This honey cake with whipped mascarpone and figs is a simple, yet exotic cake that is perfect for a weeknight treat with coffee, or during the weekend to share with friends.
Why you'll love it
This is a simple, delicate single layer cake that is absolutely packed with flavor and is so easy to make. It doesn't make a ton of cake, so you don't have to worry about what to do with all the extra cake. Chances are, most of it will be gone after you've prepared it.
Unlike some other honey cake recipes, it isn't overly complicated or require any special skills or knowledge to create a delicious balance of floral honey flavor and a moist cake everyone will enjoy digging into.
It is the perfect opportunity to experiment with a variety of honey that you may be able to find, especially if you have any local beekeepers. This recipe was originally created with wildflower honey for its light floral notes, but orange blossom honey is another favorite here. Blueberry and clove honey varieties are also really delicious with this recipe.
Most of the ingredients in this cake are what you'd expect, this is a quick overview of some of the key ingredients you'll need. The full list and measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Sugar - The cake calls for some brown sugar. It helps to enhance the flavors of the honey and give it a deeper, nearly caramel undertone.
- Honey - This is the main flavor component of the cake, so use a high quality honey, if you can. There are many varieties of honey available, so feel free to experiment with them and find your favorite honey flavor profile!
- Buttermilk - In order to further tenderize and keep the cake nice and moist, buttermilk is added. You can also use sour cream or plain yogurt.
- Orange - I like to add orange to this cake to add more depth and warmth, especially since there is also cinnamon in the cake. The orange plays very well with the honey.
- Mascarpone - This particular cake is topped with whipped mascarpone. It gives a creamy, slightly tangy flavor that is amazing when drizzled with more honey. If you can't find any, you can use cream cheese instead.
- Figs - The original recipe calls for figs as a topping, but you can also use any type of seasonal fruit, or nothing at all if you prefer a more simple cake.
How to make
The beauty of this honey cake is how much more simple it is to make than most cakes.
- Grease and flour your baking pan.
- Beat together the wet ingredients until well-combined.
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Create a well in the dry ingredients and add in the wet ingredients.
- Stir until combined, then pour into your baking pan.
- Bake in your preheated oven until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it.
- Top with your whipped mascarpone and fresh fruit!
Leaving the cake at room temperature in an airtight container is fine. If you plan on leaving the cake longer, I recommend holding off on the mascarpone topping and adding it on the individual slices as you serve.
This cake is delicious on its own, topped with powdered sugar, or drizzled with more honey. You can even add sliced almonds to the top of the batter before baking to add more flavor and texture to the cake.
Have extra figs? Try my fig galette!
Honey Cake with Whipped Mascarpone and Figs
- ⅓ cup brown sugar lightly packed
- ½ cup honey plus more for drizzling
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup buttermilk
- zest of one orange
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 oz mascarpone chilled
- ½ cup heavy cream chilled
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ scant teaspoon almond extract
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 5 - 6 fresh figs
- Grease and flour an 8" round baking pan (one that is about 3" high is best). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, honey, oil, eggs, buttermilk, and orange zest until well combined.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Create a well in the flour, then pour the wet ingredients. Mix until combined, but not over mixed. It is okay if there are a few lumps.
- Pour into the baking pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, whip the mascarpone. Add the heavy cream and extracts then beat until soft peaks form. Gently whisk in the powdered sugar.
- Spread the whipped mascarpone onto the cooled cake. Slice the figs and place on top of the cake, then finish with a drizzling of honey.