Arabian Honey Cake + This week I’m craving… {honey}14

Posted on May 17, 2013 by ChristieI'm Craving, Sweet Treats, Vegetarian

(sing) Honey to the bee, that’s you for me…

I’ve had that lyric stuck in my head for weeks. I’m not sure where it’s from – some R&B song from the nineties, probably*. It pops into my head every time I look at the honey jar, which lately has been often.

Often, as in, every day.

Honey in my tea, honey (and real butter) on toast or crumpets, honey in a homemade natural tonic for a sore throat and… in cake.

I craved honey during my last pregnancy, especially in tea, and my Mum was adamant that meant I was having a girl (and then I did). Unsurprisingly, Mum has been asking about what my cravings are this time to give her a clue as to whether the baby is a boy or a girl.

I’ve craved pretty much the same things (sour cream, pineapple, honey) except for my Hawaiian pizza obsession. That didn’t surface this time, luckily.

And we now know I’m having a boy, so Mum’s theory has hit a dead end. Sorry Ma.

I actually got this recipe from my Mum who got it from a work colleague. She wrote out the recipe by hand on a piece of paper (see pic above), which makes my heart sing! It’s such a rarity these days. Coincidentally, I just received another recipe written by hand in the mail yesterday from hubby’s grandma so I’ll be featuring that soon too.

The only changes I made to the original recipe was to use vanilla bean paste, rather than essence (because that stuff is yucky) as well as use clear runny honey rather than creamed honey, because that is what I had on hand.

The honey was a local one from Lismore NSW. There are lots of local honey producers on the North Coast and I love buying pots of their honey at the farmers markets and tasting the subtle differences.

There is only honey in the topping of this cake, but next time I will try adding a tablespoon or two into the batter too, along with a teaspoon of orange blossom water for an even more Arabian flavour sensation. The cake is good on its own though, really moist with the crunchy topping providing a nice sweet contrast. Would love to hear if you give it a try!

What have you been craving this week? Write a post about it and I’ll link you up here!

Christie x

*I couldn’t help myself and I just Googled it. The origin is Billie Piper Honey To The Bee (video link). I think it was a hit single when I used to work at HMV in the late 90s. I really need a delete button for my brain sometimes, there’s so much junk in there!

Arabian Honey Cake Recipe

serves 8-10


  • 75g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure extract
  • 2 tablespoons thickened cream
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


  • 50g butter
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 2 heaped tablespoons creamed honey (or clear runny honey)
  • 2 tablespoons thickened cream
  • 180g flaked almonds
  • grated rind of 1 orange

1. Heat the oven to 200C. Grease a 20cm square tin (round is also fine) and line the base and sides with baking paper so that it overhangs a little – this is important as the honey sticks to the sides and makes it hard to remove if you don’t have the paper to help lift it out.

2. Melt the butter for the base and allow to cool to room temperature. Whisk the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla until frothy. Stir in the cooled butter and cream.

3. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and fold through thoroughly. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 15-17 minutes or until firm to touch.

4. While the base is cooking combine all the topping ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes until well combined and piping hot. Spread over cake base and return to the oven for 15 minutes until the nuts turn golden brown.

5. Remove from the oven and lift out the cake using the baking paper. Place onto a serving platter or cake rack and carefully peel off the baking paper (if you leave it on while the cake cools it will be very hard to get off!). Allow to cool for 15 minutes or so (the topping will harden in this time and make it easier to slice), then serve warm or allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

Looking for more cake recipes? Try these:

  • InTolerant Chef

    This sounds so lovely, sticky and sweet indeed! I definitely think the orange water would be a terrific addition too.
    How nice to know you’re having a boy- mind you my SIL was told she was having a boy at every scan and then popped out a girl! Maybe your mother does know best? :)

    • Haha! I have considered that possibility! It would be quite good because all Poppy’s newborn clothes are pink!!! :)

  • I absolutely love honey! This is being bookmarked to make very soon.
    It’s actually been a long time since I had honey and butter on toast.

    • It’s funny how you forget about a flavour combo but then you go back to it and are like ‘wowee!!’ :)

  • bellini

    This honey cake looks so moist and delicious Christie. I am in love with olive oil cakes, I think I may now try a new obsession with honey.

    • It’s really moist Bellini, I think maybe the cream in it has something to do with it :)

  • cupcakemuffin

    That cake looks AMAZING! Love the almonds on top. :)

    • Thanks! Yes, the flaked almonds really adds the wow factor with very little effort!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Hehe I remember that song! It was by Billie Piper :P Now I have it stuck on my head :P

    • Oh sorry about that Lorraine! I’ve now got rid of it but it’s been replaced with the Bananas in the Pyjamas theme song – Poppy’s fav TV show of the minute. I think I want Billie Piper back now… :)

  • Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy

    Ah good old Billie Piper….I adore honey and eat it every day to, so this cake is perfect for me. Stunning!

  • I always crave honey! Maybe it’s a Greek thing :) I’ve never made honey cake but I think I’m going to have to get with the program, especially now that both you and Peter from Souvlaki for the Soul have posted honey cake recipes this week!! I love that intense layer of almonds on top of yours and the cake looks so moist and light.

  • I love honey but I’ve never had anything that looked that good :)

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