Our Honey Cake Recipe
This honey cake recipe and method was heavily inspired by a Polish Honey Cake recipe that a good friend of mine often makes as a dessert.
It's a versatile honey cake that can be enjoyed with a cup of tea or served warm with some whipped cream or custard as a pudding. It's a delicious cake with notes of citrus zest, cinnamon and vanilla and finished off with a delightful sweet honey and nut topping.
It's a little more complicated than some cake recipes as it's made it two different parts that aren't combined until it goes in the oven, so it's worth a little extra preparation to keep the batter and topping ingredients separate and weighed out before you start.
To make this honey cake, you will need:
For the Cake Batter
- 350g of Plain Flour
- 100g of Unsalted Butter
- 50g of Raw Honey
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 5 tablespoons of soft brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 140ml of milk
For the Topping
- 50g of Unsalted butter
- 50g Raw honey
- a pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 50g of mixed nuts
- 1 teaspoon of Lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon of Lemon Juice
- An 8-9 inch circular cake tin
- A medium sized saucepan
- A large sized mixing bowl
- A medium sized mixing bowl
- A baking sheet or tray
Time to make and bake is around 1 hour
1: Get the oven hot and ready!
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5 or 200c (180c for an electric fan oven) We'll be baking on the middle shelf, the cake will rise so make sure you have a little room above.
2: Prepare the cake tin and ingredients.
Grease the bottom of the cake tin with a little butter and line with a round of baking paper. This will give you the best chance of your cake coming out clean and easy.
Sort the ingredients by separating into cake batter ingredients and topping ingredients, you can put the ingredients for the cake batter aside for a moment as we'll be making the topping first.
3: Create the topping.
Add the butter and honey into your saucepan and heat gently until melted, stirring occasionally. Once the butter has melted add the salt, vanilla extract, lemon zest and juice and stir together gently. Remove from the heat, add the mixed nuts, stir in and set aside to cool.
4: Let's start the cake batter.
In the large bowl cream the butter and sugar together until it's soft and fluffy, this is easiest with an electric mixer but if you are working by hand, just make sure the butter is nice and soft before starting and give it plenty of elbow grease!
When the sugar and butter is fully combined start to add the honey a little at a time, continually beating it into the mixture. When the honey has been combined, add the eggs one at a time beating in between. Finally add the vanilla extract and beat that in too. Put this aside for a moment while we prepare the dry ingredients.
5: Prepare and add the dry ingredients.
In the smaller mixing bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt. Gradually start to add small amounts of this flour mixture alternately with the milk to the wet mixture in the large bowl. Keep mixing until the ingredients are just blended after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Eventually all your ingredients will be all mixed together into a smooth batter in the large bowl.
6: Transfer to the cake tin.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin. Try and get it as even as possible and use your spatula to smooth the top. If you leave it for a couple of minutes it should almost 'self level' itself after a little helping hand at the start. When you are happy pour the topping straight on top of the cake batter, again try and get this as even as possible and pour gently so it 'floats' on top of the batter. Use you spatula to hook out any almonds left in the pan and spread these evenly over the top as much as possible.
7: Into the oven!
Place the cake tin on a baking sheet and cook on the middle shelf for about 30-40 minutes, until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. The top should just be starting to brown and the topping should transform into a sweet glaze.
8: Remove and cool.
When the cake is done, let cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes, then out of the tin to finish cooling completely. There will be plenty of cake for 8 chunky sized slices. So you can feed a family of 4 as a tasty dessert and still have half a cake left for later in the week to enjoy with a cuppa!
Notes and alternatives:
As always for the best results we recommend our Just Bee Original Honey for this recipe but you can use whatever honey you have in the cupboard.
If you don't like cinnamon, you can opt to leave it out completely. However it's not a strong flavour at this amount and I think it adds an extra level of depth to the flavour that you don't get without it. I would suggest trying it with first.
If you have a nut allergy, you can of course leave the mixed nuts out of the topping. They are mainly there for the look and to add some extra interest to the topping but without them you will still have a delicious honey cake!
You can choose to use dark or light soft brown sugar. I've used both and both seem to work equally as well.
You can also add additional dried fruits, such as raisins or figs, into your cake batter to add a more fruit and nut combination taste to your honey cake and add some extra texture to the cake as shown in our photos.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, let us know how your honey cake turned out and if you'll be making it again! Leave a comment below, we love hearing your baking success stories!