Sunday, 15 August 2010

Honey cake

This cake contains no caster sugar, no brown sugar, no icing sugar, no sugar that you can think of.
OK, it does contain a whole jar of honey but let’s accentuate the positive – no sugar! Using honey instead of sugar made the batter silky and smooth – so much that it shone. It also gave the baked cake a firmer texture, but at the same time crumbly. I know that sounds impossible but you’ll see what I mean when you make it.

A friend of mine (Engelbert’s mum) brought me back a jar of honey from a day trip to Ickworth House.
She has what I believe would be termed a “high concept” blog (i.e. if I didn’t like her I would call it ‘mad’) based around her little crocodile called Engelbert.

To repay her kindness, Mr CC and I decided to try and make Engelbert cake decorations out of sugar paste.
It was our first foray into such an art form but we were pleased with our creations (Mr CC’s is on the left, mine on the right):

The Suffolk honey was mild in flavour – not dissimilar to golden syrup.
I often find honey too strong so loved this one.

Mr CC declared this one of the best cakes I’d ever made...high praise indeed!
It’s a very simple recipe – the sort that it’s easy to pass by in a book without it registering, but was so delicious that it really should be tried.

The real Engelbert showing his appreciation of our tribute:


150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g runny honey
3 eggs
300g self raising flour
225g sultanas
Dash of milk


Preheat the oven to 170˚C/fan oven 150˚C/325˚F/Gas mark 3.

Line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.
Beat together the butter and honey until you have a whipped, silky smooth blend. It will be much lighter than a traditional butter/sugar creaming.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, alternating with a third of the flour.

Add a dash of milk if the batter is too firm – you’re aiming for a dropping consistency i.e. if you take a spoonful of batter and lightly tap the spoon, the mixture drops off.

Stir in the sultanas.

Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Bake for anywhere between 1 hour and 1 ½ hours. Check after an hour and if the edges are cooking too fast, lower the heat. Mine took 1 hour 15 minutes and I didn’t find any problem with the edges browning too quickly.

When a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out cleanly, remove the cake from the oven and place the tin on a wire rack to cool.

Take the tin out of the cake when it is cool enough to handle, and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Store in an airtight container.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Suelle said...

This cake sounds lovely. I've never baked using just honey as the sweetener as it seems so expensive compared to sugar.

PS (whisper) - honey is a form of sugar which is almost as calorific as beet or cane sugar, but you can ignore that if you prefer. ;)

C said...

Sounds really lovely, especially with the sultanas added. I've recently made a cakes with a proportion of honey instead of all sugar, and it's amazing the way the flavour comes through. I bet this was delicious!

trash said...

I LOVE 'tanas in cake, destructoBoy loves honey, I think we shall be making this cake to round off the Summer holidays. The really big upside? CK doesn't like 'tanas - hahahahahahaha all the more for us.

Jacqueline said...

That does look rather wonderful. I loved the crocodiles :)

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious!

Baking Addict said...

The cake looks really simple and delicious. I love honey so will be trying this soon. The crocs are really good too!

Joy said...

I wish honey wasn't so expensive because this cakes looks divine!

Ling's Passion said...

Have never bake a cake using honey alone. Honey is just too expensive....sob-sob.

Katie said...

I love the flavour of honey in cakes but never used it to replace all the sugar before, will have to give it a go. Love the crocodiles you both made, they have such character.

Victoria said...

Your cake sounds soooooo yummy!!! I love honey in desserts and I love the sultanas in your cake!

Cats_cupcakes said...

Just had to comment when i saw the honey you used is from ickworth..i used to live about 10 mins away from there..really lovely place!

The cake looks very yummy..what a different idea using honey instead of sugar. Will be trying this i think!

Margaret said...

I love honey, providing it isn't a cheap and nasty brand, which tastes to me nothing like honey should.
The crocs are really cute and very cleverly made too.

Maria♥ said...

That cake looks delish!


coco cooks said...

Nice sugar paste!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

YUM. This is right up my alley. Dried fruit, honey..what a combination.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this recipe! I was looking for sugar substitutes and this is perfect. I baked in muffin cases. The first time I used chopped apple in place of sultanas and the second time I substituted some flour for cocoa powder. You have given me the perfect balance of fat/flour/honey to play with. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Made this today and had a lovely big slice with a dollop of crème fraiche! Delicious will definitely make it again, thanks :)