This delicious Honey Cake is flavored with toasted almond flour, lemon zest, and a hint of nutmeg, and drenched in either whisky sauce or honey glaze. The cake's texture is both light and hearty, and PERFECT for soaking up all the delicious sauce.
Baking this cake in a honeycomb pan makes it super obvious in a fun way that it's a honey cake and makes for easy slicing and serving.
If you like this recipe, also try this Chocolate Honey Cake which is also baked in a honeycomb pan!
This is a Saucy Kind of Honey Cake
This recipe was created to be baked in a honeycomb pan, which not only makes the cake look adorable, it creates a situation in which each little piece of cake absorbs as much whisky sauce or honey glaze as possible.
The cake is made from a combination of all-purpose, whole wheat, and toasted almond flour. The combination of flours creates a hearty, flavorful texture that's perfect for soaking up all that sauce.
I hope I'm not somehow suggesting that without whisky sauce or honey glaze the cake is in any way dry. The recipe includes plenty of butter, olive oil and yogurt to keep it deliciously moist.
But, unlike cakes with a soft, fluffy texture, like my favorite Vanilla Cake, the addition of whole wheat and almond flour creates a texture that is substantial enough to soak up plenty of sauce.
Why This Recipe Works
No one likes a bland cake, and this honey cake is no exception. Nearly every ingredient in this cake contributes a different layer of flavor:
- Honey: the most important flavor in honey cake. This is an all-honey cake recipe, meaning that there are no other sugars or sweeteners in the batter besides honey. The cake includes an entire cup of honey, ensuring maximum flavor without making the cake overly sweet.
- Toasted Almond Flour: toasting almond flour concentrates and intensifies the nutty almond flavor in this cake
- Whole wheat flour: A bit of whole wheat flour in this cake create a sauce-absorbing texture. It also adds more flavor because whole wheat flour is considerably more flavorful than all-purpose flour.
- Olive Oil: In general, oil makes cakes more moist than butter. For example, my favorite Carrot Cake recipe uses oil instead of butter to ensure an incredibly moist and tender texture. Just to add another layer of flavor, I chose olive oil over a neutral-tasting oil like vegetable oil. (For a cake that takes full advantage of the flavor of olive oil, check out this recipe for Olive Oil Cake.)
- AND Butter: I wanted both a super moist texture for this cake and a buttery flavor, so in addition to oil, I also used butter.
- Nutmeg: Just 1 teaspoon of nutmeg intensifies this cake's warm honey and almond flavors.
- Yogurt or Sour Cream: The acid in yogurt or sour cream helps create a tender texture in this cake. It also adds a very subtle tang that's the perfect compliment to all the other flavors.
What Kind of Pan Should You Use to Bake Honey Cake?
A honeycomb pan, of course.
For those of you who aren't familiar with me, my husband and I are full-time travelers, living in a 5th-wheel RV. I spend a large portion of my days creating recipes in a relatively small, 42-square-foot kitchen.
I tell you that to stress the fact that I don't have a lot of space for a large collection of specialty baking pans.
And yet, this Nordic Ware Honeycomb Pull-Apart Pan is one that I will always make room for. I absolutely love it.
The pan is fantastic for brownies and cornbread because each little piece bakes up with a soft middle and slightly crispy edges. Also, there is no slicing and serving required. Just break off a piece or two as you like.
With this recipe, I wanted to maximize the advantages of the honeycomb pan.
Rather than baking one large cake, the honeycomb pan creates 19 small little cakes. Each honeycomb is its own compartment, so every pull-apart piece is its own self-contained little cake.
The advantage here is that each little piece has both a top and 5 sides from which to absorb a delicious sauce or glaze.
How to Prepare a Honeycomb Pan for Baking
The Nordic Ware honeycomb pan is made from cast aluminum, a material that is non-stick. Even still, it's important to properly prepare the pan for baking to ensure that your honey cake comes out of the pan without any little pieces sticking to the bottom and sides of each little cavity.
Here's how to keep your honey cake from sticking to the pan:
- Use a pastry brush to coat the bottom and sides of each honeycomb cup with melted butter. OR - spray each cup with non-stick baking spray. The goal is to coat every square inch of the inside of the pan with butter or non-stick spray without using so much that it will run out of the pan if you turn it over.
- Next, you want to coat the inside of each honeycomb cup with flour. The butter or non-stick spray will help the flour stick to the bottom and sides of the cup. But, unlike greasing and flouring a regular size cake pan, it's difficult to shake flour around inside all the little cavities. So, to distribute the flour evenly across the pan, use a sifter or a fine mesh strainer.
- Both a flour sifter and a fine mesh strainer will break up any lumps in the flour, allowing you to spread a "mist" of flour over the pan. As you do, tilt the pan to dust the sides of the honeycomb cavities with flour as well as the bottoms.
How to Make this Honey Almond Cake:
The process for making this honey cake is very simple. After toasting the almond flour, mixing up the batter, and baking the cake takes less than an hour, start to finish.
Toasting the almond flour intensifies the nutty almond flavor and only takes a couple of minutes.
Add the almond flour to a skillet and then cook it over medium heat until it turns golden brown. It's important to stir the almond flour constantly as it toasts to ensure that it cooks evenly and doesn't burn.
Remove it from the heat, scrape it into a bowl or a plate, and let it cool completely before using it in the cake batter.
