Honningkager are thought to be from Christiansfeld in the southern of Denmark and started gaining popularity around 1783. For many, they are associated with Christmas but I would be perfectly happy eating them year round. A Honningkage is firm in texture, yet airy and filled with Christmas spices. I have made different versions of honey cakes here on my blog before, like Honninghjerter which was quite an adventure and the short-cut Honningkage which was very flavorful but more like a regular soft cake. For this particular Honey Cake with Buttercream I decided to add a thin layer of Apricot jam which is not traditional but I think it pairs really well with the spices in the cake. I know it is a little early but since it’s December 1st I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. 🎄
Honey Cake with Buttercream and Apricot (makes 15 servings)
For the cake:
500 gram honey (17.5 oz)
125 gram sugar (4.5 0z)
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 organic orange, zested
1 dl heavy whipping creme (3.4 fl oz)
2 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
2 teaspoon Ammonium Bicarbonate (called Hjortetaksalt in Danish)
500 gram all-purpose flour (17.5 oz)
For the Buttercream:
130 gram butter, room temperature
130 gram confectioners sugar
145 g Apricot jam (5 oz)
120 gram semi-sweet chocolate (4.2 oz)
To make cake:
Lightly grease a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 centimeter) baking pan and line with parchment paper so the paper is overhanging the sides. Preheat oven to 320 degrees F (160 degrees C).
Combine honey and sugar in a small saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool until “finger warm”.
Beat eggs, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, orange zest, whipping cream and yogurt until combined. Sift together flour and Ammonium Bicarbonate, then add flour to egg mixture and stir until fully incorporated and smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes or until done, careful not to over bake. Check for doneness by using a toothpick, it should come out clean when cake is done. Allow cake to cool completely before assembling.
To make buttercream:
Make sure butter is at room temperature. Cream butter and confectioners sugar together until smooth and creamy.
If cake edges feel hard, trim them off using a serrated knife. Cut cake horizontally into two layers and place them both cut-side-up, side-by-side. Stir apricot jam to loosen it up and spread jam out over bottom cake layer evenly. Spread buttercream out over top cake layer, flip it over and place top cake layer on top of bottom cake layer so buttercream and apricot are now together in the middle.
Chop chocolate coarsely and place in a microwave safe bowl. Melt chocolate in microwave, stopping every 10 seconds to stir and check to see if chocolate is melted completely. Spread melted chocolate out over top of cake and allow to set before cutting cake. If desired, trim edges off cake using a serrated knife. Enjoy!
Source: adapted from Alletiders Kogebog