I adore citrus, whether in savory dishes or sweet, so when it was announced as the theme for this SundaySupper, I got very excited. Hosted by Jen of Juanita’s Cocina, this week, there is a bounty of citrus dishes for your delight and delectation. My offering is a Honey and Lemon Cake – because the honey lemon cake is just too good not to share.
There is something about citrus fruit that just makes me happy. The fragrance of limes always transports me back to Latin America, even though I use them most in Asian cooking (and mojitos!), while lemons always make me think of summer, no matter what the weather is doing outside.
For the past few months, I have tried to make different dishes and drinks from lemons, such as lemon and blackberry meringue cake, gluten-free lemon meringue pie, or even mojito. I’ve even replaced my morning cup of tea with a slice of lemon and ginger in hot water. It’s actually much better at waking me up – I now save my cup of tea for when I get home from work.
I had a couple of attempts at this honey and lemon cake recipe – I made the recipe up as I went along, which pretty much guarantees at least one failure – but it was a very happy day of baking. I don’t mind if things go wrong; it’s part of the fun, particularly for recipe invention.
The honey and lemon cake I’ve come up with is, in effect, just a simple sponge cake with a few additions, but the key ingredients of honey and lemon really stand out. The honey adds a depth of flavor to contrast against the zingy lemon, and both the lemon juice and honey ensure that the cake is perfectly moist, even when using gluten-free flour. This is how to make lemon ginger honey cake:
Honey and Lemon Cake
For the cake
- 100 g butter
- 50 g caster sugar
- 50 g honey
- 3 eggs
- 175 g self-raising flour I used a gluten-free blend
- 1 lemon
- 1 tsp ginger
For the glaze
- 4 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 tsp honey
- Lemon juice
- Flaked almonds to decorate
For the cake
- Grease and line a small, round cake tin. Preheat the oven to 170oC.
- Cream the butter, sugar and honey together, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add a pinch of flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture from curdling.
- Fold in the rest of the flour, incorporating lots of air.
- Grate in the zest of the lemon – be careful to only grate the yellow outer zest, as the white underneath can be bitter.
- Cut the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice from one half of the lemon.
- Add the teaspoon of ginger and lightly stir so all the ingredients are mixed in.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 45 mins. Check that the cake is cooked through with a skewer. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
- Leave cake to cool for a few mins in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
For the glaze
- Once the cake is cool, put the two tsp of honey and the juice from the remaining half of the lemon into a pan. Heat briefly just until the honey becomes more 'liquidy'. Remove from heat and seive in the icing sugar, stirring well. You should have a runny consistency, not too thick.
- Pierce the cake several times with a fork, then spoon over the glaze. Don't worry if it runs all over the place – that is part of the charm!
- Before it sets, decorate with flaked almonds.
- Once the glaze is dry and cool, dust the cake with icing sugar.
- Serve on its own or with a dash of cream.