A delicious Honey Cake with honey buttercream.
- 115 grams (1/2 cup / 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) grapeseed oil or flavourless oil
- 180 grams (1 cup) brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) honey
- 315 grams (2 and 1/4 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) full fat Greek or natural-style yogurt
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) full fat or whole milk
Vanilla whipped cream
- 600 ml (2 and 1/2 cups) thickened cream or heavy cream (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
- 230 grams (1 cup / 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 250 grams (2 cups) icing sugar or powdered sugar, sifted
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) honey
- 2 tablespoons full fat or whole milk, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Honey cake
Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Grease and line two 8-inch round cake pans with baking or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add butter, oil and sugar – ensuring your butter is nice and soft. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined and then turn speed up to medium and beat for a further 1-2 minutes or until mixture is creamy and pale.
- Add vanilla, eggs and honey and beat briefly to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients, along with the yogurt and milk, to the butter mixture and start to mix on low speed.
- Add remaining dry ingredients. Continue to mix on low speed until cake batter is smooth and creamy (try not to over-mix).
- Divide cake batter between two prepared pans and gently smooth the top using a spatula. Bake cakes for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave cakes to cool in their pans for 15-30 minutes. Then carefully remove cakes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Vanilla whipped cream
Add cream and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or you can use a hand whisk) and start whisking on low speed. Turn the mixer up to medium speed.
- Continue to mix and watch closely as the cream changes texture. Instead of going by time, look for visual clues. Your cream will slowly thicken and become smooth, creamy, and cloud-like.
- Turn your mixer back to a low speed or swap for a hand whisk. Continue to beat until you see the cream turn thick and stiff. When this happens, stop immediately or you’ll over-whip your cream.
- Divide cream into four portions. Place in the fridge until you are ready to assemble.
- Honey buttercream
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add softened butter. Beat using an electric mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until butter is smooth and creamy.
- Add half of the sugar, honey and milk. Start mixing on low speed, then turn up to medium speed until combined – approximately 1 minute.
- Add remaining sugar. Beat on low speed, then turn up to medium speed until combined. Add salt. Continue to beat buttercream on medium speed for a further minute until the mixture becomes noticeably fluffy and creamy.
- Finish by stirring buttercream with a spatula to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Assemble cake
Slice cakes into two using a sharp serrated knife or using a cake leveller. Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Generously cover sponge in one portion of whipped cream.
- Continue with remaining cake layers and cream, finishing with the fourth layer of cake. You’ll have one portion of cream leftover for decorating the top of the cake.
- Use a small spatula to cover the top of the cake and the sides with honey buttercream. Use a piping bag fitted with a large round tip to pipe extra cream on top for decoration.
Butter: Ensure your butter for the Honey Cake is softened – otherwise it will be near impossible to blend with the oil and sugar.
Oil: You can use any flavourless oil – I like to use grapeseed oil as it does not add any oil taste, but makes a very moist and tender cake.
Flour: Be sure to measure your flour using a baking scale – it is very easy to over-measure when using cup measurements. Adding too much flour can result in a dry or tough sponge.
Greek yogurt: Full fat Greek yogurt is best, but the next best substitute would be full fat sour cream.
Vanilla whipped cream
Thickened cream: Find a high fat (at least 35% fat) cream that is designed for whipping. Read the label to find the right cream for you – here in Australia, I use thickened cream. It may be called whipping cream or heavy cream.
Vanilla bean extract: I like to use a vanilla bean extract or paste with seeds for a nice, strong vanilla flavour. However, regular vanilla extract will work too.
Butter: Make sure your butter is softened so it is easy to mix. Cold butter will leave you with small lumps of butter in your buttercream.
Icing sugar: Or powdered sugar. Don’t use caster sugar or granulated sugar or your buttercream will be gritty.
Milk: Full fat or whole milk is best. Make sure your milk is at room temperature. Adding cold milk can cause your buttercream to split or curdle.
Make-ahead instructions: It is best to assemble this cake on the day that it is served for best results. Over time the cream tends to soak into the cake and you’ll lose those definitive layers.
Honey Cake: This cake will keep well tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and popped in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. If you plan to serve it later than that, I recommend freezing it to maximize the freshness. Then simply thaw at room temperature, decorate and serve.
Whipped cream: It is best to whip your cream when you are ready to frost and decorate your cake. It does not keep particularly well if whipped ahead of time. A few hours in advance is ok (keep it in the fridge), but not a few days.
Honey buttercream: You can make your honey buttercream ahead of time. Transfer your buttercream to an airtight container and place it in the fridge for up to one week. When you’re ready to use it, take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. Add 1/2 tablespoon of milk and beat it on low speed until it is smooth and creamy again. Add a little more milk as needed – but add it sparingly, otherwise, your buttercream may become sloppy. Otherwise, you can freeze your buttercream and follow the instructions above to thaw and use.
STORAGE: Once frosted, you can keep this cake covered in the fridge. Bring it back to room temperature to serve.