With the texture of soft, spongy gingerbread, this honey-infused cake feels more like a cookie. Although some versions do not include spices, we couldn’t help but throw in a little ginger, cloves, and allspice for enhanced flavor. To balance out the spice and sweeten things up, we increased the sugar in the traditional whipped sour cream filling—think cream cheese frosting with a subtle tang. This baking process may be laborious, but it is also forgiving. Expect the assembly to be messy, and remember you can smooth over any filling overflow on the sides of the cake during the final frosting.
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (85 grams) honey
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
- 3 large eggs (150 grams), lightly beaten
- 3½ cups (438 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
- Sour Cream Frosting (recipe below)
- Garnish: fresh currants, White Chocolate Honeycomb (recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, butter, and honey to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 4 minutes; remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda. (The mixture will violently bubble up and drastically change in color. Keep whisking until a dark amber color is achieved and mixture is no longer bubbling.) Whisking vigorously, gradually add eggs in a slow, steady stream until combined.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 3 cups (375 grams) flour, allspice, cloves, ginger, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture and vanilla into honey mixture until well combined. Add remaining ½ cup (63 grams) flour, stirring gently just until combined.
- Transfer dough to a sheet of parchment paper, and divide into 10 equal portions. Cover with a towel to keep warm. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, lightly sprinkle top with flour, and place on another sheet of parchment paper. Roll into an 8-inch circle, using an 8-inch round cake pan as a guide. Trim edges, reserving scraps. Transfer dough circle on parchment to a rimmed baking sheet. (If dough becomes cold while working with it, you can microwave it for 5 seconds to warm back up. When cold, dough is difficult to roll out, and prone to forming a skin.)
- Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven, and place on a wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining dough circles.
- Bake scraps for 7 minutes; let cool. Transfer to the work bowl of a food processor; pulse until finely ground. Reserve 1 cup (100 grams) cake crumbs for White Chocolate Honeycomb.
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate, and spread with ½ cup (120 grams) Sour Cream Frosting. Repeat with remaining layers, pressing down gently as you go to keep layers from having air gaps. Refrigerate for at least 10 hours.
- Spread remaining Sour Cream Frosting on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle remaining cake crumbs in a circle on top of cake. Garnish with currants and White Chocolate Honeycomb, if desired. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- 1 cup (240 grams) heavy whipping cream
- 4 cups (960 grams) sour cream
- 3 cups (360 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream at high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream and confectioners’ sugar. Fold whipped cream into sour cream mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- ½ cup (85 grams) white chocolate melting wafers*
- 1 cup (100 grams) reserved cake crumbs
- In the top of a double boiler, melt chocolate baking wafers over simmering water.
- (Alternately, in a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate on medium in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is melted and smooth.)
- Spread a thin layer of melted chocolate over a food-grade honeycomb mold. Let dry at room temperature overnight, or refrigerate until set. Gently remove mold, and break honeycomb into small pieces. Sprinkle with reserved cake crumbs.
We used a PME Honeycomb Design Impression Mat.
The overnight refrigeration is crucial, allowing the ample amounts of creamy filling slathered between each layer to soak into and help soften the cake. The cake is prone to leaning after assembly, so be sure it is on a level shelf when refrigerating. To ensure that the layers don’t shift, stick a wooden skewer through the center of the cake after assembling. Remove skewer before frosting top and sides of cake.