Friday, September 24, 2010

Ukrainian Honey Cake


I have good news. My dorm has a kitchen! And it's not an itty bitty little thing either. It has two ovens, two stove tops, and ample counter space. Now how did I get so lucky? I couldn't have asked for a better kitchen situation in my first year of college.

So, the real question is whether I have been baking or not. Drumroll please................................I have baked twice already! It seems that baking is a pretty good way to make friends. The smells the ovens sent floating through the halls brought some people into the kitchen and had others waiting outside the door in hopes getting a treat or two when everything was finished.

Sadly, what I am sharing with you today is neither the bread pudding nor the sugar cookies that I made. Trying to convert temperatures and measurements really complicates things. Both the cookies and the bread pudding were delicious, but neither were particularly photogenic. The sugar cookies didn't hold their shape and spread out, looking more like drop cookies than the pumpkins I had set out to make. They did taste awfully good though.


The bread pudding was equally yummy, but it got a little singed on top, making it unfit for your discerning eyes. As a cliched bargain-hunting student, I accidentally grabbed a loaf of whole wheat bread rather than a white bread simply because it cost 35 pence. This gave the pudding a strange nutty flavor that I could have gone without, but it was definitely edible.

Obviously none of this matters, as it is not what I am showing you today. This cake is wonderful. I am sitting at my desk writing this and sipping a cup of cinnamon tea, badly wishing I had a slice. Its flavors are hard to place- very complex. Its sweetness is rounded, not abrasive or cloying, and the coffee undertones work surprisingly well with the honey and spices. If you make this, won't you send me a slice?


Ukrainian Honey Cake
Adapted from Home Baking

Makes 1 loaf

2 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled to lukewarm

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and dust it with flour. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and smooth. Pour the honey and melted butter into the bowl and mix until the batter is well blended. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Fold half of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, stir in the coffee, and incorporate the remaining dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold them carefully into the batter, stirring a few times after to ensure that batter is smooth. The batter will seem very wet, but that is how it should be. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and place on a rack to cool completely before slicing. Eat plain or buttered and drizzled with honey.


  1. looks moist. i want a slice.

    i am in guadalajara right now.

    fyi - i had a quinoa granola today. it was amazing. honey, pecans, sunflower seeds, etc... it was really good.

  2. Miss you so much! Bake something and send it to me please!

    Lurv ya.