Pooh always liked a little something at eleven o’clock in the morning, and he was very glad to see Rabbit getting out the plates and mugs; and when Rabbit said, “Honey or condensed milk with your bread?” he was so excited that he said, “Both,” and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, “But don’t bother about the bread, please.”
from Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
Dear dear Pooh. He might well have turned down bread with his honey and condensed milk but I bet he would have said yes please to a slice of this honey cake. I found the recipe on Cottage Grove House, home of Seattle-based food blogger Seana, who is always posting fabulous food.
I think the combination of honey and rosemary is irresistible and since I’ve managed to keep my rosemary plant alive all this long winter, I was able to use fresh rosemary straight from the kitchen window.
The original recipe comes from the cookbook, Apples for Jam. It calls for one tablespoon of fresh rosemary which seemed like a lot so I scaled it down a bit and it also calls for a lemon butter icing. I didn’t have a fresh lemon but I had a couple of limes, so here’s my slightly adjusted version with lime cream cheese icing which seemed to go perfectly with the cake. In the end I could have used the tablespoon of fresh rosemary because two teaspoons did not dominate the flavour at all.
I was a little dubious about the cake when I turned it out of the pan because it seemed heavy and a bit dry – but it is a beautiful, dense, and very honey-ish cake. AND it gets better with each passing day. Make it a day or two ahead of requiring it if you possibly can!
Rosemary Honey Cake
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey (I used organic wildflower honey)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons water
- 1-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1-2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
- 2 eggs, beaten
Lime Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- finely grated rind of one lime
- 1-2 tbsp lime juice
Grease an 8-1/2 inch springform pan or small tube cake pan (like my gorgeous old Australian cake pan pictured).
Place the butter, brown sugar, and honey together in a small saucepan and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Heat gently until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon into a bowl and add the rosemary. Add the honey mixture and eggs and stir until smooth. Pour into the pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when you poke it into the center. Leave in the pan to cool completely.
To make the icing, beat the butter and cream cheese until there are no lumps at all. Sift in the icing sugar and beat again until smooth. Add the lime zest and juice. Spread over the top of the cake. This cake is best made ahead and will keep for up to a week in a covered container. For a dinner party – serve it with whipped cream drizzled with honey.