Honey Cake Recipe

This honey cake recipe is made with real honey and only needs ONE bowl! This is a very moist cake but is stable enough for use in a layer cake, bundt cake, or shaped cake pan.
↓ Recipe Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 2 hrs 50 mins
Serves: 12 servings
Honey Cake

This is a delicious honey cake recipe with lots of honey flavor. Its moisture and full flavor come from real honey and brown sugar, with a slightly acidic taste from the buttermilk. Top it off with an orange and honey glaze and serve it with a cup of coffee or tea. Great for special occasions like mother’s day, birthdays, afternoon tea, or just a fall afternoon.Honey Cake

Because honey is a natural humectant, this cake stays moist for days making it the perfect make-ahead dessert. Make sure you use wildflower honey for the most flavorful honey cake. For even more honey flavor you can make a simple honey syrup with 2 ounces of honey and 2 ounces of water. Bring it to a boil and let it cool. Brush the honey mixture over the finished bundt cake before adding the orange glaze. 

Honey Cake Ingredients

honey cake ingredients.Honey is the most important ingredient, of course! I like using wildflower honey or raw unfiltered honey for the richest flavor.

Brown sugar adds rich, nutty, full flavor to this cake recipe. The brown sugar and honey create enough sweetness so that no granulated sugar is needed. Dark brown sugar or light brown sugar will work for this recipe.

Buttermilk adds a tang to this recipe and reacts with the baking soda to help the cake rise. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make some with regular milk and vinegar or lemon juice, almond milk, sour cream, or greek yogurt. Check out my buttermilk substitute blog post for more options. 

Coffee is an important ingredient for adding depth and flavor to this recipe. No, it will not make your cake taste like coffee, it enhances the flavors in the cake. You can use warm water if you don’t want to use coffee. Some recipes call for orange juice, but I love the richness that coffee adds.

How to Make Honey Cake

This honey cake recipe comes together very quickly but does need to cool for at least 2 hours after baking, so you want to plan ahead. I like a simple powdered sugar glaze on top, but cream cheese frosting would also pair very well.

Making the Honey Bundt Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 335°F (170°C) and grease a bundt pan with cake goop or your preferred pan release. Don’t forget about the center and sides of the pan! You can use a loaf pan or cake pan if you prefer, just adjust your baking time. hand brushing cake goop into a bundt cake pan.
  2. Pour the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, oil, coffee, vanilla extract, almond extract, and honey into a large measuring cup and whisk to combine. whisking honey cake wet ingredients in a large measuring cup.
  3. Place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl of your stand mixer and sift the brown sugar to remove the lumps. There might be a few fine crumbs that you need to remove. This will ensure that there are no clumps of brown sugar in the batter.hands sifting brown sugar into a stand mixer bowl. hand showing clumps from sifting brown sugar.
  4. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to the brown sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix for a few seconds to combine. You can also use an electric hand mixer or a whisk. hands adding honey cake dry ingredients to a bowl.
  5. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients while mixing on medium speed until the batter is just combined.mixing the honey cake batter in the stand mixer.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and fill it up ⅔ of the way full. If your bundt pan doesn’t have handles, place it on a baking sheet.pouring honey cake batter into a bundt pan.
  7. Bake the cake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until it is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.Baked honey cake on a cooling rack.
  8. Rest the cake in the pan for 15 minutes and cut off the top so that it’s level with the pan. Save it for snacking!picture of honey bundt cake with dome cut off in pan.
  9. Place a wire rack on top and flip the cool cake upside down then remove the pan. Cool the cake for about 2 hours before adding the glaze. honey bundt cake flipped out onto cooling rack.

Making the Honey Glaze

  1. Combine the powdered sugar, melted butter, orange juice, and honey in a large bowl with a whisk. Add a little bit of orange zest if you like a brighter flavor.whisking the honey, orange juice and powdered sugar in a bowl.
  2. To make the glaze more opaque, add a few drops of white food coloring and mix it together.
  3. Place the cake on a wire rack and drizzle the glaze on top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. 
  4. Decorate the cake with some fresh flowers, honey, and gold leaf, or leave it plain. This cake is best served immediately but can be refrigerated and covered in plastic wrap for up to 3 days.finished honey bundt cake.

Tips For Baking From Scratch

*This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click on them, I might get a few pennies.

I suggest purchasing a kitchen scale if you don’t already have one to make the best cake recipes. One cup of cake flour can vary from scoop to scoop depending on how packed the flour is, its humidity, and the type of flour, which can ruin your cake recipe.

