Devonshire honey cake

Devonshire honey cake

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(95 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


  • 250g clear honey, plus about 2 tbsp extra to glaze
  • 225g unsalted butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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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25th May, 2020
Lovely Easy cake to make I only had light brown sugar but still came out great. lovely and light I gave it 1 hour and 10 minutes on the middle shelf. Didn't sink had slight cracking on top just made it look more pretty after I glazed it.
Steve Parker's picture
Steve Parker
10th Jan, 2020
This is so easy. I made a couple of additions which I believe helped with the overall flavour. I added some dried spices (ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice) along with some sultanas. It may not then be a Devonshire Honey cake but it was delicious. The other thing I did was that I doubled the recipe and baked it for around 1 hour in a tray. It worked wonderfully for the large number I was catering for.
John Parker's picture
John Parker
16th Aug, 2019
Baking time difference. Says 90 mins on the heading then 55/60 mins further down. I baked for 80 mins which worked out OK. Couldn't really taste the honey but would depend on the honey used. As a bee keeper the darker spring honey would have likely been better than the lighter summer honey I used. It was just that everyone has raved over my spring honey and only had summer honey left.
Sue Cuthbertson
13th Mar, 2019
I have just took this cake out of the oven and can't wait to have a slice. Looks absolutely great
19th Sep, 2018
This.. was EASY!! And I lost the bake off battle. Me and my girlfriend choose a person to win each year at the beginning, my guy got kicked out early so I had to make her a cake. Thank god I found this! I think next time I'm going to add ginger and cook it for 55 mins. I felt 1 hour was slightly too long.
mrskipling's picture
3rd Jun, 2018
I cooked this for one hour and although the skewer came out pretty clean, the cake sank in the middle as it cooled. I had a Mary Berry soggy bottom! I think I should have cooked it for longer, especially since others have noted they cooked theirs for up to an hour and a half. It had a wonderful flavour though, with a soft and moist texture, and I will definitely try this one again.
Katy Bates's picture
Katy Bates
21st Apr, 2018
Loved this recipe. Really easy and I followed the instructions perfectly and it came out fantastically. I made sure to keep it cooking until the skewer came out clean. Highly recommend. Would definitely have this warm with custard!
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!


Debb Ty
20th Jun, 2020
I have made this recipe for my husband lots of times as he loves honey but he has asked me if I could change the recipe to using golden syrup instead of the honey for a change. Would this work or would it just be too sweet?
lulu_grimes's picture
28th Jun, 2020
Hi, It may taste a bit sweeter as honey has a more complex flavour but the muscovado sugar flavour will still be there. Lulu
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.
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