After reading Lisa Graff’s A Tangle of Knots, we couldn’t help but wonder about Cady’s cake recipes. Cady has a Talent for being able to sense and then bake a person’s ideal cake. Out of all the recipes, we thought we’d enjoy Mrs. Asher’s Honey Cake–surprisingly spicy for such a sweet cake–the most (until peaches come back in season), so we gave it a go.
Here’s the recipe, excerpted from the book:
a small sliver of butter (for greasing the cake pan)
2 1/3 cups flour (plus extra for preparing the cake pan)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup honey
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup coffee, at room temperature
1/3 cup orange juice, at room temperature
1. preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with butter. Sprinkle the inside of the pans lightly with flour, and tap the pans to distribute it evenly.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the vegetable oil, honey, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, coffee, and orange juice. Stir with the whisk until well-blended, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
4. Distribute the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the top of the cakes spring back when gently touched in the center. Cool the cakes in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn them out onto a cake rake to cool completely.
As you can see, our cake came out rather flat. Though visually underwhelming, it’s still very moist and flavorful–every bite tasted like honey. Unlike Mrs. Asher, neither of us would pick it as our soul mate (soul cake?), but it has the potential to be a very tasty breakfast muffin. Or perhaps a honey-Greek yogurt filling between the (very flat) layers would dress it up a bit?