Honey & almond layer cake

Honey & almond layer cake

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(8 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins

A challenge

Serves 12

April opts for the 'naked' style of decorating so the cake isn't swamped with icing, but instead delicately finished with candied almonds and Swiss meringue buttercream

Nutrition and extra info

  • un-iced

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal877
  • fat55g
  • saturates29g
  • carbs85g
  • sugars66g
  • fibre1g
  • protein11g
  • salt0.5g


  • 280g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing



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

  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • 140g clear honey, plus 2 tbsp
  • 3 medium eggs, plus 4 medium egg yolks (reserve the whites for the buttercream)



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

  • 280g plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

For the candied almonds

  • 140g white caster sugar
  • 75g blanched almonds

For the Swiss meringue buttercream

  • 350g unsalted butter, softened



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

  • 4 medium egg whites
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp clear honey


  1. First, make the honey & almond sponges. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Grease two 15cm cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter, muscovado sugar and 140g honey until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition until well incorporated. In a clean bowl, whisk together the flour, almonds, baking powder and 1 / 4 tsp salt. Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Add the vanilla and milk, continuing to beat, then add the remaining flour mixture, beating until just combined. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and bake for 45-55 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 mins in their tins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Leave the oven on for the candied almonds.

  2. To make a honey syrup, put 2 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp water in a small saucepan and heat for 1-2 mins or until the honey has dissolved. Set aside.

  3. Make the candied almonds by heating 150ml water and the sugar in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan with a sugar thermometer attached, and swirl until the sugar has dissolved. Meanwhile, spread the almonds out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10-12 mins until golden brown. Heat the sugar syrup to 119C, turn off the heat and stir in the warm almonds. Keep stirring until the syrup coats the nuts and turns white and crunchy. Tip the almonds back onto the baking sheet and roughly chop half of them.

  4. Next, make the Swiss meringue buttercream. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter until pale and fluffy. Put the egg whites and sugar in a clean heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk using a clean electric hand mixer and heat the mixture until the sugar has dissolved (you can check this by feeling some of the egg white between your fingers to check that it isn’t grainy). Remove the bowl from the heat and, using a stand or electric hand mixer, whisk for 10 mins or until the mixture forms stiff peaks and has cooled to room temperature. Add the butter, 1-2 tbsp at a time, and beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in the honey and transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle.

  5. To assemble the cake, level the sponges by cutting off the domed tops and split each sponge in half to create four layers. Fix the bottom layer to a cake board or stand with a splodge of buttercream, brush with the honey syrup and pipe a layer of buttercream on top. Gently press the second layer on top and repeat with the remaining layers. Cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream, then use a palette knife to scrape the sides clean. Pipe a ring of buttercream blobs around the top, or spread a thick layer with a palette knife. Decorate with the candied almonds.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Himanshu Thakur's picture
Himanshu Thakur
12th Sep, 2019
I love cakes. This cake recipe looking unique especially the honey layer makes it tastier. I wish I could try that.,
Barbara McMahon's picture
Barbara McMahon
5th Jul, 2019
This is one of the best-tasting cakes I have ever baked! I used 6 inch tins and it came out perfectly.
22nd Oct, 2017
Made this for a birthday and it was delicious, although the buttercream was a little too sweet, considering there was honey syrup between layers as well. Nonetheless, it went down very well.
scenci's picture
23rd Sep, 2017
This is a lovely cake,but tin size is definitely wrong. I used 2 x 20 cm, but could have used 25's.
22nd Mar, 2017
I bake a lot and this is definitely enough mixture for an 8"/20cm cake tin, about 600g per tin.
4th Jan, 2017
A 15cm baking tin seems very small for a cake that is intended for 12 people. Is it 15cm diameter or 15cm radius? The latter sounds more appropriate for the number of servings.
Laura Mrc
4th Dec, 2016
I don't usually bake, but I chose this recipe for my husband's birthday. It wasn't easy I must say, a lot of work for an inexperienced baker, but it turned out better then I expected. Absolutelly delicious. Although I could not get the buttercream the consistency suitable for piping, but still it was really tasty.
17th Apr, 2016
Is it me or does this look like a chocolate cake?
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