Honey and Spice Cake - Unlive

This cake has a tangy citrus flavour and a sharp lemon icing and tastes sensational.

Serves 8

Delia Smith's Book of Cakes

Honey and Spice Cake  - Unlive
 3 oz (75 g) clear, runny honey
 1 level teaspoon ground ginger
 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
 ¼ level teaspoon ground cloves
 8 oz (225 g) plain flour
 3 oz (75 g) golden caster sugar
 finely grated zest 1 small orange
 finely grated zest 1 small lemon
 4 oz (110 g) butter, at room temperature
 1 large egg, beaten
 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
 2 oz (50 g) whole mixed candied peel, finely chopped
For the icing:
 6 oz (175 g) icing sugar
 1 tablespoon lemon juice
To decorate:
 8 pieces crystallised ginger
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C).
You will also need an 8 inch (20 cm) round tin, lightly buttered.


First of all weigh a cup or small basin on the scales, then weigh the 3 oz (75 g) of honey into it. Now place the basin into a saucepan containing barely simmering water and warm the honey a little but be careful – it mustn't be too hot, just warm.

Next sift the spices and flour into a large mixing bowl, then add the sugar and the orange and lemon zest. Now add the butter in small pieces, then rub it lightly into the flour, using your fingertips, until the mixture becomes crumbly. Next, lightly mix in the beaten egg, using a large fork, followed by the warm honey. Then in a small basin, mix the bicarbonate of soda with 3 tablespoons of cold water, stir until dissolved, then add it to the cake mixture and beat, quite hard, until the mixture is smooth and soft. Then, finally, stir in the mixed peel and spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it out evenly.

Bake the cake just above the centre of the oven for about 50 minutes or until well risen and springy to the touch. Cool it for 10 minutes, then turn it out on to a wire rack to get quite cold.

Meanwhile prepare the icing by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl, then add 2 tablespoons of hot water along with the lemon juice and mix to a thin consistency that will coat the back of a spoon. If you don't think it's thin enough add a little more water. Now place a large plate underneath the cake on the wire rack and pour the icing all over, letting it run down and coat the sides a bit. Then decorate the top with ginger and store in an airtight tin.

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