MAKES: 1 loaf (8 or more servings)

TIME: About 1 hour, plus time to cool

An Eastern European cake with deep, rich gingerbread-like taste and dark color. It’s loaded with flavor from the rye flour, spices, honey, and coffee. Add up to a cup of chopped dried fruit and/or nuts if you like.

Sauces, glazes, and frostings you can use with this cake: Drizzle with Mocha Glaze, soak in Spiced Coffee Cake Soak, or spread on Not-Too-Sweet Honey Buttercream Frosting.

2 tablespoons butter, plus butter for the pan

1 tablespoon grated or finely minced orange zest

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup rye or whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

Pinch each ground allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee

Preheat the oven to 350В°F. Grease a 9 — 5-inch loaf pan (if you double the recipe, you can use a tube pan). Combine the 2 tablespoons butter and the zest in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook until the butter sizzles, then turn off the heat. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is light and thick; beat in the honey and coffee, followed by the butter/zest mixture. Add the dry ingredients by hand, stirring just to combine; do not beat. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the cake rest in the pan for 5 minutes before inverting it onto a rack. Remove the pan, then turn the cake right side up. Let cool before slicing.

Variations

Raisin or Date Cake. The dried fruit is soaked and pured, which adds even more deep color and flavor: Add 1 cup raisins or chopped dates. Soak the raisins or dates in the coffee and honey until they soften a bit, then puree until smooth. Proceed with the recipe.

Molasses-Spice Cake. Really rich in color and flavor: Substitute molasses for the honey. Increase the spices to one large pinch each. Proceed with the recipe.