Hot Toddy Lemon Cake
Our tasty and easy to bake Hot Toddy Lemon Cake is based on our tried and tested honey cake recipe. We've added some elements from a classic lemon drizzle cake and a traditional Scotch hot toddy to make a deliciously boozy cake that's perfect for the colder weather, which seems to be coming in all too quickly at the moment!
A simple Hot Toddy is a warm drink that's usually just a large shot of scotch whiskey, half a lemon, a tablespoon honey with some hot water to taste. Some people like to add cinnamon sticks and cloves to the drink, so in the recipe we've made both cinnamon and cloves optional spices in the cake. If you enjoy a spicy hot toddy then feel free to add those, if you'd rather taste more of the whiskey, lemon, and honey then leave them out.
To make the cake you will need:
- 165g of Just Bee Original Honey
- 150g of unsalted butter
- 40g caster sugar
- ½ Tbsp of lemon juice
- ½ Tbsp of single malt Scotch whisky
- 2 large eggs
- 210g self-raising flour
- The zest of 1 large lemon
- ½ Tsp of ground cinnamon (optional)
- ¼ Tsp of ground cloves (optional)
For the hot toddy drizzle:
- 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp of Just Bee Honey
- 2 Tbsp of Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- A pinch or two of Granulated Sugar (optional)
You will also need:
- A medium size saucepan
- A mixing bowl
- A loaf cake tin around 13cm x 24cm
- A baking tray
- Baking paper for lining the tin
- A sieve
Time to make and bake: Around 1hr 15mins
Step 1: Combining wet ingredients in the saucepan.
Add the honey, sugar and butter to a medium sized saucepan then over a very low hob, gently heat the ingredients until they are all melted and mixed together. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula. Don't overheat the mixture, just enough that the butter and honey melt and will blend together. Then remove from the heat and add ½ a tablespoon of whisky and ½ a tablespoon of lemon juice and stir though the mix. Put the pan aside for now to allow the mixture to fully cool.
Step 2: Preparing the cake tin.
Line the loaf tin with some greaseproof baking paper. If you are struggling to get it to play nicely, snip diagonally into the corners with a pair of scissors to help it fit a little easier. You can use a little butter to help it stay in place but once we add the cake batter it will sort out any places where it's not behaving! Once you are happy, put the tin aside for now.
Step 3: Preparing the dry ingredients.
Next, sift the flour into the mixing bowl using the sieve, then add the zest from a whole lemon; try not to get any of the pith (the white part underneath the zest) in your cake as this can taste very bitter and is not a good addition to your cake! If you are adding the ground cinnamon and cloves, sprinkle those into the bowl too and give it a mix around.
Step 4: Pre-heating the oven.
We need to pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 or 180c, but reduce to around 160c if you have a fan assisted oven. We'll be baking the cake on the middle shelf, so do any adjustments now to the shelf spacing so you can fit your cake in.
Step 5: Adding the eggs.
Crack both eggs into a mug or something similar and give them a good beating using a fork, you can also use a small whisk if you prefer. Check the mixture in the saucepan is cool (if not make yourself a cuppa and give it a little longer) then add the eggs to the pan and give that all a good mix until combined.
Step 6: Finishing the cake batter.
Pour all the wet ingredients from the saucepan into the mixing bowl (with the flour, zest and spices in) and beat until you have a nice smooth batter. You'll end up with a fairly runny batter but that's exactly what we want.
Step 7: Baking to perfection!
Pour the cake batter into the loaf cake tin. Use a silicon spatula to get as much out as you can. The batter should be runny enough to self-level so there is no need to poke it around once it's in the tin. Pop the tin onto a baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes. I find the tray helps me take your cake in and out of the oven and turn it around if needed, but you can just pop the cake tin straight onto a shelf if you prefer.
While the cake is baking give the saucepan a quick wash out and dry, we'll be using that again for our Hot Toddy drizzle.
Step 8: Time to check the cake!
After baking for 45 minutes check the cake is well-risen, golden brown and has a springy feel when pressed. Push a chopstick or skewer into the centre of the cake and pull it out, it should be clean without any kind of sticky cake mixture on it (a few crumbs is fine though!) If the cake isn't fully cooked return to the oven for another 5 or 10 minutes until it is done.
Step 9: Adding the Hot Toddy drizzle.
Once your cake is baked remove it from the oven but leave it in its cake tin. Take your saucepan and add a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of Just Bee honey and two tablespoons of Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Heat gently and stir until the honey is melted and blended into the whisky and lemon juice.
Then using a skewer or chopstick (or anything clean and similar) poke holes deep into your cake, there no need to let the cake fully cool or remove it from the tin, it's better if you don't! There's no need to hold back with the hole poking either, I did about 30 in my cake!
Then pour the hot toddy mix from the pan onto the top of the cake, it's best to go at this quite slowly. Making sure the whole top is covered with the Toddy and giving some time for it to soak deep into the cake through all those holes. As a finishing touch I like to sprinkle a couple of pinches of granulated sugar across the top but you don't have to. Alternatively you could dust over the top with icing sugar, when it combines with the moist cake top it will created a sugary crust more like a lemon drizzle cake top. Either or, the choice is yours!
Allow to cool to let all those hot toddy flavours fully permeate the cake before removing from the cake tin. This cake is great on its own and equally delicious as a dessert with some vanilla ice cream. If you aren't a fan of Scotch, you could substitute it for some spiced or dark rum or some Bourbon, which works just as well in the recipe, if not as traditional.