Devonshire honey cake

Devonshire honey cake

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(74 ratings)

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 eggs, 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, questions and tips

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6th Feb, 2017
Easy to make and delicious. I was scared it was going to be very sweet but in the end, it wasn't. I could probably have added more honey but I think it is fine the way it is: the honey flavours it nicely and you don't feel the sugar rush when eating it. The cooking times were accurate and everything went well, everyone loved it. I personally think that it is better eaten the day after or at least after it's cooled down completely. The honey flavour stands out more after a few hours.
4th Feb, 2017
I'm not too sure where I went wrong with this. I love all bbc good food recipes but this is the first that didn't go very well. The cake looked absolutely gorgeous but it tasted a bit dry and floury...very disappointed with myself!
Clairo Hamer's picture
Clairo Hamer
13th Oct, 2016
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!
24th Jun, 2015
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
4th Feb, 2015
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.
24th Sep, 2014
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 ...
8th Sep, 2014
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
20th Jun, 2014
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.
20th Jun, 2014
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.
12th Mar, 2014
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.


Mad about food
28th May, 2016
How cool does the mixture have to be before adding the eggs?
18th Aug, 2015
Can this be made in to cupcakes/ muffins rather than 1 big cake
22nd Jul, 2014
Can you freeze this cake? and if so, for how long?
goodfoodteam's picture
4th Aug, 2014
Freeze once baked, wrap well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thanks.
16th Apr, 2015
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
4th Feb, 2015
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.