I made rustic honey cakes using my family’s Scottish recipe – only six ingredients

Honey cakes are one of my favourite cakes to eat in summer as they have a beautiful buttery taste while being incredibly easy to make.

While most people are getting lots of sunshine at the moment, I live in Scotland where the weather tends to be rainy most of July and it can be easy to be jealous of everyone else enjoying the hot summer weather.

However, rainy days are the perfect excuse to bake which is why I decided to make this simple honey cake recipe to bring the taste of summer to my kitchen.

These mouthwatering cakes are very simple to make as they only require six ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen.

I have been making honey cakes all my life so it only takes me five minutes to prepare them before they cook in the oven for 20 minutes, but if you are making them for the first time it may take a little longer.

I first learned to make honey cakes from my mum who told me they were traditionally made in Scotland for breakfast centuries ago, but in recent years they have become popular as they appear in Lord of the Rings.

In the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring, the dwarven character Gimli compares honey cakes to the elvish Lembas bread and they also appear in The Hobbit as Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves have them for supper.

These are the perfect cosy cakes to have on a rainy day with a cup of tea but are also great for when the sun is out to enjoy at a picnic or afternoon tea.

How to make Scottish honey cakes

Ingredients (to make 12) 

  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 100g of honey
  • 200g of self-raising flour
  • 140g of butter
  • One teaspoon of ground allspice
  • Two eggs

To decorate (optional)

  • A teaspoon of honey per cupcake
  • Cashew or almond nuts
  • Citrus peels

Method

To begin, all you have to do is preheat the oven to 180C and then line two six-hole cupcake tins with 12 paper cases.

Let the butter sit out until it reaches room temperature, then place the softened butter, and sugar in a bowl. Beat together until you have a soft fluffy texture.

Next, add the eggs, all ground spice and honey to the fluffy mixture and mix again until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour and brown sugar together, then add it to the bowl with the other ingredients.

As soon as you add self-raising flour to the cake mixture it will begin rising right away, so make sure not to overmix the ingredients, otherwise, your cakes can become tough and inedible.

I gently fold in the flour and sugar with a plastic spatula and only mix a maximum of 10 times to avoid overmixing.

Once the ingredients are combined, spoon the cake batter into the paper cakes and place the cupcake tins in the oven.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are a golden brown colour.

Take out the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack, then decorate how you please.

I usually place a spoonful of honey on top with an almond or cashew nut as I think it makes them look pretty and rustic, but they will also taste wonderful if you wish to put icing or buttercream on them.

I sometimes add citrus peels on top for decoration if I have them on hand to make them look more like a summer cake, which you are welcome to do so but this time I just decided they looked better without.

Once decorated, your mouthwatering golden honey cakes are ready to serve and are best eaten with a cup of tea or your warm beverage of your choice.

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