Honey cakes bake up like the summer solstice in a pan.
Golden, sweet and almost glowing, this beautiful, pull-apart honey cake sweetens any Litha or Solstice ritual.
So tie on an apron and follow the recipe below to make your midsummer magical.
(For other ideas on how to celebrate the summer solstice, check out 10 Ways to Celebrate Litha.)
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Why honey cakes?
Across a variety of European and North African cultures, the ancients considered the rare prize of foraged honey a gift from the gods.
In neopagan traditions born out of Western Europe, many practitioners still leave honey cakes in the garden on the night of Midsummer’s Eve to delight the woodland spirits, sometimes called “faeries.”
Serve honey cakes during a summer solstice ritual or leave them on the altar/in the garden as an offering.
With this in mind, I picked up some high-quality honey on my trip to Savannah, Georgia early this year. I’ve been saving it all this time!
Compliment this honey cake by serving it with fresh fruit and milk.
For the adults and lactose-intolerant, mead (honey wine) also pairs nicely with honey cakes.
Add a bonfire and a few tiki torches, and make this lovely festival meal one to remember.
A few notes:
This post went viral and a lot of my readers shared their experiences, so you get the benefit of their wisdom!
You may end up with a little extra batter. Subbing out honey for sugar is tricky business, so I concentrated on getting the ratios correct for that and apparently overshot the amount of batter by about 4 cupcakes.
Reduce the ratios as your own risk! Or just do what one reader did and make some extra cupcakes (perfect for the altar or as an offering).
You Will Need:
-3 cups all-purpose flour
-3/4 tablespoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-3/4 cups sugar
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup honey
-2 sticks butter (softened)
-1 cup milk
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-oil or cooking spray to grease mold
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lower if your oven runs hot. Grease your silicone honeycomb cake mold.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in one bowl. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add honey. Beat in vanilla.
Slowly add flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Beat until just smooth.
Place cake mold on cookie sheet for support during baking. Pour batter into greased cake mold and put in preheated oven.
Watch it! Honey caramelizes a lot faster than sugar. Bake until you can plunge a fork into the cake and it comes out clean.
Allow to cool for at least 1.5 hours before removing. Remove carefully from mold by placing another cookie sheet on the “cake side” of the mold and then flipping both cookies over. Gently pull off the mold and see how you did!!