Spiced Honey Cake Recipe

There’s nothing better than a warm cake and a cuppa, right? This spiced honey cake recipe is a favourite our of development chef, Sarah’s. It’s rich without being heavy, moist, and wonderfully more-ish! Don’t be daunted by the long-ish list of ingredients, the method is relatively simple and the cake is SO worth it. Perfect to make as an alternative Christmas cake, birthday cake, or for any kind of celebration.

The recipe below is for a single layered cake, but you can also double up and have a double layered sandwich cake!


The Cake

  • 260 grams all-purpose baking flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 85grams granulated sugar
  • 55 grams light brown sugar
  • 115ml vegetable oil, plus a little extra for lining your cake tin
  • 115 grams cup honey
  • 1 large egg plus an extra large egg yolk (zero waste tip – save the extra white and use to make meringues, or simply add to scrambled eggs or an omelette)
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 120ml fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup whey or buttermilk

For the Icing and decoration

  • 85 grams ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 125grams icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 125ml unsweetened coconut cream, room temperature
  • Bee pollen, goji berries, edible flowers, candied nuts of your choice, we used pecans  (for serving; optional)
  • Extra honey for drizzling


For the cake

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Coat two 9″ cake pan with vegetable oil and line the bottom with baking paper.
  • Combine baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl.
  • Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, honey, egg, and egg yolk in another large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; discarding the pod.
  • Beat the wet mixture (using an electric mixer on medium if you have one) until pale and thickened, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually pour in orange juice and whey.
  • Continue to beat until frothy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients; beat just until smooth and homogenous (it will be thin, like pancake batter).
  • Pour into your cake tin and bake until is golden brown and the centre springs back when gently pressed (a cake tester will not come out clean), 45–55 minutes.
  • Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in pan, 20 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cake to loosen and invert onto rack; let cool completely.
  • TOP TIP: We love this cake still slightly warm from the oven, but you can make the cake 3 days ahead of eating, and store it tightly wrapped at room temperature.

For the Icing

  • Using your electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and butter together.
  • Add the icing sugar, lemon zest, and salt and the vanilla beans.
  • Beat on low speed until mixture is very light and thickened.
  • With the motor running, add coconut cream by the tablespoonful and continue beating until very soft peaks form.

To Decorate

  • Pile frosting on top of cake and spread to edges (it’s okay if it cascades over the sides).
  • Decorate with bee pollen,
  • goji berries, edible flowers, candied nuts of your choice, we used pecans  (for serving; optional)
  • Just before serving, drizzle honey over the whole cake

Zero Waste Tips 

  • This cake freezes well, just ensure it’s wrapped up nice and tightly. Remove from the freezer and allow to defrost before assembling with the icing and decorations
  • You can freeze egg whites – then use next time you’re making meringues


Enjoyed this recipe, and want to get inspired with more of our favourites? Check out our other recipes here!