Sunday, January 6, 2013

Honey Bee Cake

Another fun and busy weekend has come and gone and it's time to go back to work. In the last couple days Joe and got all our Christmas decorations taken down, bought enough wood flooring to install in the dining room and piano room, went to Joe's work Christmas party, I got my hair cut and made this cake! As I mentioned in the last post, I got a few new cookbooks for Christmas so instead of just throwing them on the shelf with my others, I decided to try a recipe from one of them. This cake came from a cookbook called Vintage Cakes that was a gift from my sister, Grace. At first glance through this book, I started earmarking cakes that I wanted to try. Then the earmarking got a little out of hand so I figure I'll just have to make all of them :) The "Honey Bee Cake" was chosen because I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand!

As the title of the book implies, all of the cakes are found in vintage cook books or passed down through family members. The author wrote that this recipe first made its appearance in 1954 from the Proctor and Gamble Bakery Research Department. It's a simple single layer cake and the honey flavor really shines through. This would be a great "coffee cake". That way you can eat it for breakfast :) Now, like most people, I am trying to eat a little healthier in the new year, but that doesn't mean I want to give up baking! Instead I made this cake before going to the salon to get my hair cut. I saved one piece for me and one for Joe, then took the rest to the salon ladies. If they split it 5-6 ways then no one really ends up eating too much cake, right? Right.

"Honey Bee Cake"
From: Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk (at room temperature)
3/4 cup buttermilk (at room temperature)

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
heaping 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" cake pan (round or springform) and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper or wax paper.

- In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then whisk the ingredients by hand to ensure they are well mixed.

- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or just in a large bowl) combine the butter, sugar, honey and vanilla on low speed until blended. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Stop and scrape the bowl down often.

- Blend in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, adding the next one as soon as the previous one has disappeared into the batter.

- With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape the bowl. Stop the mixer before the last of the flour has been incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a rubber spatula to ensure you do not over beat the batter.

- Spread the thick batter evenly into the prepared pan. Rap the pan firmly on the counter to release any air bubbles. Place the pan in the center of the over and bake for 45 minutes. The cake will turn a deep golden color and be firm on top, and a wooden skewer inserted in the middle will have moist crumbs attached. If the cake cracks on the surface while baking, that's ok. It will just soak up more glaze :)

It really is very thick batter!

- While the cake is baking, make the glaze. Add the honey, sugar and butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until combined. Bring the mixture just barely to a simmer. Turn off the heat but leave the saucepan on the burner to keep warm.

- When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and poke holes all over the top of the cake with a skewer. Pour half of the glaze over the cake, evenly sprinkle the almonds over the cake, then pour the rest of the glaze over the almonds. Place the pan back in the oven (still at 350) for 5 more minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack for about an hour. Then turn the cake upside down onto a plate to remove it from the pan (not the serving plate), and turn from that plate back right side up onto your serving plate.

Holes poked, and 1/2 of glaze poured on.

I guess that's kind of a long recipe, but it really did go quickly to make it. The hardest part was waiting for it to bake then cool! I kind of regretted only saving myself one piece before bringing it to the salon. It smelled amazing!

In my next post I'm hoping to come up with a list of goals/resolutions for myself and for the blog in the new year. My idea is that if I share my list with all of you, I'll be more likely to hold myself accountable. We'll see! That's it for tonight, I hope you all had a great weekend!


  1. I like your way of thinking.....Calling it a coffee cake so you can have it for breakfast.
    Looks like it would be great that way. Hmmm

  2. This looks really good, Lisa. I wonder if I could make this in my Dutch oven? I might give it a try.

    1. I bet you could! You'll have to let me know how it works out.

  3. Dear Lisa,

    We at The Cake Slice baking group baked this cake for March 2013! and we all loved it too!

    ps: I copied the ingredients from your post!

    1. I'm so glad you all loved it! All the cakes in the "Vintage Cakes" book look awesome and I need to make some more. What exactly is the Cake Slice Baking Group? Sounds like my kind of group :)

    2. Sorry Lisa,

      Forgot to check back here after leaving a comment. Here you go:

  4. I made this on Sunday, and it is SO good! Your photos are lovely.