Lemon Glazed Honey Cake

by Carilyn on April 11, 2022

If you follow me on social media, you may have read that my beloved mom passed away a couple of weeks ago. It was not a shock because she had been declining over the last couple of years after she took a fall in the middle of the night and broke her hip. But, it was a surprise because she had rallied, and had even been doing daily physical therapy with me the week before. For the last couple of years she had been in immense pain. My soul wept for her, knowing how mightily she struggled. But even though I knew she was finally released from her misery, I am still grieving beyond my ability to express it. I loved my mom completely, and the loss of her, even after her long decline, will be felt for my lifetime. I am bereft.

When I am in a bad place, I only know how to do two things: move and cook. Today was no different. While I was trying to get in my daily miles, all I could think about were things I had loved from my childhood. No shocker to any of you, but I was a sweets fiend. My mom was a great cook, and so we always had some sort of dessert around. I’ve always loved cake (while the rest of my family was partial to pie), so whenever Mom made a cake, I was always able to eat more than my fair share. Cake, cake, cake. That is what my soul needed today. I wanted to be in the kitchen, channeling my mother, with the end result being something comforting. No, I didn’t truly believe that a cake would soothe my grief, but I needed to be busy – and baking seemed a whole lot healthier than drinking.

Over the past couple of years, I have spent waaaay too many hours trying to perfect my nougat recipe. Since honey is one of the main components, I, of course, being obsessive, started collecting honey from all over the place. Any time Tim leaves town, he brings me a new jar of local honey from whatever city he was visiting. Honey is like wine – you can taste the terroir. Bees drink the nectar from local flowers, and then produce honey with a taste distinctive to that area. Yes, big brand honey is often just the result of mixing a lot of different honeys together making it taste “middle-of-the road”, but if you seek our genuine local honey wherever you are, you will find a true spectrum of flavors.

Today, I was in the mood for dessert, but not something too sweet. I remembered seeing someone somewhere make a “honey cake”, but I wasn’t really paying attention to how she did it. I was just got stuck on “cake” and “honey”. Ding ding ding. After some furious googling, and the realization that I did not have all the necessary ingredients for a “normal” honey cake, I decided to wing it. I figured I would end up with something at least edible, satisfying my cake craving, and that would be the end of it. I was making comfort food just for me, so it didn’t really matter if it was spectacular.

But, lo and behold, it came out pretty darn good! No, this cake is not spectacular, but after reading up on honey cakes, which, it turns out, are a traditional treat served for the Jewish New Year, I didn’t find anyone claiming that honey cakes are supposed to be spectacular. They are, in fact, supposed to be homey and comforting. This is the kind of cake that would be dynamite for breakfast, or, like how I ate it, with your afternoon coffee. It is not fancy, or decadent. It’s just plain good.

And, sometimes, when life is a bit complicated, that is exactly what we need.


Lemon Glazed Honey Cake

2 cups AP flour

pinch Kosher salt (about 1/2 tsp.)

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup strong honey (not clover – too mild.

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/2 cup greek yogurt

1 tablespoon heavy cream


For the glaze

2 cups powdered sugar

juice from 1 lemon

2 tablespoons whole milk or cream


Line the bottom of a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Grease/spray the pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter for 1 minute. Add the honey and beat for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 1 minute between,

Add the vanilla and almond extracts.

In 3 separate additions, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just blended. Do not overmix.

Add the Greek yogurt and cream until just incorporated.

Pour into the cake pan. Bake for 35 minutes, until top is deep golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. DO NOT OVERBAKE.

Let cake cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before removing from cake pan.

When cake is completely cooled, make the glaze.



Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk cream. Check consistency. You want it to be thin enough to pour, but not so thin that it doesn’t cling to the cake. Adjust consistency – add more lemon juice or milk if too thick, or more powdered sugar if too thin. Taste as you go. You want this glaze to be very lemony as the cake is very subtle.


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