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Paleo Honey Cake

paleo honey cake - rosh hashanah dessert recipe

Paleo Honey Cake made with high protein almond flour for your High Holiday celebrations.

Honey Cake, also known as Lebkuchen, is a traditional Jewish dessert eaten during Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year); my family sometimes serves it during Yom Kippur Break Fast as well since it is a warming, comforting food. Traditionally, we eat honey during the High Holidays as this ritual sets the tone for a sweet new year. It is common to dip apples in honey at the Rosh Hashanah meals.

Most honey cake recipes include coffee, I left it out of this one to simplify the recipe and make it a couple of steps easier.

My husband loved this cake –as you can see from the photo above, a large piece has been devoured. And a friend said it was the best honey cake she had ever eaten, gluten free or not; however, I’ll let you all be the judge of that!

Paleo Honey Cake


  1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves
  2. In a separate bowl, combine honey, shortening and eggs
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry, then stir in raisins
  4. Grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan
  5. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes

Serves 12

It seems that just about everyone at the synagogue we attend is gluten free and a number of the folks are Paleo as well. Given how many requests I received this past month from our congregation for a Paleo Honey Cake, I thought it made sense to share this recipe.

Here are some additional Paleo Dessert recipes for the festive Jewish caveman in all of us:

posted on September 18, 2012, 60 comments

  1. Wanda

    Thank you for being so willing to share your recipes. My husband has gluten intolerance and his diet is rigid to extreme as he celiac ataxia n celiac cardiomyopathy. So when a tested n tried recipe is shared I truly appreciate it.

  2. Robyn

    Sounds wonderful … just wondering though, as we do not eat raisins, could I substitute chopped dates instead? Would this work as well?

  3. Michele

    I was just thinking I needed to find a recipe for honey cake! I meant to make one for this years holiday but got distracted. Next year!

  4. Enid Barnes

    This looks delicious, and I only have one question: why is this coming AFTER the first 2 days of the High Holidays!!

  5. Kalyn

    Does anyone know how to make this wonderful recipe with the addition of the coffee? I think it would be well worth the extra steps and time! Thank you, Elana, for another gem!

  6. Hello from the Netherlands,
    I am very happy with this website as in Holland we are not so very familiar with paleo recepies.
    So please can you tell me what does vegan palm oil shortening do in the backingproces or where does it stand for?

    grtz. Suzan

  7. Olivia@ OmNom Love @ omnomlove.blogspot.com

    Yum! I’ve never had honey cake before, but it sounds delish!

  8. Beth @ Tasty Yummies @ tasty-yummies.com

    This sounds amazing and so perfect! Another beautiful recipe, as always :) Thanks Elana.

  9. Yvonne Hertzberger @ yvonnehertzberger.com

    Definitely going to try this one. Thanks.

  10. Christi Hamburger

    Thank you Elana! I have been wanting this one!!! :)

  11. Tracey Mullin

    I love this cake! I’ve made it several times for various occasions and it’s always a hit! Thank you!!

  12. Maria

    I want to make this right away! I made your banana chocolate chip cake with vegan chocolate frosting for my daughter’s birthday earlier this month and everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing such easy and delicious recipes.

  13. Sarah @ unwheated.com

    This looks and sounds amazing! I can’t wait to share it at my next dinner party :-)

  14. Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa @ queenofquinoa.me

    Looks very tasty! I might try to make a variation using coocnut flour. One of my all time favorite flours!

  15. Janet Schmid @ nonapplicable

    Thank you, Elana for the lebkuchen recipe. Could I substitute coconut flower for the almond?

  16. Janet Schmid

    Sorry – should have consulted the FAQ’s on substituting coconut flour for almond. I should be able to make almond flour in the Vita-mixer?

  17. Liz N

    I will totally make this for the cake in a pumpkin trifle (Paleo) I am planning on making for Fall gatherings and Thanksgiving. This looks utterly incredible! I have been searching for the perfect gluten free cake for this trifle and my search is over. Thanks Elana!

  18. Aidel.K

    L’shana tova! This looks yum.

  19. Pink Peppercorn and Paprika @ pinkpeppercornandpaprika.blogspot.com

    I know Lebkichen to be a glazed spice cookie, so this cake version is a fun new way to try it! I am going to test it out for New Year’s. It is a family tradition to put a whole almond in the batter of the New Year dessert, and whoever gets the almond gets good luck for the year!

  20. This looks really good! on the topic of special occasions, anyone have some good advice for dealing with food allergies/intolerances at parties? I am highly sensitive to gluten, cow’s dairy and artificial preservatives/sweeteners. Whenever I am in social situations, I struggle to explain to others why I eat the way I do, or feel very awkward asking for meal accommodations or bringing my own food, so many people just assume I’m doing it for my weight, which is FAR from the truth!!

  21. Looks super yummy (as do all your recipes) – think it’s possible to do without eggs? My kids are allergic to them. :-( Thanks, LG

  22. Tawny

    I am making this right now and it smells wonderful! It was a breeze to whip up. However, I used coconut oil because I didn’t have palm shortening, and now I’m thinking that was a mistake. It isn’t cooking through. :( Does anybody know what to use in place of the palm shortening?

    • Dee

      I made this yesterday, using melted butter instead of palm oil shortening. It baked in 30mins. It’s delicious. My kids love it, they’ve taken big wedges of it to school in their lunchboxes.

  23. Joanna

    Made this after I got home from work yesterday and OMG… it is so wonderful.. didn’t have palm shortening, so also used coconut oil.. found I needed to bake about 15 minutes longer, but it came out absolutely beautiful!!

    Taste & texture is even better than the traditional and it rose so well, you’d never know it wasn’t made with flour..

    Will be making again and again.. so easy & good!!

