Thursday, 12 June 2008

Devonshire honey cake

We were visiting relatives over the weekend and I wanted to bring something with me besides the usual flowers. Baking a cake seemed like a good idea, as I could then give slices away at each house. I flicked through the BBC Good Food recipes and found this very simple one for honey cake. I don't know why it's called 'Devonshire honey cake', just that it's simple and sounds delicious and different from the chocolate cakes, fruit loaves and muffins that I tend to do. I made it in the same afternoon a few hours before we left the house so it was definitely a quickie.

Devonshire honey cake 1

I was very pleased that everyone loved the cake. The taste and smell of honey is very strong in this cake so one definitely needs to like honey to appreciate this. A sweet tooth also helps! Perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon, or serve as a dessert with custard.

I made this in a 9 inch cake tin instead of 8 inch as in the recipe. A skewer inserted in the middle of the cake came out wet at the end of cooking time so I stuck it in for another 10 minutes. This can also be made in a loaf tin, although cooking time will vary. Check after about 45 minutes and bake until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out dry (without batter clinging to it).

Ingredients (serves 8-10):

225g unsalted butter
250g clear honey plus 2 tbsp to glaze
100g dark muscovado sugar (or use dark soft brown sugar)
3 large eggs, beaten
300g self raising flour (or plain flour plus 1 1/2 tsp baking powder)


1. Cut the butter into pieces and drop into a medium pan with the honey and sugar. Melt slowly over low heat. When all the butter has melted, increase the heat and boil for about one minute. (Note: The mixture will bubble and expand in volume so make sure the pan is large enough.) Leave to cool (this will take a while; go have a shower, read the newspaper, watch some TV, call your mum, or run up and down the stairs to work off some honey-cake calories that you'll be ingesting later).
2. Preheat oven 160 degrees C/gas 3. Grease and line a 20cm/8 inch round cake tin.
3. When the honey mixture is cool, pour into a mixing bowl with the eggs and beat with a wooden spoon.
4. Sift the flour into a large bowl and pour in the eggs and honey mixture. Beat until a smooth batter is achieved. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 50-60 minutes, until the cake is well-risen, golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed.
5. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack. Warm 2 tbsp of honey in a small pan and brush over the top of the cake to glaze. Leave to cool.

Devonshire honey cake 2

This cake will be my entry this week for the Bookmarked Recipes event run by Ruth's Kitchen Experiments.

Other cake recipes:
Banana bread
Dark chocolate and orange cake


Indigo said...

That first picture is absolutely beautiful; better than the one on the Good Food site by far (though I do love their recipes; great ideas for dinner). Stunning.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Never try honey cake before. Looks lovely with a cup of coffee.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Love the name, I bet this would be amazing with a dollop of Devonshire cream on top.

didally said...

I love how the glaze makes the whole cake look so pretty. It sure looks moist and delicious. I haven't bake for a long time.

Little Corner of Mine said...

BTW, need you to spread the news to help with breast cancer donation, come take a look at my blog. Thanks ya!

tigerfish said...

Almost breakfast time for me. I can have this with tea :)

Nilmandra said...

indigo: Thanks for the kind comment! I do love the Good Food recipes.

Little Corner of Mine: I've never tried it either. I'm glad I felt adventurous enough that day, heh. Will pop over to your blog to take a look.

Marc: Of course! Maybe that's why it's called Devonshire honey cake?! :)

Didally: The glaze did make a nice difference to an otherwise plain looking cake.

Tigerfish: It was all gone by the afternoon, none for breakfast!

Ruth Elkin said...

What a beautiful looking cake. i love the sound of honey cake. It's always good to spoil family with a treat like this.

Thanks for sending it into the BR roundup

Nilmandra said...

Ruth Elkin: I do love baking for family and friends, always a pleasure to feed them and try out new recipes too!

giz said...

This so takes me back to my childhood - my mother made honey cake and I adore it. Before it went into the oven she would put slivered almonds sparsley scattered over the cake - deeeeeeelicious.

reika said...

Hi Nilmandra, the cake looks very tempting! I just want to ask you what clear honey is? Is it different from the regular honey?

Nilmandra said...

Giz: I love it when food brings back childhood memories. You're right, almonds on top would have made it even better and provide more of a visual contrast too. Thanks for the tip!

Reika: Clear honey is different in appearance and consistency from cloudy honey (that also tends to be thicker). Most regular honey is clear - you can somewhat see through it. Cloudy honey is completely opaque, like in this image. Hope that helps!

Elsye said...

I made honey cake with different recipe last week, but it turn bad..:(

I have a big bottle of honey and it has to be finished before next moth. I'll try your recipe soon...thankss a lot :D

btw...beautifull picture as always..:D

Nilmandra said...

Elsye: That's a shame! I hope you have better luck with this recipe. I also like to use honey with roast chicken, like this honey and rosemary chicken and Chinese roast chicken.

mycookinghut said...

Miam! Definitely worth trying!

Nilmandra said...

Thanks, My Cooking Hut! And if you bake and blog about it, I'm sure your photos will look much better than mine :)

Nik said...

I made this cake in a loaf tin with your recipe earlier today and the cake is fabulous! Thanks for posting the recipe : ) I have already passed it onto friends. Nik x.

Anonymous said...

This cake looks absolutely delicious. I'd love to try my hand at it! I was just wondering, I've never worked with recipes where the ingredients were measured in grams before. Would you be able to tell me what the ingredients are in cups and ounces?

Nilmandra said...

Nik: Sorry for the late reply, and I'm glad to hear it worked so well.

Anonymous: US recipes tend to be in cups while European ones tend to be in grams. You can convert the ingredients amount using the conversion table here.

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