Honey layer cake recipe

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  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings


  • ⅜ cup (125 ml) runny honey
  • ¼ cup (80 ml) golden/corn syrup
  • ¼ cup (50 g) caster/superfine sugar
  • 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks
  • 2¼ cups (300 g) plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of/baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 grated orange zest
  • 1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk
  • ⅔ cup (150 ml) double/heavy cream
Buttercream Filling
  • ½ cup (100 g) caster/superfine sugar
  • 125 g/9 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar, or seeds from ½ vanilla pod/bean
Chocolate Glaze
  • 3 tablespoons (40 g) butter
  • 3½ oz (100 g) dark/bittrsweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons golden/corn syrup
  • chocolate sprinkles
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F) Gas 3½. Line the three cake pans with baking parchment see above for pan sizes.
  2. Over a low heat, combine the honey, golden/corn syrup and sugar with 100 ml/⅓ cup water in a saucepan until melted together. Leave to cool until tepid.
  3. Add the eggs (both whole and yolks) to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Slowly add the tepid syrup mixture into the eggs, beating continuously on high speed.
  4. Combine the flour, bicarbonate of/baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices together, then fold into the egg mixture. Add the orange zest, buttermilk and cream and fold until smooth.
  5. Pour one-third of the batter into each prepared cake pan. Bake in the preheated oven for around 8–10 minutes, or until well risen, golden brown and springy to the touch. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the pans, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  6. To make the buttercream, make a sugar syrup by gently heating the sugar in a pan with 2 tablespoons water until fully dissolved. Leave to cool a little. Whisk the butter, egg yolk and vanilla together on high speed, then slowly add the sugar syrup, whisking well with each addition. Continue beating for several minutes until creamy and fluffy. If it does not go fluffy, pop the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes, then whip again when slightly cooled (if the butter is too soft, or the sugar too hot, it may not whip properly at first, but it will be fine when a bit colder).
  7. To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving plate, cover generously with half the fluffy buttercream, then repeat with the other layers.
  8. To make the chocolate glaze, melt the butter, chocolate and syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of hot water. Let it cool ever so slightly. Spread over the top of the cake, scatter over chocolate sprinkles and leave the topping to harden before serving.

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