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Drunken Honey Pomegranate Cake

Drunken Honey Pomegranate Cake

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Yield: 12 servings

Sort of like the Jewish fruitcake, dry, sweet honey cake is usually not welcome at Rosh Hashanah, but it’s always there. This version, however, is super-moist with coffee, pomegranate juice and whiskey, and it’s one you’ll want seconds of.


  • Cake
  • Butter, oil or cooking spray for greasing pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup canola oil (or vegetable or grapeseed oil)
  • 1 cup honey (Trick: Measure oil before honey, and the honey will slide right out of the measuring cup)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature (can be decaf)
  • ½ cup pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup whiskey (or more pomegranate juice; I’ve also used amaretto)
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½–1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
  • Pomegranate arils (seeds) for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup Bundt pan and flour lightly.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg until combined. Set aside.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl add oil, honey, eggs, vanilla, coffee, pomegranate juice, whiskey and lemon zest, and beat with a hand or stand mixer with a whisk attachment until incorporated. Add dry mixture to wet mixture, and beat just until combined. You do not want to over-mix and make the cake tough. The batter should be thick, but runny enough to stick to the whisk attachment.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan (it should fill two-thirds of the pan), and bake 50 to 60 minutes until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out mostly clean. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then turn the cake out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • To make glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and enough pomegranate juice to make a glaze thick enough to cover the back of a spoon. Drizzle over cake. Garnish with pomegranate arils and serve.
  • Reprinted with permission from Sweet Noshings by Amy Kritzer (Rock Point, 2016). 

5 Responses

  1. cheryl cheron says:

    i made this cake using gluten free flour. that substitution doesn’t always work, but this was not one of those times. the cake was fabulous tasting, beautiful to look at, and so aromatic that it perfumed the whole kitchen. I will bake it every year for rosh Hashanah (and during the year too).

  2. Rachel says:

    This cake is wonderful indeed. I substituted apple cider for the whiskey and it was very flavorful and moist.

  3. Jamie says:

    A tablespoon of cardamom seems like a lot, is this correct?

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