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Friday 8 November 2013

Let Her Eat Cake: Honeycomb Apple Cake

Apples, apples. We're going a bit mad on them at the moment, but BY GOSH that's because they're everywhere. Littering the ground, getting all underfoot with their abundant appleyness. Since it's coming to the end of British apple season, we should take advantage of them, because that is a Good Thing.

Honeycomb? On a cake? What madness is this? Sweet, crunchy, chewy, cakey madness is what. This is a good 'un for any family, outdoorsy occasions you might have coming up, because once the honeycomb is set, it's like a delicious shell that makes the cake pretty transportable.

Honeycomb Apple Cake
You will need:
For the cake:
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced
For the honeycomb: 
  • 100g golden syrup (that's about 4 tbsp to avoid unnecessary mess!)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 40g butter
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Apple slices, to decorate
Make it!
The cake:
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Grease and line a 900g / 2lb loaf tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  3. Beat the eggs, then add to the mixture gradually, with 2 teaspoons of the flour to stop the mixture from separating. Mix well. 
  4. Sift in the remaining flour in batches, folding in using a metal spoon. 
  5. Gently stir in the cinnamon, golden syrup, and apple.
  6. Spoon into the prepared tin, and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is set and a skewer comes out clean. 
  7. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then remove the greaseproof paper and cool on a wire rack. 
  8. When you're ready for the honeycomb, place the cake on a large plate or oven tray, on a piece of baking parchment. 
The honeycomb:
  1. Place the golden syrup, sugar, butter and water in a large pan and set over a medium heat. 
  2. Heat whilst stirring, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. 
  3. Turn the heat up, and bring the mixture to the boil. 
  4. Cook without stirring (I know, it's tempting) for around 5-7 minutes, or until a teaspoon of the mixture dropped into cold water turns into a hard ball. 
  5. Remove from the heat. Immediately add the vinegar and bicarbonate and STAND BACK because this is where it starts to bubble up! 
  6. Once it has finished bubbling, pour the honeycomb mix over your prepared cake, spooning the excess onto the sides to get an even covering. 
  7. Leave to cool or serve whilst still a bit chewy. For maximum effect, include mulled cider, sparkers and mittens. 


  1. Made this cake today as honeycomb and apple seemed like to wonderful a combination to pass over! Cake is delicious, but the honeycomb was super hard (tooth breakingly so). Is that what the recipe was aiming for, or must I have gone wrong somehow? Thanks!

  2. Hi Anon! It will be quite hard at first when it sets, (a bit like a toffee apple) but after a few hours it will soften and go stickier, more like honeycomb. The good news is this means it gets better over time... (if it lasts that long). So if you prefer a softer texture, maybe make a little in advance.

  3. Made this cake two days ago and it has all gone. It did need a saw to cut through the honeycomb for the first few hours, but overnight it softened up and yesterday it was just delicious and manageably crunchy! Fantastic combination of flavours but best thing about it was the kitchen chemistry!!


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