Honey, Cinnamon and Orange Buttermilk Cake

Flavour of the moment: It has to be honey because the cake tin I used for this is honeycombed shape.

Confession: This cake tin is my dream cake tin, I have eyed it up for the best part of three years but could never justify buying it. Then one day, I still couldn’t justify buying but I did anyway because I’d had a lovely week away with my lovely man and we’d found out he’d got THE JOB and was moving down south to live with me. As weeks go, not much tops it. Add to that the acquiring of my dream cake tin and well, life just doesn’t get better than that.

Since I got my grubby paws on this tin I have been waiting for an opportunity special enough to warrant using it (whilst getting a bundt tin, which I had also wanted for some time  and which took up the special occasion that is mother’s day, the greedy thing). Thankfully that special occasion will be arriving in a couple of weeks and using my day off wisely I decided to make a cake to freeze before the manic weekend away in celebration of some friends getting married commences.

Given the tin shape the cake had to be at least partly honey flavoured. I set about looking for recipes and found Molly Wizenberg’s Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cake with Glazed Oranges and Crème Fraîche. This reminded me I had some orange extract in the cupboard I’d been meaning to use, exactly the right amount of buttermilk that needed using up and some vanilla bean paste too. And that, was that.

honey cake 2

I used Molly’s recipe as a base to make what I decided would be a fun flavour combination: honey, cinnamon and orange.


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 of a cup of buttermilk
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste (or seeds from one pod)
  • 2 cups of cake flour (a new thing to me which is a mixture of plain flour and cornflour)
  • 1 tbsp of baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp of salt
  • 125g of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100g of honey
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 0.5-1 tsp of orange extract, put half in and taste the mixture, it depends how orangey you want your cake to be. Orange zest would work too


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease your cake tin. As you can imagine with the honeycomb tin this took quite some time. I put complicated tins in the freezer 30mins before and then use a pastry brush and melted butter to grease them, this makes sure it gets in all the little creases etc. This recipe requires a 9 inch cake tin normally.
  2. In a small bowl whisk the egg yolks, two tablespoons of the buttermilk, the honey and vanilla bean paste.
  3. In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar, stir to combine.
  4. Whisk the butter into the flour mixture (using a food mixer or electric whisk) and add the rest of the buttermilk, whisk some more.
  5. Add the egg mixture, a little at a time and whisking after each addition. Ideally you want a thick and airy batter.
  6. Using a spatula, scrape the cake mix into the tin and place the tin in the oven for 30-40 minutes. My cake took just over 25 minutes because the batter was much more spread out but it is done once a skewer comes out clean, so just keep an eye on it around the 30 minute mark.
  7. Once removed from the oven, let the cake cool in the tin for about a quarter of an hour and then turn it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely, if you can wait that long before devouring it. It does smell incredible.

One more picture because it is a thing of beauty:

honey cake 1

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