Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake Muffins, Gluten Free


If you’re anything like us, the morning preparation to get out the door seems to be a blur of activity. That would also be true as everyone in the household gets ready to spend the day at Synagogue in celebration of Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year.

The Jewish New Year is a time to both reflect and celebrate the circle of life and we do that in both prayer and food. Foods traditionally include the bounty of fall’s early harvest and recipes reflect our wishes for a sweet new year. Last year we featured Honey Cake, Apple Upside Down Cake, and Figgy Tart. You can find variations of those GF recipes on the blog (links below) and in the Gluten Free Canteen’s Book of Nosh.

But in the rush to get going on the first day of the New Year – it would be nice to take a moment with that cup of coffee (and your family) to celebrate the sweetness of the holiday with a Honey Cake Muffin with raisins. It would also be nice to sit through those long services after fueling up with a little food that commemorates the New Year.

The muffins can be baked the day before and reheated the next day in a low oven to refresh them. And Honey Cake always tastes better after aging slightly to fuse the flavors. That’s a win-win in the kitchen when something can be prepped and baked ahead of time.

While the coffee is dripping/perking/brewing turn the oven to 325. Place all the muffins on a baking sheet and place in the oven right away. Once the oven is finished preheating, turn it off and leave the muffins for about 4 minutes more. Between the warmth from the preheating oven and those extra few minutes, the muffins should be plenty hot. Serve right away with fresh coffee.

L’shana Tova!

Rosh Hashanah GF Honey Cake

Rosh Hashanah GF Challah

Rosh Hashanah Quick GF Apple Cake

Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake Raisin Muffins, Gluten Free
These DF Honey Cake Raisin Muffins taste even better the day after you bake them, but for best flavor first reheat them in a low oven for about 8-10 minutes. Feel free to replace the raisins with dates or cut up dried figs - add toasted chopped nuts if you wish. Don't leave out the pepper - it helps pop the other flavors. Use the kind of honey you love to eat plain because the flavor will really matter. Makes 16-18 regular size muffins.
  • 80 grams raisins (heaping ½ cup)
  • water to cover raisins
  • 300 grams AP GF flour (150 grams superfine brown rice flour plus 75 grams each superfine white rice flour and tapioca flour/starch) (2⅓ cups)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (heaping)
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves (scant)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (heaping)
  • one grind or pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 250 grams best quality honey, slightly warmed (1 cup)
  • 150 grams canola or other good quality vegetable oil (3/4 cup)
  • 50 grams orange juice (about ¼ cup)
  • zest of one whole orange
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate (at most large markets)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Place liners in muffin tin(s) (about 16-18). Set aside.
  2. Place raisins in a small bowl and fill with water just until covered. Let them soak while you prepare the recipe.
  3. Place flour, baking powder, cocoa, salt, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon and black pepper in a medium-large bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside. In a small bowl whisk together honey, oil, orange juice, zest, pomegranate concentrate, vanilla, and eggs. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth - the batter will look lumpy at first. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes and mix again to remove any remaining lumps. Drain the water from the raisins. Add raisins to the batter and stir. Scoop into liners about ⅔ full. Bake 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick barely comes out without crumbs. Don't over-bake or they will dry out. Serve warm. Keeps well overnight covered in foil. Reheat in a low oven for about 8-10 minutes before serving.
To Reheat
  1. Place muffins on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 325. Immediately place pan in oven. When oven is fully preheated set a timer for about 4 minutes. Remove muffins when timer goes off and serve warm for best flavor.

 (The Gluten Canteen’s Book of Nosh is a great resource for all your holiday baking needs.  And with each purchase of the book you are helping support our work. A mitzvah. Thank you.)


  1. Deanne Crim says:

    I just ordered your new book and I’m so excited to get it!! I just love all your recipes!!! Thank you for sharing!!! 🙂

  2. Hi Lisa!
    I found your blog by happy gluten free accident and have been drooling over the recipes ever since. 🙂

    I do have a big quick GF baking question tho that I hope you can help me out with…

    All of your recipes are designed to work exactly with the specific flours and weights and measurements that you mention. I however, am *extremely* allergic to rice an cannot use rice flour in any form at all. I am new to GF baking and have attempted to “swap” out the rice flours for other stuff as I’ve seen others do online, but my final products end-up looking and tasting nothing like the original recipes the bakers had formulated. Mostly gross. 🙂

    I have thrown away too many things this past month and have been thinking about abandoning my extremely expensive and wasteful experimenting, but with the Jewish holidays next week I would love! love! love! to bake some challah bread and cakes to bring to my mom’s house that everyone could indulge in.

