I am THRILLED it is fall. Ok, maybe not quite fall yet, but September is close enough for me, and this cake makes me think of all the good things i look forward to in Autumn.
I ran across the inspiration for this cake at the ultimate fall celebration: the Arkansas State Fair. Last year, one of the entrants made this piece of art that was a three-layer white cake with a cream cheese icing that was mixed with Arkansas-raised honey and smokey scotch whisky. On the top of this sculpture was a hunk of beeswax, and oozing from it was that golden, gorgeous honey spilling down the sides.
There is no way I could make that cake. If it’s not a sheet or bundt cake, I can’t ice it, and nothing about that cake said “easy”.
So I took it upon myself to GTS (google that stuff) and I found this, which is as good, WAY easier and will remind you of fall as well. The recipe I used is from Life’s a Feast, and the only thing I amended is I dusted the bundt pan with sugar instead of flour. I like to do this to bundt cakes because it gives them a crunch, and for this cake, it adds a hint of caramel to the compliment the honey. Oh, and I used honey whiskey instead of scotch because, well, honey.
This cake is not all that sweet, which I like, but you can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream if that’s your thing (I did, and I have no regrets).
Here’s what I did:
Here’s what you need: 3/4 cup sugar, 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp, 2 large eggs, 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup honey, 2/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup whisky and 3/4 cup pecans.
Prepare your pan with non-stick cooking spray or butter, dust with white sugar and sprinkle the chopped pecans in the bottom of the pan. Set this aside, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
WARNING: this may be controversial. I do not mix the cake together as outlined below. Instead, I put all the wet ingredients together and add all the dry ingredients to it and mix. Personally, I have not noticed a problem with this approach, but you do you. It’s your cake.
However you mix up the batter, pour it into the pan on top of the pecans and pop in the oven. Set your timer for 30 minutes and turn your attention to the glaze.
This gorgeous stuff is about to put some warmth in the cake. What you’ll do is add 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons water, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 sugar (because it’s just not quite sweet enough, apparently), 1/4 cup whisky and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Turn the burner on low and let it boil until it reduces a bit. Afterward, turn off the heat and move the pan to the back burner.
After 30 minutes, check to ensure the cake is done. Let cool for about 10 minutes then de-pan onto a cake plate or serving dish. Here’s the scrumptious part:
Take a k-bob skewer (like this one), chopstick, small knife or whatever you have available to poke holes all throughout the cake. Once you have installed a sufficient amount of holes, turn to the back burner for the glaze.
Slowly drizzle the glaze over the cake until it sinks into the holes and is absorbed by the cake. You can serve this now while it’s still warm or later when the glaze has been fully taken in by the batter.
I hope you try this cake and look forward to changing leaves, shorter days and sweeter memories. Come see me at the Fair!
- ¾ cup sugar
- 6 Tbs unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for buttering pan
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups less 1 Tbs flour
- 1 ½ tsps baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup good quality liquid/runny honey
- ⅔ cup milk at room temperature
- ⅓ cup whiskey, bourbon or amber rum
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup (60 g) unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs water
- ¼ cup (60 ml) good quality liquid/runny honey
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) whiskey, bourbon or amber rum
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Using a pastry brush, generously “paint” the inside of an 8 ½ inch Bundt pan with softened butter. I dusted the inside with sugar, but you can use flour instead or omit this step.
- Sprinkle the pecans into the bottom of the buttered Bundt pan.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Combine the milk, whiskey and honey for the batter in a measuring cup and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add half of the flour mixture and half of the liquid mixture and beat well. Add the remaining flour and liquid mixture and beat well again.
- Gently scoop or spoon the batter into your prepared pan, on top of the pecans. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning the Bundt cake out of the pan and immediately turning right side up (nut side up). Cool on a wire rack while you make the syrup glaze.
- Put all the ingredients for the syrup in a small pot over a low flame and heat it until boiling. Allow to boil for a few minutes, until it reduces slightly. Turn off the heat and allow to cool until just warm.
- Put the still-warm Bundt cake either on a rack or a piece of parchment or foil in a pan or plate with sides to catch the glaze that doesn’t soak in immediately. Drizzle or liberally brush the syrupy glaze, at little at a time, over all of the cake. Continue to brush the syrupy glaze on the cake – on top, on the sides and inside the center hole, over a period of an hour or so, allowing the glaze to soak into and imbibe the cake gradually; pouring it on all at once and too much will run off.
- Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.