I like bees and Honey Wholemeal Cake

This recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book ‘River Cottage Everyday‘ feels kind of healthy. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that it uses wholemeal flour. Or the fact that there’s lots of honey in it, which is of course a sweet tasting but natural ingredient that I think, in the realms of cake baking, should be classed as healthy-ish at least. Also, as Hugh himself has said, it’s one of the few things that will actually help get rid of a cough – so a good winter recipe.

Honey’s been around forever – well since there were bees (and birds) anyway. But the bee population is now declining. I really hope that we can stop this, not only so I can still have my honey, but also because I like bees. Plus their role in the pollination process is actually pretty crucial for us having any crop production at all, so not only would I not have any honey for this cake if there were no bees, but also most of the other ingredients would be lacking too. Maybe I would still have baking powder – but I don’t fancy eating that neat.

Anyway, back to the cake. Not only is honey good at getting rid of coughs. It is also hygroscopic, which means that it pulls moisture towards it. And therefore, this is a lovely moist cake with lots of honey flavours. I’ve found it works pretty well with a few raspberries and some cream drizzled on top. And it’s also very easy to make.  So healthy it may not be, but it might subdue that cough/cold, and whilst your eating it – give a thought to those bees…


350g unsalted butter, softened
265g unrefined caster sugar
4 organic eggs
150g ground almonds
150g wholemeal self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g flaked almonds
3-4 tbsp runny honey

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/ gas mark 3. Grease a 24cm diameter, springform cake tin with a little of the butter and line the base with baking parchment.

Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, and cream them together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the ground almonds, then sift in the flour and baking powder and gently fold these in, too.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin, scatter the flaked almonds over the top, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife pushed into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and, while it’s still hot, evenly drizzle all over with honey. Place the tin on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold.