Bourbon Honey Cake

"My Bourbon Honey Cake came from a strong taste memory: It’s inspired by a classic Jewish holiday dessert that my mother served. I started with the flavors of honey, orange and autumn spices, then I added hot coffee for depth and rich bourbon to give it a grown-up edge. And because texture is so important, I added crunchy sliced almonds to the top. When it all came together, it was even better than I remembered!" says Ina.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min (plus cooling)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 12 to 16 slices of cake
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Ingredients

1 cup vegetable oil, plus extra for the pan

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the pan

1 1/2 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 (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 (2 oranges)

1/4 cup good bourbon, such as Maker's Mark

1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Brush a 9-inch angel food cake pan with a nonremovable bottom with oil, line the bottom with parchment paper, then oil and flour the pan.
  2. 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 1 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. Don’t worry; the batter will be very liquid!
  3. 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 45 minutes to 1 hour, 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.

Cook’s Note

To be sure the eggs are at room temperature for this cake, you can leave them out overnight. To make this cake ahead of time, prepare the cake completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 1 day, refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months.

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