Nectar cake

Nectar cake

Honey cake

The Birthday Cake Book
Laura Edwards

A wonderful moist honey cake topped with a giant sugar rose, waiting to be pollinated! Just as beautiful would be to top the cake with fresh roses. Make both the sugar rose and coloured sugar in advance, even weeks ahead, if you like.

For the cake


Quantity Ingredient
280g unsalted butter, diced, plus more for the tins
350g self-raising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground ginger
340g runny floral honey
220g light muscovado sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 ripe bananas, mashed

For the honey buttercream

Quantity Ingredient
300g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar
3 tablespoons runny floral honey, to taste

To decorate

Quantity Ingredient
200g granulated sugar
egg yellow food colour paste
claret food colour paste
400g white petal paste
15 cm diameter thin cake board
icing sugar, to dust


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 160°C. Lightly butter two 15 cm deep, round cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Wrap the outside of the tins with a collar of brown paper (or even newspaper) and tie with string, to protect the cakes. Sift the flour, salt and ginger into a large bowl. Melt the butter, honey, sugar and 2 tbsp water in a pan. Cool slightly. Add the eggs, bananas and honey mixture to the flour and mix until smooth. Divide between the tins and bake for 45–50 minutes, or until a skewer emerges clean.
  2. Cream the butter and icing sugar for at least five minutes in an electric mixer (or with a hand-held mixer), add the honey slowly, and mix. Split each cake horizontally to make four layers. Sandwich the layers together with buttercream. The top of the cake should be a cut side so it is flat. Spread the remaining buttercream over the top and sides.
  3. To decorate, place the granulated sugar into a bowl. In a small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons water with a little yellow and even less claret food colour to make a rich amber. Blend with the sugar and spread on a tray to dry. Every few hours, mix it. Store in a dry place; it will keep for weeks. Colour the petal paste with yellow and a tiny amount of claret to make an amber. Seal in a polythene bag and rest overnight.
  4. Split a polythene bag and place on a work surface. Take 40 g of the paste. Flatten the base on to a work surface and indent to shape a cone on top of a rough ball. Dust the small cake board lightly with icing sugar and place the cone in the centre. Take three pieces of flower paste, mould into balls and lay on one side of the bag. Fold over the other side of the bag and flatten each ball until 4–5 cm in diameter, keeping one side thicker. Gently peel back the polythene and, taking one petal at a time, mould it around the cone completely covering the top. Take the second petal and place it centrally over the seam of the first (thinnest part uppermost) and mould it around the cone. Place the third petal opposite. Tweak the petals as you work. Keep making the petals and assembling the rose. The outer petals should be 5–6 cm in diameter. To support the petals, use little balls of paste tucked underneath; remove when dry. It will completely set in a day. Gently press the coloured sugar over the cake. Top with the sugar rose.
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