Paleo Honey Cake recipe

Paleo Honey Cake

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
Serves: 12
  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
  6. Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour
  7. Serve

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:


  1. Wanda says

    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 says

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

    • says

      Robyn, I have substituted different dried fruits is Elana’s other Honey Cake recipe and they turned out wonderful. The different dried fruits impart a slight difference in flavor to the cake, so just think about weather or not the coffee, cinnamon, and cloves would be something you would pair with that dried fruit and change the spicing to suit the fruit.

  3. Michele says

    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 says

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

  5. Kalyn says

    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. says

    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

    • says

      Susan, I believe this is the “fat” part.

      I’m in the UK, and wondering what I could put in instead of it, because I don’t know where to get palm oil from, but I *think* you could substitute coconut oil, or maybe even butter..?

      I think I will try using coconut oil. I also think I might sub some of the cinnamon for nutmeg and ginger for a really nice rounded spice taste.

    • Megan says

      Hi Tracy, did your cake sink in the middle when you made this? I’m not sure what to do to prevent this; the rest of the cake came out perfect. Thanks!

  7. Maria says

    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.

  8. Janet Schmid says

    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?

  9. Liz N says

    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!

  10. says

    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!

  11. says

    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!!

  12. Tawny says

    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 says

      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.

  13. Joanna says

    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!!

  14. Brooke says

    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. :)

  15. T.Avraham says

    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

  16. says

    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

  17. says

    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.

    • Megan says

      I had the same problem. The cake sank in the middle and did not set. Otherwise, it tastes delicious, and I subbed in mini enjoy life chocolate chips in place of the raisins.

  18. Noeline says

    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.

  19. Abby says

    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!

  20. Megan says

    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.

  21. Christine says

    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!

  22. Amanda says

    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!

  23. samuel cooper says

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

  24. Audrey says

    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.

  25. Nancy says

    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.

  26. Debbie says

    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!!

  27. Zainab says

    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

  28. johar says

    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.

  29. Brooke says

    Oh my, I just made this and it is so delicious!!! Literally smelled so good that I had to risk burning my tongue and try it right out of the over. Yummy! Can wait to make it more often now.

  30. Joyce says

    Would love to make this for my gluten intolerant husband for Rosh Hashanah. Just one question: When do you remove it from the pan after it’s out of the oven. Thanks Joyce

  31. Elizabeth Taylor says

    Please find a substitute for Palm Oil… not only is it unhealthy but the collection of it destroys the jungles where the Orangoutangs live. Sad to see it used here.

  32. Sammy S says

    I just made this cake using coconut oil as a substitute and took it out the oven. A knife comes out clean but the middle is sunken. Can anyone advise what I may have done wrong? Considered putting it back in the oven but didn’t want it to dry out or burn.

  33. Candice says

    Have made this recipe now three times and every time EVERYONE has loved it. My friends was licking up the remnants from the dish! Absolute win!

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