Honey Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

My mom is so great. Everywhere she goes, she brings me little gifts, very often food-related gifts. This past week, she had two gifts for me! She brought me lavender whipped honey fromJean-Phillipe Patisserie at The Bellagio and the most delicious pecan honey from Sedona. I couldn’t wait to use either of them, especially the pecan honey. It has a deep, dark color similar to molasses and a full-bodied flavor that made me think I was eating a Fall dessert, even though it’s STILL August. (When does summer end already?)

Martha Stewart’s instructions said the stronger the honey’s flavor, the more it will come through in this dense cake. Since the pecan honey has a deep, dark color similar to molasses and a full-bodied flavor, I decided to use it. The cake came out dense and moist with a wonderfully comforting old-timey feel. It made me think I was eating a Fall dessert, even though it’s STILL August. (When does summer end already?) Yes, Martha. This cake is a good thing.
Honey Cake with Honey Cream-Cheese Frosting
The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook


For the cake:
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
5 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. honey
appropriate garnish (pecans, dried lavender, orange curls, etc. depending on honey type)

For the frosting:
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese (I used low fat)
1/4 c. honey


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with the rack in the center position.  Butter or spray an 8x8x2 pan. Line with parchment paper. Butter and flour the paper, tapping out the excess.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add sugar and honey. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

5. Add the egg mixture a few TBSP at a time, beating well for 2 to 3 minutes after each addition. Raise speed to high, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until thick and light in color, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the flour mixture in three batches, beating just to combine after each addition.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Put in oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes.

7. Transfer to a wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn cake out of pan and place on a wire rack and top up. Remove parchment paper and let cool completely.

8.  While the cake cools, make the frosting in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment by beating the cream cheese on medium until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add honey and beat until smooth, about 1 minute.

11. Transfer cake to a serving platter. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the top of cake. Garnish as desired.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 / 2:15 pm

    That looks and sounds ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

  2. Elly
    August 28, 2008 / 2:23 pm

    Oooh yum, this looks so delicious!

  3. Lindsey
    February 22, 2010 / 12:19 am

    I love the idea of using honey as a natural sweetener in the cake and the icing. Too often cakes and frostings are far too sugary. This looks like a great alternative. Thanks!

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