Devonshire honey cake

Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins


Makes 12 slices
Devonshire honey cake, perfect for a cream tea

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal336
  • fat17g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs43g
  • sugars25g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.29g
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  • 250g clear honey, plus about 2 tbsp extra to glaze
  • 225g unsalted butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 large egg, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 300g self-raising flour


  1. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/ conventional 160C/gas 3. Butter and line a 20cm round loosebottomed cake tin. Cut the butter into pieces and drop into a medium pan with the honey and sugar. Melt slowly over a low heat. When the mixture looks quite liquid, increase the heat under the pan and boil for about one minute. Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes, to prevent the eggs cooking when they are mixed in.

  2. Beat the eggs into the melted honey mixture using a wooden spoon. Sift the flour into a large bowl and pour in the egg and honey mixture, beating until you have a smooth, quite runny batter.

  3. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour until the cake is well-risen, golden brown and springs back when pressed. A skewer pushed into the centre of the cake should come out clean.

  4. Turn the cake out on a wire rack. Warm 2 tbsp honey in a small pan and brush over the top of the cake to give a sticky glaze, then leave to cool. Keeps for 4-5 days wrapped, in an airtight tin.

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Comments (88)

Clairo Hamer's picture

This cake is lovely and easy to make. I used set honey because that's what I had in the cupboard and it was still great. Going to make this again soon!

Caroline-14's picture

This cake is yummy, even though I'm not a huge honey fan. I only made it because I had entered the honey cake section of my local show (which I duly won, even though I had never eaten a honey cake before, let alone made one!). I didn't think all of the mixture would fit in the tin, but it did. Very easy to make. Cooked in 1 hour with no cracking or sinking. Would make it again.

hazelwand's picture

When I made this cake I used the cake tin size stated, however there was too much mixture to fit in. So instead I used an 8inch/ 20cm square cake tin.

Also, I got approximately 20 good sized portions from this cake.

nickythomas42's picture

This is a fab cake. Nice just on its own with a cuppa or leftovers are yummy warmed up and served with custard or ice cream. I've made this a few times and never had a problem with it. Always goes down well at bake sales as it is something different. And people generally take home extras for dessert!

squiggy in the middle's picture

haven't yet tasted this as taking it to a friends tomorrow but it looks fab! Followed the recipe exactly except used salted butter as that's what I had. Baked it on a low shelf in the oven so the top of the tin was just about half way up as I didn't want the top to catch like some previous bakers. The cake developed a circular crack during baking about an inch in from the edge but after 55mins it allowed me to poke a skewer in without leaving an obvious hole and decide the cake was done - I think it enhances the final appearance of the cake as it could look quite plain. It also gives the warmed honey glaze somewhere to sink in and hopefully make it very sticky and gooey. Overall I had no problems with this cake - very easy to make, baked for the time as it said in the recipe - came out with a beautiful rich honeyed brown colour and smelling wonderful, the shiny glaze transforming the overall look - and I am fully expecting the taste to live up to expectations

sara67's picture

I'm disappointed, it had sunk a bit while cooling and although a sharp knif had come out clean, it still wasn't cooked. It looks nothing like the picture of a light fluffy sponge. Perhaps it was the marg instead of butted that did it. I love honey so I will try this again.

sara67's picture

Just glazed this cake so waiting for it to cool and taste before I rate. It was a very easy cake to make but it did take 1 hour 20 mins to bake and it has "caught" on one side very slightly. I'm not sure if the cooking time took so long because I used marg (butter only used for very special cakes). Next time I bake it I will let the cake cool a bit longer in the tin before turning out, it's an incredibly liight cake and I thought it was going to collapse or break.

steph_thomson's picture

I made this but as cupcakes, which took about 25 mins in my fan-forced oven. And instead of the honey glaze I opted for a butter glaze recipe I found. It all turned out really good! I thought with the butter glaze it was going to be too sweet, coz it smelled really sweet, but it wasn't. It was just nice. Today I decided to warm one in the microwave for 20secs. DIVINE! Really good recipe. A nice moist cake which isn't as dense/heavy as it looks. Made about 17 cupcakes and they rose to a nice height just to the tops of the cupcake holders.