If you're impatient (like me), you can speed up the cooling by placing it in the refrigerator and stirring it from time to time.
Prepare the honeycomb pan as described above by spraying it with non-stick spray or melted butter and coating each cavity with flour.
Add the toasted and cooled almond flour to a bowl along with the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.
Stir with a wire whisk to mix everything together.
Add the melted butter, olive oil, honey, whole eggs and egg yolk, lemon zest, almond extract, and sour cream or yogurt to a separate bowl.
Use a wire whisk to blend all the ingredients together.
Stir the dry ingredients into the batter by hand, with a spoon. Stir gently, just until the batter is smooth and all the ingredients are combined.
Beating the dry ingredients into the batter can activate the gluten in the flour and create a tough texture.
Pour the batter into the pan, distributing it evenly between all the honeycomb cavities, and pop it in the oven to bake!
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then place a wire rack over the top of the pan and quickly flip the cake over to release it from the pan onto the wire rack. Let the cake cool completely, then smother it with honey glaze or whisky sauce.
How to Know when Honey Cake is Done Baking:
To know when this cake is done baking and ready to be removed from the oven, stick a toothpick in the center of one of the middle honeycomb cavities.
Remove the toothpick and inspect it for raw batter. This is a moist cake, so there might be some crumbs stuck to the toothpick and that's ok! What you're looking for is raw batter. If you don't see any raw batter on the toothpick, the cake is done and can be removed from the oven.
What To Serve with Honey Cake
Q: Is it better to serve this honey cake with a whisky sauce or honey glaze???
My preference is usually for whisky sauce, but honestly, the honey glaze in this recipe is also absolutely delicious.
Whisky sauce and honey glaze are both quick and easy to make and have the ability to soak into this honey cake, flavoring it throughout each and every delicious bite.
Whichever sauce you choose, be sure to really drench this cake with sauce. Drizzle sauce or glaze over the cake after it's had time to cool. After the initial coating has soaked into the cake, pour some more sauce over the cake to coat it again.
How to Store Honey Cake
Before topping this cake with a whisky sauce or honey glaze, this cake can be stored at room temperature, well wrapped, for up to 24 hours.
After coating the cake with a whisky sauce or honey glaze, the cake will stay moist and tender for up to 3 days. Store the cake covered, at room temperature.
Honey cake can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap an unglazed cake in a couple of layers of plastic wrap then a layer of aluminum foil. Allow the cake to thaw at room temperature then cover in whisky sauce or honey glaze and serve.
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Scroll down to rate this recipe and leave a comment, or take a picture and tag it @ofbatteranddough on Instagram.
- ½ cup (48g) almond flour
- 1 cup (120g) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (57g) whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon (3g) baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon (3.5g) kosher salt (1 teaspoon table salt)
- 1 teaspoon (2.3g) ground nutmeg
- 6 tablespoon (3oz/ 85g) salted butter, melted and cooled
- 6 tablespoon (2.6oz/ 75g) olive oil
- 1 cup (336g) honey
- 4 large eggs (7oz/ 200g) + 1 egg yolk (.5oz/ 14g)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 medium size lemon)
- 1 teaspoon (4.2g) almond extract
- ¼ cup (2oz/ 57g) sour cream or yogurt
- Whisky Sauce or Honey Glaze (optional; see note below for recipes)
- Add the almond flour to a skillet and set it over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the almond flour turns golden brown. Remove from heat and scrape into a bowl or a plate. Let cool completely before using. You can speed up the cooling by placing it in the refrigerator and stirring it from time to time.
- Heat the oven to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C).
- Prepare the honeycomb pan: spray each cavity of the pan with non-stick spray or use a pastry brush to coat each cavity with melted butter. Use a flour sifter or fine mesh strainer to sprinkle flour over the pan. Shake the pan, and tap on the sides of the pan to distribute the flour. You want to make sure the bottom and sides of each honeycomb cavity has a light coating of flour. (see photo above)
- Add the toasted and cooled almond flour to a medium size bowl with the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Stir with a wire whisk to combine.
- Add the melted butter, olive oil, honey, whole eggs and egg yolk, lemon zest, almond extract, and sour cream or yogurt to a seperate bowl. Stir vigorously with a wire whisk until all the ingredients are fully blended.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and stir with a spoon just until the batter is smooth and all the ingredients are combined.
- Pour the batter in the pan, distributing it evenly between all the honeycomb cavities.
- Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in one of the center honeycomb cavities comes out without any evidence of raw batter.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then place a wire rack over the top of the pan and quickly flip the cake over to release it from the pan to the wire rack. Let the cake cool completely before topping with honey glaze or whisky sauce.
- Once cool, spoon honey glaze or whisky sauce over the cake, coating it completely. The texture of this cake is meant to soak up the sauce, so after pouring some sauce over the cake, go back over it a time or two to ensure it's well coated.
Top Honey Cake with Whisky Sauce or Honey Glaze
How to make Honey Glaze:
½ cup honey
¼ cup salted butter, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt (to taste)
Add the honey and butter to a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir, and heat for a few seconds longer if the butter isn't completely melted. Stir in vanilla extract. Drizzle the glaze over cake while the glaze is warm.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 2 honeycombs
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 399Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 313mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 2gSugar: 32gProtein: 7g