Honey Cake

2¼ cups sifted flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3½ ounces (1 cup) walnuts, cut into medium-size pieces

2 to 3 tablespoons finely cut orange peel

3 eggs

¾ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

3 tablespoons melted butter

¾ cup honey

¾ cup cold, very strong coffee (or 2 tbsp. instant coffee dissolved into ¾ c. hot water and cooled)

Finely grated rind of 2 large oranges

Butter and fine dry bread crumbs for pan

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  

  2. Butter bottom and sides of a 9-by 5-by 3-inch loaf pan and dust very lightly with fine dry bread crumbs.

  3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a small bowl, combine walnuts and orange peel with 1 tablespoon flour mixture. Reserve.

  4. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs and brown sugar slightly, just to mix. Add butter and honey, and beat just to mix. On lowest speed, add half of sifted ingredients, then gradually add coffee followed by remaining sifted ingredients, scraping bowl as necessary with rubber spatula and beating only until smooth after each addition.

  5. Remove from mixer and stir in grated orange rind and floured walnut mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan (pan will be filled almost to top). Bake on rack one-third up from bottom of oven for 80 to 90 minutes until top springs back firmly when lightly touched. About 20 minutes before baking time is up, check to see if top is becoming too brown. If so, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Cool in pan on rack for 5 to minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Let stand for several hours or overnight before slicing. Best served in very thin slices.

Makes one 9-inch loaf.

Adapted from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts by Maida Heatter (Random House, $25); recipe appeared in conjunction with article on local-honey production in the Star Tribune.

For tips on honey double click here on Honey Tips  for sources double click here on Sources.


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