International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Lekach, a Jewish honey cake, in a Bundt pan

(Israeli Jewish honey cake)

Average: 3.8 (16 votes)

This spiced honey cake is a traditional dessert during Rosh Hashanah when sweet dishes symbolize a sweet New Year on the Jewish calendar.

Lekach is a Yiddish word of unclear etymology. It may be derived from the ancient Aramaic lekhakh for "to mix well." Or it could come from חֵלֶק, the Hebrew word for "portion."

4 to 6 servings


  • All-purpose flour -- 3 1/2 cups
  • Baking powder -- 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Baking soda -- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon -- 1 teaspoon
  • Allspice -- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Honey -- 1 cup
  • Strong coffee, cooled -- 1/2 cup
  • Vegetable oil -- 2 tablespoons
  • Eggs -- 4
  • Brown sugar -- 1 cup
  • Chopped walnuts or almonds -- 3/4 cup
  • Raisins, soaked in warm water and drained -- 3/4 cup
  • Brandy or rum (optional) -- 3 tablespoons


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the honey, coffee and oil. Set both aside.
  2. Add the eggs and brown sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until light and foamy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add about 1/3 of the flour mixer, allowing it to incorporate fully. Next add half of the honey-mixture, once again allowing it to be fully incorporated. Continue with another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the remaining honey mixture and finish with the remaining flour.
  4. Remove the mixer bowl and gently fold in the walnuts, soaked raisins and brandy with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan or a 9-inch round, square or Bundt-style cake pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake to a counter and cool completely before removing from the pan. Cut into slices and serve with hot coffee.

Lekach Variations

  • Instead of raisins, use currants or chopped, candied fruit.
  • Soak the raisins in the brandy instead of water and just add the raisins to the batter without draining them.
  • Substitute apple juice for the coffee.
  • Add the zest of one orange for extra flavor.


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