Facebook Memories reminded me that I’d made a ridiculously sweet honey cake eight years ago. I vaguely recall that it was pretty good so I decided to use the last three eggs in the fridge to make it again – but this time, I added a few extras to the batter – lemon juice, ginger and desiccated coconut – to improve the flavour of this honey cake.

For the honey cake’s glaze, it is very similar to the blueberry sauce I concocted for my Shrove Tuesday pancakes last month. And please do not feel limited by my current blueberry craze. Blackberries, raspberries, boysenberries, redcurrants or blackcurrants would all work just as well in the sticky, gooey glaze that takes the place of frosting for this cake.

Like most cakes in my house, I do not expect this one to last long. But for now, I have plenty of honey cake best eaten with my grandmother’s gold cake forks. She was a woman who turned every morning and afternoon tea into an occasion – it’s a tradition I am happy to uphold, even during lockdown.


Honey cake with blueberry glaze


For the cake

125g/half a cup honey

225g unsalted butter

200g soft brown sugar

3 eggs, beaten

300g plain flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

125g/half a cup desiccated coconut plus extra for dusting

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract

For the glaze

100g fresh blueberries (or the berry of your choice)

5 tablespoons caster sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract

2 tablespoons lemon juice



  1. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees Celsius. Grease and line a shallow round cake tin.
  2. On the stove, melt the butter with the honey and sugar. Once the butter has melted, bring to the boil and then quickly remove from the heat. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and ginger, then add the desiccated coconut.
  4. Once the honey mix has cooled, use an electric beater or a wooden spoon to mix it into the dry ingredients. Stir through the lemon juice and vanilla until you have a smooth, golden batter. The only lumps should be the desiccated coconut.
  5. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 50 mins to 1 hour. As this cake has a lot of sugar, start checking around the 30 minute mark to make sure it’s not burning. If it is starting to look a little burnt, cover with foil and move lower down in the oven. The cake is ready when it feels springy on top and a skewer comes out clean if you test it by poking it into the middle.
  6. While the cake is cooling, make the glaze – put all the ingredients into a saucepan on a medium heat and mix well, squishing the berries into a liquid with a fork. When it is a thick, jammy syrup, remove from the heat. This burns really easily too so do not get distracted!
  7. Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the tin and paint it with the berry glaze using a pastry brush. Sprinkle desiccated coconut on top.

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