colindow's picture

made it easily enough...its pretty big for a couple of people so im quartering it and freezing it...its best with yogurt as ive had or maybe with custard

perdyo's picture

i am generally pretty bad at baking but i have just wolfed down a piece of still warm honey cake, absolutely delicious! nice colour, gorgeous taste, sweet enough but not sickly, just lovely really.

aembarrett's picture

Delicious cake! Really light and moist, tastes even better with custard. Left the honey, butter and sugar mixture to cool for about 15 minutes and even though it wasn't completely cool, everything worked out perfectly still. Will definitely make it again!

michellecchan's picture

I'm sure the cake is very nice but it's been in the oven nearly an hour and a half now and its still not cooked in the middle. Also sank in the middle because i have opened the oven 3 times to check if it was cooked. I have put silver foil over the top as it will be burnt on top by the time the cake is cooked through! I'm usually quite good at baking but this cake is frustrating.

pollyrocket's picture

What a gorgeous cake! I found that the oven temp was too high but I don't know if that's my oven being wrong or what? I added a bit of ground ginger as someone suggested and it was lovely. The cake was really moist and I will definitely make it again.

fairystoryteller's picture

P.S - I used a normal tin, well greased, and just lined the base with a bit of baking parchment. No need for the loose bottomed tin in my opinion.

fairystoryteller's picture

This cake is BRILLIANT! Moist, lovely texture and full of flavour. I had a bit of honey left in a jar to use up, a little bit of maple syrup left in a bottle and made up the difference with golden syrup. It was delicious and I think next time I will probably still substitute a glug or two of maple syrup for some of the honey as the flavour was really good. Thumbs up - recommend it.

thefifimachine's picture

I've made this cake several times and never had any problems with it. Everyone who has tried a slice has absolutely loved it and it's definitely one I'll be making again and again.

I think the addition of some ground ginger would really work with this cake as well.

Lee Causseaux's picture

This is a very easy recipe to make. It is also extremely sweet, but was quite popular at a family gathering. It was eaten quickly and completely. It will be making a regular appearance from now on.

I did find that the lower end of its cooking temperature(closer to 140C in a gas oven) was needed for it to properly cook all the way through.

sdiegoli's picture

A very easy to make cake with a sweet warm flavour. I added powder ginger for a bit of spice. I would recommend this recipe to people like me who had experienced previous mishaps when baking and would like to keep things simple ;)

pafretwell's picture

I can't see how you can get this recipe wrong unless your oven does not heat to the correct heat or you are opening the oven door during cooking. I added an extra egg as they were not large (laid by my hens in the garden) and used acacia honey. It is a delight.

embarnold23's picture

As I keep bees, I am always on the look out for good honey recipes! This was turned out brilliantly, with the addition of 2 tsp ground ginger and 6 balls of chopped stem ginger, really delicious and incredibly easy. One comment mentioned cooling the mixture - just pour it into a cold bowl and stand in cold water and it is cool enough to mix in the eggs in no time.


Questions (4)

Mad about food's picture

How cool does the mixture have to be before adding the eggs?

JHKLLZHARH's picture

Can this be made in to cupcakes/ muffins rather than 1 big cake

brownie-baker's picture

Can you freeze this cake? and if so, for how long?

goodfoodteam's picture

Freeze once baked, wrap well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thanks.

Tips (2)

abbiezia's picture

I made this yesterday and adapted the recipe to make it gluten free. I switched the flour for 200g gluten free self raising, 100g ground almonds, 1tsp gluten free baking powder and 1/2tsp xantham gum. Turned out great! I found it only needed 40 min at 160 celcius and just started to catch around the edges so I'd maybe try 150 degrees for 45 min next time. this cake is great, gorgeous honey flavour and a nice light sponge. Really yummy with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt.

hazelwand's picture

Add the finely grated zest of half a lemon to the batter. And mix the juice of half a lemon with the 2tbsp of honey for the glaze just to lift the flavour a little.