  24. Brooke

    Over-the-top good! I think this may be my favorite treat yet. No one else in the family is aware that I made it- I don’t want to share. :)

  25. T.Avraham

    I made your older recipe that includes coffee for Rosh Hashanah this year, and it was amazing. I gave some to my mother in law as a gift, baked in a heart shape paper case, along with some sun dried tomato crackers – inspired from your fig crackers. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipes. Shana Tova from Jerusalem x

  26. Myrite @ tastylife.org

    Shana tova! Thanks for the wonderful healthy honey cake recipe, can’t wait to try it out!

  27. We served your delish paleo honey cakes at our oneg. The raisins were soaked in pomeg/blueberry juice. The leftovers went into the kiddos lunchboxes. Beyond moist and so yummy. Thanks for sharing such sweetness xxx

  28. Athena @ athenayoga.com

    Delicious hot out of the oven! Not too sweet. I used the vegan shortening recommended and didn’t melt it because the recipe did not say to. I had a hard time getting the shortening to blend in smoothly – I used a handheld electric mixer and still was left with little bits of white shortening…. they blended a little better when I mixed (by hand) the wet to the dry ingredients. At 35 minutes at 350 the center was not at all set. I wrapped foil around the pan to keep the edges from burning and baked for probably another 30 minutes. The center was set but the edges a little dry. Still very good. A keeper recipe for sure. Thanks Elena.

  29. Noeline

    I have just baked the Paleo Honey Cake but with the following changes, as almond flour is quite hard to obtain in Australia I used 2 cups of fine almond meal with 1/2 cup of gluten free SR Flour, 1/4 cup 100% Grapeseed oil in place of the palm oil shortening and egg replacer in place of eggs.
    The cake turned out really, really nice and quite moist. Thank you for your recipes I enjoy each posting.

  30. alexandra

    thank you! this was fabulous! and so glad to have a paleo honey cake

  31. Shannon

    Recipe sounds awesome. I’d love to know if anyone has had success using an egg substitute like flax or chia?

  32. Maxine

    Would it be ok to use the butter flavored shortening? I already have that in the house.

  33. christian @ aknepickel.de

    oh great, i am hungry now.. :D
    i need to eat something.. it looks so delicious..

  34. Sarah

    Just made this cake and it is wonderful!

  35. Abby

    I have been wanting to try this recipe and this morning I did. but I changed things around a little to accommodate what I had on hand. The biggest change was that I made this into muffins. I REALLY wanted apple muffins! So, I added chopped apples with the raisins. I also used butter instead of shortening, because that is what I have (and to be honest, I LOVE butter) I also used Trader Joe’s Almond Meal even though I know it is no the same thing as blanched almond flour. It’s what I had in my pantry and it’s much less expensive than Honeyville. It worked beautifully! The muffins were fantastic for a lazy Sunday brunch!

    This will now be a my go-to muffin recipe – I can see added all manner of fruits and nuts to it. Thanks Elana!

  36. Megan

    This looks yummy! Do you think this would work using 8 mini loaf pans to make individual loafs?

  37. Megan

    I made this cake several times, but each time, the cake sank in the middle and did not set properly. Did anyone else have this problem? Next time I am going to cover the edges and cook it a little longer and see how it does.

  38. Christine

    Would I be able to substitute the eggs with the flaxseed and water mixture for this recipe? I would love to try this honey cake recipe for my son. Thank you!

  39. Amanda

    This is another fabulous recipe. I’ve just made it and couldn’t wait for it to cool down. It’s yummy and not too sweet. Thanks Elana!

  40. samuel cooper

    What is the lightest bread you can make with coconut flour or almond flour? Have you ever made califlour bread with coconut flour?

  41. Mo

    Do you have a substitute for vegan shortening?

  42. doctorsh

    What can be substitute for the vegan shortening.
    How bout coconut oil?

  43. Audrey

    I made this for Rosh Hashanah. It rose beautifully in the pan but sank just a bit when it cooled. I baked it for 37 minutes at which point it tested done using the pick method. We ate it the day it was baked and the center was more moist than I expected it to be which made me think it was under baked even though it tested done. However, the next day the moisture had distributed more evenly. This was my first foray into baking with almond flour (I used Honeyville) and I am wondering about what level of moistness I should expect from this (and other almond flour) recipe and if there is a better indicator of doneness than a clean pick.

    It is a delicious cake and I have passed the recipe along to others who are GF/paleo.

  44. Nancy

    I’ve made several of your honey cakes over the past 2 weeks, for the holidays. I substituted pieces of apples instead of raisins. The cakes came out great! My biggest pleasure came from coworkers gobbling it up in no time at our office potluck. Usually my healthy deserts sit while the typical deserts get gobbled up. A wonderful change.

    I want to thank you for your wonderful books & online recipes. I have recommended your books & website to many people looking for support in changing their health. You are a blessing to me & to so many. Please keep it going.

    Chag Sameach.

  45. Debbie

    I made this for Rosh Hashanah and it was a huge hit! It tasted delicious and moist. My family kept going back to it over the traditional one sitting next to it! Thank you for your recipes!!

  46. Zainab

    I made this today, substituted shortening with coconut oil and it came out absolutely delicious, SO good my whole family loved it, thank you so much for sharing your awesomeness ;D

  47. johar

    Yum. Lovely cake. My first time using almond meal. Here are my tweaks: 2 cups TJ’s almond meal plus ½ cup mochi flour to hold it together, melted coconut oil for palm shortening, and two eggs instead of four. Couldn’t see the point of four eggs in such a small cake, and so didn’t want it to come out wet. Baked about 25 minutes in a small bundt pan. A little too salty for my taste. Will halve the salt next time.

  48. Wow, looks good. Wonder if this would hold up to a little pumpkin?

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top