orange blossom honey cake

April 17, 2014 § 78 Comments


A few weeks ago I posted a honey cake adorned with rosemary blossoms.  Here is another honey cake for you to try, this time using orange blossom honey and adorning the cake with glazed cara cara oranges.


My son, he’s 16, is the only member of this family with a sweet tooth.  This cake was for him and by judging his reaction you get an idea of the deliciousness. “Mmmm, this is the best cake I have ever tasted.”   He took another bite and with a mouth full said, “This is my new favorite cake!”  After a few more bites he stood up, went to the refrigerator, poured himself a glass of milk and said, “Dad, even if you are full you must try a slice of this cake!”  Success.


Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen,  June 2011 issue.

Syrupy Oranges:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup orange blossom honey
  • 3 tablespoons green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 small orange, thinly sliced


  • 1/2 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour 
  • 1- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1- 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chopped unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted
Orange and Syrup
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring sugar, honey, cardamom, and 3 cups water to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add orange slices. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, turning orange slices occasionally, until tender and syrup is reduced to 3 1/4cups, about 40 minutes. Arrange orange slices in a single layer on prepared baking sheet; remove cardamom pods and seeds. Strain syrup. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover syrup and orange slices separately; chill. Return orange slices to room temperature and rewarm syrup slightly before using.
Preheat oven to 350°. Brush pan with oil. Whisk both flours and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup oil in a large bowl for 1 minute. Beat in yolks, then flour mixture. Beat in yogurt, zest, and vanilla. Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar until firm peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter just to blend in 2 additions. Transfer to prepared pan; smooth top.
Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Pierce hot cake all over with a metal skewer. Slowly drizzle 3/4 cup warm syrup all over. When syrup is absorbed, slowly pour 3/4 cup more syrup over. Reserve remaining syrup for serving. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack. Run a thin knife around edge of pan to release cake. Remove pan sides. Arrange candied orange slices over. Sprinkle pistachios over. Cut into wedges and serve drizzled with more syrup.

honey cake

March 21, 2014 § 93 Comments

I noticed my rosemary bush was full of blossoms the other day and my first thought was honey cake!   Tessa Kiros suggested making this cake when you are lucky enough to have tiny purple flowers on your rosemary bush so you can scatter them over the finished cake.  And she was right.  This comes from her book “Apples for Jam”.


We love this honey cake.  It is dense, moist, heavily flavored with honey and a hint of rosemary.  The frosting is simply butter, lemon and powdered sugar.  I have been making this cake for years and finally, this is the first time I have timed it right with the rosemary blossoms.

Goodbye winter, hello spring!  All week I have been waking up to the song of robins.  It is my understanding spring begins at the first sound of a robin’s song.  Perhaps it has to do with the vertical migration of the earthworms once the ground has thawed.

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 1/4 pound + 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1-2/3 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 2 eggs, beaten

L e m o n   F r o s t i n g

  • 2 cups confectioners’s sugar
  • 7 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

M e t h o d

Grease and line the bottom of an 8-1/2 inch springform pan.  Put the butter, brown sugar, and honey in a small saucepan and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of water.  Heat gently, stirring once or twice, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.  Leave to cool for 15 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.

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 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when you poke it into the center.  Leave in the pan to cool completely.

To make the frosting, sift the confectioners’ sugar into a bowl.  Add the butter, lemon zest and juice, and 1-1/2 tablespoons of water and beat until smooth.  You might like to add a few more drops of lemon juice after tasting it.  Spread over the top and sides of the cake.  The cake softens as it sits and will keep well for up to a week in a covered container.

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