Chanukah Wine Cake with Olive Oil, Cinnamon and Lemon Zest | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Chanukah Wine Cake with Olive Oil, Cinnamon and Lemon Zest

Chanukah Wine Cake with Olive Oil, Cinnamon and Lemon Zest

Chanukah Wine Cake with Olive Oil, Cinnamon and Lemon Zest (Photo by Jennifer Abadi)

Serves 8-10

1 hr 30 min

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For Cake:

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (Greek preferred!) for greasing the pan

Dry Ingredients:

1½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup whole wheat flour

1½ cups all-purpose unbleached white flour

¾ cup unrefined whole cane sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground cloves

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup extra virgin olive oil (Greek preferred!)

1 tbsp. lemon zest (from about 1 large lemon)

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup milk, soy milk, or cold water

3 tbsp. red wine

For Glaze:

½ cup unrefined whole cane sugar

3 tbsp. red wine

1 tbsp. cold water

For Serving:

Powdered sugar

Ground cinnamon

Whipped cream (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a standard loaf pan with olive oil, line the bottom with parchment paper, and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients.

3. In a separate smaller bowl combine all the wet ingredients then pour the mixture into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well into a smooth batter.

4. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Place the pan on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into its center comes out clean. (It’s okay if a few small crumbs stick to the tester, but not sticky batter). Prepare the glaze.

5. Combine the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a low heat and simmer, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute until all of the sugar has fully dissolved and has turned into a light syrup. Turn off the heat but leave the saucepan on the stove until ready to use.

6. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a trivet or the stove top. Quickly reheat the glaze for about 30 seconds just until warm, then generously brush the top and edges of the cake several times with the glaze using a pastry brush.

7. Let the cake cool about 45 minutes before running a thin spatula around the edges in order to more easily dislodge it. Invert the cake onto a clean counter top then turn the cake upright and place on a decorative platter or plate. Serve at room temperature on its own sprinkled with powdered sugar and a little cinnamon or with a dollop of whipped cream on top of each serving. Cake can be stored in an air-tight container or large zipper-lock bag at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks.

Jennifer Abadi is a cookbook author and a historian of Sephardic and Judeo-Arab recipes, food memories and traditions (