rosemary honey cake with lime cream cheese icing

March 30, 2014

rosemary honey cakePooh always liked a little something at eleven o’clock in the morning, and he was very glad to see Rabbit getting out the plates and mugs; and when Rabbit said, “Honey or condensed milk with your bread?” he was so excited that he said, “Both,” and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, “But don’t bother about the bread, please.”

from Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

classic-winnie-the-pooh-honey pots

Dear dear Pooh. He might well have turned down bread with his honey and condensed milk but I bet he would have said yes please to a slice of this honey cake. I found the recipe on Cottage Grove House, home of Seattle-based food blogger Seana, who is always posting fabulous food.

I think the combination of honey and rosemary is irresistible and since I’ve managed to keep my rosemary plant alive all this long winter, I was able to use fresh rosemary straight from the kitchen window.

The original recipe comes from the cookbook, Apples for Jam.  It calls for one tablespoon of fresh rosemary which seemed like a lot so I scaled it down a bit and it also calls for a lemon butter icing. I didn’t have a fresh lemon but I had a couple of limes, so here’s my slightly adjusted version with lime cream cheese icing which seemed to go perfectly with the cake. In the end I could have used the tablespoon of fresh rosemary because two teaspoons did not dominate the flavour at all.

I was a little dubious about the cake when I turned it out of the pan because it seemed heavy and a bit dry – but it is a beautiful, dense, and very honey-ish cake. AND it gets better with each passing day. Make it a day or two ahead of requiring it if you possibly can!

Rosemary Honey Cake

  • Servings: 8-10 slices
  • Print
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey (I used organic wildflower honey)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Lime Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • finely grated rind of one lime
  • 1-2 tbsp lime juice

Grease an 8-1/2 inch springform pan or small tube cake pan (like my gorgeous old Australian cake pan pictured).

Place the butter, brown sugar, and honey together in a small saucepan and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of water.  Heat gently until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.  Leave to cool for 15 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon into a bowl and add the rosemary.  Add the honey mixture and eggs and stir until smooth.  Pour into the pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when you poke it into the center.  Leave in the pan to cool completely.

To make the icing, beat the butter and cream cheese until there are no lumps at all. Sift in the icing sugar and beat again until smooth. Add the lime zest and juice. Spread over the top of the cake. This cake is best made ahead and will keep for up to a week in a covered container. For a dinner party – serve it with whipped cream drizzled with honey.

honey cake with lime cream cheese icing


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  • Reply thehungrymum March 31, 2014 at 6:11 am

    I *need* to make this! I adore rosemary in cakes & this sounds amazing.

    • Reply love in the kitchen March 31, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      This was my first time using rosemary in a cake and I really like it. Will definitely not be the last time. You must be starting to cool off a little in Sydney after your long hot summer. Today was the first day we hit double digits in Ontario after five long months – 10 degrees C and feels heavenly!

      • Reply catherinecuisine April 1, 2014 at 10:32 pm

        I have tried rosemary in a lemon cake, and in shortbread cookies (Martha stewart’s recipe)… it is wonderful… your cake looks really rich, moist and delicious !

  • Reply apuginthekitchen March 31, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Rosemary and honey really is a great combination and what a beautiful cake. I love Seana’s blog, she does always have fantastic recipes.

    • Reply love in the kitchen March 31, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Rosemary and honey might just be a new favourite for me. I loved this cake. Am still loving this cake.
      Bet you are enjoying spring temperatures today? We are. what a relief!

      • Reply apuginthekitchen March 31, 2014 at 4:28 pm

        It was awful this morning, sleet/freezing rain then all of a sudden the sun came out, the temp warmed and it’s gorgeous right now. Just went and stood outside. Tomorrow may even start some gardening. YAY! So glad you are finally feeling some warmth.

        • Reply love in the kitchen March 31, 2014 at 5:41 pm

          Love this! I’m so glad the sun came out for you after sleet and misery and that you may start gardening. Isn’t it wonderful how spring just suddenly explodes upon us? One of the joys of living with all four seasons.

  • Reply dozendharani March 31, 2014 at 9:07 am

    i wondered who that was,  Love in the Kitchen, next to me in my info Fb, likes- Love in the kitchen, of course Lindy,  Nice blog, !! will have to try the Rosemary bread surely,  hope this message finds you well,  hugs, xo ~dharani

    Dharani Healing Arts Andrée Beauchamp CNHP, RH

    “Let the beauty we love be what we do.”Rumi

    • Reply love in the kitchen March 31, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Happy spring Dharani! I hope you do make the rosemary honey cake but if you don’t, I’ll make you one next time I see you. xo

  • Reply tinywhitecottage March 31, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Lovely Lindy! I like how you used a bundt pan, one of my favorite ways to bake a cake. Pooh is so darling…and fits so well with this post. I am so glad you enjoyed the cake and using lime for the frosting sounds wonderful too. You changed your peace sign. 🙂 I like the heart…

    • Reply love in the kitchen March 31, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      I’m indebted to you Seana for posting this and so many other wonderful recipes on your beautiful blog. I LOVE this cake. And you’re right – it gets better with age. Today is day #3. I had a piece for morning coffee and it was even moister and more fully flavoured than it was yesterday.
      And yes, isn’t Pooh the best? So charming. Love that A.A. Milne.

  • Reply An Embarrassment of Freedom March 31, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    This cake just sounds amazing and I have the ingredients for the will enjoy it over the next couple of days…when I’m reading I get a hankering for this kind of cake the Winnie the Pooh reference and the drawing…sitting on a branch with his supplies in the rain…aw..for some reason…makes me think of my mom…not that she read to me.. too busy…never stopped working…always making perserves, canning the rain, any weather….she would pick, harvest, process everything…then glean the wet garden, fields , orchards for the windfalls or last bit of everything…nothing wasted.

    • Reply love in the kitchen March 31, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      Isn’t it interesting the connections we make? Pooh and his honey pots and your oh-so-resourceful mother who worked so hard. If you make the cake – I really advise making it in advance of needing it and saving some to left ‘soften’ because both the texture and flavour improve daily! Lovely to hear from you and hope you had the same glorious spring day we did. xx

  • Reply whatjessicabakednext April 2, 2014 at 11:37 am

    The cake looks and sounds absolutely divine! Such a great combination of flavours!

  • Reply super john April 7, 2014 at 1:42 am

    awesome share

  • Reply love in the kitchen April 7, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks you Jessica. Just travelled over to your blog and followed you. Congratulations on being featured in the BBC Good Food Magazine! That’s lofty territory indeed.

  • Reply Peri's Spice Ladle April 7, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I have all these ingredients on hand, and tons of fresh rosemary in the garden! Can’t wait to try this out:)

  • Reply Anjana @ At The Corner Of Happy & Harried May 10, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Such a lovely recipe! And who doesn’t love Pooh!!

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