Honey Orange Marmalade Cake
This fine-grained cake is moist, fragrant and a great keeper. If you have the beehive pan (or can borrow it like I did. Thank you Pam!) the cake will be visually stunning as well. The orange marmalade, honey and tea make for a lovely flavor combo. My version is an adaption of a recipe given to me by Lévana Kirschenbaum, a fellow cookbook author. Her cake featured coffee instead of tea, double the spices and a different preparation technique. Mine is also baked at a much lower temperature. I am more of a tea lover, so that idea came to me right away, and I really wanted to taste the marmalade and honey, so I decided to reduce the spices. Thank you Lévana! This is now my go-to honey cake. I can’t wait to try it with a lemon marmalade. Here is the pan below:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
1 cup flavorless oil
1 cup honey, such as clover or orange blossom
1 cup orange marmalade
2/3 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup strong brewed black tea, cooled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at soft room temperature, cut into small pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice
1 ½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 to 3 tablespoons whole milk
For the Cake: Position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat the oven to 300˚ F (Three hundred degrees is the correct low temperature). Either use a Nordicware Beehive Pan as I did for the photo, or a 10-cup volume bundt pan. Coat the insides of the pan thoroughly with a thin layer of vegetable shortening (I apply with a piece of paper towel), then coat lightly with flour. Make sure to get every nook and cranny.
Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
In another bowl, whisk together oil, honey and marmalade. Whisk in sugar, then eggs one at a time, whisking each one until it is absorbed. Whisk in tea and vanilla.
Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging. Cool for 15 minutes on rack, then unmold onto rack to cool completely.
For the Filling: (This filling is only needed if you use the Beehive pan as it is used to “glue” the two halves together). In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add about half the sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Add remaining sugar and enough orange juice just until a thick, smooth frosting forms. It should be fairly thick, but spreadable. Frosting is now ready to use.
For the Glaze: For the glaze, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, honey and half the milk together in a bolw. Only add as much milk as is needed to create a thick but flowable glaze. Glaze is now ready to use.
For the Assembly: If using the Beehive pan – you might have to trim the two cake halves. You will be able to see if any cake rose up and over the borders of the pan. Simply trim those pieces away and enjoy with a nice steaming hot cup of tea. Spread the buttercream on one cake half and press the other half against it firmly to help it adhere. Stand the cake upright on your presentation plate. Drizzle the honey glaze over the seams; also pour it into a small puddle right on top of the cake so it will drip down here and there decoratively (see picture). If you used a Bundt pan, simply glaze decoratively with the honey glaze on top.