Mrs Simkins’ Olympic Honey Cakes
When Mrs’ Simkins wrote this recipe the 2012 London Olympic Games were in full swing, so here is an international cake, so to speak. Versions of honey cakes are made in Ancient Greece and across Europe and the rest of the world, including our own Devonshire Honey Cake. Once sugar was discovered, the term ‘honey cake’ was sometimes used to refer to any cake that was sweetened, even if not actually with honey.
These delicious little cakes are made entirely with honey and are so light in texture you could probably run a race after eating one without feeling weighed down! A food processor makes short work of the mixing or use a hand mixer if you prefer.
Accompany with a pot of your favourite Clipper tea.
- 110g (4oz) butter, softened
- 6 tablespoons runny honey
- 175g (6oz) plain flour
- 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 level teaspoons cream of tartar
- 3 medium eggs, beaten
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Plus: juice of 2 lemons and 2 tablespoons runny honey for the syrup
Preheat oven to 160C (fan ovens) or equivalent
You will need a 12 cup muffin tin lined with paper muffin cases
Whiz or cream the butter and sugar together until combined and fluffy.
Add the raising agents to the weighed flour and sieve about half over the butter and sugar mixture, covering it completely. Add the eggs and the rest of the flour. Whiz or whisk to combine and add the lemon zest. Continue to whiz or whisk until everything is smooth and glossy. (If using a processor, you may need to stop the machine a couple of times and scrape the mixture down from the sides.)
Divide the mixture evenly between the cups of the prepared tin.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until risen and golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Whilst the cakes are baking, heat the lemon juice and honey together in a small heavy bottomed saucepan until just bubbling. Put aside to cool.
When the cakes are ready, leave them in the tin and prick the surface of each one lightly whilst still warm. Using a teaspoon, spoon a little syrup onto each cake, sharing the syrup out evenly between them.
Keep the cakes in the baking tin until completely cold. Store in an airtight container.