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Catholic Recipe: Honey Cake


  • 1/2 tablespoon soft butter
  • 5 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped candied lemon peel
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond essence (extract)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cold water ALMOND GLAZE:
  • 1 cup icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond essence (extract)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  • Details

  • Yield: 1 bundt cake
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 15+
  • Origin: Germany

Also Called: Honigkuchen

December 5, the evening of the feast of St. Nicholas, many European countries celebrate the arrival of this saint. This cake is made in Germany to offer to St. Nicholas as he sees if the children are being good and then distributes their gifts. In Poland their version of this recipe is called Ciastka Miodowe.


1. Grease and flour a Swiss roll tin (Bundt pan).

2. Put honey, sugar and cold water into a pan. Heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Stir all other cake ingredients together in a bowl.

4. Pour on the honey and sugar solution and mix to a smooth dough.

5. Put into the prepared tin and spread evenly.

6. Bake in oven at 350° for 20 minutes. The cake should be firm to the touch.

7. Prepare glaze by bringing the ingredients slowly to the boil, stirring continuously. Then simmer for 3 minutes.

8. Remove the cake from the tin. Place on a cooling tray and pour the glaze over it.

9. When cold, store in an airtight tin for several days to allow the cake to mellow.

Recipe Source: Feasting for Festivals by Jan Wilson, Lion Publishing Corporation, Batavia, Illinois, 1990
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