Onik Lakej

photo taken by fofie57, on July 13, 2008, CC licensing

Adapted from A Russian Jew Cooks in Peru by Violeta Autumn (101 Productions)

A simple, classic recipe from Russia by way of Peru. (Onik lakej is the Spanish transliteration of the Yiddish honig lekach, or honey cake). Violeta Autumn writes that her mother "used to say ‘When the honey cake is baking and the top cracks of its own accord, it's a good sign; it means it won't be gooey-heavy.'"


  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar 
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup broken walnut meats (optional)


Beat as you go: the oil, sugar, eggs, honey, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Gradually add the dry mixture to egg mixture and keep beating hard, to get plenty of air into the batter. Blend in the walnuts, if using.
Bake in a greased and floured pan at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 300 degrees and continue baking for 45 minutes.
Test with toothpick. If clean, cake is done. 

Sephardic or Askhenazi