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Orange Honey Cake with Orange Mousse

Orange Honey Cake For Rosh Hashannah

This is a new kind of honey cake for Rosh Hashanah. I have made it square, but you can make it in 8-inch round pans too. I like to decorate the sides of the cake with candied orange slices (recipe below) but quicker options are sliced almonds or chopped pistachio nuts. Decorate the top with sliced berries, but always wait until just before serving so the fruit doesn’t bleed onto the cream.

  • Duration
  • Prep Time
  • 16 ServingsServings



  • Spray oil containing flour or spray plus 2 tablespoons flour to prepare pan
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, from one large or two small oranges
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed, strained orange juice (from zested oranges)

Orange Mousse

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoon pareve margarine
  • ½ cup whipping cream

Candied Oranges

  • 2 to 3 small oranges
  • 1 cup sugar


  • Orange sices, nuts or fruit


To make cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.   Spray and flour two 8-inch square or round pans.
  2. In a small bowl or cup, dissolve the honey in the boiling water.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, eggs, oil, flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, orange zest, orange juice and dissolved honey.
  4. Mix with a whisk or electric mixer on medium speed until all ingredients are combined and the batter is creamy.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans, and bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pans. Turn the cakes onto a rack and let cool completely.

The cakes may be stored in plastic wrap at room temperature for three days or frozen for up to three months.

To make candied oranges:

  1. Slice oranges across into ¼-inch slices.  You do not want to cut the slices too thin or they will fall apart.
  2. Bring four cups water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add oranges and cook for two minutes.
  3. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
  4. In the same saucepan, place sugar and 1 cup water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  5. Return the oranges to the saucepan and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool and store, between pieces of parchment, in an airtight container.

These oranges can be made five days in advance.

To make the orange mousse:

  1. First prepare the orange curd by placing sugar, eggs, yolks, orange zest, orange juice, and lemon juice in a medium heatproof bowl.
  2. Whisk to combine.
  3. Set over a medium saucepan with simmering water (a double-boiler).
  4. Cook the curd, uncovered, whisking occasionally until a mixture is thickened, approximately 25 minutes.
  5. Remove bowl from the heat and whisk in the margarine 1 tablespoon at a time.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate eight hours or overnight.
  7. The mousse can be made three days in advance.
  8. To use immediately, place the bowl of curd over a larger bowl filled with ice and a little water (below the level of the cream).
  9. Stir occasionally until the curd is chilled.
  10. Whip cream and fold into the curd, one third at a time.

To assemble cake:

  1. Trim cakes so that the tops are flat and the sides are straight.
  2. If you want the cake to be all white, trim off all brown edges. Eat the trimmings immediately.
  3. Place one of the cakes on a platter, bottom-side down, and tuck strips of waxed or parchment paper underneath it on all sides.
  4. Place 1/3 cup filling on top of cake and spread all the way to the edges.
  5. Cover with the second cake, bottom side up.
  6. Spread a thin layer of mousse all around the top and sides of the cake.  Do not worry about covering all the dark parts of the cake.
  7. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from freezer and add another coat of mousse, using a long, metal, flat-blade spatula to smooth.
  9. Place back in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  10. Add a third coat, using up all the mousse.
  11. Heat your metal spatula under boiling water, dry, and use to smooth the top and sides of the cake.
  12. Store in the fridge up to five days, or freeze up to three months.

When ready to serve, decorate with orange slices, nuts, or fruit, as desired.