To dress up slices of this sweet and spicy cake, serve it with honeyed oranges: Whisk together 3 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and drizzle over 3 oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds.
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup hot tap water
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger in a medium bowl. Combine honey, sugar, oil, eggs and orange zest in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium with an electric mixer until smooth and lightened in color, 3 to 5 minutes. On low mixer speed, beat in dry ingredients, 1/2 cup at a time. Beat in hot water.
3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes. (Check cake after 45 minutes; if top is already brown, loosely tent with a piece of greased aluminum foil and continue to bake until done.) Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack, invert again and let cool completely.
4. Whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice in a medium bowl. Drizzle over cake and let stand until set, about 30 minutes, before slicing and serving.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.