Honey Cake with Vanilla Icing


  • Prep Time15 mins
  • Total Time15 mins
  • Makes9 pieces
*PLUS Cooking time: 3 minutes, Baking Time: 25 minutes


  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar

  • 2 tbsp milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • For the cake, place butter, sugar, honey and 1 tbsp (15 mL) water in a small saucepan and set over low heat. Stir occasionally until butter melts and sugar dissolves, from 3 to 5 min. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool.

  • Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Butter an 8-in (20-cm) square or 8-in (2-L) round cake pan. Using a fork, stir flour with baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Whisk eggs, then stir into cooled honey mixture. Stir into flour mixture. It's okay if a few lumps remain. Scrape into cake pan. The batter will not be high in the pan. Smooth top.

  • Bake in centre of preheated oven until a cake tester inserted in centre of cake comes out clean, from 25 to 30 min. Remove to a wire rack. Let stand in pan for 10 min. Then, to loosen cake, run a knife around inside edge of pan. Turn onto rack to cool completely.

  • Wait until cake is cool before you start icing. Place butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Gradually beat in icing sugar until evenly mixed. Then beat in milk and vanilla. Spread over cooled cake.

  • Cut into squares or thick wedges. Drizzle a little honey on top, if you like. Cake will keep well covered at room temperature up to 2 days. To freeze, skip icing. Wrap cake first with plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze up to a month. Defrost before icing.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 363, Protein 3.7g, Carbohydrates 57.2g, Fat 14.2g, Sodium 136.6mg.

Sonia O'Keefe and Jill Curran, co-owners of Lighthouse Picnics, swear by the robust flavour of Newfoundland wildflower honey for this recipe. We tried it with regular honey, too, and the cake was still outstanding.