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Almond Honeycomb Cake

This melt-in-your-mouth cake is soaked with the flavors of wildflower honey, citrus and cardamom before getting a finishing touch of glossy honey glaze -- just like a real honeycomb!
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings
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Ingredients

1 3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan

3/4 cup all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note) 

2 teaspoons kosher salt 

2 cups sugar  

6 large eggs, at room temperature  

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise 

3 cups almond flour (see Cook's Note) 

3 tablespoons whiskey, such as Maker's Mark 

1 orange  

8 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed 

1 1/2 cups wildflower honey  

Directions

Special equipment:
a 12 1/4-by-11 2/3-inch honeycomb pull-apart dessert pan
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Thoroughly butter a 12 1/4-by-11 2/3-inch honeycomb pull-apart dessert pan, making sure to cover all the detailed nooks and crannies. Lightly dust the pan with all-purpose flour (sifting the flour over the top of the pan works best; tap out excess).  
  3. Beat the butter, salt and 1 3/4 cups of the sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, scraping down the sides as needed, until well combined (the butter does not need to be fluffy), about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until incorporated (the mixture will first appear loose and broken, but will eventually come together). Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and beat into the butter mixture; reserve the pod for another use.  
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the almond flour until combined. Add the all-purpose flour and beat on low until combined. Add the whiskey and beat on low until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Tap the pan firmly on the counter a few times to force batter into the edges of the pan. 
  5. Bake the cake until golden brown, the edges begin to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center and edges of the cake comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving plate; carefully remove the pan and very lightly brush away any excess flour from the top of the cake.  
  6. Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to peel wide strips from half of the orange (about 6 strips).  
  7. Boil the cardamom pods in 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat until most of the water has evaporated and the mixture is very fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the honey and the orange peels. Let sit for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture through a mesh sieve into a small glass measuring cup; discard the solids. The mixture should be very thin and slightly warm; gently re-heat if necessary. Slowly drizzle the mixture over the warm cake, allowing the cake to soak up the honey before adding more. Let the cake cool, about 1 hour.  
  8. Just before serving, heat the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon water in small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup honey until combined, then remove from the heat and drizzle over the top of cake, allowing the honey to slowly drip over the sides and into each honeycomb.

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)