honey cake

by ann

Today I baked.

See, lately I’ve been thinking a lot about cake. Daydreaming about baked goods is not unusual for me but there’s an insistent pull when I’m anxious. How can I not be at odds after the end of an idyllic few days with a particular young man and his effortless ability to  make me feel ridiculously happy and utterly carefree? With exams to face upon his departure? I sought solace in the form of one honey cake.

I’ve had my eye on this recipe by Tessa Kiros for some time. It’s a darling of a cake, rustic with a lovely, light chew. I have christened this a cake but it’s not so sweet that I would limit it to dessert alone. A slice could be paired with hot tea or coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up. This cake flaunts no airs; it’s simplicity is part of its charm.


Honey Cake
Adapted from Apples for Jam

Impatient when making the frosting, I failed to sift the confectioners’ sugar and couldn’t overlook the rough texture of the frosting. To remedy the issue, I place the icing over the stovetop and made a glaze instead. Though I loved the citrusy icing and how it paired with the cake, I would opt for halving the recipe next time for a lighter glaze or possibly exchange it for a dusting of powdered sugar.  The cake contains a full-bodied flavor and could work well alone. Nonetheless, I included the frosting recipe below as Miss Kiros had written it.

11 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup honey (I used a local raw wildflower honey.)
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 eggs, beaten

lemon frosting:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
7 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons freshly grated lemon juice

Grease and line with parchment paper an 8-1/2 inch cake pan. Put the butter, brown sugar, honey and water in a small saucepan. Heat on low, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon into a bowl and add the rosemary. Add the honey mixture and eggs and beat until smooth.

Pour into the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when you poke it into the center. Leave in the pan to cool completely.

To make the lemon frosting, sift the confectioner’s sugar into a bowl. Add the butter, lemon zest and juice and water, and beat until smooth.

The cake will keep well for up to a week in a covered container.