I think about my Bubby a lot this time of year. Oh how I miss her.
On the eve of Yom Kippur, just as we finished the first pre-fast meal, we’d walk over to her house to ask for a piece of lekach, or honey cake. This custom was instituted as a means of asking for something, in case it had been decreed that during the year one would need to resort to a handout from others, the decree would be satisfied with the asking for honey cake.
(Bubby’s recipe cards for Marble Cake)
One by one, my siblings and I would walk over to Bubby and whisper in yiddish, “Biteh ken ich huben lekach“, or “Please can I have a piece of honey cake”. We didn’t speak yiddish from home, but it was customary to ask in the yiddish language, and Bubby would wait patiently until we said it before handing us a piece wrapped in a white napkin. She would bless us with a myriad of blessings for the year, kissing our foreheads as the line to retrieve her cake wrapped in blessings continued to grow with cousins, aunts and uncles.
When my Zaidy was still alive, we were lucky enough to be blessed by his holy hands, as he cried and patted us on on the forehead in the way only he knew how.
On Sukkos, our house was permeated with the smell of Bubby’s stuffed cabbage and there was nothing like it. Her secret was adding ketchup to the meat mixture to keep it soft, sweet and juicy. And it was the BEST.
But really, Bubby was known for her cakes, and when my mom was growing up, she would always come home to a freshly baked cake after school each day. There was Bubby’s chocolate cake, her honey cake, blueberry pie cake, and of course, her marble cake. And I’m so proud to share a little piece of her with you all as I think of her this holiday season.
Bubby’s Marble Cake
2 cups sugar
1 cup neutral flavored oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup water
2 tbsp dutch process cocoa powder
Grease a 9×13 inch pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla (you can do this by hand or with a mixer). In a second bowl, combine the flour and the baking powder. Slowly add the flour mixture and water to the wet ingredients, alternating between them until incorporated.
Pour 2/3rds of the cake batter into the pan. Add cocoa powder to the remaining batter in your mixing bowl. Add dollops of the chocolate mixture to the vanilla batter in the pan and use a knife to swirl it to create a marbleized effect.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.