Simple Honey Cake Recipe

Honey cake is a simple, delicious dessert embraced by many cultures and cuisines. It is often enjoyed on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and the Russian version of honey cake, medovik, supposedly dates back to the kitchen of the Emperor Alexander I. A version of honey cake is also a popular dessert in Fiji. But you don't have to be Jewish, Russian, or Fijian to enjoy making and eating this delicious honey cake recipe from recipe developer and certified nutritionist Hayley MacLean.

"I like this recipe because the cake is perfectly moist and not overly sweet," says MacLean. "The flavor of the honey is so light and wonderful, and the texture is just perfect!" This cake is big on flavor and looks impressive, but you don't need to be an expert baker to make it. With only pantry staples and less than an hour, you can have a delicious and dinner party-ready dessert on the table. Let's get started!

Cake pan or skillet?

You can bake this cake in a 9-inch cake pan or in a cast iron skillet. While either a skillet or cake pan is fine, MacLean says that the skillet offers some advantages. "I love using a cast iron skillet for this because it gives the cake a great texture on the bottom, almost like a slight crust surrounding the moist cake inside," she explains. "It also helps retain heat and make sure the cake is cooked through — plus it makes for such a nice presentation!"

Gather your ingredients

For this recipe, you'll need softened unsalted butter, plain Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and two large eggs. It's best if your eggs are room temperature, so be sure to let them sit out on the counter for a little while before you start. You'll also need all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. And you'll definitely need some honey — 1 cup to go in the cake, and some extra to drizzle on top. For optional garnishes, MacLean suggests mixed fresh berries and crushed pistachios.

For a dessert, this recipe manages to add a lot of flavor without having to use a lot unhealthy ingredients. "I think this recipe is great because it is a sweet treat that avoids using refined sugar or oil," says MacLean. "The Greek yogurt used does increase the protein content in the cake, and topping it with fresh berries adds an extra fresh and healthy element!"

Make the cake batter

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9-inch cake pan or cast iron skillet. Then mix the butter, honey, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract together in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Add the eggs one at time, and beat the batter mixture well after you add each egg.

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients into the batter mixture, stirring until just combined. Although this is a really simple recipe, this is the one step where bakers need to tread, or rather stir, carefully. "The trickiest part of this recipe is making sure not to over-mix the batter, or else the cake may come out dense and chewy," cautions MacLean.

Bake and serve the cake

Pour the cake mixture into the greased cake pan or skillet, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Serve the cake warm and drizzled with extra honey, and you can opt to garnish it with fresh berries and chopped pistachios for dose of healthy. This recipe yields eight servings, and because this honey cake is not a particularly decadent dessert, it would make a great choice for a brunch or midday gathering.

Simple Honey Cake Recipe
5 from 86 ratings
You only need a few ingredients to make this easy, delicious honey cake -- so break out your cast iron skillet and get your oven preheated!
Prep Time
Cook Time
photo of a slice of honey cake
Total time: 45 minutes
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup honey, plus extra for drizzling as topping
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Optional Ingredients
  • mixed fresh berries, for topping
  • crushed pistachios, for topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan or cast iron skillet.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, honey, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after you add each one.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the batter mixture, stirring until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Serve warm, drizzled with extra honey. Garnish with mixed berries and crushed pistachios, if desired.
Calories per Serving 380
Total Fat 14.0 g
Saturated Fat 8.3 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 79.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 59.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.9 g
Total Sugars 35.6 g
Sodium 266.2 mg
Protein 6.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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