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Marcia Lieberman's Honey Cake

This cake has been one of Joe's favorites from the time he was a boy.

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch tube pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, allspice and cinnamon.

Place honey, eggs, water, lemon juice and rind, oil and brandy into a bowl. Beat together until well blended. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing until combined thoroughly. Fold in walnuts. Pour batter into pan. Bake in oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. If desired, serve with the dried fruit topping. Serves 12.


Hadassah likes dried fruit and nuts for dessert. When Mindy entertains the Liebermans, she piles them onto one of her painted ceramic platters. Or you can turn them into a fruit and nut topping which is delicious served with Marcia's honey cake. If you have purchased very tender dried fruit (i.e. from a farmers' market) you won't need to cook it. Just marinate it in the liquid.

  • 1 cup brown sugar or honey
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 3 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 pounds mixed dried fruit (apricots, apples, pineapple, figs, peaches, pears, prunes, nectarines, cherries, cherries, white raisins, preferably unsulphured)
  • 6 thin lemon slices
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender
  • 6 lavender leaves
  • 1/4 cup fruit flavored brandy, whiskey or orange liqueur
  • 1/2 cup very fresh walnuts
  • Fresh lavender flowers for garnish (optional)

Bring all ingredients except brandy, walnuts and lavender flowers to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and gently poach until just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove fruit from pan and reserve.

Increase heat to high; boil cooking liquid until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add brandy and return to a boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat; return the fruit. Spoon warmed fruit topping over honey cake. If desired, garnish with lavender flowers. Serves 6 to 8.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

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