Wholemeal honey and almond cake

Wholemeal honey and almond cake

by rich on April 6, 2010

This has everything you’d want in a cake – it’s sweet, moist and delicious, it keeps well and it’s straightforward to make.

I may go so far as to say that it’s nearly foolproof, but that I don’t want to tempt fate.

Start – as you start every single cake baking adventure – by greasing a 23cm baking tin with a removable bottom with butter and lining the base with greaseproof paper.

The rest of the recipe is equally unsurprising.

Butter, sugar, eggs, flour.

Beaten, folded, baked.

There are a few secrets, though, and it’s these little tricks and extras that make this particular cake stand out.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's wholemeal honey and almond cake

Weigh out 150g of wholemeal self-raising flour and mix in a teaspoon of baking powder.  If you don’t have wholemeal self-raising flour, just use ordinary wholemeal flour and increase the baking powder to two teaspoons.

Beat 300g of unsalted butter and 250g of golden caster sugar together until light, then beat in four medium eggs, one at a time.  Add a spoonful of the wholemeal flour with each egg, to stop the mixture from splitting.

Fold 150g of ground almonds into the mixture, then sift the rest of the flour over and gently fold it in, too.

Use a spatula to help tip the mixture into the baking tin, smooth the surface and scatter the top with 50g of flaked almonds.

Bake for forty-five minutes at 170c, or until a knife comes out clean when plunged into the middle of the cake.

When the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and, straight away, trickle four tablespoons of runny honey evenly over the top.  The honey will seep deep into the warm cake and spread throughout it, although it will pool deliciously around the centre.  Spoon some more honey right over the middle, just to make sure.

Allow to cool before turning out.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

fionalthompson April 6, 2010 at 6:31 pm

@them_apples omg that looks devine I would normally be rushing to make that alas my peski diet won’t allow that :(


them_apples April 6, 2010 at 6:35 pm

@fionalthompson it’s made with wholemeal flour, so surely you could swing it….


fionalthompson April 6, 2010 at 6:47 pm

@them_apples nothing over 3%fat at the moment but I'm allowed a treat once a month I think I might have found what I'm having next month :)


seamarge April 6, 2010 at 7:30 pm

@them_apples Cake looks sensational – I'll give it a go tomorrow. Thanks :0)


Alina April 6, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Aw I love foolproof recipes :)) Seriously, this cake sounds like something I'd like to try – it looks so moist and I love that you added ground almonds into the batter. Thank you for the recipe!


Katie April 6, 2010 at 10:17 pm

This looks lovely! I am going to make it this weekend for my own birthday. My husband doesn't like honey so it will be all mine!

Love your blog, and your pictures are gorgeous.


rich April 7, 2010 at 6:07 am

Katie, thanks – that's very kind. Let me know how your version goes.


Casey Angelova April 10, 2010 at 7:13 am

Sounds interesting and delicious! I am not too sure but, what is golden caster sugar?


Katie April 13, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Cake is done! Of course, being the disorganised baker that I am, I had no golden caster sugar so I used half plain caster sugar and half soft light brown sugar. I also only had three eggs, so I added a splash of water to the batter. And I only had an 18 cm cake pan… do you see where this is going?

You're right, the recipe is foolproof, it was quite forgiving of my changes. The cake is gorgeous and it tastes amazing. I've never had a wholemeal cake, it goes really well with the flavour of the honey. Thanks for the recipe!


rich April 13, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Excellent. Glad it worked out. Photos soon?


Andy Wong April 15, 2010 at 10:50 am

This is really excellent to try. I’ll love to give this a go!

Thanks for sharing! :)


Lisa Jones May 9, 2010 at 11:37 am

Just finished the Leeds half marathon… Totally focussed on getting home and making this cake! Watch this… A review post is likely to be delayed due to a full mouth!


rich May 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Excellent. Knee OK?


Lisa jones July 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Round 2 (round 1, forgot almonds b4 oven – so eager to eat the thing). Almonds safely on top of second attempt and watching it rise now. Mouth watering…


Iby August 28, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I just made this beautiful and easy cake because I was bored and it is brilliant. I never thought that I can bake a very yummy cake from wholemeal flour. It is just perfect!
Thank you very much for sharing.
If there's anymore recipe like this I would be happy to make.


Zoe Roberts January 7, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Made this cake today for some friends and it went down a storm. It's absolutely delicious/moist and really easy. Loved it. In fact I have had to restrain myself from going into my kitchen this evening and eating the rest of it! Tastes like marzipan. Will definitely make it again. Yum


Sally Saunders September 8, 2011 at 11:07 am

Have made this twice and both times came out different. There seems to be conflicting recipes from river cottage and hughs guardian article. One recipe says use 300gms of butter and the other says 300. This seems a tremendous amount so I used 250gms with no problem both times. Has anyone else done this. Very moist cake so wondered if it needed so much butter. Would love to know what you think..?


Sally Saunders September 8, 2011 at 11:10 am

Meant to say 350 gms!


mikey September 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I am sure there is to much butter in this recepie, always have lots of butter run out on the tray I am cooking it on.Any normal cake dose not require this amount of butter, it always sinks badly in the middle ?.


rich September 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm

There are lots of reasons why a cake might sink in the middle – could be the temperature, under or over mixing the ingredients, opening the oven door…lots of things.

There is a lot of butter in this recipe, but that’s part of the reason it’s so tender and moist. you could cut it back, I suppose, but you’d need to adjust the rest of the recipe accordingly. I’ve never had butter run out onto the tray…


Dancy May 11, 2012 at 1:46 am

I love this cake……I reduced the butter from 350g to 320g and sugar from 250g to 230g to reduce sweetness. Super recipe.



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