Spiced honey loaf cake

With cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, this spiced honey loaf cake has a taste of Christmas in every bite. Wrap yours in brown paper and tie with a thin strand of tinsel to dress it up for the big day.

spiced honey loaf cake
Chris Alack


120g unsalted butter diced, plus extra for greasing
150g dark resinous honey, for example pine or Greek mountain
110g wholemeal or plain rye flour
110g plain flour
100g light muscovado sugar
pinch of sea salt
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
180ml milk
3 medium eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 2. and butter a 22cm/1.2 litre loaf tin. Gently heat together the butter and honey in a small saucepan, whisking until melted and amalgamated.

2. Place the flours, light muscovado sugar and salt in a large bowl and sift over the bicarbonate of soda and the ground spices. Add the honey mixture and whisk to a thick paste. Gradually whisk in the milk, then the medium eggs, one at a time. Pour this into the prepared tin and bake for 1. hours until risen and firm and a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean.

3. Run a knife around the edge of the spiced honey loaf cake and leave it to stand for about 15 minutes. Then turn it out on to a sheet of clingfilm while still hot, wrap up and set aside for at least 24 hours when it will develop a lovely sticky crust. This cake will keep well for some days in an airtight container. It’s particularly good with unsalted butter and marmalade or, in savoury mode, with chicken liver parfait. 

Recipe by Annie Bell. Food styling by Clare Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.

For more recipe ideas go to anniebell.net and @anniebellcook