It’s comforting to know that no matter how much the world changes, holiday traditions tend to remain the same through the years. From generation to generation, we are blessed to stay connected to our loved ones through the foods we eat, the songs we sing, and even the dishes we set out on the table.
With Rosh Hashanah right around the corner, those who celebrate the Jewish New Year—a holiday that symbolizes a fresh start and a new beginning—will be finding ways to include honey in many of the dishes they serve during the celebration.
Why Eat Honey on Rosh Hashanah?
There aren’t many foods that are as sweet as honey. And since we all want to have a “sweet” year ahead of us, honey is eaten to symbolize that hope.
From sliced apples dipped in honey to carrots drizzled with the sweet stuff, sticky fingers abound when Rosh Hashanah comes around.
Bake a Honey Cake for a Sweet New Year
Nothing is more crowd-pleasing and comforting than a homemade Rosh Hashanah honey cake to help celebrate the holiday.
While you can find a slew of variations on the classic honey cake recipe, one thing will certainly remain constant: The dessert is going to contain a lot of honey. Rosh Hashanah honey cakes are dense, rich and packed with nostalgia and memories. So, whether you go for a coffee-based variation or an orange juice version, as long as it’s loaded with honey, you can’t go wrong.
Support the Bee Population by Buying Local Honey
The bee population has been in a steep decline in recent years, and the issue has consequences not only for humans—since bees make the nectar we enjoy in our tea, our oatmeal and our desserts—but for the ecosystem as a whole. The collapse of honeybee colonies can potentially mean a lack of honey in the future, along with other more serious environmental effects. Many agricultural crops depend on bees to pollinate flowers in order to keep the population thriving, and declining honeybee colonies may mean fewer available crops like almonds, tomatoes, pumpkins and cranberries.
One of the organizations focused on supporting the bee population is Mellifera(Opens in a new window). This group, which is one of our environmental nonprofit partners through 1% for the Planet, advocates for ecologically minded beekeeping and the protection of bees. The nonprofit also educates people about the fascinating world of bees through its various programs, and facilitates discussions around bees, their uses and their endangerment.
You can support bees by efforts to prevent the decline of the bee population. And when you’re buying honey for a Rosh Hashanah honey cake recipe or for year-round use, purchasing your honey from local apiaries whenever possible can help sustain the bee population in your community.
Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake Recipe
Once you’ve bought your jar of local honey, get ready to make this delicious Rosh Hashanah honey cake recipe. You’ll need a cake pan, a sturdy whisk, and a few mixing bowls handy. Honey can be sticky to work with, so use an adjustable measuring cup that can push the honey right into the bowl and reduce the waste left stuck to the sides.
This recipe is made with applesauce, spices and, of course, lots of honey. While clover honey is typically used in this cake recipe, any variety will do.
Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake
Tip: If you’d like to give homemade Rosh Hashanah gifts, bake this cake in muffin pans so you can give friends and family mini honey cakes for the holiday. Keep in mind that you may need to reduce your baking time to 45 minutes instead of one hour. Once the muffins are cooked through and a toothpick can be cleanly inserted and removed, your honey cakes are ready to share.