Honey & Coconut Honeycomb Cake

 Honey and coconut cake

Good things happen when my nesting syndrome takes over

This is a short but sweet one.  I have the nesting syndrome, so that you now, and every time we will be out on a trip for more than a weekend I suddenly feel the urge to recreate different homey moments, especially with this upcoming trip that, as I mentioned in my last post, is for some of my daughter’s medical treatment.  We will be away for two and a half weeks.  Thus, we need a proper dose of good comfort homemade meals, a few baking projects and the weekend before we had to have a nice movie-morning-Sunday-brunch. 

 Making a honey and coconut cake.

Since lately I have become some sort of a hoarder for everything cake making. I have been collecting, with no particular projects on my agenda at all, cake stands, frosting pipe tips, colored powdered sugars and cake pans for a long time now.  But please, don’t ask me how many times I have used them all because my husband sometimes reads this blog and I will be obligated to answer something neutral and somehow deceiving such as “yes, all of them are fantastic”, when in reality I have not yet used all of them.  So let’s be friends here ; )

But for this nesting syndrome I was telling you about, I wanted to do some baking, even between bags and boarding passes.  I decided to use a pan that has been with me for a while now, but regarded to a dark little corner of a far drawer in the kitchen; the pretty honeycomb pan cake.  Finally it will be it’s debut!

This is a simple honey and coconut cake.  The coconut here is more to achieve a nicer texture and for making it a cleaner cake.  It’s ideal for tea or coffee time or as a nice light summer meal dessert.  We had some debate here at home about glazing it or not, because if you glaze it will somewhat cover the beautiful design of the honeycomb.  I made two tests (yayy!!) and I think the glaze compliments the texture of the cake, but I shoot it without it so the design was appreciated.  You could have the glaze on the side or reserve some on the fridge for later servings.  Nevertheless it’s delicious without it, and anyway it has the honey cream, so if you want to skip it will still be delicious.

Recipe notes:

1.     If you don’t have the honeycomb pan, you can make the recipe with a 9” cake pan.  Just check it for doneness 5 minutes before baking time ends.

2.     I used grape seed spray for coating the pan, but if using a regular mold you could use butter if don’t have spray.

3.     The syrup, honey cream and glaze could be made in advance.

4.     The cake will get a nicer texture and flavor if you let it rest in the fridge for a couple of hours and bring it again to room temperature before serving.

5.     I used unsweetened coconut cream.  You may find it in healthy grocery shops or specialty food stores.  If you have to use sweetened coconut cream adjust the amounts of honey and sugar accordingly.

 Honey and coconut cake with honey cream

Honey and coconut honeycomb cake
Total time – 1 hour including baking  Active time – 30 to 40 minutes, including time for making the cake, syrup, glaze and honey cream
Equipment – Honeycomb or 9” cake pan, 2 medium bowls (preferably 1 of glass for melting the butter), hand whisker and wooden spoon.

For the cake

Organic coconut milk (preferably regular but you can get away with lite) – 1 cup
Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 TBSP
Unsalted butter – 1 ½ sticks
Raw sugar – 1 ½ cups
Coconut oil – 5 TBSP
All purpose unbleached flour – 2 ½ cups
Fine sea salt – ½ Tsp
Baking powder – ½ Tsp
Baking soda – ½ Tsp
Almond extract – 1 ½ Tsp
Coconut extract – 1 Tsp
Organic eggs, at room temperature - 4
Walnuts – ½ cup

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Use grape seed oil spray for greasing the pan.

First, mix the coconut milk with the lemon juice and let it rest while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, around 15 to 20 minutes  (it doesn’t matter if you have to leave it a little more).

In a large glass bowl melt the butter in a microwave completely.  As soon as you take it out of the microwave add in the sugar and mix well, for 1 or 2 minutes, until it is mostly dissolved in the butter.  Add the coconut oil and mix again until well combined.  Let it rest for 15 minutes so the sugar dissolves completely. 

In a small skillet toast the walnuts in medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until they become slightly darker and fragrant.  Finely ground them in a small food processor and set aside.

In a medium or large bowl and using a hand whisker mix the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Return to the butter mix, whisking in the almond and coconut extract, then whisking the eggs one by one and finally mixing in the milk.

Using a wooden spoon, combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients in three additions, making sure at the end that all the flour is well combined.  Gently fold in the walnuts.

Transfer the batter to the pan, using a small spatula or spoon to spread it evenly.  Gently shake and tap it over the counter to release any bubbles of air.  Place in oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until you introduce a toothpick or cake tester and it comes out clean.

Take it out of the oven and let it cool down for 10 to 15 minutes.  Using a serrated knife even out the cake and with a pastry brush soak that side with some of the syrup (if you like it really moist you could use half of it on this side and the remaining on the other side) and let it rest for 5 minutes on this side.  Invert the cake to a plate or rack and soak that side with the remaining syrup and let it rest again for a couple of minutes.  Carefully transfer the cake to the serving plate or cake stand.  Glaze (if glazing), dust with powdered sugar and serve with the honey cream.

For the honey coconut syrup

Water – ½ cup
Honey – ½ cup
Vanilla extract – 1 Tsp
Fine seal salt – 1/8 Tsp
Coconut extract – ½ Tsp
Coconut cream – 4 TBSP

In a small sauce pan combine all the ingredient and simmer for 10 minutes.  Retire form heat and add the coconut cream.  Let it cool before using on the cake.

For the honey cream

Cream cheese at room temperature – 12 oz (1 ½ stick)
Powdered sugar – 4 TBSP
Honey – ¼ cup
Coconut cream – 1 TBSP
Coconut extract – ½ Tsp

Combine all the ingredients very well with a hand whisker for a 4 minutes (good arm workout here!)  Let it rest in the fridge for a while before serving.

For the glaze (optional)

Powdered sugar – 1 ½ cup
Fine sea salt – ¼ Tsp
Coconut extract – 1 Tsp
Coconut cream – 3 to 4 TBSP

With a hand whisker or electric hand mixer with the whipping attachment mix well all the powdered sugar, salt, coconut extract and 3 tablespoons of the coconut cream for 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and all the flavor are well combined.  Mix the 5 full minutes before adjusting the flavors if needed and add the extra tablespoon of coconut milk if you want to make it runnier.

 Honey and coconut pull apart cake.