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Ina Garten's Bourbon Honey Cake

Bourbon Honey Cake
Bourbon Honey Cake for Ina Garten Cookbook 2015Quentin Bacon / Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Chef notes

Honey cake is a classic Jewish holiday dessert; I like it moist, spicy, and topped with toasted almonds. Mine has layers and layers of subtle flavor from honey, brown sugar, orange zest, coffee, and spices like cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger. How good does that sound? Oh! And one more thing: bourbon!

Technique tip: Prepare the cake completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and store at room temperature for one day, refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 4 months.


  • 1 cup vegetable oil, plus extra for the pan
  • cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the pan
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (from 2 oranges)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 2 oranges)
  • 1/2 cup good bourbon, such as Maker's Mark
  • 1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds



Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush a 9-inch angel food cake pan with a non-removable bottom with oil, line the bottom with parchment paper, then oil and flour the pan.


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the oil, granulated sugar, honey, brown sugar, eggs, orange zest, and vanilla on medium speed for one minute. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, allspice and ginger, and blend.


Combine the coffee, orange juice, and bourbon in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour and liquid mixtures to the oil-sugar mixture in thirds, beginning and ending with flour, until combined. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula (the batter will be very liquidy).


Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Rap the pan 5 times on the counter to get rid of any bubbles in the batter. Sprinkle the top with the almonds. Bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely, then remove from the pan and place almond side up on a flat serving plate. Serve at room temperature.

Reprinted from Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Copyright © 2016 by Ina Garten. Photographs by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

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