Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a large loaf pan.
Pour the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. In a smaller bowl, mix together oil, honey, eggs and spices with a whisk. Add that to the sugar and mix on medium-high for a minute. In a measuring cup dissolve baking soda in water. Set aside. With the mixer on low, blend in flour. Turn mixer on high for a minute. Switching mixer to low once again, add the water and baking soda mix. Once incorporated, turn the mixer on high for about 30 seconds.
Immediately pour into prepared loaf pan. Set cake in oven. Leave the oven door ajar on the first stop (yes, open!). Once the cake reaches a good height, close the oven door and continue baking for about 40-50 minutes more or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Invert on a rack. Tastes best as it ages -- wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.
To make gluten free:
Use gluten-free flour instead of rye. Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum. Add 2 tablespoons molasses to the honey-egg-oil mix.