Cakes, Cakes and Desserts, fruit, Recipes

Honey and Applesauce Tea Cakes, with Coconut and Rum

The Jewish New Year is celebrated tomorrow, and this brings back memories of traditional foods. One of the culinary traditions for this event, is to dip a slice of apple in honey, and eat it as a symbol for a sweet New Year. Plenty other sweet dishes are added to the table as well, in order to emphasize this hope for a sweet New Year.
The quick and easy “all in one bowl” cakes I’ve created here, were inspired by this tradition – by mixing honey and applesauce in the batter. However, this time, I also wanted to give this tasty combination a bit of an exotic twist; so I infused black tea with Indian Chai Masala spice mix, and added it, along with dark rum and desiccated coconut, to the batter.

To enhance these flavors even further, I also brushed the baked warm cakes with some more honey and rum, and topped them with a bit more desiccated coconut.

These tasty, moist and dairy free cakes, will fill your kitchen with wonderful aroma while baking. Served with a drizzle of honey on top, and sliced apples on the side, is a great way to start the New Year. Try it and enjoy.

Happy and sweet New Year to all!


* The batter is quite runny, so it’s important to fill the pans only up to half – so that the batter will not overflow. This is also the reason for baking it at fairly low temperature.

* Chai Masala spice mix is used for cooking fragrant Indian tea. The spices in the mix I’ve used here are: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg and cloves. It can be found in many stores, or online.

Makes: 1 12 cup Bundt cake + 2 small loaf cakes

Prep time: 30 minutes

Baking time: 50 minutes for the Bundt pan, 30 minutes for the small pans


1 extra strong black tea teabag

1 heaped tsp Chai Masala spice mix (see notes)

3/4 cup boiling water

¾ cup honey

¼ cup dark rum

3 L eggs

¾ cup sugar

1/3 cup oil

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

1¾ cups flour

¼ cup cornstarch

1 Tbs baking powder

¼ tsp salt

½ cup desiccated unsweetened coconut

For brushing the cakes:

1/3 cup honey

2 Tbs dark rum

Desiccated coconut for sprinkling

  1. Place the tea bag and Chai Masala spice mix in a small bowl. Add the boiling water and let steep until it cools to room temperature. Strain through a fine strainer, mix with the honey and rum and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 340F (170C). Brush a Bundt pan, and two small loaf pans, with oil, then dust with flour. Turn upside down, and tap over, to get rid of excess flour. Place in the fridge until using.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar. Add the oil and applesauce, and whisk again to combine. Add the tea-honey mix and whisk again.
  4. Add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt, and whisk briefly to combine. (Don’t be tempted to add more flour, the batter is supposed to be runny.) Add the coconut and mix in with a spatula. Pour into the prepared pans, up to half their height, and place in the oven.
  5. Bake the small pans for 30 minutes, and the Bundt pan for 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  6. Keep in the pan for 5 minutes, before turning out onto a rack, to cool to room temperature.
  7. Mix the honey and rum for brushing, and brush over the cake tops. Sprinkle desiccated coconut on top.

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