Editor’s note: In 2020, the Jewish new year begins on the evening on Friday September 18 and concludes on the evening of Sunday September 20.

On Rosh Hashanah, Jewish people traditionally eat apples dipped in honey – and honey cake – to ensure a year filled with sweetness.

At Aviv Cakes & Bagels in Elsternwick, we’ve been baking honey cakes for 26 years. It’s a seasonal product, although we do sell our chocolate-dipped honey biscuits year-round. The shop gets very busy around the holidays, so you’ll need to get in early before Rosh Hashanah to get a cake. Otherwise, try making it at home yourself. When baking your honey cake, always use good-quality honey and apples. It should also have an undertone of spice.

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Aviv’s honey cake
Serves 6–8
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 50–60 minutes


1 cup warm water
1 cup good-quality honey
1 cup sugar
¾ cup sunflower oil
4 eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup rye flour
¾ cup diced apple, cooked
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice


Mix honey with warm water until it’s a smooth liquid. Add sugar, oil and eggs and mix thoroughly.

Fold in self-raising flour, rye flour, apple and spices. Pour into a greased 9-inch cake tin or divide into two loaf tins. Bake at 150°C for 50–60 minutes.

If you like: cool, halve longways, layer with apricot jam and coat with chocolate ganache for extra moistness.

Otherwise, garnish with walnuts and glacé cherries.

Aviv Cakes & Bagels
412 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick
(03) 9528 6627