    I would also love to know what to do for all your other scrumptious looking recipes that I’ve avoided tackling due to my inability to figure out how many grams of what flours would work once you take away the brown and white rice flour.

    Any and all GF Flour mix ideas that do not use rice, millet, oat, soy flour, or corn (also allergic to those guys) that would work out well in your recipes would be mucho appreciated.


    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Alli – I bet finding anything in the gluten-free world without rice flour in it is going to be tough. I don’t have any experience with baking the challah without rice flours so you’ll have to experiment. But what I would do if I were in your shoes is explore some of the really popular Paleo baking websites or books – they pretty much avoid gluten and grains including the rice flours and most of the others you mention. There might be a bread recipe you could adapt into a challah like bread – one that might allow for the inclusion of eggs. Maybe even someone has a Paleo “flour mix” that you could experiment with.

      Just swapping out flours, though will probably get you more of what you’ve already experienced – it doesn’t work very well – there is a ratio to the dry, liquids, fats that has to be there and if it gets altered, the baked good won’t really come out. But I bet someone has developed some great Paleo baking recipes, including bread that might work for you. I have none to reference, but try Google and Amazon under cooking, special diets. Best of luck and thanks for coming by. And don’t forget to look through the Canteen blog for some flourless recipes – there are a few – index, cookies, macaroons and a few other cookies.

  3. Thanks Lisa.

    To comment on your comment 🙂 , I have never been able to buy and eat prepared traditional Gf baked goods. Yes, almost everything is made with rice flour. I kindof gave up on traditional baked goods and desserts for years and eventually became a raw food vegan and learned how to create treats and faux baked goods in that way..

    I am very good at un-baking with nuts and seeds and fresh and dried fruits to make paleo-ish desserts that mimic the real thing.

    I have been dying to create more traditional desserts and breads though, like your stuff… 🙂 that isn’t all nut flour and coconut heavy based. It’s why I had asked if you might know which of any other Gluten Free grains that would work as a swap out in your recipes for the white rice and brown rice in terms of taste and texture….

    I’m not allergic to all grains, just a bunch of them. I can use sorghum, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, possibly teff ,(but I’ve never tried it before so I don’t know for sure.) I can also use legume flours like chickpea and fava bean flour and tapioca, arrowroot and potato starch. I have been experimenting with Bob’s Red Mill AP GF flour mix since I’m not allergic to anything in it, but it hasn’t been all that successful in swapping out for specific flour blends that people create for their recipes.

    Do you think sorghum would work instead of the brown rice flour in your recipes ounce for ounce? What would be a good swap for the white rice flour you think in terms of taste and texture.?


    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Alli – I really don’t have much experience using the flours you mentioned instead of brown rice flour. Sounds like you will be experimenting to see what works best for you. You might get a better idea of how to do that by reading the About Flours section to learn more about the different flours and their qualities. I’d search for the most neutral flours you can find – and experiment to see what works best. Good luck!

    • Try using urad + sorgum flour . Urad is a lentil you can find the flour in Indian store

  4. Swarna,
    Have you successfully swapped out different flours in Lisa’s recipes? Her stuff sounds so precise and I didn’t want to screw it up for the holiday’s. 🙂 🙂 Thanks!

  5. Lisa, does it say 4 minutes, and if so, did you really mean 4 minutes? Thanks!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Cj. Yep. That’s the instructions for reheating the muffins, not baking them. The instructions for baking are different (and longer baking). When you refresh, or reheat the muffins the best way to do it is to set them in the oven on a pan, preheat it to the temp indicated, once it heats up, turn the oven off and leave them in there for a few minutes (like 4 minutes). Did that help?

    • Oops! That’s for reheating…never mind! Yay, they are in the oven now!