Spiced Honey Cake

A brief introduction is probably in order first. I’m Mel, one of the two kitchens. I live in Melbourne and am currently studying. I have a slight obsession with collecting cook books, and in particular antique/vintage cook books. My passion lies in baking and creating sweets. I find it comforting how effortless it can be to make a cake or a muffin and to have a scrumptious treat to enjoy.

The first recipe I am bringing to you is a Spiced Honey Cake. I decided to try the Spiced Honey Cake because I was intrigued by its use of Milk Powder an ingredient I had never used before. It also takes very little butter and the honey is the sole source of the sweet taste.

Spiced Honey Cake

This recipe appeared in the Australian Women’s Weekly Cookery Book which was published in 1948. The book contains all reader submitted recipes which were then judged by the AWW and provided with a monetary prize.

The cast of ingredients: Plain Flour, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Salt, Milk Powder, Butter, Honey, An Egg and Bicarbonate Soda.

The recipe called for the honey and butter to be melted. I love the way butter transforms they honey into a silky smooth golden liquid.

The dry ingredients were then added and to be sifted three times. I’m sure this step reflected the quality of flour in 1948, so I only sifted it once. I also doubled the amount of cinnamon.  The beaten egg is added to the honey mixture before being folded into the dry ingredients.

The bicarbonate soda is dissolved into hot water before being added to the mixture. I found the batter to be lighter than I expected.

As I don’t have 2 7inch sandwich tins, I simply placed the batter into one tin. The cake cooks in a moderate over for 30 to 40 minutes. I baked it at 150°C,  lower temperature because my oven cooks things quite fast, for about 30 minutes.

The filling was quite simple to make. It combined Condensed Milk, Lemon Rind and Lemon juice and one egg. Ingredients were combined and left in the refrigerator to thicken. As I don’t particularly like the idea of a raw egg in the filling and omitted it. Instead I added just a little bit of icing sugar to act as a binding agent.

I was quite surprised by how the cake turned out. The lemon filling was the perfect accompaniment to the cake, as the tart of the lemon off cut the sweetness of the honey. It was a little dense, I could have probably reduced the cooking time by about five to 8 minutes.

Spiced Honey Cake with Lemon Filling

  • 6 ounces/170g Flour
  • ½ Tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ Tsp Nutmeg
  • ½ Tsp. Salt
  • 3 dessertspoons* Milk Powder
  • 1 tablespoons/14g Butter
  • 1 Cup Honey
  • ¾ Tsp Bicarbonate Soda
  • 3 Tablespoons Hot Water

Sift dry ingredients two or three times. Heat Honey and butter together until the butter is melted. Add beaten egg, fold into dry ingredients. Dissolve Soda in hot water, fold into mixture. Turn into 2 greased 7inch sandwich tins. Bake in a moderate oven for 30 to 40 minutes. When cold, sandwich with lemon filling dust top with icing sugar.

*In modern measurements that equates to 1.5 Australian Tablespoons/2 British and American Tablespoons.

Lemon Filling

Combine 1/3 tin sweetened condensed milk, 1 Egg Yolk, 1 dessertspoonful grated lemon rind, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Chill until thickened.


  1. Glad to see this blog getting off the ground! Sounds like a really interesting recipe – I’d love to see some more old ones from lost Women’s Weeklies and get a sense of some other delicious wartime delicacies. 🙂 xx

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