Honey Mead Layer Cake
With Honey Buttercream and Burnt Honey Pastry Cream
Topped with Honeycomb Toffee and drizzled with Smoked Honey
I recently had the incredible opportunity to visit a local winery, Rosewood Estate Winery, located in Beamsville, Ontario. While there, I was able to taste their various wines but it was the honey mead, Mead Blanc, that sparked the creation of this lavish cake.
The very instance that I tasted this mead, I knew it belonged in a decadent cake and even before leaving the winery, I had already curated this recipe. With the help of their delicious honey, cultivated right on site, this cake has quickly become my favourite recipe yet!
Mead Blanc Syrup
500 ml Mead Blanc, Honey Wine
1. Gently simmer Mead Blanc on low-medium heat for approximately 45-60 minutes or until reduced to 150 ml.
2. Set in fridge to cool completely; approximately 1 hour.
600g of butter, softened
600g of Large eggs (approximately 9 eggs)
600g Self-raising Flour, sifted
150 ml Mead Blanc syrup
20 ml Mead Blanc honey wine
- Grease four 8” round pans with canola oil.
2. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
4. In a stand mixer or large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy (approximately 2-5 minutes).
5. Beat in sugar for approximately 5 minutes, or until mixture becomes smooth.
6. Slowly add in eggs, 1 at a time, until fully incorporated.
7. Slowly mix in 1/2 of the sifted flour until lightly incorporated then slowly mix in remaining flour until fully incorporated.
8. Mix in Mead Blanc syrup until fully incorporated.
9. Mix in Mead Blanc honey wine until fully incorporated.
10. Evenly divide batter into each cake pan (approximately 600g/pan).
11. Bake cakes on the centre rack for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the centre of the cake and come out clean. (For best results, bake no more than two cakes at a time).
12. Set cakes aside to cool completely (use a cooling rack for quicker and more even cooling).
Burnt Honey Syrup
120 ml Rosewood Wildflower Honey
80 ml 35% Cream
1. In a pan, over medium heat, cook honey until dark amber in colour; approximately 10-15 minutes (should resemble maple syrup).
2. cream and mix.
3. Set aside.
Burnt Honey Pastry Cream
1 Litre of milk (2%)
1/2 Cup of corn starch
12 Egg yolks
1/3 Cup Burnt Honey Syrup
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Rosewood Wildflower Honey
1 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup butter, cubed
1. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring milk, salt, and sugar to a light simmer and remove from heat.
2. In a large separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, burnt honey syrup, cornstarch and Rosewood Wildflower honey until fully incorporated.
3. Add approximately 1/4 cup of hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking vigorously as to avoid curdling the eggs.
4. Slowly add remaining hot milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture, continuing to whisk vigorously.
5. Pour the entire mixture back into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously.
6. Continue to whisk until the mixture begins to bubble slightly.
7. Continue to cook mixture on medium heat for approximately 3-4 more mixtures, stirring gently (Mixture should resemble a thick pudding consistency).
8. Strain mixture through a sieve into a large bowl to create a smooth consistency.
9. Add butter to mixture and stir until butter has fully melted and fully incorporated.
10. Cover mixture with plastic wrap and rest in refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours or until firm (for best results, rest mixture in the refrigerator overnight).
Burnt Honey Buttercream
This recipe creates enough buttercream to fill your layers and crumb coat your cake. You will need to create an additional batch if you wish to completely cover your cake.
454g Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Burnt Honey Pastry Cream
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
750g Icing Sugar, sifted
1/4 Cup Rosewood Wildflower honey
1. In a stand mixer, on medium-high speed, beat butter until light and fluffy (approximately 5 minutes).
2. Slowly add in the burnt honey pastry cream and continue to beat until fully incorporated.
3. On a low mixing speed, add icing sugar 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated.
4. Bring mixer to high speed and mix for approximately 8-10 minutes or until mixture feels smooth when pressed between your fingers.
5. Add in Rosewood Wildflower honey and lemon juice and mix until fully incorporated.
6. Cover and set aside until ready to assemble your cake.
1 pinch of salt
1 Cup of sugar
1/3 Cup of corn syrup
1/2 Cup of water
1/2 Tbsp of Baking soda
1. Line an 8×8 square baking pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium saucepan, add sugar, salt, corn syrup and water and gently mix together.
3. On medium heat, bring mixture to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (or 150 degrees Celsius) DO NOT STIR!
4. Once at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, whisk in baking soda for no longer than 5 seconds and pour mixture into your lined 8×8 baking pan.
5. Let cool for 1 hour before breaking apart.
Assembling the Cake
1. Level and trim your cake rounds to remove any caramelization.
2. To begin assembling your cake, place a trimmed cake round on a cake board sightly smaller than your cake and secure your cake using a small dollop of your icing.
3. Using an off-set spatula, spread a generous even layer of burnt honey buttercream on your first layer of cake taking care to reach the edges.
4. Carefully stack your second cake layer on top of your buttercream layer so that it aligns evenly with your first cake layer and, using a clean off-set spatula, spread a generous even layer of your burnt honey pastry cream on top, taking care to reach the edges.
5. Carefully stack your third cake layer on top of your pastry cream and repeat step number 3.
6. Carefully stack your fourth and final cake layer on top of your buttercream, ensuring that all four layers of cake are aligned evenly.
7. Crumb-coat or “dirty ice” your entire cake by lightly covering the top and sides of the cake in the burnt honey buttercream and, using a flat cake smoother tool or straight edge spatula, scrape off any excess buttercream from your cake.
8. Place in the fridge to chill for at 30-60 minutes or until you can touch the crumb coat without leaving a fingerprint.
9. Once your crumb coat is firm, remove from the refrigerator and cover the top and sides of the cake in a finishing layer of the burnt honey buttercream.
10. Crumble or break apart your honeycomb toffee and decorate your cake as you wish; for this cake, I have placed a row of honeycomb toffee around the top and bottom edges.
11. The final step of this entire cake is to drizzle Rosewood Smoked Honey around the top edges of the cake until it begins to drip down the sides of the cake.
This recipe is not for the faint of heart, but the end result is well worth the challenge! If anyone is up for taking on this recipe, I’d love to see your re-creations so feel free to tag me on Instagram (link down below). Even if this recipe seems a little bit beyond your expertise as a baker, I’d love to know your thoughts on this cake in the comments below or tell me what you love to cook/bake using wine and/or honey!
Thank-you so much for stopping by and be sure to subscribe to notifications so you don’t miss out on any of my original recipes!
Until next time,
Clayton Smith, Claycooks
*Special thanks to William Roman at Rosewood Estates Winery for allowing me to photograph this cake at their beautiful winery and helping with the finishing touches.