medium-ripe banana, thoroughly mashed

Grated zest of 1 navel orange

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon  ground cloves

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 5-by-9-inch loaf pans with margarine and dust with 2 tablespoons of the flour. Invert the pans and tap to shake out the excess flour.

Place the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer bowl. Using the balloon whisk attachment, beat them at medium speed, gradually adding the sugar until the mixture is pale and bubbles appear, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed and beat in the tea, oil, honey, banana, orange zest, cinnamon and cloves. Combine thoroughly.

With a rubber spatula, gradually fold in the flour, baking powder and baking soda, combining well after each addition. No traces of flour should be visible.

Pour the batter evenly into the two pans. Bake the pans side by side, without touching, on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes.

Increase the heat to 350 and bake for another 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool the cakes on a wire rack. Run a metal spatula around the sides of the pans to loosen the cakes. Invert each pan onto a serving plate.

Note: These cakes freeze well. Wrap them individually in wax paper, then in foil, and place in plastic freezer bags. Makes 2 loaves, each serving 12