We recently read The Bees by Laline Paull in our book club so I created this spiced honey loaf for it.
Given that the book is set in a bee hive, I knew something honey-related would work and the cinnamon and ground spice in this one mean it’s not too sickly sweet.
There weren’t many recipes around so I took a basic loaf sponge mix and added in a few extra ingredients.
You can eat this one straight as it is but I sliced up the cake and smothered it in butter which worked well as the cake has quite a bread-like texture.
The spices give it a comforting warming flavour while the honey keeps the whole thing smooth, sweet and delicious.
200g plain flour
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
100g soft unsalted butter
100g muscovado sugar
1tsp ground mixed spice
A pinch of salt
1tsp baking powder
What to put on top
300g icing sugar
Fresh petals (or dried – I actually used dried pink rose petals this time)
A handful flaked almonds
How to make…
Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan) mark 3 and line a loaf tin.
Mix the sugars, butter and honey together until well blended, this should take about three minutes with an electric mixer or five without.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and then sieve in all the dry ingredients. Mix everything together for around two minutes with a mixer (four without) and then pop the whole lot into your baking tin.
Put the tin in the oven and set a timer for 35 minutes. It’s done when a knife stabbed into the middle of the cake comes out clean – or the surface bounces back when you touch it.
Once the cake is completely cold, start making the icing.
Dry fry the flaked almonds for a few minutes until slightly browned – don’t take your eyes off the pan or you’ll end up with a blackened mess.
Mix together the icing and honey and drizzle over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the fresh (or dried) petals and flaked almonds.