Beekeeper’s Honey Cake Recipe

Bees have fascinated humans for millennia; the popularity of novels like The Secret Life of Bees shows that even modern types are not immune to the magic of bees and honey. We admit that it was the title of this delightful recipe that first caught our eye, but the minute we read it we were ready to preheat our ovens and whip up a batch!

Spices, dried cranberries, and walnuts added to moist honey-kissed cake make this a festive and delicious treat. Beekeeper’s Honey Cake is a keeper in more ways than one, since it will stay fresh and tender for weeks.


2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons canola or corn oil
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups wildflower or other medium-colored honey
1 cup sour cream
1 cup dried cranberries or sour cherries
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Sliced almonds for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt or 10-inch tube pan, tapping out the excess flour, and set aside.

2. Sift together the flour, spices, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, beat together the melted butter, oil, and both sugars in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the honey and sour cream all and once and beat until you have a smooth batter. Beat in the flour mixture, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the cranberries and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

3. Bake the cake until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack and let cool. As soon as the cake is cool enough to handle, press the flaked almonds into the top. Place the cooled cake in an airtight container to ripen for 2 days before serving.

Adapted from All American Desserts, by Judith M. Fertig (Harvard Common Press, 2003). Copyright (c) 2003 by Judith M. Fertig. Reprinted by permission of Harvard Common Press.
Adapted from All American Desserts, by Judith M. Fertig (Harvard Common Press, 2003).


Robert O.
Robert O.5 years ago

Thanks Annie.

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.5 years ago

Oops, I'm allergic to nuts!

Diane B.
Diane B.6 years ago

Sounds delish! I was wondering, could one use regular butter, not unsalted butter, and just omit the 1/4 teaspoon of salt?

Donna B.
Donna B.6 years ago

Sounds delicious, thanks.

Sheri L.
Sheri L.8 years ago

I made this cake last weekend. It is delicious!!! It is similar to a spice cake or coffee cake but even better!
This recipe is a definite keeper!