I know, I know—it’s been way too long in updating this blog. But truth be told it’s been a far crazier month than I anticipated. This basically means virtually all of my baking and cooking took place over the course of one week. You guessed it: 18 Dec – 25 Dec. I asked for it.
Now you can reap the benefits of my harried culinary attempts, as I have weeded out the ones I deem not-so-great and kept the ones that simply everyone must try. The first of these recipes is Smitten Kitchen’s Majestic and Moist Honey Cake. I’ve made this cake about six or seven times now, and it has always come out perfectly.
But I always opt out of the OJ (just not my favourite flavour) and use Choice Decaf Mango Ceylon black tea (my first choice) or Tazo Earl Grey tea brewed at double strength. I chose Tazo over some other Earl Greys because I find it’s bergamot content to be perfect in harmony with the winter spices of the honey cake. Other brands I tried were far too fruity or perfumey. I mean, it was nuts. It’s also important that the tea is brewed at double strength; the flavour will definitely come through rather than getting lost in the spices.
The cake is not too spicy, not too sweet, and perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. Oh, it’s also a One Bowl Wonder. How did I not mention that sooner? Everything goes into a large bowl, is combined, then baked. Don’t make excuses for not trying this recipe—I am basically handing you the easiest thing you can bake.
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. honey
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. warm coffee or tea (brew tea at double strength; 2 bags per 1 cup)
1 tbsp. whiskey
I used a four-section mini loaf pan. The batter fit perfectly, but also works in two regular loaf pans, or one long, narrow loaf pan (like the kind you find at IKEA).
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease pans with baking spray or the old fashion way (butter and flour).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Make a well in the center, then add the remaining ingredients. Great tip from Deb: “If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.”
- Combine everything until well incorporated, an electric mixer or sturdy mixing utensil will do, until you have a thick, smooth batter.
- Pour batter into pan(s). I found using a ladle to be very effective. Seriously.
- Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes. I would hazard to set your timer on the earlier side just to keep an eye on this–you don’t want it to dry out. 50-55 minutes was plenty for the cake tester to come out clean.
Allow the cake(s) to cool in the pan for about 15-20 minutes before setting them on a cooling rack. Add a side of vanilla whipped cream and it’s the best (quick) addition to any breakfast or dinner.