Happy New Year! To celebrate, here’s a chocolate honey cake recipe to add to your ever-growing chocolate cake collection.
Adapted from a recipe in Fine Cooking Magazine, this chocolate honey cake is sweetened not only with honey, but two kinds of sugar. In addition it includes a combination of oil and butter, plus sour cream for moisture. All those things plus a fairly simple chocolate-honey ganache make it one of the best chocolate cakes we’ve ever tasted.
If you have two 10-inch round cake pans, I recommend clicking over to Fine Cooking and using the recipe on their website. My issue was I only own 6,8 and 9-inch round pans, so rather than make the whole recipe and bake some of the excess batter in cupcake cups, I scaled the recipe down to fit two 9×2 inch cake pans. It worked perfectly and we still had a pretty large cake. In the future, I might cut Fine Cooking’s original 10-inch chocolate honey cake in half and bake it at a lower temperature in a 9-inch round springform pan or maybe even make a half batch in a loaf form, then split and ice with ganache. Either way, I’m already looking forward to making this one again and we haven’t even finished it.
Chocolate Honey Cake
- 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot strong brewed coffee
- 3/4 cup mild honey such as clover
- 10.1 oz. 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1-1/8 tsp. baking powder
- 1-1/8 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt the kind that measures like table salt
- 9 tablespoons 4 ½ oz unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Honey Ganache
- 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate 60% cacao, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups 12 ounces heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons mild honey such as clover
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces
- 3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9x2 inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Dust sides with flour.
- Sift cocoa powders into a medium bowl. Whisk in the hot coffee and then the honey. Let cool completely.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
- With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the oil, beating until combined. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Raise the mixer speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well on medium-high speed after each addition. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until combined.
- Using a heavy duty scraper for stirring (or the lowest speed of your mixer if using a stand mixer with paddle), add the flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping down sides as needed. Beat just until combined.
- Divide the batter between the two pans, spreading evenly. Tap pans lightly before placing in the oven.
- Bake on center and lower racks, rotating the pans halfway through, until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of each cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 40 to 45 minutes (mine was done in 40). Cool the cakes in their pans on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of the pans, invert the cakes onto the rack, and remove the pans and the parchment. Let cool completely. At this point, you may also wrap the cakes in plastic and freeze if desired.
- Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl.
- Combine the heavy cream and honey in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until the honey dissolves into the cream, about 30 seconds. Just as the cream comes to a simmer, pour it over the chocolate. Let stand about 1 minute; then whisk until smooth. Stir in the butter, and vanilla until the butter is melted and the mixture is glossy.
- Let ganache cool at room temperature for at least 8 hours. It will thicken as it cools. (The ganache can sit, covered, at room temperature for up to 24 hours.)
Frost the cake
- Set one of the cake layers on a serving plate.
- Spread about 1 cup ganache over the surface of the cake. Top with the second cake layer and spread a very thin layer of ganache over the top and sides of the cake to seal in any crumbs. Refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set.
- Spread the remaining ganache evenly over the top and sides of the cake.