One of my housemates has given up chocolate for lent. I was considering giving up or at least cutting back on cake, then I realised how ridiculous that would be, I just love cake! I have been trying to go the gym more as a sort of offset, like planting a tree instead of reducing your carbon footprint, except with cake. So, she asked me to make something not chocolatey.
I went to start measuring out ingredients and found that the electric scales had given up and needed a new battery. Luckily, we still have a bit of old school baking equipment which doesn’t need any electricity, just a little more patience:
I love the honey aftertaste of these cakes and don’t even get me started on the frosting! Cinnamon and nutmeg; a match made in heaven. Cinnamon, nutmeg and buttercream? Oh my! If you like your frosting mountainous, make 1 ½ to 2 times the quantity of frosting.
Makes 16 250g plain flour 1tsp cinnamon 1tsp bicarbonate of soda 125g butter, softened 125g soft brown dark sugar 1 egg, separated 125g clear honey 60ml/4tbsp milk
Preheat the oven to 200°c, or 180°c for a fan oven. Sift the flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl.
Beat the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg yolk and gradually add the honey. The more honey you add, the stiffer your mix will become, make sure it is still quite wet. If you had too much honey, don’t worry, you’ll just need more milk.
Lightly fold the flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda into the mixture until just combined. Add enough milk to make a soft mixture that just drops off the spoon. Don’t make the mixture too wet or the cakes will be heavy.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white into stiff peaks. Using a large metal spoon, fold the egg white gently into the cake mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake for 20 – 22 minutes or until springy to the touch. Leave in the tin for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cinnamon Buttercream125g butter, softened 250g icing sugar 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste 1 tbsp milk
Beat the butter to soften, then added the sifted icing sugar and spices, beat until just mixed. Mix the vanilla bean paste and milk together and slowly add to the mixture. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
I used my new piping set to pipe my frosting on to the cakes, but feel free to try out different nozzles and swirls!