Honey Cake

Mmm... the smell of spices coming out of my oven was EXACTLY what I needed on this rainy dreary day. This honey cake reminds me a lot of spice cake, but with a definite honey flavor. Very moist. It was delicious with a dollop (awesome word) of home made spiced whipped cream, but would also be great as a morning snack with a hot cup of coffee.

Honey Cake
(Original recipe from the always delicious, Smitten Kitchen)

3 1/2 C flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsps ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 C vegetable oil
1 C honey
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C warm coffee
1/2 C fresh orange juice
1/4 C whiskey (yep.)

Ok. This makes a LOT of cake. Smitten Kitchen recommends 3 loaf pans OR two 9-inch square pans OR a 9 or 10 inch tube or bundt pan OR a 9 x 13 inch sheet cake. Well. The only pan I had that could fit the whole thing was a bundt pan, but someone thinks bundt pans make for untasty cakes, so I made one 8 x 8 inch cake, one loaf, and 6 cupcakes. Coworkers, prepare your bellies because there will be honey cake in the office probably all week long.

Preheat the oven to 350. Generously grease your pan(s). Start to make your coffee. (Full disclosure, technically the recipe said coffee or strong tea, but... I can't really understand why anyone would chose tea when coffee is an option. I made strong coffee.)

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Make a well in the middle and fill with the rest of the ingredients. (Tip: measure the oil before the honey, and the honey will come out of the measuring cup easier.) 

Stir together with a whisk to make a thick, well blended batter, with no ingredients stuck to the bottom. Spoon the batter into prepared pans. This is easier to do while not on the phone, btw. Place the cake pans on two cookie sheets stacked on top of each other.

Bake until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top springs back when you gently touch the center. For me, this took about 35 minutes for the cup cakes and about 65 for the bigger pans. Let cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

Lesson learned: The cup cakes were a good way to use up the batter that wouldn't fit in the other pans, but they don't form that nice crusty edge which contrasts so well with the moist center, that you'll get from using a larger pan.

Jamie's Thoughts on Whipped Cream:
Don't ever buy whipped cream. Its gross. Ew.
So easy to make as long as you have either a stand mixer or a hand held electrical mixer. Use a ratio of 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Whip until... you know, it looks like whipped cream. You can flavor with extracts, liquors, spices, etc. For this cake, I flavored with vanilla and cinnamon. 

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