An English Summers Day and English Honey Herman Cake

We had another early wake up today, as it is Friday Bella doesn’t go to her pre-school and there are no groups that we go to so I ask the kids what they would like to do. The request was to go to the little park round the corner, so that is where we went, for the whole morning, as the weather was nicer than it has been for weeks. The kids kept remarking how sunny it was. While we were out we spotted some wildlife which the kids were totally thrilled with.

Ladybird on Williams hand

Super fat caterpillar that the kids tried feeding various bits of plant to – it loved daisies!

It was so nice to be out in the sun, really made it feel like the summer may be here soon so we can enjoy being outside more.

Did you know it is National Honey Week? I’m not even sure where I heard that it was, so I did a quick (google) check to confirm, and it is, from 7th – 13th May this year. So I thought what better cake to bake than a Honey Cake, with English Honey of course, nothing less! This was another Herman experiment and I have mixed feelings on the results.

English Honey Herman Cake

  • 225g butter
  • 150g honey
  • 60g dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 portion of Herman
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3tbsp of honey

Cut the butter into pieces and put into a medium pan with the honey and sugar. Melt slowly over a low heat. When liquid, turn up the heat and bring to the boil, take off the heat as soon as the mix is boiling. Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 3. Butter and line a 20cm/8in round, loose-bottomed cake tin. Beat the eggs and Herman into the cooled honey mixture. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon into a large bowl, add the lemon zest then pour in the egg, Herman and honey mixture, beating until you have a smooth batter.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50mins – 1 hour until the cake is well risen, golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack. Add 1tsp boiling water to the 3tbsp honey in a bowl, and drizzle over the top to glaze, then leave to cool.

General Appearance: The cake looks very brown, I am not sure what it is but my Herman cakes seem to brown very easily, I must learn to cover with silver foil.

Aroma: Buttery, sweet but slightly burned.

Texture: Wonderful texture, very light, I think that might be the addition of bicarbonate of soda and baking powder instead of using a standard Self-Raising flour.

Taste: Not as strong a honey taste as I’d have hoped, I had to reduce the amount of honey for the recipe as the Herman mix has so much sugar in already, more experiments needed.

English Honey Herman Cake with a vase of forget-me-nots from the garden – just me trying to be creative taking photos

My observations of this cake seem a bit bad reading back through them but actually the cake is very nice and I am sure will get eaten up in no time.

Is anyone else experimenting with Herman? Did you go outside today?

For now,


PS. Lemon Herman Drizzle Cake just out of the oven, need to leave to cool before decorating, also a basic Herman Bread is having a slow proof overnight. I will write again tomorrow x

This entry was published on May 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm. It’s filed under Baking, Doing, Herman, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

10 thoughts on “An English Summers Day and English Honey Herman Cake

  1. Your Herman Honey cake looks amazing Catherine! It looks so moist and ready to eat. I might try it. Do you need Herman to try it?

  2. That cake looks scrumptious… 🙂

  3. Lisa Dowson on said:

    To get a stronger honey taste, try a stronger flavoured honey. Usually the darker the honey, the stronger the flavour. Light coloured honey’s are usually very mild (like acacia, lavender, orange blossom honeys). I can strongly recommend trying a Manuka honey with a high antibacterial count. You’re looking for MPA 15+. This honey is from New Zealand but we do get it in the UK so you shouldn’t have a problem there.
    You could also try a sugar and milk free sour dough starter rather than a Herman starter. Then you could add more honey.
    I just tasted my neighbours Herman Cake (I gave her some of my sugar free sour dough starter which she fed and transformed into a Herman Cake. It was delicious, and also her first successful bake, so she is well chuffed,

    • Hi Lisa,
      Thank you for your comment, very interesting know about the darker the honey the stronger it is. I was using a very local honey to me from about a 15 minute walk away, it is a very light coloured and delicately flavoured honey. It is delicious but I can see now that it wouldn’t give a very strong flavour in the cake.
      That is great to hear that your neighbour has made a Herman cake, that is what I love about Herman that he can be such a simple cake to bake but has the yeast in that can be transformed into bread. To be honest I haven’t baked much bread so it is a steep learning curve for me, I have made many cakes with my Herman but really want to bake more bread with him.
      I will put my efforts up on the blog, any other tips on the bread baking side of things would be very much appreciated, it is great to link up with others that bake at home.

      • Lisa Dowson on said:

        I’m not a fan of big food miles to be honest. Have had a think, perhaps a UK heather honey might be darker and stronger in flavour? Might be worth asking your local bee keeper 🙂

        For making sour dough bread, I’m totally new at this myself. 3 months in and my starter is finally starting to have a lovely sour flavour and my loaf to brick ratio is improving. Currently we’re enjoying a malted wheat and honey loaf…yum! I only have one tip, if you don’t have a baking stone, drop your loaves on grease proof paper into preheated pyrex dishes. Seems to work fairly well.

      • Thanks for your message Lisa, sorry it’s taken so long for me to get back to you. I agree about the food miles but can definitely cope with buying an English honey or even Scottish honey to get the stronger flavour 🙂
        It really is very exciting having a living breathing entity on the side in the kitchen and after I have thouroughly got to know my Herman I am very keen to start a bread starter – Hermione I guess 😉 The malted wheat and honey loaf sounds divine, definitely up my street! I do have a baking stone actually but it just gets used for pizza, I’ve never used it for a loaf. The pyrex dish tip is great too, thank you so much x

  4. Loved the recipe and just baked it and tasted it now! I did however add OJ instead of water to the glaze and it’s made it totally yummy! Also next one I bake I will add more cinnamon and possibly some cardamom as it could do with more spicing up for my taste! But all in all thank you for a fab recipe!!! X

    • Hi Debbie, so glad to hear you have tried my recipe. Orange juice sounds like a good addition to the glaze. I’ve never used cardamom in a recipe, I really have to get some. Enjoy your cake and thank you for letting me know how yours turned out. x

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