Practice Mise en Place (everything in its place) which means you measure everything before you start mixing so you don’t accidentally forget something or add any ingredients out of order. I use a set of medium and small pyrex glass bowls I got from goodwill for this and it makes things SO much easier.

Room temperature ingredients are very important to baking. Warm the buttermilk and eggs until they are room temperature or slightly warm. Cool the melted butter and coffee to room temperature. If all of your liquid ingredients are at the same temperature, they will emulsify better to make a smooth batter. 

FAQ

What does honey do to cakes?

Compared to traditional granulated sugar, honey helps cake retain more moisture, and adds a richer color and deeper flavor. When honey is heated in a cake, it creates a chemical browning effect called the Maillard Reaction.

Can I bake this honey cake in a different pan?

Yes, this recipe can be baked in a bundt pan, a loaf pan, or even two 8” cake pans.

Where did honey cake originate?

Honey cake is popular in Greece, Russia, and Ukraine. The original recipe is a sweet cake that’s often eaten on the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year).

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Honey Cake

Honey Cake Recipe

This honey cake recipe is made with real honey and only needs ONE bowl! This is a very moist cake but is stable enough for use in a layer cake, bundt cake, or shaped cake pan.
No ratings yet
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Chilling Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 50 mins
Serves: 12 servings
Calories: 408kcal

Ingredients

Honey Cake

  • 8 ounces (227 g) buttermilk slightly warm
  • 2 large eggs slightly warm
  • 4 ounces (113 g) unsalted butter melted, not hot
  • 2 ounces (113 g) vegetable oil or canola
  • 2 ounces (57 g) coffee slightly warm
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 0.5 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 ounces (114 g) wild flower honey
  • 15 ounces (425 g) all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces (284 g) brown sugar sifted to remove lumps
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Honey Orange Glaze

  • 8 ounces sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoos orange juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 drops white food coloring

Equipment

  • 1 Stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • 1 6" bundt cake pan

Instructions

Honey Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 335°F (170°C) and grease a bundt pan with cake goop or your preferred pan release. Don't forget about the center and sides of the pan! You can use a loaf pan or cake pan if you prefer, just adjust your baking time. 
  • Pour the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, oil, coffee, vanilla extract, almond extract, and honey into a large measuring cup and whisk to combine. 
  • Place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl of your stand mixer and sift the brown sugar to remove the lumps. There might be a few fine crumbs that you need to remove. This will ensure that there are no clumps of brown sugar in the batter.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to the brown sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix for a few seconds to combine. You can also use an electric hand mixer or a whisk. 
  • Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients while mixing on medium speed until the batter is just combined.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and fill it up ⅔ of the way full. If your bundt pan doesn't have handles, place it on a baking sheet.
  • Bake the cake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until it is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Rest the cake in the pan for 15 minutes and cut off the top so that it’s level with the pan. Save it for snacking!
  • Place a wire rack on top and flip the cool cake upside down then remove the pan. Cool the cake for about 2 hours before adding the glaze. 

Making the Honey Glaze

  • Combine the powdered sugar, melted butter, orange juice, and honey in a large bowl with a whisk. Add a little bit of orange zest if you like a brighter flavor.
  • To make the glaze more opaque, add a few drops of white food coloring and mix it together.
  • Place the cake on a wire rack and drizzle the glaze on top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. 
  • Decorate the cake with some fresh flowers, honey, and gold leaf, or leave it plain. This cake is best served immediately but can be refrigerated and covered in plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

Notes

  1. This honey cake recipe comes together very quickly but does need to cool for at least 2 hours after baking, so you want to plan ahead.
  2. Bring all your ingredients to room temperature or even a little warm (eggs, buttermilk, butter, etc) to ensure your batter does not break or curdle. 
  3. Use a scale to weigh your ingredients (including liquids) unless otherwise instructed (Tablespoons, teaspoons, pinch etc). Metric measurements are available in the recipe card. Scaled ingredients are much more accurate than using cups and help ensure the success of your recipe. 
  4. Practice Mise en Place (everything in it’s place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.
  5. If you do not have buttermilk to make the cake, you can use one of my buttermilk substitutes.
  6. I like using wildflower honey or raw unfiltered honey for the richest flavor.
  7. You can use warm water if you don’t want to use coffee.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 408kcal (20%) | Carbohydrates: 65g (22%) | Protein: 5g (10%) | Fat: 14g (22%) | Saturated Fat: 6g (30%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 53mg (18%) | Sodium: 466mg (19%) | Potassium: 104mg (3%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 38g (42%) | Vitamin A: 313IU (6%) | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 49mg (5%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)
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